Private Classes

PRIVATE SCREENWRITING CLASSES:

I also teach private nine and ten week classes during the year. These classes meet for 3 hours one night a week and alternate through the year. Rewrite and Writing workshops are $800, Take Classes are $750, payable by check or PayPal. Payment is required for registration and is non-refundable. All classes are limited to eight students on a first-come, first-served basis. Please see course descriptions below.

FALL  2016: ONLINE REWRITING/WRITING WORKSHOP Wednesday September 28 through November 30

Whether you’re rewriting an existing feature or pilot, or developing a new idea, having a support group and deadlines can make the process not only faster, but less agonizing.  This workshop will be open to both writers who want to get an existing project into shape and those who are embarking on something new. I’ll be devising individual schedules for each of you, depending on your goals, and offering all the help I can. The class will run on Wednesday nights from 6-9 pm (PST) and costs $800.00, payable by check or PayPal and non-refundable.

WINTER 2016: “THE TAKE”   Wednesdays January 6 through March 2  from 7-10pm

I’m delighted to offer my favorite course, THE TAKE, for winter.  This course will not only prepare you for the reality of industry meetings and improve your pitching skills, it will provide you with new ideas and sources for your own projects by concentrating on developing probably the most important skill a writer can have in the current market – the ability to create a fresh “take” on existing material and to pitch that take in an intelligent and compelling way.

Most studio and independent films and television for the past five years have been based on existing source material. Almost all the Oscar contenders this year– including SPOTLIGHT, CAROL, TRUMBO, ROOM, THE REVEVANT, CREED, CHI-RAQ,  STAR WARS, THE DANISH GIRL, THE BIG SHORT, MACBETH, THE LADY IN THE VAN, JOY, and THE MARTIAN, and CONCUSSION–are all based on true stories, previous films or previously published materials.

Other recent and successful “takes” for both film and television include FARGO, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, THE LEGO MOVIE, OLIVE KITTREDGE, DALLAS BUYERS CLUB, 12 YEARS A SLAVE, THE HUNGER GAMES, THE MASTERS OF SEX, GRIMM, ELEMENTARY, CAPTAIN AMERICA, ARGO, THE BUTLER, ONCE UPON A TIME, BOSS, THE SOCIAL NETWORK, EASY A, TOY STORY 3, TWILIGHT, EAT PRAY LOVE, SHERLOCK HOLMES, SEX IN THE CITY, SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, FROST/NIXON, GNOMEO AND JULIET, NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, IRON MAN, THE HISTORY OF VIOLENCE, STAR TREK, etc. among hundreds of others. Most of the paid writing work in town lies in adapting books and biographies, old television shows, graphic novels, articles, plays, and remakes rather than in writing original material.

Right now, most of you are focused on finishing a spec script and getting an agent. These are crucial goals, but they are just the beginning. Most spec scripts do not sell. Their primary function is to provide a springboard for your introduction to the town — for getting meetings with producers and executives who are interested in new writers and have projects, ideas, books, etc. which they want to develop into feature films or television shows.

Often the round of meetings a writer gets after sending out his or her first spec is the best set of meetings they ever get — everyone in Hollywood is looking for the next new, hot thing. This is your prime opportunity to forge relationships with development executives and producers who can help you over the course of your career. But many writers, including myself, blow those early meetings because, when the producer or executive hands us a magazine article, a short story or a 30’s film and says “come back next week with a take,” we have no idea what to do.

I don’t want this to happen to any of you, so I have created this class to teach you first, what a “take” is, and then to give you the practical skills involved in looking at a piece of source material, asking the right questions about it, and turning it into something fresh and commercial, sometimes in a very short period of time.

THERE WILL BE NO WRITTEN WORK DUE IN THE CLASS.

Instead, I will be giving you specific source material and asking each person to come back and pitch his or her individual “take” on newspaper and magazine articles, remakes, short stories, comic books or novels, original producer “ideas, ” actor deals and, ultimately, one of your own scripts.

