It’s time to take your filmmaking game to the next level…
After being asked what fells like 1,000 times, I am bringing the Guerilla Filmmakers Masterclass back. And with an eye watering deal for the two day rollercoaster that will arm you in your heart, mind and soul to make your movie NOW!
I used to charge £300 for this two day event, and now it’s £199… But for Black Friday it’s discounted to £69… That’s a 65% discount.
Use the code BLACKFRIDAY when you go to pay with the widget on the site.
With the BLACKFRIDAY deal, it’s £69 for the two days.
It will sell out.
And it will deliver beyond your expectations. Promise.
To date I have made four feature films, all released in theatres, been Oscar shortlisted, won the Producers Guild Of America best short award, written seven books on filmmaking in the Guerilla Film Makers Handbook series and interviewed literally hundreds of filmmakers. This experience has given me a unique perspective on the challenges we all face in 2019 as filmmakers, we the storytellers who are determined to get our work produced, out there and seen.
While the event is crammed with TONS of filmmaking tips, tricks and information that will save you £££s, loads of wasted time and a mountain of heartache, what makes the masterclass so extraordinary is the atmosphere.
You can’t get that from a book or online, you can only get that in the room.
I now know that while the filmmaking information you will get is extremely useful, and the contacts you make essential, what will make a the biggest difference is a powerful shift in the way you see your film and your career.
Alongside the massive overload of information, delivering that shift is my goal at the masterclass.
Imagine the best version of YOU, empowered with new information, connected with a new tribe of like minded talent… and then IGNITE that person with passion and drive, the kind you had when you were a kid, when anything you wanted to do seemed possible. Hell, inevitable.
This version of you, this ignited creative, gets shit done, not one day someday, but right here right now.
This shift, fueled by new knowledge, empowered by new relationships, is why this masterclass GETS RESULTS.
At the masterclass, filmmaking success will be hard wired into your mind, body and soul.
So what will you get? Specifically.
For two straight days I will cram your brain with hard won lessons that will save you money, time and heartache.
I will show you how to take what you know and use it to get your movie made now. I call this Creative Ignition and it’s about getting both what you already know and what you have just learned into massive, unstoppable action.
We can’t climb the mountain alone, as GFilm veteran Tom Kerevan said in a blog post – he attended GFilm a whle back and met his team at the event. Together, they just made their first feature which is now on Amazon. They are onto their second already. Finding like minded collaborators is key to success, and the room will be full of potential collaborators.
Acceleration and momentum
By combining the filmmaking knowledge, your new relationships and your INGNITION you will leave in a state of unstoppable certainty.
So, it’s £69 and two days of your life and I am going to give EVERYTHING I have for these two days.
Next week we release the short film Never Too Late in time for Christmas. It’s a wonderful little festive gem than explores the need for physio over the colder seasonal months, especially for the older people in our lives. The story evolved from the idea, what would happen if Father Christmas needed physiotherapy?
And we have made a film I am very proud of and cannot wait to share.
Ahead of time, here is a short behind the scenes of the whole casting process.
Twenty-Five year television veteran Frank Spotnitz is a big believer in luck. He was lucky that his parents never supervised their son’s voracious and indiscriminate consumption of 60s and 70s television, allowing him to build up a vast catalogue of narrative strategies in his mind. He was lucky that Chris Carter hired him for his first job, and lucky that he thrived in the brutal do-or-die X-Files environment. He was lucky that he signed on to Man in the High Castle, based only on a remembered fondness for the book in his college years. If he had re-read the novel, he might have passed on attempting such a mind-bendingly difficult adaption. And he was lucky that this vastly expensive and controversial show was taken on by Amazon who happened to be in the market for a piece of TV action that would get them noticed.
But of course, when you listen to Spotnitz talk about his world — as those of us who attended his interview at the London Screenwriters’ Conference’s Breakfast Club were privileged to do — clearly this is not a man who simply got lucky. We were in the presence of a great talent: a story teller who is not only a master of structure but has an angel ear for dialogue and a peerless facility for communicating big ideas while still managing to entertain. An obsessive, who constantly rewrites, and who focuses on the little details, such as whether the cars in the parallel (but skewed) world of Man in the High Castle would sport “optimistic fins”.
It was a smashing Breakfast Club get-together. Great venue (who knew there was such a pretty academic outpost hiding in the park?) and I enjoyed the inclusion of actors acting out three scenes from the X-Files. One would have to write copious pages to cover the wealth of insights articulated by Spotnitz in the space of that one session. Here are ten which stood out for me.
The Writer’s Room
Probably because of my background in books, I have always been equal parts intrigued and dismayed by the idea of having to enter the scrum of a writer’s room. As a novelist, you are used to being edited, but you firmly remain the queen of your mouldy castle. But after listening to Spotnitz enthusiastically making the case for the power of collaboration, I am having a rethink about my preference for the author-driven UK television model.
Collaboration, for Spotnitz, is where the magic happens. And he talked about the pain and the gain of being overwritten. The kind of writer he looks for is the kind who hates being overwritten, but then listens and learns and has the humility to accept that the rewritten script can be smarter and better.
Serialised Television Is A Boxing Match
I was fascinated to learn that Amazon has a tool for measuring “viewer engagement”: how much time does the viewer spend actually watching the television screen as opposed to texting, visiting the loo, opening the fridge. The surprising result is that with shows that go really fast, viewer engagement is less. Spotnitz uses a boxing metaphor to explain the pacing of a serialised TV episode. Start with slow punches and then speed up to throwing punches in bunches towards the end. This is how you hook the viewer into entering the “just-one-more-episode-before-I-go-to-sleep” binge mode.
Don’t Be In Such A Hurry
Spotnitz points out that in a serialized story, you are only “going to pass this point in your characters’ lives once” – so the writer should take care to mine that moment fully and not place his foot on the plotting pedal so hard that he skips moments of characterization, emotional drama and texture.
Don’t Give Away Everything At The Beginning
Spotnitz often fights network and studio executives who expect expansive exposition in the opening episodes. Spotnitz believes in giving the audience only what they need – even slightly less than what they need — so they’ll keep watching. Make them want to know, and then tell them.
Aim To Entertain
The streaming environment allows for an intellectually challenging, sophisticated show like Man in a High Castle. Even so, Spotnitz strongly believes in his aim to entertain. Yes, he wants to make you think, but to do so he needs to entertain you first, because if you are not entertained and moved emotionally, you will not continue to watch — no matter how profound the ideas.
Writing Is External Therapy
What Spotnitz likes about being a writer is that by figuring out his characters and what’s true about them, he is learning something about himself and the way in which he sees the world. One such insight: you must do the right thing if you want to live with yourself. But don’t expect the world to reward you for it. You will be punished.
Another: The truth is out there but it cannot be grasped. We look into the skies and try to understand the mysteries of the universe, knowing we will never find it.
Streaming Audiences Are Sliced Into Many Micro-Segments
Spotnitz makes the salient point that the big, popular audience which used to watch network television is now the least well-served. