Author Archive

FRIDAY NIGHT SOCIAL ON FRIDAY FEBRUARY 5, 2016

by on Feb.01, 2016, under events

Friday Night Social ~ February 5, 2016

Event Date: Friday, February 5, 2016 || Starts at 6:30 pm  || Co-sponsoring with Jennifer Grisanti

FIRST one of this year…we hope to see you there networking!!

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 4, 2016.

 

register_button

This month’s Friday Night Social is a free event being held at Rock & Reilly’s Barrel Room.   Please join Jennifer Grisanti and SWN at this new location for this month’s Friday Night Social “Networking” event.

Rock & Reilly’s knew it had a good thing going when it opened up its former private events space to the public called The Barrel Room, modeled after a casual Western watering hole located on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood.

The Lore Group’s newest Sunset Strip production mixes everything from barrel-aged cocktails by Matt Greene to an approachable set of drinking bites, like pickled hard-boiled eggs, cheese and charcuterie, and more from chef Chris Olsefsky.

Join us at The Barrel Room:

Barrel Room 1

Barrel Room 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Below: Photos from previous events:

FN1

FN3

FN4

FN5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

Location:

The Barrel Room

8913 W Sunset Blvd

West Hollywood, CA 90069

Phone # 310.360.1400

(Corner of N. San Vicente Blvd. and Sunset Blvd.)

 

CITY OF SANTA MONICA:
Take the 10 EAST, exit La Cienega Blvd going North. Merge onto San Vicente Blvd. Make a left on Sunset Blvd.

THE VALLEY
Take 405 SOUTH. Exit Sunset going East.

EAST LOS ANGELES
Take 101 NORTH. Exit Sunset going West.

 

Valet parking is available in the front. Multiple parking lots around the area, including one behind The Barrel Room. Plenty of street metered parking.

Admission:

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

**Check in with us at the entrance to receive your name tags for networking.

**Complimentary finger food / Nachos will be provided for our Networking Group!

Happy Networking!

Leave a Comment more...

ISA/SUNDANCE LINK

by on Jan.24, 2016, under Motivation

Here is the LINK for those of you who were at the ISA breakfast at Sundance.

Leave a Comment more...


TV WRITERS SUMMIT – NEW YORK CITY MARCH 19-20, 2016

by on Jan.13, 2016, under events, Featured

TV Writers’ Summit:

2-Day Professional TV Writing Conference

Speakers

Three Components of Writing A Pilot

That Sells with Jen Grisanti (Afternoon)

In her class, the THREE KEY COMPONENTS

OF WRITING A PILOT THAT SELLS, Jen Grisanti

will teach you what she believes are the pillars

that will take you from ordinary to extraordinary with the writing of your TV pilot.

Jen will walk you through three key components of selling your pilot – CONCEPT, CHARACTER and STRUCTURE.

Jen says; “These tools are the foundation that have led many of my clients to success. By mastering the set up of your story, you create the possibility of making a sale and staffing.”

CONCEPT

Jen will take you through how to come up with great concepts for your story. She will go over what is working in TV right now and why it is working.

Jen will help you to dig into your well so that you can draw from your emotional truth. When choosing a strong concept for your pilot, it is also important to choose a concept that reflects your emotional truth and makes you the perfect writer for the project.

Jen will go over three things that she believes lead to writing a pilot that sells:

  1. Take us into a world we don’t know or that we may know but you show it to us from a new perspective.

  2. Show us why we care through creating strong characters and a powerful opening.

  3. Create a strong engine for endless story.

CHARACTER

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

She will go through shows that have very strong characters and help you to see what contributes to making a character memorable and someone you can’t ignore.

There are three contributing factors to creating memorable characters:

  1. Strength

  2. Understanding of the wound that is causing the flaw

  3. Accessibility

STRUCTURE

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.

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. She will teach you the tools that will elevate your game and increase your opportunities.

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.

End of Day

Creating & Writing A TV Show That Sells

The TV Writers’ Summit brings together the best speakers in the world on the unique craft of story design and storytelling for TV, how to have a career in TV, and concludes with a rousing screening and analysis of a hit show taught by the writer himself.
Leave a Comment more...

2015 FILMS THAT MADE US FEEL THE STORY

by on Jan.13, 2016, under Featured, Motivation

What does a storyteller have to do to make us feel their story? Last year, there were so many films that made us really feel what the story was trying to say. The films that I felt the most were; The Revenant, Spotlight, Room, Steve Jobs and Inside Out.

