The WeScreenplay Feature Screenwriting Lab selects a minimum of four writers to participate in a three-day interactive virtual screenwriting lab that includes one-on-one meetings with industry executives, writer mentorship, masterclasses on topics like pitching or connecting with representatives, and high-profile meetings with managers and studio executives.
The 2022 Feature Screenwriting Lab recently wrapped up so let’s take a look at what the participants had to say. Watch the video below and then continue on to read our favorite takeaways!
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Regain Your Confidence
“The knowledge I gained from the amazing mentors and the people I gained meetings with exceeded my expectations. I left the lab feeling more sure about my place as a writer and the stories I have to tell.”
Alexander Chard appreciated starting with Jim Arnoff’s Pitching Masterclass and learning a clear template about how to pitch himself before he went into the one-on-one meetings with industry executives.
The Feature Screenwriting Lab focuses on setting writers up for success, within the lab and beyond. WeScreenplay finalists remain within the WeScreenplay family long after their competitions — meaning they have an open door with contacts and remain at the top of our lists when approached by the industry with opportunities or job openings.
“What I really appreciated from WeScreenplay was the communication and willingness to assist and support us writers, including outreach on our behalf and to sort of nurture our development.”
Experience Real Growth as a Writer
Kendra Christel reflected:
“The person I was when I entered the workshop was not the person I was when I left. Interviewing With A Manager with AE Jones was one of my favorite workshops within the lab. It was so necessary. It made the interview process less anxiety-inducing.”
Christel also gushed about the one-on-one meetings, a rare opportunity for emerging writers, and one that can open doors. Christel had a hard time picking a favorite when it came to these meetings, but as a writer who focuses on stories that center on LGBTQ, BIPOC, and female characters, it was meaningful to take meetings with women and people of color in the industry.
“They stressed how important it is to balance commerce with art. It gave me an idea of what it would feel like when I’m trying to choose what to work on and who to work with.”
Learn How to Elevate Your Craft
Nicholas Pangilinan won with a feature called The White Guy Dies First. “It’s exactly what you think it is,” he laughed before describing his comedic thriller.
“The lab was, to sum it up, incredible. Every person we spoke to provided new types of insight. The word everyone kept using was ‘elevate’ — how to elevate myself as a writer, elevate my writing, and get clear about communicating who I am and everything about me that makes me unique.”
David Rabinowitz hosted a workshop about pitching ideas that really made an impact on Pangilinan.
“His session — and learning how to pitch something for the thousandth time while bringing the enthusiasm we had the first time we had the spark of the idea — was invaluable.”
Join a Helpful and Inspiring Community
Paul Sheridan shared some insightful words about his fellow writers, who offered a varied perspective not only in providing feedback but in their personal pitches and bios.
“The notes I received from my peers were very informative.”
The opportunity to learn alongside a small, hand-selected group of hard-chargers means opening writers’ minds to other lived experiences.
Meanwhile, one-on-one meetings meant focusing on the writers’ personal bios, scripts, and crafts. Sheridan went on:
“To meet an Oscar-winning screenwriter and to hear his pitch and get to talk with him was incredible.”
He also complimented WeScreenplay’s method of connecting writers beyond the Feature Screenwriting Lab with professionals and opportunities.
“Use legitimate contests and placements in your queries,” Sheridan encouraged fellow writers. “And win a WeScreenplay Lab if you can!”
While the WeScreenplay labs can’t offer any promises regarding securing jobs or representation, there are still inspiring success stories to come out of labs. After the 2022 TV Pilot Competition, Aiko Hilkinger signed with Fourth Wall Management, and Allyn Rachel signed with a Literary Agent at CAA.
The labs are mindfully crafted to strengthen writers’ scripts and hone their professional expectations. Perhaps more significantly, the labs present writers with opportunities to network with each other and connect with industry members in meaningful ways.
WeScreenplay also proudly provides feedback to each script submitted to competitions, so there is always a benefit to every writer who takes a chance and puts themselves out there.
If you’re feeling inspired, check out details about the Feature Screenwriting Lab and keep an eye on the approaching deadlines!
Read More: 6 Things You Should Do After Placing in a Screenwriting Competition!
Want more? Get an inside look at the 2022 WeScreenplay Diverse Voices Screenwriting Lab!
Shannon Corbeil is a writer, actor, and filmmaker in Los Angeles with recent appearances on SEAL Team and The Rookie. An Air Force veteran, her articles have been published in Business Insider, We Are The Mighty, and Military.com. She has written and produced hundreds of digital videos with millions of views. You can read more about her on her website or come play on Instagram and Twitter!