Screenwriter's Retreat at Sundance

"Revising Your Script for Market"
September 25-28, 2014


Welcome to Sundance Resort where you can learn and write in a naturally relaxing and nurturing atmosphere.

My mission is
to provide you with the necessary knowledge, tools, and feedback to convert your current script (and future scripts) into a polished,  market-ready spec screenplay.

–Dave Trottier

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© David C. Schultz
Image courtesy David C. Schultz

 
Thank you, thank you! The time spent at Dave Trottier's Retreat at Sundance has left me forever changed. It is the catalyst that brought everything together for me. I see things differently now, and am thankful I attended. Dave has saved me time and agony. Not only did I learn a great deal, but I also picked up some of the 'intuitive' side of the craft. – Dee McKinney

Welcome to my 9th Annual Sundance Retreat, as featured in Script magazine. Our 2014 retreat includes a four-day agenda designed for your success and enjoyment. Let's begin by outlining some of the perks.

FREE PARTIAL SCRIPT ANALYSIS

I will thoroughly analyze your writing sample of 10 pages. I will evaluate characterization, scene structure, dialogue, flow, and format. My normal fee for this service is $125, but it's free with your registration. This sample can be the first ten pages of your screenplay or a 10-page segment of that screenplay. Please send me your 10 pages by August 31, 2014, so that I will have time to evaluate them before the retreat. 

“Awesome. Dave has developed the Screenwriter’s Retreat into a world-class event that is uniquely focused on improving individual writing skills." -- Sheila Valesano

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PERSONAL ATTENTION

I will be available on-site throughout the retreat to help you with situations and questions. I will also arrive early to all sessions and stay late to answer questions.

“I came back [from Sundance] with my heart absolutely bursting at the seams. You offer such an amazing array of gifts (the lessons, the scenery, the ambiance, the food, and especially your delicious humor). I will be forever grateful for my trip to Sundance. It was a life-changing experience." -- Kathy Bannister


ONE-ON-ONE INTERVIEW

Sundance2006DaveOneOnOne.jpg (72203 bytes)In addition, you will receive a 30-minute personal interview with me for any purpose under the sun. We can discuss your work, plot your career, or revise a scene. If you wish, I can pose as an agent or producer and critique your pitches.

The bottom line is that you will have an abundance of opportunities to acquire the knowledge, skills, methods, and techniques that you will use throughout your writing life, and that you can't get in any other way.

You are vastly knowledgeable about your subject and immensely approachable and supportive.  -- Cyndi Kennedy

RARE VALUE

As you can see, the analysis of your ten pages, and the personal consultation (normally billed at $200/hour) add up to over $325, which reduces the actual cost of the retreat substantially, and that doesn't include the value of the retreat sessions themselves. In short, the registration fee is a bargain.

Click here for a tour of last year’s Sundance Retreat.

This is the best class I have ever taken on screenwriting.  The Sundance setting enhances the experience even more.  Worth all the time and money, tenfold! – Dave Beaty
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PREREQUISITES AND RETREAT GOAL

The completion of one script is required. This retreat is mainly aimed at helping you through the script revising stages with the end goal of selling your work. So feel free to bring a troublesome scene or a nagging writing issue, and give your fellow writers and retreat leader an opportunity to assist you. Let's share our insights with each other.

The retreat structure is informal and flexible in order to meet your needs, respond to your questions, and discuss your writing issues. We will have plenty of contact before the retreat begins so that we can make the most of our time together. In fact, I will send you a questionnaire to ascertain your needs and requests after you register.

Think of Sundance as a "working" retreat for writers eager to improve their skills. So sharpen your pencil and bring your work! The atmosphere will be relaxing and motivating. Our ultimate goal is crafting marketable material. If you wish, we can read a scene of yours in class. The focus of the retreat is on solving specific writing and revising problems. We'll take some time on Saturday to discuss selling issues and the realities of today's marketplace.

I came feeling luke-warm about my material and left Sundance totally rejuvenated and motivated to finish my current script.  -- Mary Santarelli

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“This was the best workshop/retreat I’ve ever been to, and I’ve been to a gazillion." -- Sandy Craig

RETREAT AGENDA

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Sundance is 46 miles from Salt Lake International Airport. A map will be provided after registration. Private autos are okay; campers and other large vehicles are not allowed. Click here for transportation options from the airport.

