|Screenwriter's Retreat at Sundance
"Revising for the Markets: Tools, Techniques & Tips"
September 20-23, 2018
Welcome to my 14th Annual Sundance Retreat, as featured in Script magazine. Our 2018 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. You may send your 10 pages before or after the retreat.
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.
In addition, you will receive a 20-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.
As you can see, the analysis of your ten pages and the personal consultation add up to about $200, 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 a previous year’s Sundance Retreat.
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.
Sundance is 46 miles from Salt Lake International Airport. 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 room or suite keys. Lodging information can be found on the registration form.
For free time ideas, scroll towards the bottom of this page and look for "Free time options."
Wednesday night at 7 p.m., 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 9 p.m. if you wish); this is purely a social gathering.
Thursday, Friday & Saturday
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.
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. This is purely optional. You will not be required to share anything you have written.
After 3:30 p.m. Free time.
We will kick off the day with a hearty breakfast and I will conduct most of the 20-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.
The Wasatch Cabin will be available to all on this day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.Free Time Options
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.
REGISTRATION DEADLINERegistration is limited to only 15 writers, so early registration is strongly suggested. The retreat sells out fast every year.
If you have any questions, call me at 1-800-264-4900 or me.
Photo © Dale Meier, courtesy Utah Pictures
See more photos of Sundance.