Don't Give Them A Reason To Say "No!"™ Writer Seminars
Pine River Entertainment offers seminars for writers. Bruce Economou uses his experience as a producer and literary manager to discuss what it takes to work as a writer in film, television and new digital media.
"Selling Your Screenplay"
What's more satisfying than writing a great script? Selling it, of course. This seminar provides the steps to take, and the tools you'll need, to get your work into the market and in front of the people who can make that purchase possible.
Even before you finish writing the last word of your script, you need to know what agents, managers, production companies and their readers expect to see on the page! Topics covered in this seminar include:
- leveling the playing field - the rules and how to compete
- the importance of feedback
- the submission process
- marketing tactics - in writing and over the phone
- who's who and what can they do - agents, managers and more
- taking meetings
- how to hurdle the obstacles and keep going
"How to Pitch a Winning Game"
You’ve spent hours and hours toiling over your screenplay, that gem of an idea that now is 115 pages of pure literary genius. Or you’ve worked up a great treatment for the next blockbuster. But now what? How do you let someone know about your latest literary work?
No matter who you are or how much experience and success you’ve had in this business, everyone still has to pitch their idea to a studio executive, a director, an actor or a production company executive. You have to get them interested in reading your screenplay or paying you to write a draft based on the treatment you just pitched to them.
How well you pitch may be the difference in whether or not that person takes the time to read your screenplay or seriously considers hiring you for a writing job. Pitching is not to be taken lightly.
So what makes a good pitch? In his seminar about pitching your idea or your screenplay, Bruce will talk about the elements of a good pitch. He'll cover such topics as:
- what makes a unique idea?
- preparing your pitch – do your homework about who you are pitching to
- how important is your title?
- fine tuning your story
- structuring the pitch – Act 1, Act 2, Act 3
- how long should your pitch be
- how to keep the listener(s) engaged
- how to pitch as a team
He’ll also give you hints on when it’s time to leave the room! This seminar works well for groups of writers, directors or producers who want to learn more about how to pitch a treatment or a screenplay. Bruce can also consult “one-on-one” with writers, directors or producers to help prepare a complete pitch or coach you for the 1-10 minute pitches that are a popular part of industry attended “pitchfests.”
"Developing the Gimmick Pic"
Groundhog Day… Big… Liar, Liar… It’s A Wonderful Life — what do these pictures have in common? They are commonly known in the industry as “gimmick” pictures. And, when executed correctly, they can be very attractive vehicles for stars, directors, producers and studio executives. They might also make a lot of money.
So what does it take to write a successful “gimmick” picture? In this seminar, Bruce will discuss the elements necessary for taking an idea and turning it into a screenplay. He’ll cover such topics as:
- the gimmick itself – does it work?
- the importance of the three act structure in gimmick pictures
- character development and growth
- using the gimmick to move your story forward
- how to use callbacks
- how to write a satisfying Act 3
Basic story and structure is the key to any successful screenplay. Films like Casablanca, The Godfather, Chinatown, The Wizard Of Oz, Jaws, It Happened One Night, Citizen Kane and even Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction are some of the best examples of films that have wonderful story structure.
Whether you’re a new or experienced writer, director or producer, Bruce’s story structure class starts at the very beginning and covers such topics as:
- identifying what makes a good story
- what are the elements of dramatic structure (i.e., Aristotle’s Poetics)
- how to break your story into three acts
- developing interesting sub-plots
- what makes a character interesting
- writing the character bible
- character and conflict
- what makes dialogue memorable
These and other important elements need to be considered when developing your idea into a screenplay. This course can be tailored for weekend intensive or spread over a number of weeks for a more traditional course structure.
Bruce’s seminar and weekend workshops proved to be a very valuable way to start this semester. His lectures, as well as working with him one-on-one, [has] really allowed me to expand my abilities as a storyteller and critically view someone else’s work. Plus, I think I’ve become better at being able to articulate why something works or doesn’t work in a piece of writing. We focused a lot on the technical side of crafting a story.
James E. Roberts, Ball State University
For more information on his availability as a speaker, please e-mail Bruce at: