Selling Your Screenplay Once & For All
(What Most Film Schools Don’t Teach You)
A 4-Week Course with Jacob N. Stuart
Are you a product of a 1-year, 4-year, or even an 8-year film school? The kind where they spend months, even years, teaching you about ‘The Hero’s Journey’ and dissecting movies like “Indiana Jones”, “Star Wars”, and “American Beauty”. The ones where you spend little to NO time learning how to actually sell (& option) your screenplay — or how to make money doing what you love?
Are you just starting out? You’ve read the screenwriting books, joined writers groups, taken expensive seminars, but still can’t get a decision maker to read your work?
Or, better yet, are you actually a veteran writer, but can’t seem to get your work in the hands of industry pros anymore?
If so, this four week comprehensive class is for you!
This course teaches screenwriters (from all backgrounds) how to sell their script, on their own, with a limited network, no agent/manager, and with little to no prior film experience.
PRIOR TO ATTENDING THIS CLASS, YOU SHOULD HAVE AT LEAST ONE COMPLETED SCREENPLAY THAT YOU ARE LOOKING TO SELL OR OPTION.
This class is a great way to network with not only fellow screenwriters, but with actors, directors, and producers.
You will also have the instructor’s personal email and phone number. At anytime, even after the course is completed, you are welcome to reach out to the instructor for advice and suggestions. Always happy to help!
During this four week course, the instructor will set time aside (outside of class hours) to be in office, where students can come in and chat all things screenwriting.
At the completion of this course, you will have:
- A perfected query letter to send to producers
- A list of resources, with detailed information, on where to find active producers, and how to submit to them.
- A professional online presence, and the opportunity to network online with decision-makers.
- A list of producers looking for new and exciting projects.
- Most importantly, you will have the tools and skills necessary to successfully pitch your script in a high-intensity pitch meeting.
On completion of this course, you will also be awarded a 1 YEAR PREMIUM Membership on ScreenwritingStaffing.com. Screenwriting Staffing is Professional Online Staffing Service for Screenwriters, Premium Members are instantly connected with Screenwriting Staffing’s database of industry TV and Film professionals. These are professionals actively looking to buy and option screenplays, hire a screenwriter, represent and manage new writing talent, and more! Screenwriting Staffing has more than 125 success stories in just THREE years. This is the REAL deal!
(Want to know what kind of script requests and job opportunities come through Screenwriting Staffing? Click to read more. Or what kind of success stories come through Screenwriting Staffing? You can read about them here.
This class is limited to just 20 participants, giving everyone a chance to participate and get feedback on their work.
The following are suggested for reading prior to, or along with this class.
- Good in a Room by Stephanie Palmer
- The Screenwriters’ Bible by David Trottier
In this class, we will cover:
- HOW TO PITCH TO A PRODUCER
Far too many writers simply rely on their screenplay to open doors, but in reality, no one reads a screenplay until they hear a pitch! We will discuss the tricks to writing a compelling QUERY LETTER, and why, contrary to popular belief, the query letter is NOT dead!
- SELLING YOUR STORY IN ONE SENTENCE
Before a producer will even consider your work, they MUST know what your story is about. Hollywood has a short attention span; sell your script (and yourself) in one sentence, period. We will dissect some of Hollywood’s best loglines, and understand why they work(ed) brilliantly.
- UNDERSTANDING A SYNOPSIS
Far too many writers confuse a treatment with a synopsis. They are drastically different. Have you ever heard of the saying, “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, He Will Want a Glass of Milk”? Same goes with loglines. If you give a producer a logline, he will want a SYNOPSIS to follow! We will once and for all break down the purpose of a synopsis, and how it’s written — including page length, character introductions, subtext, and the finish, AKA the hook.
- Other short topics include: how to write an introduction, a personal bio, and a screenwriting resume.
Before the next class, each student should prepare a one page query letter to bring to class. This includes a short intro, 1-2 sentence logline, 1-3 paragraph synopsis, and a short bio.
This should be completed at least 48 hours before your next class. You will send your query letter to instructor to review via e-mail. Instructor will review, make revisions/edits/notes, and send it back to you prior to class.
