Two days. Seven Screenwriters. One author of Save the Cat! A corkboard. Some pushpins. Coffee. Pastries.
These are the ingredients for a weekend of intense creativity and this past weekend was no exception. I met with seven really, really on-top-of-their-game writers who are working on scripts that all have “it.” And we rolled up our sleeves and beat those scripts out this weekend. We killed a few “darlings” in the process, and had to bend our brains a little, but we did it.
And we had an amazing time!
I also learned something. The method we are using to get across how to write better screenplays is starting to be used at the studio level. I learned that comments from studio executives are starting to include requests for the “save the cat” moment and the need for better “fun and games” early in Act Two. And the scripts the studios are buying are matching beat for beat what we have been talking about all along: a primal goal, a hero we can root for, and a concept that catches our attention because it has those four pesky things all good loglines have — including irony.
But there is no greater fun than putting these principals into action during a weekend workshop. This is the last one I will be doing in L.A. for a while as I am heading out to New York City, Tucson, and Phoenix with another stop in Maine. Busy month.
(I am also using this method myself and have some surprises of my own this fall with a spec that may be the best of my career.)
But meantime, thanks to all the writers for this weekend’s L.A. workshop. Thanks too to the producing students of UCLA who shared two lecture evenings with me last week. What a great group! I look forward to hearing success stories from all of you.