[PPP] Syllabus - September 2020

Welcome to the Pitch Prep Program!

In this syllabus, you will find class dates & times, join links, assignments, and other instructions. Questions? Email dorian@roadmapwriters.com

PREP WORK:

1. Watch these Webinars: 

2. Review all of the materials in the Resources Folder, which contains: 

  1. A Hitchhiker's Guide to Pitching
  2. General Written Pitch Guidelines of what should be included in a written pitch 
  3. ScriptMag article on Common Logline Mistakes
  4. Exec Activities Tracker Template Excel sheet - we’ll talk about this @ Orientation
  5. Example Feature synopses for a few well-known (and 1 random) films
  6. Example pitches for Features and TV (both 1-Hr & 30-Min.)
  7. How to Write a One-Page Synopsis + 11-Point Synopsis Exercise*
  8. Notes on TV Structure + 8-Point Synopsis Exercise*

*Please complete one of these exercises to compose your initial synopsis for Assignment #1.



3x Sundays @ 4:00pm - 5:30pm PT
Sunday Webinars
Moderator: Briana Hansen (Roadmap’s Director of Writer Outreach) 
Contact: briana@roadmapwriters.com
JOIN LINKS: will be distributed at the start of the month, prior to each Webinar

FORMAT: These 90-Min. Webinars take place on Sunday afternoons usually @ 4:00pm PT. They consist of a 30-60-min. lecture followed by 30-60-min. of Q&A (so come with questions!) There are at least 3x Sunday Webinars per month and all are included in your program. You’ll receive the topics, dates, & join links at the start of the month prior to the first Webinar. 

CLICK HERE to check out the upcoming Sunday Webinar schedule.


Sunday 8/30 @ 6:00pm - 9:30pm PT
Orientation & Logline/Comps Clinic
Hosted by: Dorian Connelley (Roadmap’s COO) 
Contact: dorian@roadmapwriters.com
JOIN LINK: https://roadmapwriters.zoom.us/j/535730604
(Meeting ID: 535 730 604 | Password: RMrocks!)

FORMAT: We will cover the ZOOM video conferencing interface that will be used for the program, Career Writer Program advice & orientation topics, and begin the Written Pitch Clinic Lecture. We’ll cover the Title, Format, Genre, Logline, and Comps sections. You’ll then have 10-15 min. to compose your logline after which we’ll workshop each writer’s logline together.


Wednesday 9/2 @ 6:30pm - 9:00pm PT
Verbal Pitch Prep Lecture
Moderator: Dorian Connelley (Roadmap’s COO) | dorian@roadmapwriters.com 
Hosted by: Chris Deckard (Literary Manager, Fictional Entity) 
Contact: deckardroadmap@gmail.com
JOIN LINK: https://roadmapwriters.zoom.us/j/109914601
(Meeting ID: 109 914 601 | Password: RMrocks!)

This lecture and Q&A will cover:


ASSIGNMENT #1: First Draft of Your 2-Pg. Pitch

**DUE no later than Friday 9/4 @ 5:00pm PT**

Submit to Dorian (dorian@roadmapwriters.com) as a WORD or Google Docs file: 

A draft of your 2-pg. pitch including all sections outlined in the General Written Pitch Guidelines in the Resources Folder

  1. Read all the materials in the Resources Folder to help you get an idea of how to present your project.
  2. Don’t worry if you don’t quite know what to put in all of the sections. Complete as many sections as you can. Focus on your Synopsis. 
  3. For TV, don’t forget to include a Season One arc + Series blurb. 


Sunday 9/6 @ 6:00pm - 9:30pm PT
Written Pitch Prep Lecture
Hosted by: Dorian Connelley (Roadmap’s COO)
Contact: dorian@roadmapwriters.com
JOIN LINK: https://roadmapwriters.zoom.us/j/747697990
(Meeting ID: 747 697 990 | Password: RMrocks!)