The topics for your second class include:
- HOW TO FIND A PRODUCER
There are thousands of industry professionals (decision-makers) domestically (and internationally) looking to buy screenplays every day! The struggle, for most screenwriters, is knowing where to find them. We will discuss the surprising amount of resources available on the internet when searching for the right home for your screenplay.
- SELLING YOUR SCRIPT WITHOUT AN AGENT/MANAGER
We will discuss ALL of the places you can go (sometimes for FREE) when searching for screenwriting opportunities (pitchfests, festivals, seminars, websites, staffing sites, etc.)
- SENDING THE QUERY LETTER
Now that you have a presentable query letter, we will discuss the do’s and don’ts when sending your query letter to producers. We will go over all formalities, what to include, and what to exclude.
Note: We will be bringing in a couple of working producers for this class. The producers, from a subjective view, will tell you precisely what turns them off and turns them on when receiving online pitches (and pitches in person). You won’t find this anywhere else!
For the next class, you will be given 15-20 email addresses from producers actively seeking screenplays. These producers are vetted pros via Screenwriting Staffing’s network, and they are actively seeking new projects to add to their slate.
You will be required to query at least 5 producers (if your script meets the producer’s requirements) before your next class. Each producer will reply with a response, for instance: “thanks, but no thanks”, or if you’re lucky, “please send along your script for review.”
In your third class, we will cover the following topics:
- MARKETING YOURSELF & YOUR SCRIPT
Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Periscope, WordPress (& others), aren’t just for adolescents. They are used daily by some of the biggest (and most POWERFUL) names in Hollywood. We will discuss how introductions and connections can be made with a simple re-tweet, friend request, or hashtag!
- CREATIVE CONTENT
In this day and age, every writer should be well-acquainted with social media. We will discuss how to turn your social media pages into marketing tools, advertising your scripts and services, all while using your “creative writing” skills to lure in buyers! This also includes BLOGGING and writing for screenwriting magazines/online forums/film review pages.
- ONLINE PRESENCE
Lets face it. Google trumps all. Before we take a class, read a book, watch a movie, or even meet up with someone for coffee, we Google their name. Who are they? What have they done? Are they popular, active? As a writer, or anyone in this industry, you must, even if it’s not entirely true, give the impression that YOU ARE A PROFESSIONAL, you know what you are doing, and you a respected in the film community. This can all be established with a few simple tricks and tips, bringing up your SEO.
- Other short topics include, screenplay contests, and how social media ups your chances of winning (or being selected)!
You will create (or tailor/edit) your social media profile for LinkedIn, Twitter, Stage 32, About Me, Vimeo, Slated, and Skype, among many others. Your profile should highlight your skills, credits, personality, and screenplays.
Each profile should include a mini bio, a professional photo, contact information, and a sneak peak/pitch to at least one screenplay.
Your last class starts one hour earlier. Please do not arrive late.
In this class, we cover:
How to Pitch In Person to a Producer
This is the most under appreciated weapon in your arsenal. Far too many writers simply rely on their script to open doors, but in reality, you will have to pitch your story face-to face at some point in time! Drop all of your preconceived ideas on “pitching” at the door and we’ll tell you what works in this class.
We will discuss once and for all how to shine during a high-intensity PITCH MEETING!
This final class will be your most challenging but exciting. It’s time for role-playing. You have a completed script, a strong online presence, a phenomenal query letter, and a list of producers to message (which you have already queried). And that’s when it happens… Your phone rings and you hear, “Can you come in tomorrow? We would like to discuss your script.”
We will be bringing in active, credited producers to act as studio executives. Each student will have a designated amount of time to pitch their script. Producers will ask standard questions, as well as throw curve balls at the student. We will simulate a realistic pitch meeting. You will NOT find this anywhere else.
After each pitch, we will casually, but honestly, identify what worked and what didn’t, and discuss where improvements are needed. You just can’t put a price tag on this experience!
This class meets on Fridays:
June 10 -17 - 24 - July 1
7pm-10pm June 10-24
6pm-10pm July 1
This class is limited to 20 people.
DISCOUNT CODE :Submit
Hollywood International Film Academy
3153 Los Feliz Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90039
Screenwriter Jacob N. Stuart leads this course.