Welcome to the Tennessee Screenwriting Association’s Audio Library. Below you’ll find audio recordings of our weekly meetings from 2023. Follow along each week as we help our members work through their scripts’ log lines, outlines, and critique their pages. Just click on the “play” arrows to begin the meetings. Listen, learn, enjoy!
Note: Some recordings may take up to 60 seconds or more before any conversations begin.
Script-Com 2022 guest speakers included:
10:00 am CST Tom Schulman – screenwriter known for DEAD POET’S SOCIETY, WHAT ABOUT BOB?, and HONEY, I SHRUNK THE KIDS. Tom also wrote, directed, and co-produced the soon-to-be-released thriller, DOUBLE DOWN SOUTH.
11:00 am CST Bob Saenz – screenwriter with more than 20 movies produced in multiple genres that include: horror, comedy, romance, Christmas and more. Bob is also the author of, “That’s Not The Way It Works: A no-nonsense guide to the craft and business of screenwriting”.
1/2 Hour Break
12:30 pm CST Dana Brawer – screenwriter and Script Coordinator on the final season of THE BLACKLIST. She also has worked on: BIG MOUTH, NIGHTFLYERS, NeXT, and FBI: MOST WANTED. Dana developed a feature with Automatik Entertainment that is currently being shopped.
1:30 pm CST Bob Giordano – screenwriter, director and independent filmmaker. He is a past-President of the TSA. Bob wrote and directed the horror mystery, THE ODDS, which is in world-wide distribution. He currently has several other independent projects in the works.
3:00 pm CST Aaron Mendelsohn – screenwriter known for co-creating and co-writing the successful AIR BUD family film franchise. Aaron is Secretary-Treasurer of the WGA West, and author of, “The 11 Fundamental Questions: A Guide to a Better Screenplay”
Links to the Recordings of the 2022 Virtual Script-Com sessions are on the TSA Script-Com page.
Welcome to the Tennessee Screenwriting Association’s Audio Library. Below you’ll find audio recordings of our weekly meetings from 2022. Follow along each week as we help our members work through their scripts’ log lines, outlines, and critique their pages. Just click on the “play” arrows to begin the meetings. Listen, learn, enjoy!
Note: Some recordings may take up to 60 seconds or more before any conversations begin.
No meeting on Oct 5 – we are at the Nashville Film Fest!
Tennessee Screenwriting Association’s Script-Com is coming – and so are some stellar guest speakers to help you on your screenwriting journey, TSA President Jeffrey Chase has announced.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 17, 2020
All times in Central time zone
11:00 – BRIAN HERSKOWITZ – production and finance executive, producer and writer (Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Blossom, and more) – in discussion with Alan Brewer
12:00 – BOB GIORDANO – director, producer, writer (The Odds), will present a program on screenplay structure and independent film production.
1:00 – MATT NORDSTEN – Buchwald Agency (Talent Agent/Intellectual Property/TV Packaging)- in discussion with Alan Brewer
2:00 – AARON MENDELSOHN – writer (Air Bud movies), producer (Secret Diary of an American Cheerleader), director. Aaron will share “The 11 Fundamental Questions” of screenwriting from his book.
3:00 – GILBERT ADLER – producer, writer, director (Tales from the Crypt, Superman Returns, Constantine and more) – in discussion with George Sirois
4:00 – KAREN MCDERMOTT, 2019 Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting recipient – in discussion with Allen Carver
5:00 – As an added bonus at the end of Script-Com, we will broadcast a recorded webinar by ERIC BRASSARD, vice president of television development for Legendary Entertainment.
Typically held in June, this year’s one-day symposium has been rescheduled to Saturday, Oct. 17, and will be held entirely online.
Participation is free although a donation to the TSA to be used for ongoing educational programs are encouraged.
Space is limited so be sure to register in advance at the link below.
