Author Archive

FRIDAY NIGHT SOCIAL – MAY 4TH AT THE MOMENTS HOTEL ROOF DECK LOUNGE (NEW LOCATION)

by on Apr.21, 2018, under events, Featured

Friday Night Social Event ~ May 4, 2018 ~ NEW LOCATION **UPDATE**

 

Event Date: Friday, May 4, 2018 || Starts at 6:30 pm  || Co-sponsoring with Jennifer Grisanti and Final Draft.

**UPDATE**LOCATION CHANGE – PLEASE CHECK LOCATION BELOW

Friday Night Social is a networking group that meets the first Friday of every month. It started as a way for TV and feature writers to meet one another and has evolved into so much more. This is a great way to “Network”. Plan on meeting people from different areas and levels in the entertainment industry.

This networking event is on a first name basis and everyone will receive a name tag with their first name only, this is best for the more established professional entertainers to maintain their anonymity which will allow them to network as well.

 

IMPORTANT:

Please REGISTER before 10:00 pm on Thursday, May 3, 2018

register_button

 

ADMISSION:

FREE to attend.  Please pay for your own food, cocktails & parking. We ask everyone to purchase one drink, minimum, please.

***$1 Cocktail is available through the HOOCH app, with the invitation code: “SCRIPTWRITERS”. You can download the app prior to arrival. Roof Deck Lounge will have 3 different drink offers and the attendees using the HOOCH app can pick and redeem the drink of choice by showing the bartender. (see more info below)

~Check in with us at the entrance to receive your name tag.

 

MORE INFORMATION:

This month’s Friday Night Social is being held at The Moment Hotel’s Roof Deck LoungePlease join Jennifer GrisantiFinal Draft and The Scriptwriters Network at this location for this month’s Friday Night Social “Networking” event.

The Moment Hotel sets the scene for the Instagram-worth rooftop dining and socializing. Enjoy 2,000 square feet of outdoor space overlooking Sunset Blvd and the Hollywood Hills. The Roofdeck Lounge is the perfect spot for intimate gatherings, a pre-screening reception, private launch party, or any occasion that requires an elevated level of cool. Sip on craft beer or signature cocktails and nibble on small gourmet plates while hanging out with your friends and colleagues in our stylish open-air setting.

We also dish up breakfast and dinner items to either fuel you up or help you unwind from the day. The center bar and comfortable lounge seating invite you to mingle with fellow guests before a night out or to catch up on work during the day. Take in the stunning view of the city as you drink and dine under the sun.

 

Join us at The Moment Hotel’s Roof Deck Lounge:

Below: Photos from previous Friday Night events:

FNS Hostesses, L to R: SWN’s Secretary Jill Narciso, Final Draft’s Kala Guess, Jen Grisanti (Consultancy) and SWN’s President Melessa Y. Sargent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Event starts at 6:30 pm – Ends at 9:30 pm

LOCATION:

The Moment Hotel’s Roof Deck Lounge

7370 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90046

Phone # 323-822-5030

 

PARKING:

Valet parking is $15-$25.

Plenty of additional parking close to location.

 

The Moment Hotel’s Roof Deck Lounge

7370 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90046
  Event Date: Friday, May 4, 2018 || Starts at 6:30 pm…

 

***More information about HOOCH:

 

HOOCH is a cocktail, craft beer and wine society and a discovery phone app. Find your next bar, lounge or restaurant with the app and redeem a complimentary drink! Members get one complimentary drink a day from any HOOCH venues around the world (55+ bars, lounges and restaurants in LA). Drinks include cocktail, beer, or wine. Membership cost $9.99 a month.

 

The Scriptwriters Network Special: Get the first month of membership (month of drinks/30 drinks) for $1 with unique code “SCRIPTWRITERS”. Welcome to unsubscribe anytime.

 

 

ALTHOUGH networking is a priority at this event, so is your safety. If you choose to drink, do so responsibly!

Happy Networking!

