A Professional Perspective

Writers Boot Camp's Professional Membership continues to evolve in practical and inspired ways as a reflection of the real-world process of screenwriting, television writing and digital production. The integration of new tools and refinements is ongoing to keep the message and materials pertinent to the highest levels of creative work in the professional entertainment industry.

While you may not be a paid writer yet, we expect that every member of Writers Boot Camp will aspire to work in a professional manner, unless consciously pursuing more personal goals. Due to the accruing of benefits to all Writers Boot Camp professional members and alumni in good standing, including free script evaluation twice annually, Tools Reviews and event video, we encourage you to look beyond your coursework and to visualize your overall writing lifestyle and creative calendar. 

As you may have already committed, the learning curve requires a base of 10 hours per week toward your creative work. In return, you will learn to stimulate your creative process, increase productivity and become a confident authority of your own writing. Ideally, you will fully develop three feature or five television scripts, or a combination of both, through your coursework. More importantly, you will become part of a unique community of peers that will support, inspire and constructively critique your body of work as it evolves.

As you know, Writers Boot Camp is much more than an environment to get you to write pages. Our goal is to help you to become a conceptual thinker and an authority of your own work through the mastery of writing tools. Within the context of the professional entertainment industry, we wish to foster your confidence in your own vision rather than enabling a dependency on outside feedback or approval. Screenwriting requires a long learning curve due to its conceptual nature and the idiosyncrasies of the craft. The craft is not based on words but on how you put words together to create entertaining moments to fully develop your ideas.

Professional Membership trains you to take each project idea and story through many orbits of development and evaluation. Each writing tool, creative exercise, rewriting stage, or orbit, whether in the form of Checkpoint Tools like the Project Unity Page, the 3-6-3, Journey Map, M2, or Horizontal, will help you to develop moments on the page that are explicit parts of a character-driven story intended to create an experience for your audience.  The checkpoints offer a uniquely comprehensive approach to conceptual development and testing, structural and character development and an empowered rewriting process that gets you to a point of self-aware productivity and creative breakthrough that most writers achieve, if ever, only after enduring years of hardship.

In addition to helping you write early drafts at an accelerated pace, we're empowering you to take each script through 10 drafts every six months.  Your exposure to dozens of checkpoint tools and unique creative exercises expedites your own ability to keep moving quickly through the many stages of process and to avoid the common pitfalls of rewriting.

As soon as we determine together that you have the passion for this kind of creative life and 10 hours to commit each week, then one of our staff of instructors will be assigned to take you through the initial checkpoints toward the goal of completing your first draft.  Then, upon your first script evaluation, you'll join one of our Project Groups in LA or NY.  Project Groups meet every other week, so class time is never a conflict to your writing and can be easily managed into your life.  For writers outside of LA and NY, Online Professional Membership (OPM) is an ideal equivalent and includes the direct mentorship and support at roughly half the price.

29 Distinctions

  • Our alumni work at the highest levels of the industry.
  • Writers Boot Camp employs full-time staff to support you during your coursework, and afterwards as an alumnus and working writer.
  • Though your commitment does not require quitting your day job or investing in school full-time, you need ten hours for writing outside of class, and we recommend that for at least 40 weeks out of the 52-week calendar year to scale the true learning curve and sustain a professional pace.
  • Professional Membership in LA and NY includes 48 sessions over 22 months, four script evaluations and conferences, monthly events and web-accessible streaming, weekly instructor office hours and online support.
  • You have the option of writing three feature scripts or five television series spec scripts, or a variety of either.

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Non-Linear Approach to Process

One of the evolving ideas here is a departure from the old view of writing. Screenwriting is challenging because, of course, we're in a visual medium. We have to show rather than tell. And in making the jump from the ideas that are in your head or in your heart and trying to get that on the page, it's crucial that you realize that you have to translate those ideas to a form that other people--readers, gatekeepers (the assistants to whom the executives delegate your scripts), the crew who are going to have to interpret (and hopefully not interpret too much) and eventually produce that material--can understand.

Screenwriting is a very conceptual process. The mentality of I'm-a-hard-working-person-and-can-write-120-pages doesn't quite work, because all content is derivative. Every story has been done before, at least in some way and to some degree. Even BEING JOHN MALKOVICH, an admirably original project, is based on the paradigm of switching bodies. There's just no such thing as a story that's totally unique. So, the approach that you take has to mitigate that problem. And in screenwriting that approach proves itself on the page through entertaining moments. Since the story moves through moments of interaction between people, your characters will ideally come across as people and not just props with feet. Hopefully, they're human beings at a significant stage of their lives, and that stage of life--that experience, that adventure--is going to change them forever.
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Full Development Philosophy

Based on an expedient first-draft process, including emphasis on developing tools like the Unity Page, the 3-6-3, the Horizontal and brainstorming of setpieces, Writers Boot Camp estimates that a feature-length script can be readable by industry standards within six months, working at a part-time pace of ten hours per week.*

The ratio of tools work versus writing during the first-draft stage would be 80% tools and 20% writing. Once the tools have been established, then the subsequent rewriting stages would flip that ratio to 20% tools, primarily updating and brainstorming for particular issues, and 80% emphasis on writing pages. Of course, the rewriting stages are the primary portion of a Six-Month Full Development process, even with earnest tools development and preparation.
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