SCREENWRITING
:

Daily Schedule

Fees & Deadlines

Accommodations

How to Apply

Teaching Staff

  TESTIMONIALS:

My screenplay George Love was the named to the top 5 feature length screenplays in the SENE film, music, art festival screenplay competition. The simple fact of the matter is that I had one of the best experiences of my life.
Thanks to my mentor Eugene Corr and the great support from all the 2013 mentors and attendees!
Kevin Butler

I entered the program knowing that my script had problems but not knowing how to address them. I left the program with a much clearer idea of how to proceed, and more importantly with renewed confidence that I have the tools, and the community help, to succeed not only in this project but in my future career as a writer and filmmaker.
Richard Levien

 

At the beginning of the week I honestly thought all I would come out with was a stronger screenplay and greater knowledge in the craft of screen-writing. Instead, I came out with more - a clearer vision of my writing and directing career, and the invaluable opportunity to talk to a range of people in the field: those who are starting out just like me and those who are where I would like to be.—Kagure N. Kabue

Over the years I have attended various screen-writing labs and workshops...without question the Squaw Valey Screenwriting Workshop has been the most beneficial to me as a writer. It is focused,intense and amazing.
Caitlin McCarthy

 

July 7 - 14, 2014

The Screenwriting Program is a Master Class for filmmakers and screenwriters. The intensive week-long program focuses on work in progress and individual attention by award-winning writer/directors and filmmakers. Daily private sessions with a previously-assigned mentor will help determine the choices that crystallize the story while excising extraneous elements. Daily morning workshops emphasize all aspects of the craft including narrative point of view, character analysis, and scene structure. In 2014, we will introduce a special session on the use and meaning of transmedia in digital filmmaking, as the threshold of the future. Our goal is to assist writers and filmmakers to improve their craft and bring them a better understanding of the new ways to incorporate production and the distribution process. Space is limited to 20 participants.

Tuition is $900 which includes 6 evening meals. Financial aid is available. Admissions are based on submissions.

See Application Guidelines.

Application Deadline: April 8, 2014

Daily Schedule
Morning workshops stress the language and grammar of film. Topics include: finding the story, character analysis, script development, narrative point of view, plotting, subplots, and dialogue. In-class exercises and group projects are assigned. The afternoons are devoted to individual conferences, which take precedence over all activities. Time permitting, participant scenes can be read by professional actors, taped and critiqued. Special screenings and discussions in the late afternoons and evenings are scheduled.


On arrival, each participant is assigned a mentor who will already be familiar with the script. The submit­ted screenplay is the one to be treated unless changed by a prearranged agreement. Conferences take place during the afternoons. Rewrites and revisions will be assigned.


The Screenwriting Program will arrange your housing. We rent specific houses for our participants to stay in during the week. The houses are in walking distance of the main facilities. When accepted please let us know your preferred choice of room and if you have special needs or requirements. A private room runs $660-675* for the week, a shared room will have two people to a room and is $400.* Prices are for 7 nights.*

*Prices may change slightly without notice. For more details, visit our Logistics page.

Production commitments will determine
the availability of staff members.

EUGENE CORR is a writer/director of films and television whose credits include the Academy Award-nominated Desert Bloom, Waldo Salt: A Screenwriter’s Journey, (co-written/directed with Robert Hillmann), Prefontaine for Disney Pictures, Too Legit: The MC Hammer Story for VH1, and The Joe Louis Story for Hallmark Entertainment. His television credits include Against the Law (Fox), Shannon’s Deal (NBC) and I’ll Fly Away (NBC). Currently he is producing a documentary feature, From Ghost Town to Havana, shot in Oakland, CA and Havana, with Roberto Chile as cinematographer and co-producer, in Havana.

JACOB FORMAN is a screenwriter whose credits include All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, starring Amber Heard, which screened at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival and was acquired there by The Weinstein Company for worldwide distribution. Jacob currently has two features in development at Paramount Pictures, as well as projects with Davis Entertainment, the Mark Gordon Company, and Liddell Entertainment. He has developed hour-long dramas for CBS Television and ABC Touchstone. His second produced feature, The Well, will be released in the fall. He is a Lecturer in Screenwriting and Conservatory Studies at the American Film Institute.

CHRISTOPHER MONGER is a writer/director whose feature credits include The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down A Mountain; Girl From Rio; Waiting for the Light; and Crime Pays. His television credits as writer include Seeing Red, for which he received a Christopher Award, and Temple Grandin for which he received the Humanitas Prize and a Peabody. The film received 7 Emmys and won both the Monte Carlo and Banff TV Festivals.  Recently he has adapted Maggie O’Farrell’s novel, The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox, for CrossDay Films; Liz & Dick, the story of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton for Lifetime; My Husband Rock Hudson for HBO;  and is currently completing his original pilot for NBC/Working Title, Madam Zena’s Psychic Tea Room.  Next he is scheduled to write a four-part script for HBO on the young Teddy Roosevelt.  He has also directed the documentaries Special Thanks To Roy London and A Sense Of Wonder.