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FRIDAY NIGHT SOCIAL – FRIDAY, MAY 4TH AT THE KIMPTON EVERLY’S HOTEL EVER BAR

by on Apr.12, 2018, under events, Featured

Friday Night Social Event ~ May 4, 2018 ~ NEW LOCATION

 

Event Date: Friday, May 4, 2018 || Starts at 6:30 pm  || Co-sponsoring with Jennifer Grisanti and Final Draft.

Friday Night Social is a networking group that meets the first Friday of every month. It started as a way for TV and feature writers to meet one another and has evolved into so much more. This is a great way to “Network”. Plan on meeting people from different areas and levels in the entertainment industry.

This networking event is on a first name basis and everyone will receive a name tag with their first name only, this is best for the more established professional entertainers to maintain their anonymity which will allow them to network as well.

 

IMPORTANT:

Please REGISTER before 10:00 pm on Thursday, May 3, 2018

register_button

 

ADMISSION:

FREE to attend.  Please pay for your own food, cocktails & parking. We ask everyone to purchase one drink, minimum, please.

***$1 Cocktail is available through the HOOCH app, with the invitation code: “FREE”. You can download the app prior to arrival. Ever Bar will have 3 different drink offers and the attendees using the HOOCH app can pick and redeem the drink of choice by showing the bartender. (see more info below)

~Check in with us at the entrance to receive your name tag.

 

MORE INFORMATION:

This month’s Friday Night Social is being held at The Kimpton Everly Hotel’s Ever Bar.   Please join Jennifer GrisantiFinal Draft and The Scriptwriters Network at this location for this month’s Friday Night Social “Networking” event.

We raise the bar in this casually stylish social hub where the neighborhood gathers over drinks and snacks. With floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the intersection of Argyle and Yucca, the Capitol Records building, and downtown Hollywood, Ever Bar transforms throughout the day; from laidback living room to social bar scene to all-day work hub and after-hours mecca for fashion, music, and other cultural happenings.

Enjoy an eclectic cocktail list with enough variety to satisfy all palates – from our culinary driven Riffs on classics to our Re-issued plays on nostalgic drinks you’re sure to be turned on to something new and unexpected. In addition to local wines and craft beers on tap, the cocktail list is complimented by a bar bites menu that features such staples as a Duck Confit Monkey Bread, Buffalo Cauliflower, and Fizzy Melon with Prosciutto.

Join us at The Kimpton Everly Hotel’s Ever Bar:

Below: Photos from previous Friday Night events:

FNS Hostesses, L to R: SWN’s Secretary Jill Narciso, Final Draft’s Kala Guess, Jen Grisanti (Consultancy) and SWN’s President Melessa Y. Sargent.

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Event starts at 6:30 pm – Ends at 9:30 pm

 

LOCATION:

The Kimpton Everly Hotel’s Ever Bar

1800 Argyle Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90028

Phone # (213) 279-3532

Kimpton Everly Hotel

 

PARKING:

Valet/Building parking is $15-$20.

Additional parking lots close to location

 

The Kimpton Everly Hotel’s Ever Bar

1800 Argyle Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028, USA
  Event Date: Friday, May 4, 2018 || Starts at 6:30 pm…

 

***More information about HOOCH:

 

HOOCH is a cocktail, craft beer and wine society and a discovery phone app. Find your next bar, lounge or restaurant with the app and redeem a complimentary drink! Members get one complimentary drink a day from any HOOCH venues around the world (55+ bars, lounges and restaurants in LA). Drinks include cocktail, beer, or wine. Membership cost $9.99 a month.

 

The Scriptwriters Network Special: Get the first month of membership (month of drinks/30 drinks) for $1 with unique code “FREE”. Welcome to unsubscribe anytime.

 

 

ALTHOUGH networking is a priority at this event, so is your safety. If you choose to drink, do so responsibly!

Happy Networking!