The course should sharpen your basic story and pitching skills, increase your confidence and provide you with at least three original pitches you can take with you to meetings right away, as well as new sources for future spec ideas. Several former students have had sales and assignments come out of takes they developed for the course and it can provide a creative shot in the arm for those of you looking for new ideas.

The class is limited to eight students. The fee is $750.00 payable in advance by check or PayPal and non-refundable. Please get in touch at ETWilkie41@aol.com with questions or to register.

FALL 2014 SCHEDULE:     “THE TAKE”

I’m delighted to offer my favorite course, THE TAKE, for fall.   This course will not only prepare you for the reality of industry meetings and improve your pitching skills, it will provide you with new ideas and sources for your own projects by concentrating on developing probably the most important skill a writer can have in the current market – the ability to create a fresh “take” on existing material and to pitch that take in an intelligent and compelling way.

Most studio and independent films and television for the past five years have been based on existing source material, including THE HUNGER GAMES, GRIMM, ELEMENTARY, CAPTAIN AMERICA, DALLAS BUYERS CLUB, ARGO, THE BUTLER, ONCE UPON A TIME, BOSS, THE SOCIAL NETWORK,  EASY A, TOY STORY 3,  TWILIGHT, EAT PRAY LOVE, SHERLOCK HOLMES, SEX IN THE CITY, SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, FROST/NIXON, GNOMEO AND JULIET, NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, IRON MAN,  THE HISTORY OF VIOLENCE, STAR TREK, IN TREATMENT, THE OFFICE, JOHN ADAMS, and THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA, among hundreds of others. Most of the paid writing work in town lies in adapting books and biographies, old television shows, graphic novels, articles, plays and remakes rather than in writing original material.

Right now, most of you are focused on finishing a spec script and getting an agent. These are crucial goals, but they are just the beginning. Most spec scripts do not sell. Their primary function is to provide a springboard for your introduction to the town — for getting meetings with producers and executives who are interested in new writers and have projects, ideas, books, etc. which they want to develop into feature films or television shows.

Often the round of meetings a writer gets after sending out his or her first spec is the best set of meetings they ever get — everyone in Hollywood is looking for the next new, hot thing. This is your prime opportunity to forge relationships with development executives and producers who can help you over the course of your career. But many writers, including myself, blow those early meetings because, when the producer or executive hands us a magazine article, a short story or a 30’s film and says “come back next week with a take,” we have no idea what to do.

I don’t want this to happen to any of you, so I have created this class to teach you first, what a “take” is, and then to give you the practical skills involved in looking at a piece of source material, asking the right questions about it, and turning it into something fresh and commercial, sometimes in a very short period of time.

THERE WILL BE NO WRITTEN WORK DUE IN THE CLASS.

Instead, I will be giving you specific source material and asking each person to come back and pitch his or her individual “take” on newspaper and magazine articles, remakes, short stories, comic books or novels, original producer “ideas, ” actor deals and, ultimately, one of your own scripts.

The course should sharpen your basic story and pitching skills, increase your confidence and provide you with at least three original pitches you can take with you to meetings right away, as well as new sources for future spec ideas.

The class is limited to eight students. The fee is $700.00 payable in advance by check or PayPal and non-refundable. Please get in touch at ETWilkie41@aol.com with questions or to register.

SUMMER 2013:

SUMMER WRITING WORKSHOP open to both rewrites and first drafts.  It will meet 7-10pm on Monday nights from June 24 through August 26 and costs $750.00, payable by check or PayPal and non-refundable.  Please contact Wendall to register.

“TAKE TWO:  Pitch Perfect” This is an advanced TAKE CLASS which will focus on developing three “studio ready” pitches over nine weeks and is open to students who’ve attended THE TAKE.  It will meet Wednesday nights 7-10pm from June 26 through August 28 and costs $700.00, payable by check or PayPal and non-refundable.

Spring Schedule: REWRITE CLASS  Wednesday nights 7-10pm April 3 through June 5, 2013  $700.00

Every script needs a series of drafts to reach its full potential and to be ready for the market. This class offers support and structure for the rewriting process and as well as the skills and practical techniques which will help you rewrite all your projects in the future.