Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Writing Group #1

I attended my first writing group meeting on Monday. It's composed of people in various stages of their screenwriting careers, some of whom are pro and some of whom are on their way (or at least think they are). Most have at least one produced credit; one of them wasn't there because she's apparently got something going in LA, and another guy that presented his pilot last week has set up pitch meetings with broadcasters this week, so they're all people who are serious about the craft.

One thing I wonder is whether it should matter that most of the people in the group are screenwriters, while I'm aiming mostly towards TV. I suppose a script is a script, but can they can help me as much as a group of TV writers could? They'll give me good notes on character and structure, but may not be aware of what a TV spec script needs to be (whether I'm capturing the voice of the series, the characters, ect). Of course, this is all conjecture and I'll know once I bring in my own material. For all I know they've all studied TV writing as well.

Another thing is that instead of everyone sending their scripts to each other a week or two before, the people presenting just bring in their scripts on the day and they have a cold read of it before they start talking about it. This strikes me as odd because it seems like it would be too tedious to read through an entire feature (or teleplay) script and then dissect it, and you hardly have time to think about criticism. In the meeting we only looked at scenes, short sequences or outlines, which may limit the usefulness of the meeting.

But then, I've never joined a group before so perhaps this is how things are done. And I don't want to be the annoying new guy. At least not until my third meeting.

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