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Study with a professional union screenwriter and published master of story development online during this time of isolation.

Fellow writers,  

You’re stuck inside.

You’re struggling with writing the projects you’re dying to start or finish.

You’re a screenwriter or teleplay writer who needs someone awesome, positive, and tough to keep you on your game and guide you with the tricks of a screenwriting professional to the finish line.

A pro.

A WGA writer.

A real mentor.

Let me be those things for you.

 

Why me?

  • Decade-long WGA screenwriter
  • Co-created the WGA Mentor Program
  • Has been paid to write in every major genre
  • Serves on the WGA’s Writers Education Committee
  • Writer for Universal Studios, Walt Disney Feature Animation, etc.
  • Winner of Best Screenplay at the New Mexico International Film Festival
  • Worked 3 years in development as a script analyst for Alcon Entertainment
  • Multiple award-winning MFA online instruction in screenwriting for over 6 years
  • Author of Prewriting Your Screenplay (from Routledge, America’s #1 textbook publisher) full of mind-blowing endorsements from the best in the business

Most importantly, I care.  I care about every writer and every script.  I get invested.

 

Here are the consultancy services that I offer:

1-on-1 Industry Advice & Mentorship:

  • Get career advice 
  • Brainstorm your specific situation in the industry
  • Industry relationship advice

PURCHASE 30-MINUTE CONSULT

PURCHASE 1-HOUR CONSULT

 

1-on-1 Script Feedback:

  • Detailed line-by-line notes that will cover plot, structure, character, formatting, and even English errors.
  • One 2-hour meeting via video conference (or by phone if preferred) where I go through everything with you, 1-on-1.

PURCHASE 15-PAGE CONSULT

PURCHASE 30-PAGE CONSULT

PURCHASE 60-PAGE CONSULT

PURCHACE 120-PAGE CONSULT

 

The Classes:

  • Four 2-3 hour classes per month.
  • New writing lessons every month.
  • Small class size to promote individual attention.
  • Deadlines will be provided to keep your work on track.
  • A writer’s room workshop for your material run by a pro.
  • Professional feedback, opinions, career lessons, time and effort making your story reach its maximum potential every single month.

 

Purchase Individual Classes Below...

 

THE CLASSES ARE...

CLASS #1:

WRITE YOUR SCREENPLAY

Week 1 – Analyze a couple produced films (getting into the groove) by breaking down:

  • Genre classifications
  • Character types based on what they do
  • Three-act structure
  • Boiling each film down to its premise 

 

Week 2 – building an original story backbone:

  • Premise
  • Genre (why so important and common genre mistakes)
  • Brainstorm imagery
  • Protagonist (inner and outer journeys)
  • Antagonist 

 

Week 3 – Story development:

  • Supporting characters
  • Story/Logline
  • Develop overall three-act structure and why this works

 

Week 4 – Outlining:

  • Write the detailed treatment 
  • Scene mapping 
  • Scene transitions 

 

Week 5 – Write Act 1 – Online Workshop:

  • Establishing 1
  • Escalation 1
  • Evolution 1
  • Escalation 2

 

Week 6 – Write Act 2a - Online Workshop:

  • Evolution 2
  • Pinch 1
  • Escalation 3

 

Week 7 – Write Act 2b - Online Workshop:

  • Evolution 3
  • Pinch 2
  • Escalation 4

 

Week 8 – Write Act 3 - Online Workshop:

  • Evolution 4
  • Escalation 5
  • Establishing 2

 

Week 9 – Script feedback:

  • Giving notes 
  • Taking notes 
  • Big Picture Edits (slug lines, character clarity, etc.)

 

Week 10 – Edit line-by-line:

  • Pacing
  • Dialogue editing
  • Action lines editing

 

Week 11 – Professional coverage (understanding the story analyst perspective):

  • How scripts are broken down and analyzed by professionals
  • Writing professional coverage of each others’ scripts
  • Logline Perfecting

 

Week 12 – Business of writing (incl. pitching):

  • Getting reps
  • Query letters
  • Meet and greets
  • Pitch meetings
  • Pitch decks

 

PURCHASE "SCREENWRITING" COURSE 

 

CLASS #2:

WRITE YOUR EPISODIC SHOW BIBLE & TELEPLAY PILOT 

In writing the Episodic Series Bible and Pilot Episode you will learn and develop the following:

