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Frequently
Asked
Questions

Is this different from the SmashCut Film Lab?

Yes. 

What is the SmashCut Workshop?

 

The SmashCut Workshop:  Storytelling in Film & Television is a weekend conference connecting talented emerging filmmakers with members of our faculty of Hollywood screenwriters, producers, executives and talent representatives.  It takes place August 10-12, 2018 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 SmashCut Workshop offers training in two critical areas of a successful career in entertainment:  Storytelling Development and Career Development in Film and Television. 

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 treatment or script you bring in with you.

 

How can the SmashCut Workshop help me?

The workshop is designed to give you practical critiques and insights into your feature film or television script by giving you the chance to work one-on-one with one a screenwriter, producer, or executive.  You will submit your script in advance of attending the workshop, which will then be assigned to a mentor who will arrive at the workshop to go over their feedback with you. 

You will be paired with one or two other writers, and will get the chance to read their work and listen to the feedback on their scripts as well.  This can be just as valuable as hearing about your own work, because you will be able to compare your own analysis with each other.  Identifying areas you may have overlooked and even providing perspectives that may not have been touched upon. 

The beginning of the workshop will be your chance to pitch your project to two veteran screenwriters who will give you immediate feedback on not only your story, but on how you pitched! Often times the most critical part of pitching is how you pitched.  For even if the listener didn't like your story idea, they may have ben so captivated by you that they want to hear another idea or two. 

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 to 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. 

What kind of activities take place?

Well, as mentioned in the previous question, the first thing that will take place is a pitching session on Friday night. 

Each participant will get to pitch their feature film or television series idea to two screenwriters and hear immediate feedback on the story as well as the nature you pitched. 

On Saturday begin the mentor sessions, where you will get 90 minutes to hear from your assigned mentor on your script.  You will get the chance to ask questions, try out different material and ideas.  You will also hear advice on what may be the best path for you in getting the script made or sold, or how else it can benefit your career. 

Saturday will also be bookended by a speaker in the morning and a screening in the evening.  A guest screenwriter will join you in the morning to share with insight into the world of screenwriting in Hollywood and share some personal stories.  In the evening, we'll get the chance to watch one of the latest SmashCut Film Lab projects along with the filmmakers to learn about to discuss the themes of the film, their film lab experience, and working with their Hollywood mentor. 

Sunday morning is all about TV.  Television writer David Steinberg will give you the hard truth about writing for film versus writing for television.  You'll be shocked and inspired (or deflated) by the valuable insight and knowledge he will share.  Afterwards you'll get the rare treat of seeing how an episode of a popular television series was crafted in the writer's room and then watch the episode with live commentary from writer himself in-person.  

The workshop will then conclude with a panel discussion on Managing Your Career with industry managers who represent writers, directors and actors all working in Hollywood right now.  You will hear real time information on what is hot, what is not, and what you should be doing to gain representation and how to use it to your mutual benefit. 

In addition, on Friday and Saturday evening, we'll host social events that offer more opportunities to meet like-minded creatives and faculty.

PAST FACULTY
Daniel Knauf

Daniel Knauf

Producer / Writer – NBC’s The Blacklist; HBO’s Carnivale

Daisy Gardner

Daisy Gardner

Writer - South Park; 30 Rock; Californication

Adam Simon

Adam Simon

Producer / Writer – WGN’s Salem (creator); Haunting in Connecticut

Cale Boyter

Cale Boyter

Producer - Wedding Crashers; History of Violence; Elf

 

Mark Swift

Mark Swift

Writer - Friday the 13th; Freddy v. Jason; Baywatch (2017);

Paul Guay

Paul Guay

Screenwriter, Liar Liar

Bill Marsilii

Bill Marsilii

Screenwriter, Deja Vu

Rupert Wyatt

Rupert Wyatt

Director – Rise of the Planet of the Apes; The Gambler

Marc Cherry

Marc Cherry

Producer, Writer - Desperate Housewives; Devious Maids

David Steinberg

David Steinberg

Screenwriter – The Simpsons; American Pie 2

Craig Titley

Craig Titley

Screenwriter - Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD; Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Kailey Marsh

Kailey Marsh

Manager / Creator, The Blood List