Speakers confirmed for the event include:
GIL ADLER – producer, writer, director (Tales from the Crypt, Superman Returns, Constantine and more);
BRIAN HERSKOWITZ – production and finance executive, producer and writer (Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Blossom, and more);
MATT NORDSTEN – Buchwald Agency (Talent Agent/Intellectual Property/TV Packaging);
KAREN MCDERMOTT, 2019 Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting recipient;
BOB GIORDANO – director, producer, writer (The Odds), who will present a program on screenplay structure and independent film production.
As an added bonus at the end of Script-Com, we will broadcast a recorded presentation by ERIC BRASSARD, vice president of television development for Legendary Entertainment.
Events will begin at 11 a.m. and run until 4 or 5 p.m. The schedule is still to be determined and will be announced at a later date.
The Tennessee Screenwriting Association is a not-for-profit educational organization dedicated to the art and craft of screenwriting. Participation is free although paid membership allows writers to receive feedback on their scripts. Click here for more information or to join.
2022 Success Stories
ELVIS WILSON‘s dramedy script “Sink Swim” has advanced to the quarterfinals in the Atlanta Film Festival’s Screenplay Competition.
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Congratulations to the TSA’s IRISH JOHNSTON (writer/producer) and ELVIS WILSON (director/editor) whose short film “Mister Pickwick” won Best Horror Film at the Short and Sweet Film Festival in Price, Utah.
The seven-minute flick unravels when the uncle of a young niece resorts to telling her the ghost story of Mister Pickwick to scare her into going to bed. But strange sounds on deck lure the niece into the dark night where she mysteriously vanishes, perhaps lending some truth to the ghost story.
The film stars Andrew McGinnis and Hannah Ciubotaru.
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Congratulations to TSA President JEFFREY CHASE whose script, “The Penetration Expert”, has been named a quarterfinalist in the ISA Action/Adventure Genre Busting Screenplay Competition!
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Congrats to MELISSA SHERIDAN! Her animated script “The Adventures of Sock Man and The Lost World” was picked as a semi-finalist in the 2022 Nashville Family Film Festival.
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G. ROBERT FRAZIER‘s TV comedy pilot “Bill Fisher’s Trading Post” has advanced to the semifinals of the ScreenCraft Family Screenplay Competition. It is one of 33 scripts still in the hunt for the top prize. The same script also finished as a quarterfinalist in the Los Angeles International Screenplay Awards for its Fall 2021 contest. His short script “Skin” is a quarterfinalist in the Filmmatic Horror Screenplay Awards – Season Six.
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Don’t see your script on this list? Email us at email@example.com to list your 2022 screenwriting successes.
* * *Continue reading “TSA contest success stories”
By G. Robert Frazier
The Tennessee Screenwriting Association was honored to host Cat Stewart, Screenplay Awards Manager for the Nashville Film Festival, at its May 13 Zoom meeting. In her second year heading up the competition, Stewart offered a wide range of advice, do’s and don’ts about writing screenplays for the competition as well as for Hollywood.
Below are some of the highlights from her talk:
Reasons to Enter a Contest
- Just to be read
- Just for fun
- To win prizes
- To launch a career
Common Mistakes Writers Make
- Majority of scripts fail on premise or don’t have a commercial concept
- First act has nothing to do with the rest of the screenplay
- Protagonist is unclear or there is no journey for the main character
- Nothing significant happens at the midpoint to raise the stakes or provide a twist
- Too many pilots fail to hook an audience in the first few pages
- Flowery language
- Premises that have no logic
- No theme
First page keys
- Make me want to keep reading
- Genre needs to be clear
- Clear protagonist
- Don’t open with a flashback
- Re: Flashbacks/voice overs – “If it works, it works. As long as it adds to the story, it’s OK.”
- Keep in mind cost of the screenplay.
- “Emotion is the most important thing on the page. Make me laugh, make me cry, scare the crap out of me. Emotion is the number one thing that sells a script.”