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HAWAII TV & FILM WRITING SEMINAR – MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND 5/26/18

by on Apr.02, 2018, under events, Featured

 

THE WAIKOLOA COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION AND THE FAIRMONT ORCHID HOTEL CO-PRESENT THEIR VISITING ARTIST FILM WORKSHOP

What: Screenplay Writing for Television and Film

Where: The Fairmont Orchid Hotel, Kohala Coast, Big Island of Hawaii

When: Saturday, May 26 from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm

Who: Jennifer Grisanti is one of the leading consultants, mentors, coaches, and instructors in the field of screenplay writing and development for television and film. She has a story system that has led 52 of her clients to sell their pilots. Six of them went to series. Jen was a studio executive for 12 years at Spelling Television Inc. and CBS/Paramount. She staffed over 15 primetime shows in her career. Aaron Spelling was her mentor. She is also the writing instructor for Writers on the Verge at NBC, a blogger for The Huffington Post, the author of three books—her latest is Change Your Story: Change Your Life: A Path to Your Success–, and an international speaker who has participated in writing conferences, retreats, seminars, film festivals, and writing expos around the world.In this day long workshop, Jen will share the techniques, insights, and dynamics of her Story System, an approach that has led so many writers to success in the television and film arenas. Discussions will center on the elements of strong and compelling story structure and development, writing a script that sells, writing a TV pilot script or screenplay that can’t be ignored, writing memorable characters and character dynamics, adding truth to your fiction, mastering the set up of your story through structure, setting up a season one arc, and Jen will offer plenty of time for career advice, insights into how and what Hollywood is looking for these days and how it works, and general Q&A from participants.

Why: This workshop is a must for those looking to develop their craft and skill in professional areas of screenplay writing for
television and film, those looking to “polish” their skills in these areas, or for those looking to better understand the craft of writing for film and television and how these skill sets relate to the overall production process.

How: Email John Mason at johnmasonkona@gmail.com for more information, questions, or to register. Give him a call at 808-464-4379. Check out also the web site of the Hawaii Island Film Office at www.hawaiiislandfilm.com. There is a small registration fee which will include light refreshments.

 

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FRIDAY NIGHT SOCIAL – Friday, March 2nd at Palomar Hotel at 6:30 pm

by on Feb.13, 2018, under events, Featured

Friday Night Social ~ March 2, 2018 ~ Double Take Restaurant and Lounge

 

Event Date: Friday, March 2, 2018 || Starts at 6:30 pm  || Co-sponsoring with Jennifer Grisanti and Final Draft.

Friday Night Social is a networking group that meets the first Friday of every month. It started as a way for TV and feature writers to meet one another and has evolved into so much more. This is a great way to “Network”. Plan on meeting people from different areas and levels in the entertainment industry.

This networking event is on a first name basis and everyone will receive a name tag with their first name only. As we will not reveal who is in the room, this is best for the more established professional entertainers to maintain their anonymity which will allow them to network as well.

 

PLEASE click below to Register:

register_button

 

IMPORTANT:

Please REGISTER before 10:00 pm on Thursday, March 1, 2018.

 

ADMISSION:

FREE to attend.  Pay for your own food, cocktails & parking. We ask everyone to purchase one drink, minimum, please.

**Check in with us at the entrance to receive your name badge.

 

MORE INFORMATION:

This month’s Friday Night Social is being held at The Palomar Hotel’s Double Take Restaurant and Lounge area.   Please join Jennifer GrisantiFinal Draft and The Scriptwriters Network at this location for this month’s Friday Night Social “Networking” event.

Double Take is all about the energy of the west Los Angeles modern bar scene that effortlessly compliments an avant-garde approach to classic comfort cuisine. With an edgy aesthetic that pays homage to the local independent filmmakers who took part in making Los Angeles what it is today.