JUDITH RASCOE’s screenwriting credits include Eat a Bowl of Tea, Havana, Endless Love, Who’ll Stop the Rain, the screen adaptation of Robert Stone’s novel Dog Soldiers, and Patricia Highsmith’s novel, Ripley Underground. She was the story consultant on Roger Spottiswood’s Shake Hands With the Devil, released in 2010, and for The Bang Bang Club, a feature about young conflict photographers in South Africa, released 2011. She is currently working with German scriptwriter Jørn Precht on a feature about Rochus Misch, the SS bodyguard who is the last living witness to Adolph Hitler’s death in 1945.

TOM RICKMAN is a screenwriter and director whose many credits include Coal Miner’s Daughter, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award; Everybody’s All-American; and The River Rat (which he also directed). His television credits include Truman, nominated for an Emmy Award; Tuesdays With Morrie, for which he received both the Humanitas Award and the Writers Guild Award; and The Reagans, nominated for an Emmy. He adapted Front of the Class from the book by the same name for Hallmark Hall of Fame (2008).  He also wrote A Smile As Big As the Moon for Hallmark Hall of Fame, which aired in late 2012.  Recently, he wrote Miles and Me, (the Miles Davis story) for the producer Rudy Langlais (Hotel Rwanda). Recently, his play, The Genesis Project, enjoyed a staged readings in Los Angeles, and his musical, The Throwbacks, was performed at the New York Musical Theatre Festival last summer.  Mr. Rickman is the Senior Filmmaker-in-Residence in Screenwriting at the American Film Institute.

CAMILLE THOMASSON’s recent television credits include Beyond The Blackboard for which she received a Humanitas nomination in 2012; When Love Is Not Enough: The Lois Wilson Story, for which Wynona Ryder received a SAG nomination; The Pictures of Hollis Woods, a Christopher Award winner in 2008; The Valley of Light, winner of the Templeton Prize in 2008; The Magic of Ordinary Days; and The Brooke Ellison Story, directed by the late Christopher Reeve, for which Thomasson received a 2004 Christopher Award. Her feature work includes Ave Maria which debuted at the Latin American Film Festival in Cuba in 2000; and Luther, staring Joseph Fiennes, which won the Golden Screen Award in Germany in 2004.  She is currently adapting a horror story for film, and a love story for television.

MICHAEL URBAN is a screenwriter and instructor at the American Film Institute. His first feature film SAVED! was produced by MGM/United Artists in 2004. He has since completed writing assignments for several major film and television studios including: 20th Century Fox, Sony Pictures, Warner Brothers Television, Lionsgate, HBO and ABC Studios. His most recent feature film Who's Afraid of Vagina Wolf? premiered at the 2013 Outfest and is scheduled for distribution in the fall of 2014.

GUESTS
(Production commitments will determine availability.)

SARAH RYAN BLACK is a producer and partner with Grand Illusions Productions in Los Angeles. Her credits include most recently, We Are Champions, Paraiso Travel, 100 Feet and Restoration.

LINDA BLACKABY is an international media arts programmer in the U.S. and abroad. She is a specialist in community engagement in the media arts, and has served as consultant to film festival, film­makers and other organizations.

TED HOPE has been a producer for 25 years with over 60 credits. He is known for his ability to recognize emerging talent, and has produced 20 first features, including those of Alan Ball, Todd Field, Michel Gondry, Hal Hartley, Nicole Holofcener and Ang Lee.

STEPHEN NEMETH lives and works in Los Angeles. He is the CEO of Rhino Films and produces both features and documentaries. His many titles include: Why Do Fools Fall in Love, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Dogtown and Z-boys, and lately, The Sessions.

GEORGE RUSH is a fourth-generation San Franciscan whose law practice special­izes in the entertainment industry with emphasis on the San Francisco Bay Area Film Community.

 
SURROUND STAFF

CHRISTY COOK (Assistant) has a Master's degree in speech-language pathology from Boston University. She is a recent transplant to the bay area from the midwest. Her love of story-telling and film led her to the Squaw Valley Screenwriting Workshop as the assistant to Program Director, Diana Fuller. Since attending Squaw in July 2013, she has become a student of film acting at Shelton Studios in San Francisco.

DIANA FULLER (Program Director) is a producer, free-lance curator, editor, and arts administrator. She has been the program director of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers Screenwriting Program for the last twenty eight years. From 1960 to 1990 she was owner/ director of (Hansen/Goldeen) Fuller Gross in San Francisco. She edited Art/Women/California 1950-2000: Parallels and Intersections, published in 2004 by the University of California Press. Until 2009 she served a consultant to the estate of artist Richard Pousette-Dart, in New York for whom she has initiated several travel exhibitions for museums. She continues in her role of advisor and consultant to both visual artists and filmmakers. She was the last President of Film Arts Foundation and continues to be available to all participants of the summer program. She is President and a founding member of the Board of the Roxie theater in its rebirth as a non-profit and is currently producing Racing to Zero, a documentary feature, directed by Christopher Beaver.