- Re: Grammar/spelling – “If it’s a great script, I don’t freak out about it. We’ll get it fixed.”
- “Don’t write in 47 genres. No one wants to rep someone who’s writing everything.”
- Hour and half-hour pilots are where things are selling.
- Don’t chase the market. “It’ll turn on a dime.”
- “If you’ve not have a lot of luck or are kind of stagnant with your scripts, volunteer to be a reader. You’ll start finding something you do yourself. I highly recommend being a reader to anyone who wants to educate yourself.”
- Read, study, break down films. Write! Write! Write!
- “Last year we had an incredible number of diverse scripts.”
- “Scripts that have diverse people that are written by diverse people are generally better than scripts written by non-diverse people. It’s not always the case, but if you’re writing about African-Americans and you’re a white man, it doesn’t come off the same way as it does if it’s an African-American writing about African-Americans.”
- “I think it has to make a difference if the characters are diverse. There should be a reason for them to be in there or don’t write anything about what race they are and let the best actor get that role.”
On Covid-19’s impact
- “Don’t write a coronavirus script. Hollywood doesn’t want them. If they do, an established writer is going to write it.”
- Hollywood is looking for lighter stuff in the current climate.
- Use fewer locations and background actors, but there’s opportunity for cgi
- More Zoom writers rooms. “That might open up more opportunities for people who aren’t in LA.”
- “Screenwriting is hard. Just be aware, it’s a long, long, long game. As long as you stay at it and you have a solid idea for a script, you might get there.”
- “As far as a logline goes, what you really want to do is get a request to read your script.”
- “A good film is a simple story well told. Complexity isn’t about the story, it’s about the character and how they deal with it.”
- “If I’m absorbed in the story, I don’t care what genre I’m in.”
51st Nashville Film Festival
- When: Oct. 1-7
- Where: Hollywood 27, Nashville
- Final entry deadline: June 26
Past TSA President James Wilson Montgomery passed away Monday, March 9, after a year-long, brave fight with cancer.
Wilson began in entertainment as a standup comedian and actor. He graduated from the University of Tennessee with degree in Speech and Theater. He attended The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Los Angeles and was awarded the honor of being in the third year production ensemble. He has acted Off-Off Broadway in New York and done a number of commercials and a children’s TV series, including Mr. Henry’s Wild and Wacky World.
Parenthood (the lifestyle, not the movie or TV series) lead Wilson to Nashville, where he is survived by his daughters, Hope and Rachel, grandsons, Christian and Vinny, his mother June, father John (Gale), sister Jill Dempsey (Ed), and his brother, Lee, several aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.
He grew up in Knoxville, graduated from Bearden High School in 1981, received a Bachelor of Arts in Theater from University of Tennessee, and completed an acting program at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Los Angeles, in 1989. Wilson loved the theater, acting & writing. He performed in several local theater productions before moving to Nashville, where he had a successful construction business.
He served as president of the Tennessee Screenwriting Association for two consecutive years, 2018 and 2019.
Memorial contributions can be made to Alive Hospice, 1718 Patterson Street, Nashville TN 37203 or Middle TN Al-Anon, 176 Thompson Lane, Suite G-3, Nashville TN 37211.
Friends can leave memorial messages, send cards, or flowers via this link:
Tennessee Screenwriting Association held its 2019 Script-Com Symposium over two days in June, beginning with a special screening of Bram Stoker’s Dracula at Full Moon Cineplex in Hermitage with screenwriter James V. Hart. Photographer Thom King helped us commemorate the event:
It’s time once again to let your best scares out. TSA members are invited to share their spookiest short scripts at our Oct. 30 Halloween meeting. Scripts can be up to five pages and must be a complete story. Bring them in and hear them read aloud before the group. We dare you to scare us!
Note: Anyone can attend our meetings, but you must be a TSA member in good standing to have your script read. Click here to join TSA.