FORMAT: We’ll continue the rest of the Written Pitch Clinic Lecture including Setting/World, About Me, Characters, Synopsis, Season One, and Series sections. Following the lecture, we’ll look through the notes on the marked-up pitch documents (which you will have submitted prior - see page 1 for the ASSIGNMENT) for anyone who wants to stay. You will receive a Word and/or Google Docs copy of your marked-up pitch document to use to complete your revision for the following week.


ASSIGNMENT #2: Your Revised 2-Pg. Pitch

**DUE no later than Friday 9/11 @ 5:00pm PT**

Submit to Dorian as a WORD (.doc or .docx) or Google Docs file: 

  1. Your revised 2-pg. pitch, taking into account the complete Written Pitch Clinic lecture & notes on the preliminary draft.


Sunday 9/13 @ 6:00pm - 9:30pm PT
Written Pitch Clinic
Hosted by: Dorian Connelley (Roadmap’s COO) 
Contact: dorian@roadmapwriters.com
JOIN LINK: https://roadmapwriters.zoom.us/j/916752965
(Meeting ID: 916 752 965 | Password: RMrocks!)

FORMAT: Dorian will have marked up your revised pitch documents ahead of time and during the session we will read through each writer’s pitch together in its entirety, fixing any last issues & areas of confusion along the way.

ASSIGNMENT #3: Your “Final” 2-Pg. Pitch
**DUE no later than Thursday 9/17 @ 10:00pm PT**
Submit to Terra (Roadmap’s Director of Marketing) as a WORD (.doc or .docx) file: 
  1. Email your “final” revised 2-pg. pitch to Terra at terra@roadmapwriters.com 
  2. Terra will return a written markup with notes no later than end of day the following Monday.

Thursday 9/17 @ 5:00pm - 7:00pm PT
Verbal Pitch Prep Clinic
Hosted by: Alexandra Davies (Roadmap’s Director of Education) 
Contact: alex@roadmapwriters.com 
JOIN LINK: CLICK HERE (Meeting ID: 608 198 629 | Password: RMrocks!)

PREP WORK: Start thinking about how you translate your written pitch into a 5-7 min. verbal pitch. Practice it in the shower, with your dog, or to your kids!

This lecture will cover:

**Following the lecture, you will deliver your verbal pitch to Alex for practice and notes.


Sunday 9/20 @ 2:00pm - 3:30pm PT
Branding Clinic #1
Hosted by: Joey Tuccio (Roadmap’s CEO)
Contact: joey@roadmapwriters.com 
JOIN LINK: CLICK HERE
(Meeting ID: 917 062 410 | Password: RMrocks!)


PREP WORK: Take a look at your body of work and start thinking about some of the thematic thrulines you see in each of your stories. Reflect on your own personal story and see if you can find any connections between it and the type of stories you tend to be drawn to - this will give you a great starting point for drafting your personal logline!

BONUS! Owning a Room - Watch this webinar at some point to help you get a sense of the approach to selling yourself that will hopefully put you at ease with this whole process.


Thursday 9/24 @ 6:00pm - 8:30pm PT
Verbal Pitch Roundtable #1
Moderator: Dorian Connelley (Roadmap’s COO) | dorian@roadmapwriters.com 
Hosted by: Justin Ross (Executive VP of Development, Bohemia Group Originals)
Contact: justinroadmap@gmail.com 
JOIN LINK: CLICK HERE
(Meeting ID: 592 839 478 | Password: RMrocks!)

FORMAT: You'll take turns delivering your verbal pitch in a Roundtable setting and receive feedback from the exec on strengths and areas of improvement specific to your verbal pitch. Learn from notes on your own pitch and from notes given to your peers!

ABOUT YOUR HOST: Justin Ross was born and raised in the Midwest. He began his film career as a screenwriter. In 2008, he joined Intrinsic Value Films first as Creative Executive. During his tenure at Intrinsic, he secured relationships with top talent, including Scott Free Productions and the estates of authors Ray Bradbury and Philip K. Dick. Mr. Ross joined Bohemia Group Originals (the production arm of international talent management company, Bohemia Group) as Director of Production in 2015 and was promoted to Executive Vice President of Development and Production in 2016 where he championed the company’s first feature, A DARK PLACE (distributed by Gravitas Ventures). Further credits include Associate Producer on the Spike Lee Executive Produced SON OF THE SOUTH and Executive Producer on the forthcoming MORE THAN RIVALS by the writer of HOOSIERS and RUDY. He currently lives in Los Angeles and continues to write, connecting his two passions: good people and great stories.


