Script Development

Studio Quality support for Writers

Script Development  With Sean Cardinalli, screenwriter / script analyst

Fill in the contact form and state your interest in the development program. Someone from our team will get back to you with details about how to apply, within 4 working days.

About the Script Development Program:

You have an original story, with great characters, but something is missing. Or, you’ve got a great plot, but the characters don’t seem interesting or believable. Maybe you have a great idea, but you’re not sure how to start. Or, you’ve just completed a first draft and you know it needs work. These are problems many screenwriters encounter. But when it’s just you and your computer, they are often hard to solve. When is your story ready to write a first draft? Or when do you know your script is finally ready to send out to attract that great talent agent or name actor? That’s what we’ll be helping you with… WriteMovies is offering a new service to screenwriters. Instead of just giving feedback, we’ll guide you through the writing process, whatever stage you’re in. Whether it’s your first screenplay and all you have is an idea, or you’re an experienced screenwriter with a first draft, we’ll guide you through writing and rewriting.

About Sean Cardinalli

Sean Cardinalli has worked in the movie industry for thirteen years. In 2006, he relocated to Albuquerque from Los Angeles, but still splits his time between the two cities. Sean acclimated to New Mexico quickly, picking up production work on “Terminator Salvation,” “The Spirit,” “The Eye,” and the TV show “Easy Money.” Before moving to the Southwest, Sean was a top script analyst for ICM—Hollywood’s second-biggest talent and literary agency—for four years. He also began copywriting while writing movie coverage and completed over half a dozen original screenplays. Sean’s entrée into Hollywood was as a junior executive on the Artisan Entertainment development team which brought “The Blair Witch Project,” “Requiem for a Dream,” “The Limey,” and “The Ninth Gate” to the big screen. While at Artisan, he attended the Sundance and Urbanworld film fests and his script notes got him into meetings with the likes of Spike Lee and Darren Aronofsky. He has analyzed screenplays for NewMarket Films, Screenwriters Online, Walden Media, Summit Entertainment, and Camilitary Productions; his own screenwriting got him into New York’s famed IFP Market. As an analyst, Sean has covered thousands of scripts, including “The Strangers,” “Disturbia,” “The Golden Compass,” “Stardust,” “Pulse,” “The Exorcism of Emily Rose,” “Million Dollar Baby,” “The Last Samurai,” and “Mr. & Mrs. Smith.” He’s read the work of some of Hollywood’s most popular writers and directors such as Bruce Joel Rubin, Stuart Beattie, Barry Levinson, Joe Carnahan, David Goyer, Dean Devlin, Wesley Strick, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci. Sean graduated from UC Berkeley with a BA in English Literature. He tries his best to be a good husband and father, and he absolutely loves movies.

Curriculum Development/Writing “curriculum” Stage 1 (concept & development): So many people have ideas they’d like to craft into a screenplay, but find they are hard-pressed to get the ball rolling. In Stage 1 of this curriculum, the professional consultant can help mold a writer’s concept, prepare a treatment, or hammer an unwieldy, unprofessional script into shape. Whatever form the writer brings his/her idea in can be worked with and developed better and stronger. The consultant will aid the writer in a development exec-like capacity. Studios’ development departments analyze concepts, treatments, and scripts continually until they’re in their best possible shape for production. That’s the service being offered here. Ideas will concretize; themes will solidify; a story will form. Factors the writer will consider include: what genre the script should fall into, what market to shoot for (mainstream theatrical, festival circuit, art house/independent, straight-to-video), and what iteration of the idea will allow the writer’s story to be told in the most effective way. The writer may even be given movie-watching “homework” to peruse like-minded, successful movies to help spark creative decision-making. The writer will then choose to go through the outlining process with the consultant or skip ahead to writing the first draft and getting feedback on that.

Stage 2 (development & outlining): Once a writer has solidified what exactly needs to be done with his/her idea, then the process of outlining begins. This is the “heavy lifting” stage of crafting an idea into a fully-realized script. Whether using index cards or act outlines, the often daunting task of structuring the writer’s script story will be completed with readily available feedback along the way. The process is like funneling an unwieldy brainstorming session into simplified, concentrated, dramatic beats and scenes. Structure is arguably the toughest part of screenwriting. It’s not what’s being put down on paper but how it’s put down on paper. Structuring the writer’s script is a process of refinement. When the scene, sequence, and act order in the writer’s story are cleanly arranged, then the writer is ready to tackle the first draft.

Stage 3 (1st draft & coverage): Writing commences based on the above-completed outline process. The consultant “checks in” regularly with the writer and keeps the writer apace based on a predetermined schedule. Setting a realistic, not intimidating deadline is crucial to keep the writer “warm” in the process of screenwriting. It’s a good way to gauge progress and learn what’s comfortable for a particular writer’s lifestyle. A “zero” draft of the script will be encouraged, but not insisted upon. “Zero” drafts aren’t fair representations of a writer’s talent. They’re simply a result of the process of getting info from the writer’s outline onto the page. The true first draft happens when that zero draft is given a second pass and the nuances of the writer’s ability are brought to the fore. Once the first draft is completed, it receives coverage—that’s a full script analysis including a synopsis, critique, page notes, and grading scale. The writer and consultant discuss the coverage and how to tackle changes for the second draft.

Stage 4 (writing is rewriting & 2nd draft coverage): Writing is rewriting. Period. While the writer should be commended and rewarded for birthing his/her idea into a fully-realized script, a first draft is only the beginning. The consultant will be happy to coach the writer through making the tough, necessary changes to improve the first draft and make the second draft an even better iteration. Rewriting will commence in largely the same way as the first draft commencement, with consultations and feedback along the way. Coverage on the completed second draft will instruct the writer on what changes effectively altered the story for the better.

Stage 5 (that’s a wrap): A final consultation on the entire project, in however many of the above stages were completed, aims to inspire the writer to head out into “the world” confidently, whether seeking production, representation, script contests, etc. Notes on future drafts can be discussed and the writer can always opt for additional consultation.

Additional consultation & notes: Any additional consultation is outside of the Stages 1-5 development “curriculum.” If a writer is adapting his/her own novel, short story or other medium, reading and covering that source material prior to Stage 1, if requested, is an additional cost. Once analysis on the source material is completed, then the development process starting with Stage 1 can more readily commence. The development analyst doesn’t advise adapting material which the screenwriter doesn’t own or which can’t be readily optioned.

Fees stage 1 – refining a concept – $300 stage 2 – structuring/developing a project – $250 stage 3 – my full-coverage cost – $285 stage 4 – full-coverage again – $285 stage 5 – final consultation/send-off – $175 Total course fee $1295 Contact us For enquiries about the script development program, please click on this link

Fill in the contact form and state your interest in the development program. Someone from our team will get back to you with details about how to apply, within 4 working days.

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