The Apollo Workshop: Storytelling in Film & Television is a weekend conference connecting 25 talented aspiring filmmakers with 25 members of our faculty of Hollywood screenwriters, producers, executives and talent representatives. It will take place in August, 2017 at Taliesin Nexus’ headquarters in downtown Los Angeles, CA.
This weekend-long workshop is completely free of charge – free tuition, free room and board. Travel stipends are also available to those attending from outside of southern California.
The Apollo Workshop offers training in two critical areas of a successful career in entertainment: Storytelling Development and Career Development.
Every great idea will remain just that, an idea, unless you take action by developing that idea into a great story following basic storytelling techniques that every writer in the film, television and digital world adheres to when their project is developed at any Hollywood production company, major studio and independent alike. Once you have that great idea fleshed out into a great script, you are going to need to know how to pitch it, get it produced and then distributed all while keeping your audience in mind. This workshop allows you to ask the tough questions, practice your skills at pitching, and network with other creative types. The experience is fully interactive as you collaborate intensively with your fellow participants and work directly with the faculty as you dissect various aspects of the story ideas and projects you bring in with you.
We start with developing your story ideas (every attendee is asked to bring a few story concepts to the workshop), honing them into compelling stories that can be made into powerful movies, shows or videos that audiences will flock to see.
Don’t worry about whether your story ideas are sufficiently enthralling or developed. We simply ask that you bring one-sentence ideas or concepts for at least three different tales that you could see becoming a movie or a television or digital series.
We workshop these ideas the first night in an interactive session on concept development. A panel of working producers, studio executives and writers provide their expert feedback one-on-one. Further sessions focus on the best way to pitch your stories (the proverbial “elevator pitch”, wherein you have about 30 seconds to wow an executive with your story). You will also trade feedback with your fellow attendees.
The workshop’s other primary goal is to help attendees develop their careers. Our workshop panelists and other faculty, all currently working in Hollywood, offer nuts-and-bolts career advice attuned to the latest trends and practices in the entertainment industry. They will provide practical tips on how to get your foot in the door and how to stay there.
Past faculty include:
• Cale Boyter (producer) – Wedding Crashers; History of Violence; Elf
• Marc Cherry (producer/writer) – Desperate Housewives; Devious Maids
• Daisy Gardner (writer) – South Park; 30 Rock; Californication
• Mark Swift (writer) – Friday the 13th; Freddy v. Jason; Baywatch (2017);
• Jennifer Simpson (producer) – Legally Blond 2; Penelope
• Bob Sobhani (manager/producer) – Magnet Management co-founder
• David Steinberg (screenwriter) – The Simpsons; American Pie 2
• Adam Simon (producer/writer) – FOX’s Salem (creator); Haunting in Connecticut
• Craig Titley (screenwriter) – Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD; Star Wars: The Clone Wars
• Rupert Wyatt (director) – Rise of the Planet of the Apes; The Gambler
• Warren Zide (producer) – the American Pie and Final Destination movie franchises
We have intensive panels with breakout sessions from breaking into television to working in the fast-growing market of digital series. We bring panels of talent reps (managers and agents) and marketing and distribution gurus as well.
Perhaps most importantly, the workshop provides ample networking opportunities that are vital to a successful creative career. Workshop sessions are very interactive. Participants are placed in smaller groups with peers and faculty panelists to maximize the chances of getting to know others and see how you work together. Friday and Saturday evening, we host social events that offer more opportunities to meet like-minded creatives and faculty.
Past participants have struck relationships with faculty that have led to partnering up on a feature film, full time positions with production companies, being staffed on television series and so on. This nexus is becoming a fast lane into Hollywood if you take advantage of the opportunity stay connected and engaged. You and your fellow attendees will also find yourselves staying connected beyond the workshop, collaborating and working together on your own projects. TalNexus prides itself in our high rate of connectedness among our alumni.
Everything begins and ends with a great story. Helping you to turn your ideas into great stories and helping turn you into an effective storyteller are our chief goals.
From the ambitious screenwriter to the aspiring producer to the visionary director, we believe learning how to tell a good story from a bad one is critical to a successful entertainment career even if writing isn’t your forte.
The invaluable copious career advice, delivered by seasoned Hollywood pros who are on the front-lines of today’s entertainment industry, will prove essential to navigating the uncompromising and relentless terrain of Hollywood.
For more information, please check out the schedules and faculty at past workshops linked to the right.
Please check out Smash Cut Culture, a blog on liberty and culture written by TN program alumni and friends.
If there were a Greek god of filmmaking it would doubtless be Apollo, the god of light, poetry, music, and truth — key elements of most great movies and shows. Apollo is also the name of NASA’s lunar space program, arguably the most innovative and inspirational program ever mounted by humankind.
Note: The Apollo Workshop was formerly known as The Filmmakers Workshop.