We feel story through the understanding of truth being revealed and it affirming something within us. It is all about the internal view of the external story. We feel story when we’re taken into a life moment that we may not recognize on the outside but that we completely understand internally. It is fulfilling a void through finding a solution. If we know what the internal struggle is and the arc of healing the wound is explored well, we feel the conflict and triumph in the outcome. When we understand what the filmmaker is trying to say, we feel the story.

The Revenant is about the true story of legendary frontiersman Hugh Glass surviving a brutal attack by a bear. This is what it is on the outside. Internally, it is about finding answers and moving forward after suffering tremendous loss mentally, emotionally and physically. It is poetic in how it’s done, with the scenes from a moment of loss that happened before the story starts connecting to one that happens during the story. The arc of healing the wound is beautifully played. It is graphic and extremely violent. However, this really sends home what it is to survive. I was mesmerized by this story. I felt so connected to the journey back from loss, betrayal and torture. How do you find redemption in this type of scenario? Will redemption bring you peace? There were so many elements of humanity revealed in this masterpiece directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu. It penetrated both the mind and the spirit.

Spotlight tells a riveting story based on the Pulitzer Prize winning Boston Globe investigation that uncovered the enormous scandal of child molestation and cover-ups within the local Archdiocese, causing an upheaval in one of the world’s most trusted institutions. It is an amazing story to watch how all the pieces of the puzzle in this journalistic endeavor came together. What brings you into the story emotionally is that many of the journalists covering it up grew up Catholic. So, we got to see their personal challenges within this exploration of truth. The cast is phenomenal. The story is enthralling. This issue is something that hits us all on a universal level.

Room is another incredible story of survival. It explores the depth of the connection between a mother and her son after going through the horrific ordeal of the mother being abducted and impregnated by her captor and living in one room for the first five years of her son’s life before her son helps them to escape. The wound is crystal clear. The imagination of the son and how this moves him through the experience is awe-inspiring. The psychological effect of only knowing the relationship with his mom and having no understanding of the world outside of the room is truly moving. The reintegration into life is what we root for. The idea explored is; can you move past a trauma of this magnitude and find meaning and purpose again? This experience may be foreign to us, but the idea of moving past a severe trauma is very universal. It is the internal story that brings us in and makes us feel for both of these characters. Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay give brilliant performances. This is a story that will stay with you.

Steve Jobs takes us behind the scenes of one of the world’s greatest innovators. It explores the digital revolution and shows us what life looked like for Steve Jobs during three iconic product launches. There are several scenes in this film written by Aaron Sorkin that are mind-blowing. It is the internal view of Steve Jobs that makes us feel this story. This is shown through the relationship with a daughter he initially denied was his, the reveal that he was adopted, his views toward feeling rejected and the dynamic with his loyal colleague, Joanna (played brilliantly by Kate Winslet). We feel his wound in the scene where John Sculley says; “Why do people who were adopted feel like they were rejected instead of selected?” For me, it is the parallel between his feeling about this life incident that happened and how it happened and what goes on with his daughter that made me understand this man in a whole new way. I came into this film wanting to know more about who Steve Jobs was and what made him tick. I LOVED how I felt after seeing this film. I loved it so much that I saw it twice.

Inside Out is a whimsical view into the emotional life of young Riley whose world is turned upside down when her parents tell her that they are going to move. What makes us feel this story is the interplay between her emotions; Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness that are all embodied by characters. I LOVED this movie because it really stops isolation and builds a sense of community through the understanding of how our internal emotions influence our external life. We’ve all gone through a myriad of these emotions. Seeing them come to life and try to make sense of the pursuit that they’re on to ultimately make Riley happy is a gift. It also shows us that we need to move through and understand all of our emotions to help guide us to where we want to go in life. I love the message. I felt the story. This is a film that touches us all no matter what our age.

We feel your story when the storyteller gives us an inside view of the conflict in question through the worldview of the central character and when we understand what you are trying to say with your story. It is the internal view of a character that pulls us in emotionally and makes us identify with what is being explored.

Leave a Comment more...