RIZWAH KHAN (Assistant) has a graduate degree in Cinema from SF State. He has worked as an assistant editor and marketing associate for Objects Of Desire, a documentary, directed by William Farley, an assistant DP & marketing associate on the documentary Racing to Zero, directed by Chris Beaver and a marketing & distribution associate for the documentary Return to Dakto, directed by Christopher Upham. His short film Death Hypothesis, received best surreal cinema award at the Sacramento International Film Festival. We Were Kings, another short, received Campus Movie Fest Award and was selected for the Cannes Short Film Corner and San Francisco International.

CHRISTOPHER UPHAM, (Director of Readings and Screenings) Writer director Christopher Upham’s Vietnam documentary, Return to Dakto will be released by Collective Eye Films in Fall 2013. His Vietnam novel, A Distant Dream of War will be published in concert with the film. Recently, he was screenwriting Artist in Resident at MVLA Academy. His current project is Dark Gate, a San Francisco Noir novella and feature film.

JASON WOLOS (Assistant Director) recently wrote, directed, and produced the indie feature, Trattoria starring Tony Denison (The Closer) and John Patrick Amedori (Gossip Girl, Jane Mansfield’s Car). He runs Fine Dining Video Productions, which has produced and shot for numerous projects, major corporations, and indie films that have been on the Sundance Channel; 60 Minutes; ESPN2, LinkTV, and Cartoon Network, among others. His short films have played worldwide and in particular, The High and the Mighty played on major airlines as part of IFP’s Independents in Flight.

Deadline to Apply: April 8
Application Fee: $40.00
Notification Date: May 10, 2014
Tuition: $900.00

SCREENWRITING APPLICATION GUIDELINES

  • Applicants should submit complete screenplays for narrative features plus a synopsis.
  • Treatments alone will not be considered.
  • Applications must be submitted online and via US Mail.
  • Manuscripts must be typed, 12 pt., one-sided and clear enough for reproduction. All pages should be numbered on upper right-hand corner of each page.
  • Submissions should be presented with a resume and a cover letter.
  • Requests for financial aid can be made in the online Application Form.
  • A $40 reading fee will be due with submission, payable by check, or via credit card, online as you complete the form. Checks payable to 'Community of Writers' may be mailed along with duplicate hard-copy submission.
  • Manuscripts will not be returned. They will be recycled.
  • Deadline for receipt of application/submission: April 8, 2014
  • To complete the online Application Form, and to upload a PDF of your manuscript, follow the link below.
  • Once you have completed the online form, you will receive an email confirmation. Print and enclose with submission.
    • Mail duplicate hard-copy submission to:
      Diana Fuller
      Director of the Screenwriting Program
      Community of Writers
      2173 15th Street
      San Francisco, CA 94114
  • If any difficulty is encountered uploading your digital manuscript, simply mail two copies instead of one.
  • Notification of acceptance by May 10.

CLICK HERE TO COMPLETE ONLINE APPLICATION FORM

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Photo Credit: Christopher Upham

OUR SUPPORTERS

  TESTIMONIALS:

"As a participant in the screenwriter’s workshop in this past summer of 2012, I was truly thrilled by the feedback and support that I received for my script -- Hawk Dreamer. The program was well structured with the quality of presentations, small group discussions, individual time for scene production and feedback all exceptionally helpful. I came away with a wealth of ideas for revising and taking my script to the next level. Jacob Forman, my mentor, is a rare find and amazingly supportive.
This type of experience in which screenwriters and staff were immersed for one week into a creative world with such an intense focus is one of a kind. What makes this workshop/ program so unique is the high calibers of mentors, who have had their work produced, have experience in the film industry and are skilled in revealing screenwriting techniques. Living and breathing within this realm is a life changing experience for any aspiring screenwriter."
—Marlene Shigagawa

"My time at the screenwriting program in Squaw Valley was a rare opportunity to step away from my harried life and focus on my script with the guidance of incredibly talented mentors. I went in with a draft that I knew needed to be rebuilt from the ground up, so I was ready for it. Tom Rickman went above and beyond in his role as my advisor and the sessions with other mentors were invaluable. I highly recommend this program to any screenwriter looking for an intensive workshop with a star-studded lineup of patient and generous teachers."
—Amanda Micheli

"Squaw Valley is the most powerful and effective of any workshop I've attended. My mentor, Camille Thomasson, helped me to see where my story had holes, which characters were extraneous, and how to get back in line with my original intent. The difference is the way Squaw approaches us as individuals. The one-on-one mentoring combined with “community” sessions strikes the right balance and gives writers the direction we need."
—Kari Nevil,Filmmaker

"I found the Squaw Valley Writers Workshop in Screenwriting to be incredibly rewarding, both professionally and creatively speaking. I made numerous valuable contacts in a short amount of time, and was able to receive, through the mentoring system, individualized and focused feedback from a seasoned professional in my field, something you just don’t get at other writing conferences.Coming away from Squaw, I was not only closer to a final draft of my screenplay, but I knew what to do with it afterwards. The close-knit and supportive faculty gave me the confidence and the know-how to get my script into the right hands post-workshop. My first screenplay, “Luna’s Highway” is now in pre-production, and I wholeheartedly attribute this success to my experience at Squaw Valley. I highly recommend this program for anyone interested in turning their writing dreams into reality."
—Tamuira Reid