Once you arrive at Sundance, a retreat package will be waiting for you when you pick up your cottage or room keys. Lodging information can be found on the registration form.

Stroll around and breathe the mountain air. It's a good day to look around and have fun. Click here for free time ideas.

That night from 7-8 p.m. (September 24), I'll be in the Wasatch Cabin waiting to meet you with light hors d'oeuvres.  This is an excellent opportunity to meet the other writers that will be attending.  There is no requirement to attend this little occasion (which can continue to 10 p.m. if you wish); this is purely a social gathering.

In a screenwriting world of commando gurus, your friendly and laid-back demeanor is refreshing. – Stephen Hoover
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Thursday, Friday & Saturday, September 25 - 27, 2014

9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. – Wasatch Cabin. See photo of our cabin.  A meal will be provided on all three days.

On Thursday, Friday and Saturday, we will discuss specific issues relevant to developing and revising your work-in-progress. That includes answering your questions.

We will analyze excerpts from produced screenplays for dialogue, narrative description, dramatic impact, flow, and so on. We will also view clips to see how the written scenes play on the movie screen.

We will plumb your creative depths and help expand your creative power. We will review key micro spec writing and revising issues, and you will see ways to improve your dialogue and narrative description. We will address Act 2 problems, character arcs, directing the camera without camera directions, and other relevant revising issues. We will also review what studio readers look for in a screenplay and what makes a script salable.

I will provide revising exercises to complete in class and on your own time. The focus will be on specific revising tools in light of proven dramatic/comedic guidelines. On occasion, we will break into pairs or teams for a writing activity. Think of this as a "working" retreat. Sharpen your pencil and bring your work.

One of the keys to improving your skills is to read and be read. Thus, if you so choose, I will orchestrate an opportunity to have excerpts of your work or your script read by one or two other writers; you, in turn, would agree to read and comment on the work of one or two other writers.

After 3:30 p.m. – Free time. Click here for ideas.

Just fantastic—exceeded my expectations in all areas. You should charge more. Scenery was unbelievable. I'll be back and I will keep writing. – Andrea Kolb
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Sunday, September 28, 2014

We will kick off the day with a hearty breakfast and I will conduct most of the 30-minute one-on-one sessions this morning and afternoon. Most of you will be traveling home on this day, so I'll make sure everyone is scheduled at a convenient time on this day or on some previous day. There will be no instruction per se on this day.

Today (and throughout your time at Sundance) you can dig in and write, revise, reflect, read the work of others, chat with fellow writers, work on any retreat assignments, meet with me privately, and explore the natural surroundings. Some may wish to take Ray's Lift or hike to Stewart Falls. See photos of a previous year's hike. For other free time ideas, click here.

The Wasatch Room will be available to all on this day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. A hearty breakfast will be provided.  I'll be on hand for private conferences. Most of the 30-minute one-on-one sessions will be held on this day.

It doesn't get much better than this: a fire going in the Wasatch Cabin, filled with people dedicated to screenwriting, and an instructor who is the best. Dave, your workshop was outstanding, funny, educational, and interesting. You are a credit to the craft. -- Dee McKinney

 

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Class of 2006

Class of 2007

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Class of 2008

Class of 2009

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Class of 2010

Class of 2011

Sundance 2012 Sundance 2013

Class of 2012

Class of 2013

Sundance 2014

Class of 2014


Your retreat gave me the concrete foundation to make my dream of selling my screenplay come true. Loved it! -- Kristeen Tadich

 

I cannot express what a healing time Sundance was for me, and how much I appreciate you opening up this opportunity for my creativity to expand. --Kurt Wilson

REGISTRATION DEADLINE

Registration is limited to only 15 writers, so early registration is strongly suggested. The retreat sells out fast every year.

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If you have any questions, call me at 1-800-264-4900 or me.

Dave Trottier's retreat is not to be missed! Personal attention from Dave, terrific teaching (of course!), and good camaraderie. A great learning experience for screenwriters." -- Chris Kielich

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Photo © Dale Meier, courtesy Utah Pictures

See more photos of Sundance.