SPLIT DESIRE CREATES COMPELLING STORY

by on Dec.09, 2015, under Motivation

Understanding the idea of split desire is a new story tool that suddenly surfaced for me in the work that I do with writers as a story/career consultant and writing instructor. With a well-written series trigger and dilemma, the pilot trigger adds a complication that creates a split desire. The complication isn’t the pilot pursuit; it’s an added element of conflict leading to create a split. This split creates the internal story that brings the audience back from week to week. It is this emotional pull and the internal conflict that makes us want to return. The internal pull is universal. It is what we identify with. We may not all understand what it is to be part of the external pursuit, as we haven’t all been spies, lawyers, entrepreneurs etc. However, when you add the complication of the internal struggle, we recognize the pull between personal and professional desires, and it resonates on a wider level. Understanding how to do this well will elevate your stories in a major way.

With THE GOOD WIFE, after losing her breadwinner, Peter, in the series arc, Alicia wants to bring security back to her family. It is because this happened that she returns to a law career that she abandoned thirteen years before. Part of the pilot trigger sequence is when her law school sweetheart, Will, gives her an opportunity to work in his law firm. This splits her desire. The question becomes; will Alicia remain loyal to Peter after he betrayed her or will she fall into the arms of an old love? This is the central conflict that drives the series. We returned every week in the first season to find out what was going to happen with this triangle.

With HOMELAND, in the series arc, Carrie hears from a prisoner who is about to be put to death that a prisoner of war has turned. Knowing this creates Carrie’s loyalty to her mission. Then, she discovers that an American prisoner of war is going to return. It is because the series trigger happened that this news has significance. This part of the pilot trigger creates a complication. Her split desire has to do with her loyalty toward the mission versus her falling in love with the prisoner of war, Brody. The season external question becomes; is Brody the prisoner of war who turned? The internal question becomes; will Carrie’s emotional connection get in the way of finding out the truth about Brody?

With SILICON VALLEY, the series trigger happens at the party that the boys from Erlich’s “incubator” attend. We learn that they are the “poorest” guys there. They are on the outside looking in. A huge deal was made at Hooli. The party is a celebration of this. This is what the “incubator” boys want to happen to one of them. The pilot trigger is when Erlich puts Richard on notice and tells him that if he doesn’t make Pied Piper work soon, he will have to vacate the house. This creates a complication to Richard’s series desire of wanting the professional dream but realizing that it means that he’s going to have to move past his internal hurdles that prevent him from standing up for himself and making things happen with Pied Piper.

With EPISODES, the series trigger is when Merc approaches Sean and Beverly, who have a happy marriage and a hit show in the UK, about doing a remake of their series in the US. The professional desire is to have a hit in the US. This conflicts with Beverly’s internal fear of whether their marriage can survive Hollywood. This fear is universal. It’s what connects the audience to this experience. The series starts by showing a flash forward to a consequence that makes us wonder how this split desire will play out. Will their show be a hit despite creative differences with the network and will their marriage survive?

Understanding how to create a strong split desire between the series arc and the complication added by the pilot arc is what will create longevity with your story concept. It is this conflict that compels people to come back. When we think about life, we are very often split between what we want professionally and our personal desires. So, this is a very universal thing. It resonates because we want to see how the characters are able to reconcile the differences between their split desires.

 

Leave a Comment more...

FRIDAY NIGHT DRINKS/SOCIAL ON FRIDAY, DECEMBER 4TH AT THE BARREL ROOM AT 6:30 P.M.

by on Nov.16, 2015, under events

Friday Night Social ~ December 4, 2015

Event Date: Friday, December 4, 2015  || Starts at 6:30 pm  || Co-sponsoring with Jennifer Grisanti

Last one of this year…we hope to see you there networking!!

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, December 3, 2015.

 

register_button

This month’s Friday Night Social is a free event being held at Rock & Reilly’s Barrel Room.   Please join Jennifer Grisanti and SWN at this new location for this month’s Friday Night Social “Networking” event.

Rock & Reilly’s knew it had a good thing going when it opened up its former private events space to the public called The Barrel Room, modeled after a casual Western watering hole located on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood.

The Lore Group’s newest Sunset Strip production mixes everything from barrel-aged cocktails by Matt Greene to an approachable set of drinking bites, like pickled hard-boiled eggs, cheese and charcuterie, and more from chef Chris Olsefsky.

Join us at The Barrel Room:

Barrel Room 1

Barrel Room 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Below: Photos from previous events:

 

FN1

FN3

FN4

FN5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

Location:

The Barrel Room

8913 W Sunset Blvd

West Hollywood, CA 90069

Phone # 310.360.1400

(Corner of N. San Vicente Blvd. and Sunset Blvd.)