Double Take, A New Beverly Hills Restaurant – Situated in the midst of Wilshire Blvd, between Beverly Hills and UCLA, Double Take at Hotel Palomar Beverly Hills is a dining hotspot inspired by a Hollywood backlot. Chef Bryan Podgorski’s serves up unfussy, market-inspired snacks, salads and entrées that shine with Southern California ingredients. Grab coffee and house-baked pastries on your way out in the morning or linger over breakfast while working in the lounge. After work, let Sarah Mengoni’s updated takes on classic cocktails mellow you into the evening.

Join us at The Palomar Hotel’s Double Take Restaurant and Lounge:

Below: Photos from previous Friday Night events:

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Event starts at 6:30 pm – Ends at 9:30 pm

 

LOCATION:

The Palomar Hotel’s Double Take Restaurant and Lounge

10740 Wilshire Blvd #101, Los Angeles, CA 90024

Phone # 310.475.8711

Toll-free: (800) 472-8556

Palomar Hotel

 

PARKING:

Valet parking is $10.00 – with validation at check-in.

 

 

DIRECTIONS:

Directions from the south and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

  • From the airport, take W. Century Way east for 1.8 miles.
  • Merge slightly right onto I-405 North. Go 9.3 miles.
  • Exit onto Wilshire Blvd. Go 1.1 miles.
  • Kimpton Hotel Palomar Los Angeles Beverly Hills is located at 10740 Wilshire Boulevard at Selby Avenue.

Directions from the north and the San Diego Freeway.

  • From I-405 South / San Diego Freeway, take the Wilshire Blvd. exit. Go 0.2 miles.
  • Turn right at Wilshire Blvd. Go 1 mile.
  • Kimpton Hotel Palomar Los Angeles Beverly Hills is located at 10740 Wilshire Boulevard at Selby Avenue.

 

 Happy Networking!

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FRIDAY NIGHT SOCIAL – FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 2018 AT 6:30 PM AT THE PALOMAR HOTEL

by on Jan.18, 2018, under events, Featured

Friday Night Social ~ February 2, 2018 ~ Double Take Restaurant and Lounge

 

Event Date: Friday, February 2, 2018 || Starts at 6:30 pm  || Co-sponsoring with Jennifer Grisanti and Final Draft.

Friday Night Social is a networking group that meets the first Friday of every month. It started as a way for TV and feature writers to meet one another and has evolved into so much more. This is a great way to “Network”. Plan on meeting people from different areas and levels in the entertainment industry.  

 

IMPORTANT:

Please REGISTER before 10:00 pm on Thursday, February 1, 2018
register_button

 

This month’s Friday Night Social is being held at The Palomar Hotel’s Double Take Restaurant and Lounge area.   Please join Jennifer GrisantiFinal Draft and The Scriptwriters Network at this location for this month’s Friday Night Social “Networking” event.

Double Take is all about the energy of the west Los Angeles modern bar scene that effortlessly compliments an avant-garde approach to classic comfort cuisine. With an edgy aesthetic that pays homage to the local independent filmmakers who took part in making Los Angeles what it is today.

Double Take, A New Beverly Hills Restaurant – Situated in the midst of Wilshire Blvd, between Beverly Hills and UCLA, Double Take at Hotel Palomar Beverly Hills is a dining hotspot inspired by a Hollywood backlot. Chef Bryan Podgorski’s serves up unfussy, market-inspired snacks, salads and entrées that shine with Southern California ingredients. Grab coffee and house-baked pastries on your way out in the morning or linger over breakfast while working in the lounge. After work, let Sarah Mengoni’s updated takes on classic cocktails mellow you into the evening.

