2525 Michigan AveSte I, Santa Monica, CA | Directions 9040434.027606 -118.467829
Neighborhoods: Pico, West LA
avoid these charlatans – All training has something to offer right?
I mean, even if the teachers and so-called 'support' are awful, disorganised, ill-conceived, or the knowledge is sub-par, at least - hey - at least you can console yourself with the old adage that you 'learned how NOT to do it, right?'
In this case, definitely wrong.
RUN - don't walk - from even THINKING of giving these phonies your credit card information and/or taking this ultimately nonsensical 'course'.
And no, I don't normally write revues. But this, my fellow writers in search of the Holy Grail that will get you in the chair to pump out that masterpiece, is NOT the place to put your money.
To sum up, this "course" annoyed the heck out of me. In a bad way.
I add that caveat because, yes, sometimes when something rubs you the wrong way, it's often iilluminating old and/or unhelpful beliefs you probably need to change, or 'adjust'.
Firstly, the 'teacher' leading it, Jeffrey Gordon, is - in this writer's opinion - masking a profound inferiority complex (mitigated by his own failure at writing perhaps?) with undermining 'digs', usually aimed at the unfortunate souls willing to share their stories openly in the class.
Although I never directly experienced such not-so-subtle digs, I felt less inspired after taking this class than I did beforehand. In fact, I ended up buying Truby's DVD's and - boring as it is - got re-inspired. Because he's a real master.
Next, if you're looking for a kick up the behind, there is no 'boot camp' here at all: if you don't check in, do they chase and hound you and kick your butt into the chair? No. Are we grown-ups and should do this on our own? Yes. But is this what is 'promised by the premise' when you pay good money - upward of $1,100 - through taking a course called 'writer's Bootcamp'? Absolutely.
If not, that's like calling yourself a fitness coach and not bothering to check in with your clients. In that case, why not call it 'writer's workshop'...'writer's ponderings', or 'Musings on Writing by Guy Who Never Sold a Script in His Life' (is my guess). That'd be fine. But 'Writer's Bootcamp'? Pretty disingenuous already I'd say...and I'm only at the title.
Next, you'll spend the better part of a weekend learning phoney non-industry jargon, like "the 3-6-3" [= beat sheet] and a confusing misinterpretation of what - by industry standards - a log-line and premise line really should look and sound like.
But hey, why care what the biz thinks, when it's all about forcing a parrallel universe conflagration of nonsensical terms on you until either your head spins, or you drink the Kool-aid long enough to feel you 'need it'?
Writers need this kind cluttering garbage like a hole in the head.
If you want to really understand storytelling and structure in the best possible way, buy John Truby's book and his dvd series on screenwriting plus the Save the Cat books + maybe one or two others, fold them together, watch great movies and revue them, read as many *actual* screenplays as you can, get your butt in the chair....et voila: start WRITING.
Wishing for Due Diligence.....No Control Over the Past – Gee, just like the Madoff's investors, do I wish I would have read up more on WBC; the good news is that I only signed up for the brief course (about $1800? or so- I've successfully repressed this memory...yay!). But seriously folks, I did start writing, albeit poorly most of the time but the experience provided some interesting concepts (as been said, do these things really work? who knows?). One of the good experiences I did have (for about 2 months) was a tutor/mentor who did give me some good beginner's advice - he had never sold a script either! But he was honest and forthright about this and did share he was currently pitching a script at the time.
Enough said- time to continue writing (good stuff) and to find someone who: 1) Knows what they are doing
2) Consults for a reasonable fee. I do like the idea of a coffee klatch but invariably...I have found these to be pleasant, even too pleasant for me to assist me in honing the craft of screenwriting.
I need to have those feet held to the fire, but not too close.
Um...seriously. You would be better off burning your money for heat. – There is very little that you receive in return for your 7,600 dollars. That's right SEVEN THOUSAND SIX HUNDRED DOLLARS. If you fall for this, you deserve the debt and the irritation and the adversarial nature of your relationship to the central office, because after all you did sign the contract. Basically you get a binder with some xeroxes in it, exposure to one person's idiosyncratic view of filmmaking, and the constant reminder that your writing is your problem. This is a case of a bunch of believers rallying around a mystical central figure WHO HAS NEVER SOLD A SCRIPT. It's a cult, basically. There is no network, no help, no introductions to industry players, nothing. Just you and the fact that you paid strangers a fortune to remind you to write.
Take the money you would have spent on tuition, buy a decent used car, and drive yourself to the writer's group you created for free on craigslist.
The program is flimsy at best and an utter debacle of debt and co-dependancy at worst. Stay away, you have been warned.
writers throw your money away – This so-called bootcamp for writers is all about a man who likes to hear himself talk about how great his ideas are and have his peons, I mean students, pay a thousand dollars to listen while shifting around in their seats. Pray you don't accidently park in his parking spot, be afraid to ask a question because he will belittle you in front of the entire class if you ask something he feels he has already covered or will answer a simple question with a tangent of who he knows in the business in the form of an answer everytime. Every one has dealt with an ego maniac before, but this guy thinks you should pay him a thousand dollars and never ever ever have to read your work. At the end of your six week class you will be evaluated on your writing by a reader whose qualifications are not disclosed, except that the school should be trusted. Several other writers in the class dropped out, stopped showing and during the break the conversation always went to what a waste of money and more importantly time. I am hoping to have some writer read this and give you a piece of advice: get a group of writers together on your own, read a book on screenwriting(because this is the only useful tool of the class) and set up deadlines to share with each other. All together this will cost you about $20 for the book and a couple bucks for coffee each time you meet. Pocket the other $980 and do something real special for yourself. Or take it and buy $980 worth of toilet paper and tp the school.
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