  • Premise
  • TV Genres
  • Show Type and Length
  • Major Characters (series regulars versus recurring)
  • Designing long-term character relationships and story trajectory
  • The World and its Rules
  • Describing The Show
  • Target Networks and Audience
  • Comps
  • Logline
  • Synopsis
  • Plotting the Pilot (opening a can of worms)
  • Plotting the First Season
  • Plotting Future Seasons
  • Episodic Teleplay Structure
  • Three-Act Structure Versus Teleplay Formatting Act Structure
  • Teleplay Formatting (with act outs and when to use act breaks)

 

PURCHASE

"EPISODIC (TELEVISION & STREAMING) WRITING"

COURSE 

 

CLASS #3:

THE BUSINESS OF WRITING FOR  TV & FILM

You will learn the following:

  • Getting represented
  • Query Letters
  • Meet and Greet Meetings
  • Elevator Pitches (90 seconds)
  • OWAs
  • Pitch Meetings
  • Pitch Decks
  • The Writing Contract
  • Project Financing and Distribution Models
  • Taking & Giving Project/Script Notes
  • Film Markets
  • Film Festivals

 

PURCHASE

"THE BUSINESS OF WRITING FOR TV & FILM"

COURSE

My book and writing method is endorsed by...

  • Writers of: Chris Nolan’s Batman trilogy, multiple Marvel films, Star Trek films, Mission: Impossible films, Now You See Me, as well as classics like Beverly Hills Cop and An Officer and a Gentleman
  • Creators / Show-runners /EPs of: The Watchmen, Lost, The Big Bang Theory, multiple Star Trek series, Green Arrow, Jack Ryan, Hawaii 5-0, Fringe, Sleepy Hallow, Orville, Army Wives
  • Screenwriting Educators from: USC, UCLA, NYU, AFI 
  • Authors of: The Writers Journey, The Screenwriters Bible

And now you can be mentored by the man.

 

“Michael understands the nuts and bolts of storytelling like no one else — Whether you’re penning your first script or your thirtieth.”

-- Damon Lindelof, WGA Writer/Producer/Creator
Star Trek (2009), World War Z,
Co-Creator TV’s Lost, The Watchmen

 

"Michael is not only a great screenwriter, but he understands how to explain screenwriting in a way that I never could and in a way that helped me move forward.” 

-- Roberto Orci, WGA Writer
Transformers 1 & 2, Star Trek 1, 2 & 3, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, The Legend of Zorro, Mission: Impossible III

Prices for the Class

  • Industry Advice - $100 (30 minutes) or $150 (1 hour)
  • Pitch or outline/treatment document feedback - $25 per page (with $350 minimum)
  • Script Feedback - $15 per page (with $450 minimum)
  • The Complete Screenwriting Class - $3,000 (when paid up front) - 4 classes per month (2-3 hours each) / 1 class per week / 3 months
  • Each month of Screenwriting Class (4 weeks) taken separately - $1,250
    • Prewriting Your Screenplay: Weeks 1-4
    • Writing Your Screenplay: Weeks 5-8
    • Rewriting (Editing) Your Screenplay: Weeks 9-12
  • Writing the Complete Episodic Series Bible and Pilot Episode - $3,000 (when paid up front) - 4 classes per month (2-3 hours each) / 1 class per week / 3 months
  • Each month of Episodic Series Bible and Pilot Episode Class (4 weeks) taken separately - $1,250
    • The Series Bible: Weeks 1-4
    • Writing Your Pilot Episode: Weeks 5-8
    • Rewriting (Editing) Your Bible & Pilot: Weeks 9-12
  • Writing Business Class - $2,000 - 4 classes per month (2-3 hours each) / 1 class per week / 2 months

$10,000 (paid in advance) gets an annual membership. This includes all classes for free, one full screenplay feedback, and an hour of private mentorship advice every month. Plus, with the one-year membership, get an additional one-time $500 discount on a 2-hour, 1-on-1 private script consultation.

 

You’re home, so use this time wisely!

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Due to potential conflicts of interest, for your protection and mine, please do NOT send story ideas or written material directly to this website. My consultant rates available upon request. I appreciate your understanding, and I look forward to hearing from you.

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Representation

 

RYAN L. SAUL at The Cartel 

BOB SOBHANI at Authentic Talent + Literary Management