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UPDATE – ISA Presents: Utilizing Your Voice In How You Tell And Sell Your Story

UPDATE – ISA Presents: Utilizing Your Voice In How You Tell And Sell Your Story

UPDATE: Due to a scheduling conflict, the International Screenwriters Association (ISA) has rescheduled their May 7th class with Jen Grisanti for June 11th.

Those wishing to attend or amend their current ticket should contact Michael Peters at Info@NetworkISA.org. The information for the class has also been updated as follows:

WRITING A TV PILOT THAT SELLS with Jen Grisanti – 1 DAY EVENT

If you want to be the creator of the next Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, Lost, Orange Is The New Black, Empire, Grey’s Anatomy, the list goes on, you need to learn how to write a pilot that sells!

How do you create characters that audiences must watch week after week? How do you create complexity in those characters? How do you create an emotional attachment from the audience to those characters? How do you create powerful act breaks that leave your audience on the edge of their seats? How do you set up the end of your pilot so it can carry on for years? How do you create a logline or pitch so that you can sell your brilliant idea to a network?

These are just some of questions Jen will answer in this Master Series Class. She will teach you the tools that will elevate your game and increase your opportunities because Jen believes that in order to go from a non-working writer to a working writer, you have to write a pilot that hits it out of the ballpark!

This is the first of many ISA Master Series Classes coming to you monthly so REGISTER TODAY to improve you chances of breaking in!

Jen Grisanti :
Story/Career Consultant, Writing Instructor of Writers on the Verge at NBC and former twelve-year studio executive has learned what it takes to transform a non-working writer into a working writer. She gained valuable working experience as the VP of Current Programing at CBS Paramount Network Television, Inc. and Head of Current Programs for Aaron Spelling’s company, Spelling Television, Inc. During her tenure Jen worked with producers and writers on the execution of shows such as: Medium, Numbers, NCIS, Girlfriends, Charmed, Seventh Heaven, Melrose Place, 90210 and many more. She has helped to launch countless writing careers over the last twenty-five years. FORTY OF HER CLIENTS HAVE SOLD PILOTS and five of them have gone to series. Jen’s system for telling and selling story has also led to SEVENTY-FIVE OF HER WRITERS GETTING STAFFED.

 

Original story follows:

Coming in May, the International Screenwriters Association (ISA) will offer a master class a master class on writing for television. The class will help you develop your voice to create a memorable spec script and TV pilot script that clearly defines who you are as a writer. Taught by Jen Grisanti, the course will be held Saturday, May 7, 2016 from 9am to 6pm in Los Angeles, CA.

Here’s more from the ISA website:

Your voice is what separates you as a writer from the masses. Knowing how to utilize your voice in your scripts is what will determine your path. Want to learn how to define your voice? Want to learn how to write scripts that they can’t ignore and to go from being a non-working to a working writer?

In this master class, you will learn how to draw from within and tell and sell your stories in a way that will separate your script from the thousands that are out there. What makes you unique? What is your emotional truth? How can you learn to add fiction to it and make it come alive in your writing? How do you write complex and flawed characters that will captivate your audience? It all comes from your voice and your unique worldview.

Want to get into the TV writing programs? Learn to write a memorable spec script and TV pilot script that clearly defines who you are as a writer. In the past few years, the pilot script has become a significant part of getting into many of the writing programs. This is because the pilot script is your calling card. It reveals your original voice and it is what defines you.

Jen Grisanti :

Story/Career Consultant, Writing Instructor of Writers on the Verge at NBC and former twelve-year studio executive has learned what it takes to transform a non-working writer into a working writer. She gained valuable working experience as the VP of Current Programing at CBS Paramount Network Television, Inc. and Head of Current Programs for Aaron Spelling’s company, Spelling Television, Inc. During her tenure, Jen worked with producers and writers on the execution of shows such as: Medium, Numbers, NCIS, Girlfriends, Charmed, Seventh Heaven, Melrose Place, 90210 and many more. She has helped to launch countless writing careers over the last twenty-five years. Forty of her clients have sold pilots and five of them have gone to series. Jen’s system for telling and selling story has also led to seventy-five of her writers getting staffed.

  SATURDAY JUNE 11, 2016 

8:00 a.m. – Doors Open

8:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

I. SETTING UP STRUCTURE AND CHARACTER

11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

II. WORKSHOP – PILOT WORKSHEET

12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

LUNCH – Included in registration fee.

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

III. TELLING THE INTERNAL STORY – HOW TO ELEVATE EMOTION

2:30 pm – 3:30 p.m.

IV. WORKSHOP – WRITING LOG LINES FOR YOUR LIFE AND FOR YOUR SCRIPT

3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

HAPPY HOUR – Included in registration fee. Enjoy a few free drinks and mingle with Jen and other students. This is a great opportunity to ask Jen some additional questions or discuss what you learned with other writers.

Class Breakdown

I. SETTING UP STRUCTURE AND CHARACTER

CHARACTER

Jen will work with you on how to create complex characters that have wounds and flaws and connect with the audience in a universal way.

• Understand the Wound and The Flaw Of Your Characters

• What Is Your Character’s World View?