Join us at The Palomar Hotel’s Double Take Restaurant and Lounge:

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HOLIDAY CHRISTMAS COOKIE RECIPES

by on Dec.22, 2017, under Featured, Personal tips

White Chocolate Dipped Ginger Cookies
Author: Kara
Yield: 5 1/2 dozen
Ingredients
  • 1 cup oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 4 cups + 2 Tbsp flour
  • 4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • Sugar for rolling
  • 3 cups white chips (I use Guittard brand)
  • 3 Tbsp oil or shortening
  1. Beat oil, sugar, eggs, and molasses in a large mixing bowl. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a small bowl. Stir into the sugar mixture till well combined. Roll dough into small balls and roll in sugar.
  2. Bake on lightly greased cookie sheets at 350° for about 6-7 minutes. Cool completely.
  3. Combine chips and oil in a small glass bowl. Microwave at 50% power, stirring every 30 seconds until smooth. Dip cookies halfway into the white chocolate and lay on parchment paper or silicone pan liners till set.
Notes
-The 2 tablespoons of ginger is not a mistake. It’s what makes them really good. The spiciness is a perfect balance for the white chocolate, trust me!
-When you get to the last of the cookies, it will be hard to dip them. You can just spread the chocolate over the top of them, kind of like frosting.
Christmas Magic Bars
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
How to make 7 Layer Magic Bars with a Christmas theme.
Created by: Beth Jackson Klosterboer
Recipe type: Dessert
Category: Christmas
Makes: 24-30 bars
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Line a 9×13 baking pan with non-stick aluminum foil.
  3. Mix crushed Original Oreo Cookies with melted butter.
  4. Press into and even layer in the 9×13 baking pan.
  5. Sprinkle on toffee bits, peanuts, and pretzels.
  6. Pour sweetened condensed milk over top and spread evenly.
  7. Add the pieces of red cream filled Oreos cookies, 1/2 cup of the red and green M&M’s and 1/2 of the bag of Holiday morsels.
  8. Bake for 25-27 minutes until the sweetened condensed milk has caramelized. Remove from oven and sprinkle on the remaining red and green M&M’s and Holiday Chocolate Morsels.
  9. Return to oven for 3 minutes.
  10. Remove pan from oven, and tap it on the counter a few times. This will help secure all the M&M’s.
  11. Cool completely.
  12. Peel off foil. Cut into 24-30 squares.
  13. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

Step-by-step photo tutorial (see the video tutorial below):

Oreo Cookie crust

Mix crushed Original Oreo Cookies with melted butter. Press into and even layer in the 9×13 baking pan.

Heath bar dessert

Sprinkle on toffee bits, peanuts, and pretzels.

Magic Bar recipe

Pour sweetened condensed milk over top and spread evenly.

Christmas dessert ideas

Add the pieces of red cream filled Oreos cookies, 1/2 cup of the red and green M&M’s and 1/2 of the bag of Holiday morsels.

Christmas dessert recipes

Bake for 25-27 minutes until the sweetened condensed milk has caramelized. Remove from oven and sprinkle on the remaining red and green M&M’s and Holiday Chocolate Morsels. Return to oven for 3 minutes. Remove pan from oven, and tap it on the counter a few times. This will help secure all the M&M’s. Cool completely.

Raspberry Almond Thumbprints

Yield: 31 cookies

Ingredients

    • 8 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 2/3 cup sugar
    • 1/2 tsp. pure almond extract
    • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • raspberry jam for filling
Amaretto Glaze
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. + 1 and 1/2 tsp. amaretto

Instructions

    1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
    2. Add almond and vanilla extracts and continue to mix.
    3. Add flour and salt, scraping down the bowl as needed.
    4. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for a few hours.
    5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookies sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
    6. Scoop cookie dough using a cookie scoop that yields 3/4 ounce of dough and place on prepared cookies sheets.
    7. Roll cookie dough into balls and make an indentation in the middle with your thumb.
    8. Using a 1/4 teaspoon, fill the indentation with jam.
    9. Bake cookies for 12-14 minutes, rotating once halfway through.
    10. Allow to cool on cookie sheets for a few minutes and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
Amaretto Glaze
  1. In a small bowl whisk together powdered sugar and Amaretto, adding a little amaretto at a time until you get the right consistency.
  2. Spoon glaze over completely cooled cookies. You can also use a piping bag to drizzle the glaze.