Sunday 9/27 @ 2:00pm - 3:30pm PT
Branding Clinic #2
Hosted by: Joey Tuccio (Roadmap’s COO)
Contact: joey@roadmapwriters.com 
JOIN LINK: CLICK HERE
(Meeting ID: 303 524 531 | Password: RMrocks!)

PREP WORK: 


Tuesday 9/29 @ 6:00pm - 8:30pm PT
Verbal Pitch Roundtable #2
Moderator: Dorian Connelley (Roadmap’s COO) | dorian@roadmapwriters.com 
Hosted by: Marilyn Atlas (Manager/Producer, Marilyn Atlas Management)
JOIN LINK: CLICK HERE
(Meeting ID: 829 444 887 | Password: RMrocks!)

FORMAT: You'll take turns delivering your verbal pitch in a Roundtable setting and receive feedback from the exec on strengths and areas of improvement specific to your verbal pitch. Learn from notes on your own pitch and from notes given to your peers!

ABOUT YOUR HOST: Marilyn R. Atlas is a talent and literary manager and award-winning producer. Among her credits as film producer are REAL WOMEN HAVE CURVES for HBO, which won the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival; A CERTAIN DESIRE, starring Sam Waterston; and ECHOES, which won the Gold Award at the Texas International Film Festival. Marilyn has also produced a variety of programming for the cable/pay TV market. In live theater, Marilyn co-produced the West Coast premiere of the musical God Bless You Mr. Rosewater by Ashman and Menken (the writers of ENCHANTED and TANGLED). She also co-produced the award-winning play To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday, which was made into a film starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Peter Gallagher. In 2014, she co-produced the play Detained in the Desert at the Guadalupe Theater in San Antonio, TX. Her additional credits as a producer in live theater include Today’s Special and As I Sing. In addition to Marilyn’s film/TV credits, she has sold (first time) novels “Chasing the Jaguar” to HarperCollins, “Hungry Woman in Paris” to Grand Central Publishing, and the “Ave Maria Bed & Breakfast” to Hachette Publishing, and the “Last Ride of Caleb O’Toole” to Source Books. Her Lifetime movie THE CHOKING GAME based on the YA book by Diana Lopez aired in summer 2014. Previously, Marilyn developed the BRIDES' MARCH for Lifetime Television as well as a limited television series. She previously produced the short musical version of REAL WOMEN HAVE CURVESin Los Angeles in 2009 and is involved in the current development of a full-length production for 2018. Marilyn is currently developing a TV pilot based on the Gary Phillips series of novels “High Hand” and “Shooter’s Point” featuring strong-willed African-American protagonist Martha Chainey. She is also developing a Chinese historical epic with the Metan Development Group and CODEBUSTERS, a children’s show for TV based on a series of best-selling books. Marilyn is also featured in the book “Write Now!” from Penguin/Tarcher. She is the co-author of a relationship-based, screenwriting guide called “Dating Your Character,” about an organic approach to character creation for Stairway Press’ 2016 catalog.


Wednesday 9/30 @ 6:30pm - 8:00pm PT
Opening Pages Analysis
Hosted by: Joey Tuccio (Roadmap’s CEO)
Contact: joey@roadmapwriters.com
JOIN LINK: CLICK HERE
(Meeting ID: 144 493 212 | Password: RMrocks!)

FORMAT: Joey will give several volunteer writers from the Marketing Intensive (Step 2 of the Career Writer Program) specific feedback on their opening 3 pages. The pages will be shared on-screen with the rest of the group so everybody can learn from the feedback. The Opening Pages Analysis will start with a lecture on some of the immediate reasons an executive might pass on your work… and you might not even know you're doing one of these things! Remember, most execs won't read past page 5 if they aren't hooked from the start.