Leave a Comment more...


2016 STORYWISE 10-WEEK TV SPEC AND PILOT TELESEMINAR – MARCH 1, 2016 – MAY 10, 2016

by on Nov.10, 2015, under events

STORYWISE© TV SPEC AND PILOT TELESEMINAR, 2016

This is a 10-week program designed to help you write a high quality TV pilot AND spec script. In 10-weeks, I will teach you how to learn to write at a level that will help lead your script to a sale, get staffed on a show, place in a writing competition or get into one of the various writing programs. This course is everything that I teach in Writers on the Verge and more.

Last year we had over 100 writer participants from all over the world. You will not only learn all of the story tools that you need to succeed, you will gain the opportunity to be in a private community of writers. This community is a very valuable resource. You all will have the opportunity to learn from one another via networking, exchanging scripts and possibly starting your own writer groups.

I’ve seen the success from this course first-hand. Many of the writers who have taken this 10-week course have gone on to sell pilots, get staffed on TV shows and get into several of the prestigious writing programs. Thirty-Eight of my writers have sold pilots… and 5 of them have gone to series.

Each class will consist of the following:

  •  A half-hour of story instruction (you will receive these videos before each class to watch at your leisure.)
  • Each call is approximately 2 – 2 ½ hours in length. On each call, we will go over the notes for the 4 writers participating at Level #3 and I will choose one writer from Level 2 or Level 4 each week to participate. You will have an opportunity to read their scripts and make your own notes each week. You will also get to share your notes with those writers directly. This is what we do in Writers on the Verge. It is a way to prepare you for being in the Writers’ Room.
  • Then, five people that sign up each week will get an opportunity to pitch to a guest speaker. We all learn from hearing others pitch. This part of the program was designed to help you learn from the pitching style of others as well as give you the opportunity to pitch yourself. It’s an invaluable tool. Every level will have an opportunity to sign up for this. The writers will be announced in February.

LEVEL 1

At Level 1, you get to participate in all 10 classes. You will receive a recording of the classes. You will have an opportunity to sign up to pitch to my weekly guest speakers. You get to be part of a private Facebook community. You will also get to turn in a 1-2 page pitch document on your TV spec and TV pilot script. You will receive written feedback. You have up to a year after the course is finished to turn this in.

RATE FOR LEVEL 1 – $350.00

ImageBuyNow2014-08-29_1048

LEVEL 2

At Level 2, you get to participate in all 10 classes. You will receive a recording of the classes. You will have an opportunity to sign up to pitch to my weekly guest speakers. You get to be part of a private Facebook community. This level also includes a one-on-one consult for your TV spec and/or TV Pilot script.

Level 2 w/ TV Pilot Consult

Rate For Level 2 w/ TV Pilot Consult – $950.00

ImageBuyNow2014-08-29_1048

Level 2 w/ TV Spec Consult

Rate For Level 2 w/ TV Spec Consult – $825.00

ImageBuyNow2014-08-29_1048

Level 2 w/ TV Pilot and Spec Consult

 

Rate For Level 2 w/ TV Pilot and Spec Consult – $1,500.00

ImageBuyNow2014-08-29_1048

LEVEL 3

At Level 3, you will receive feedback every week on your TV spec and/or TV pilot script. This includes written and verbal feedback. You will receive a recording of the classes. You will have an opportunity to sign up to pitch to my weekly guest speakers. You get to be part of a private Facebook community.

There are only 4 SLOTS for this level: two for drama and two for comedy. If you are interested in applying, you will need to submit 10 pages of what you believe is your strongest script. It can be a TV pilot or TV spec script. I will select 4 submissions out of everyone that submits and announce these slots in February.

ACCEPTING SUBMISSIONS NOW THROUGH 2/17/16. Please send your submissions to my email at jennifer@jengrisanticonsultancy.com

RATE FOR LEVEL 3 – $3,000.00

Once the final four are selected, I will send you a link through PayPal.

LEVEL 4 (THERE ARE ONLY 5 SPOTS AVAILABLE FOR THIS LEVEL)

At Level 4, you will get to have a private one-on-one consult with me during every week of the Teleseminar. So, each week, you will turn in the assignment and we will meet on the concept, outline and three drafts of your TV spec and/or your TV pilot script.