 

 

Cognac Chocolate Chip Cookies

45 min Prep Time | 8-10 min Cook Time| 55 min Total Time

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons Rémy Martin 1738 Cognac
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips or chunks
  • 1/2 cup walnut (or pecans)

 

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream the butter.
  3. Mix in both sugars slowly to the creamed butter.
  4. Mix till smooth.
  5. Add cognac and egg.
  6. Stir in flour, baking soda, salt.
  7. Add chocolate and nuts.
  8. Give ample space between cookies as place put on the greased cookie sheet. I only did 6 cookies at a time. When on the baking sheet, put in fridge for 15 minutes so the dough becomes firm before baking.
  9. Bake 8 to 10 minutes at 350 degrees. The cookies should be crisp with browned edges, and centers baked through.

 

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FRIDAY NIGHT SOCIAL – JANUARY 5TH at Palomar Hotel at the Double Take Restaurant at 6:30 pm

by on Dec.14, 2017, under events, Featured

Friday Night Social ~ January 5, 2018 ~ Double Take Restaurant and Lounge

 

Event Date: Friday, January 5, 2018 || Starts at 6:30 pm  || Co-sponsoring with Jennifer Grisanti and Final Draft.

Friday Night Social is a networking group that meets the first Friday of every month. It started as a way for TV and feature writers to meet one another and has evolved into so much more. This is a great way to “Network”. Plan on meeting people from different areas and levels in the entertainment industry.  

 

IMPORTANT:

Please REGISTER before 10:00 pm on Thursday, January 4, 2018:

 register_button

 

This month’s Friday Night Social is being held at The Palomar Hotel’s Double Take Restaurant and Lounge area.   Please join Jennifer GrisantiFinal Draft and The Scriptwriters Network at this location for this month’s Friday Night Social “Networking” event.

Double Take is all about the energy of the west Los Angeles modern bar scene that effortlessly compliments an avant-garde approach to classic comfort cuisine. With an edgy aesthetic that pays homage to the local independent filmmakers who took part in making Los Angeles what it is today.

Double Take, A New Beverly Hills Restaurant – Situated in the midst of Wilshire Blvd, between Beverly Hills and UCLA, Double Take at Hotel Palomar Beverly Hills is a dining hotspot inspired by a Hollywood backlot. Chef Bryan Podgorski’s serves up unfussy, market-inspired snacks, salads and entrées that shine with Southern California ingredients. Grab coffee and house-baked pastries on your way out in the morning or linger over breakfast while working in the lounge. After work, let Sarah Mengoni’s updated takes on classic cocktails mellow you into the evening.

Join us at The Palomar Hotel’s Double Take Restaurant and Lounge:

Below: Photos from previous Friday Night events:

9850

fns1

fns3

FNSC

FNSp

FNSD


 

Event starts at 6:30 pm – Ends at 9:30 pm

 

LOCATION:

10740 Wilshire Blvd #101, Los Angeles, CA 90024

Phone # 310.475.8711

Toll-free: (800) 472-8556

Palomar Hotel

 

DIRECTIONS:

Directions from the south and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

  • From the airport, take W. Century Way east for 1.8 miles.
  • Merge slightly right onto I-405 North. Go 9.3 miles.
  • Exit onto Wilshire Blvd. Go 1.1 miles.
  • Kimpton Hotel Palomar Los Angeles Beverly Hills is located at 10740 Wilshire Boulevard at Selby Avenue.

Directions from the north and the San Diego Freeway.

  • From I-405 South / San Diego Freeway, take the Wilshire Blvd. exit. Go 0.2 miles.
  • Turn right at Wilshire Blvd. Go 1 mile.
  • Kimpton Hotel Palomar Los Angeles Beverly Hills is located at 10740 Wilshire Boulevard at Selby Avenue.

 

PARKING:

Valet parking is $10.00 – with validation at the bar.

 

ADMISSION:

FREE to attend.  Pay for your own food, cocktails & parking.

