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January, 2008


Larry Brody TV Writer.com

ScreenplayLab In Los Angeles
Entertainment industry events
By  Barbara Bordenave

ScreenplayLab proves to be a most entertaining and enlightening experience.
ScreenplayLab is a group of screenwriters, actors and filmmakers, co-founded by Robin Rowe and Gabrielle Pantera, screenwriters and journalists themselves. Gabrielle Pantera is also a casting director, and so he selects the actors for the ScreenplayLab workshops.

I found the website to be user-friendly, and I especially enjoyed the menu of Coming Events, News, Blog, Calendar, Workshops, Film & TV Reviews, Past Speakers, and Writers Resources. The Awards Events Calendar has information about the Writers Guild, Sundance Festival, Emmys, and many other activities.
 
Membership is free, but to attend events, you must RSVP. Minutes after joining and RSVPing, I had a confirmation for my attendence to a Raleigh Studio meeting for a workshop and to hear an industry guest speaker.

I arrived at the studio early, so that I could park and find the theatre. Parking is permitted on the lot for a small fee, but on this particular Sunday, I found ample parking on Melrose. Upon check-in, I received an ID badge that displayed my name and title. The badge facilitated pre-event mingling and networking. I took advantage of this the opportunity to socialize, learn about other members, and exchange business cards. The meeting began promptly at the scheduled time.

Prior to the meeting, scripts are submitted for inclusion in the workshop. Industry actors rehearse the selected script before the meeting, and then the script workshop lasts about a half-hour. At the end of the performance, the audience shares supportive comments regarding the script while the screenwriter makes notes. This script analysis focuses on what to keep and how to improve the script.

Following the script analysis, an executive from a major studio makes a presentation regarding the industry, and then entertains an open question and answer session. Typical events last about three hours.
 
ScreenplayLab welcomes script submissions. Screenwriters can receive private notes or have the first 30 pages of their script submitted for analysis at the workshop. Workshops feature sitcoms and light dramas; dark or edgy horror scripts are avoided. ScreenplayLab looks for commercial material as opposed to film festival fare.
 
Raleigh Studio, one of the host theatres, donates space for events where dedicated actors and writers can develop on a professional level. Sharky’s Café in Beverly Hills offers ScreenplayLab members the opportunity to socialize at a mixer over discounted beverages.
 
Special screenings are held at various theatres, and fortunately, ScreenplayLab members can view new releases before the general public. Events are hosted in Hollywood each week featuring entertainment industry guest speakers. Robin does an excellent job of getting VIP film executives, directors, producers, and agents to share the inside scoop.

Both Robin and Gabrielle are professional, amazing personalities that make ScreenplayLab a superior and effective organization. Actors and many writers have signed with agents as a result of participation in these events.

If you're in the LA area, check it out! What have you got to loose?

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Barbara Bordenave
is a freelance magazine writer and a script supervisor for independent films. Her passion is screenwriting, and she's working on the next Rush Hour. Her goal is to speak to the reader in every scripted word. babbord@yahoo.com


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