Rate For Level 4 – $4,000.00

ImageBuyNow2014-08-29_1048

NEW CONSULT OFFER

5 COACHING CONSULTS PLUS PARTICIPATION IN STORYWISE TELESEMINAR

For this service, we can go over anything you want during the meetings. We can do two meetings on your TV spec and three meetings on your TV pilot. Or, you can use this to work on two pilots. I will read one script a meeting. We can go over concepts, outlines or scripts. We can also go over Meeting Skills, Pitching and Career Consult. You design how the 5 meetings will benefit you in the best way.

You will also get to participate in the 10-Week Teleseminar at an upper level.

RATE FOR SPECIAL CONSULT – $2,500.00

ImageBuyNow2014-08-29_1048

ASSIGNMENTS

The Level#3 writing assignments will be due the Saturday before each class. Everyone at each level will receive a copy of the assignments turned in by the Level #3 writers so that they may follow along as well as provide notes directly to the Level #3 writers.

Levels #1 and #2, you will do the assignments on your own. No direct feedback is provided; however, this is where you can use the Facebook community of writers to exchange scripts weekly and get feedback.

GUEST SPEAKERS

I will announce the list of guest speakers in January and February.

SCHEDULE

Week 1 – Tuesday March 1, 2016

We will go over the notes for the concepts of the spec scripts for Level #3.

GUEST SPEAKER – BRIAN ANTHONY (NIGHT SHIFT, CONSTANTINE, ARMY WIVES, IRONSIDE)

Week 2, Tuesday March 8, 2016

We will go over the notes for the outline of the spec scripts for Level #3.

GUEST SPEAKER –  ADAM GLASS (CRIMINAL MINDS, SUPERNATURAL, COLD CASE, THE CLEANER)

Week 3, Tuesday March 15, 2016

We will go over the notes for the first draft of the spec scripts for Level #3.

GUEST SPEAKER – PRENTICE PENNY (BROOKLYN NINE-NINE, THE HUSTLE, HAPPY ENDINGS)

WEEK 4, Tuesday, March 22, 2016

We will go over the notes for the second draft of the spec scripts for Level #3.

GUEST SPEAKER – JILL GOLDSMITH (RIZZOLI & ISLES, DR. VEGAS, L & O)

  • EASTER BREAK THE WEEK OF 3/27/16

WEEK 5, Tuesday, April 5, 2016

We will go over the notes for the third draft of the spec scripts for Level #3.

GUEST SPEAKER – KETO SHIMIZU (ARROW, BEING HUMAN)

WEEK 6, Tuesday, April 12, 2016

GUEST  SPEAKER – DAN O’SHANNON (MODERN FAMILY, CHEERS, FRASIER)

We will go over the notes for the concepts for the pilot scripts for Level #3.

WEEK 7, Tuesday April 19, 2016

We will go over the notes for the outlines for the pilot scripts for Level #3.

WEEK 8, Tuesday April 26, 2016

We will go over the notes for the first draft or first half of the first draft of the TV pilot scripts for Level #3.

WEEK 9, Tuesday May 3, 2016

We will go over the notes for the second draft or full-first draft of the TV pilot scripts for Level #3.

WEEK 10, Tuesday May 10, 2016

We will go over the notes for the third draft of the TV pilot scripts for Level #3.

Leave a Comment more...

BIBLE FORMULA FOR ISA LISTENERS

by on Nov.07, 2015, under Motivation, Personal tips

BIBLE FORMULA

 

  • The Title of your Pilot – Give a brief paragraph describing your pilot.
  • Log line for your Series
  • Log line for your pilot (summary of the A story)
  • The Show – Describe your pilot in a page of detail.
  • The Format – Describe what your show will be. Is it an action/adventure show? Is it a character drama? Is it a police procedural? Is it a medical or legal show? Is there humor? What will the balance of story be in each episode? For example, if you’re writing a legal show, will it be more about the case or more about the personal?
  • The Philosophy – Go into a deeper explanation of your concept and what your audience can expect from it.
  • The Characters – Write a paragraph or up to a page on each character.
  • Supporting Characters – Write a brief paragraph for each supporting/recurring role.
  • The On-Going Sets – Write down what your regular sets/locations will be. Where will the majority of story take place?
  • The Pilot Story – Write a longer description/overview of the pilot story.
  • Future Story Arcs – Write a line about the “A” and the “B” story for your first 13 episodes.
  • Overview – Give an overview of your series arcs for seasons 1, 2 and 3
2 Comments more...