• Connection Between The Personal Dilemma and The Professional Pursuit

• Examples of Strong Characters From Shows

Writing characters that the audience wants to return to every week is one of the biggest challenges that pilot writers face. In this section, we will go over some of the tools that I’ve used with writers that have led them to success. By going through these tools and giving examples from current shows, it will help the writer to understand what goes into writing memorable, complex and flawed characters.

SETTING UP STRONG CHARACTER DYNAMICS

• What Are The Main Character Dynamics in Your Story?

• How to Develop Character Dynamics

• Examples of Strong Character Dynamics in Pilots

Your character dynamics very often contribute to whether people want to return to see episode #2. I often tell writers to think about what is the inside story. For example, the character dynamics in THE GOOD WIFE between Alicia, Peter and Will are a large part of what made the audience want to return to the show. Peter betrays Alicia and goes to jail. Alicia loses her breadwinner and needs to figure out how to bring security back to her family. Will, a former law school sweetheart, gives her an opportunity to work in his firm. By understanding how to create a strong internal story with the character dynamics, you elevate your story.

 

STRUCTURE AND LINKING
Through understanding how to link these three elements, you will learn how to set the foundation in your story, have an active lead and elevate the emotion to a whole new level.

TRIGGER - By creating a powerful trigger incident for your series, you will create a strong season arc and this will establish longevity for your concept.

A strong pilot trigger is what carries the first episode. Linking the pilot trigger to the series trigger makes the difference between a good pilot and a great one. You need to clearly set up that the pilot trigger would not have happened unless the series trigger happened.

Jen will go over several pilots that have done this successfully.

DILEMMA - The trigger incident should push your central character into a dilemma. The choice that is made in this dilemma is what will define the external goal.

The dilemma should be strong enough that we understand that there is not an easy choice on either side of the dilemma. This is what will create empathy and a rooting factor for your central character.

Jen will also discuss the set up of the personal dilemma and how to link it to the professional pursuit. This will elevate the emotion in your story.

PURSUIT - The clear set up of the goal is the glue that will hold your story together. By clearly setting up what your central character wants, you can link your obstacle, escalating obstacle, and “all is lost” moment back to the goal. This will help you to write stronger act breaks. It is when the goal is unclear that the story doesn’t work.

In every scene, we should have a clear sense of what your central character wants and why they want it. Setting up a clear pursuit will help you to establish this.

SETTING UP THE SERIES

• How do you set up your series?

• How to add a complication in a character dynamic after the resolution moment.

• Give examples of pilots that set up the series in a strong way.

Writers will learn how to set up the series at the end of the script. Setting up your series at the end of your pilot arc is key to the success of your script selling. I will discuss how a strong added complication at the end sets up why we want to come back to see your series.

WRITING STRONG ACT BREAKS

• How To Utilize Action, Obstacle and Stakes At The Break

• How To Couple Hitting An Obstacle In The Internal and External Story Arc

• How To End The Act On A Question and Answer The Question At The Top Of The Next Act

• Understanding The Function of the Act Break

In this section, I will go through how to write strong and powerful act breaks. By understanding the sequence of actions taken toward the goal, obstacles hit and elevation of the stakes, writers will learn how to write an act break that has impact. By understanding that the purpose of the break is to leave your audience hanging so that they will want to return, you will see how to write toward this.
II. WORKSHOP – PILOT WORKSHEET

Jen will then have writers fill out her Pilot Worksheet:

• What is your trigger incident?

• What is your dilemma?

• What is the external goal that stems from your dilemma in the A story?

• Write a log line for your series.

• Write a log line for your pilot.

• Write the trigger incident, dilemma and goal for your B story.

• Write down what your act breaks will be.

• Write down the actions that will be taken in each arc toward the pursuit of the goal.

• Write down the external and internal stakes for each arc.

• What is the symbolic moment when the goal in the A story is achieved?

• How do you set up your series?

III. TELLING THE INTERNAL STORY – HOW TO ELEVATE EMOTION

What Is The Emotional Fuel Driving Your Character?

• Building the Internal Arc

• Connecting the personal dilemma to the professional pursuit.

• Understand the Why

• Examples of Pilots That Have Strong Internal Stories

Emotion is what will connect you to your audience. In this section, we will discuss how you can utilize the emotional fuel of your central character through setting up how the personal dilemma links to the professional pursuit. I will also discuss the building of the internal arc. When you understand the internal desire, it allows you to escalate the stakes in both an internal and an external way.


IV. WORKSHOP – WRITING LOG LINES FOR YOUR LIFE AND FOR YOUR SCRIPT

During this section, Jen will teach you how to write Log Lines For Your Life, Log Lines for your Characters and Log Lines for your Story Arcs utilizing the following formula:

• SET UP OF WHO (CREATE EMPATHY)

• DILEMMA

• ACTION

• GOAL

• TWIST OF IRONY

Jen will also have you write up life story arcs that will be beneficial to your meetings.

• Starting Dilemma

• External Goal

• Thematic Question

• Actions Taken

• Obstacles Hit

• Stakes – External and Internal

• Attainment of Goal

For more information or to register for the workshop, go to the ISA website at www.networkisa.org

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