**Check in with us at the entrance to receive your name badge.

 

 Happy Networking!

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CREATING A SERIES CONCEPT THAT WORKS: ATYPICAL

by on Nov.19, 2017, under Featured, Motivation

Creating a Series Concept that Works: Atypical

Jen Grisanti analyzes the new Netflix series, ATYPICAL, exploring how structure can influence emotion and bring your audience to tears.


International speaker Jen Grisanti is an acclaimed Story/Career Consultant at Jen Grisanti Consultancy, Inc., a Writing Instructor for Writers on the Verge at NBC, a former twelve-year studio executive, and author of Story Line, TV Writing Tool Kit, and Change Your Story, Change Your Life. Keep track of Jen’s upcoming events on Facebook and Twitter, @jengrisanti, and listen to her Storywise Podcast. Read Jen’s full bio and sign up for her Telling and Selling Your TV Pilot video series.

Click to tweet this article to your friends and followers!

I am constantly analyzing new series to see what works with story structure. One of my favorite new shows is Atypical on Netflix. I find this show explores in-depth familial dynamics at the same level as Friday Night Lights and This is Us. Understanding how structure can influence emotion and bring your audience to tears is what great storytelling is all about.

Structurally, a story tool that I’ve drawn from watching Atypical is the recognition that all the character arcs stem from the main problem of the main character and that sets up the series. It is when we feel it all linked, that story can reach such tremendous heights of emotion. This is because we feel the concept through all of the characters and the choices that they make. It often comes from the same wound but seeing it play out through different choices and different worldviews.


Script EXTRA: Finding Your Character’s Wound


The main problem in Atypical is that Sam, a young boy that has autism, expresses his to therapist his desire to date. The series/season 1 is about this choice and his family’s reaction to it. The story explores how love is hard enough for a “neuro-typical” person to experience. With Sam, this pursuit becomes a lot more complex but the gift of it all is showing that the desire is real and it is doable.

We watch Sam take actions and hit obstacles in his pursuit to find love from filling out an online profile to learning how to approach girls that might be interested. It really gives us a glimpse of how he sees the world and shows us how things that might be considered simple for us are that much more difficult for people with autism. Seeing Sam take actions towards finding love connects with all of us.

We immediately feel the father’s wound to his son’s autism when he mentions buying his son tickets to a Mets game simply because he wanted to find a way to connect with him. He wanted them to have one thing in common. So, his reaction to Sam’s choice to date is to support this. He reminds his wife that they met around Sam’s age. It is clear that he hopes this experience will bring him and Sam closer together.


Script EXTRA: ‘All is Lost’ Equals Opportunity for Character Growth


With Sam’s mom, Elsa, her reaction is panic because of her worry and the codependent relationship that she shares with her son. She clearly needs him to need her. So, the idea that he wants to find love, in her mind, threatens this. We see that Sam has become her life. This has gotten in the way of the intimacy that she and her husband share. The mother remains resistant despite the therapist sharing with her that autistic people have the same desire to love and be loved. They just don’t know how to approach it in a typical manner.

We see Sam’s problem play out in his sister, Casey’s arc when she punches a student that taunts another student. Casey is the protector. This is her role because of her brother’s condition and the fact that she is his older sister. We feel her angst. The irony is that it is due to her role in Sam’s life and this action she took that her first opportunity at love and romance comes into her life with Evan, who is the brother of the girl she protected.

Sam’s pursuit of love continues. When Sam gets an online response, we see the trials and tribulations that Sam has to go through in preparation for the date. When he hears that she wants to meet at a café, he has to find a way to block out the noise by wearing headphones. Sam hits an obstacle and the date doesn’t work out. Sam tries again when a girl at his work makes eyes toward him. This leads him into a situation where she offers to have sex with him. He hits an obstacle when she touches him in a way that he doesn’t like to be touched. This opportunity takes a turn for the worst.

When the parents go to dinner, we really see the opposing viewpoints to Sam finding love and the rift that it has caused in their relationship. This leads Sam’s father to buy his mother passes to a dance class. After class, she goes to drinks. This is when Elsa meets a bartender that opens her eyes to the fact that her son will never have the choices that he does. This begins an exploration toward finding intimacy.

In Casey’s budding connection with Evan, we see that Sam comes first in her life. This could cause a problem for the possibility of her finding a true connection with Evan.

When Sam learns that 49% of marriages end in divorce, Sam goes with his father to look at a place with penguins. Sam says that penguins mate for life. So, penguins aren’t like people. They’re better.

The structure in Atypical all stems from the main wound. This really works for connecting the audience to this concept and the characters in this world. This is a very strong story tool that all writers can learn to utilize for the concepts that they write.

More articles by Jen Grisanti

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5 QUESTIONS FOR WRITING A TV PILOT THAT SELLS

by on Nov.19, 2017, under Featured, Motivation, Personal tips

Jen Grisanti5 Questions for
Writing a TV Pilot that Sells

Guest Post by Jen Grisanti,
Telling and Selling Your TV Pilot

Writing the TV pilot is one of the most challenging scripts to write,
and to write well.
I’ve helped in the development of thousands of scripts over the past 20 years. I was a
Studio Executive at two major studios for 12 years, I am currently a Writing Instructor
at NBC, and I’ve been a Story/Career Consultant for 10 years.

From the 48 pilots sold from the writers I’ve worked with since starting my business 10 years ago,
there are the five questions that I believe every writer should ask themselves when they are writing
their TV pilot:

  1. Does my series trigger push my central character into a powerful enough dilemma to set up season one?
  2. Is there a personal component that sets up the personal dilemma of my central character?
  3. Does my central character actively make a choice in the pilot trigger and dilemma that leads to a pursuit?
  4. Is my pilot goal clear?
  5. How do I setup the series?

Trigger & Dilema

With your series trigger and dilemma, you want to think about something that happens to your central character
that knocks their life out of balance. At this point in the story, your central character is often reactive versus active.
The dilemma should make us feel empathy for your character.

Personal Component

With the personal component, you are setting up the personal dilemma of your central character that leads to the
professional pursuit. This sets up the void. The pursuit is one step towards filling this void. With the personal part,
you want to think about the arc of the wound. The best pilots have a childhood wound that the series trigger and
dilemma splits open. The personal component in your story is the emotional part of your story.

Central Character

With the pilot arc, your central character goes from being reactive to active. With the setup of the series arc, they react to what happens to them. Then, they make an active choice that leads to the setup of the pilot arc. In the pilot arc, we should be clear about what your central character wants and why they want it by the end of Act One.

Pilot Goal

If the pilot goal is not clear, the story doesn’t work. In each act, the central character should take an action, hit an obstacle, and the stakes should be raised to the pilot goal. If the goal is not clear, you cannot link these points. We should feel what your character wants and what is in the way for every scene.

Series Set Up

After the resolution of the pilot arc, you need to set up the series. When I see this done well, it bookends
what happened in the series trigger and dilemma setup and helps to build the next level of the concept. The
point of this is to make your audience so enthralled that they can’t wait to see what happens next.

Mastering a story by utilizing the right tools is what will lead you to a sale.

* * *

International speaker Jen Grisanti is an acclaimed Story/Career Consultant at Jen Grisanti Consultancy Inc.,
writing Instructor for Writers on the Verge at NBC, a former 12-year studio executive, including VP of Current
Programming at CBS/Paramount, blogger for The Huffington Post, and author of the books,
Story Line: Finding Gold In Your Life Story, TV Writing Tool Kit: How To Write a Script That Sells, and
Change Your Story, Change Your Life: A Path To Your Success. Her new video series is
Telling and Selling Your TV Pilot. Learn more.

Read my Q&As with Jen on Story Line and Change Your Story, Change Your Life.

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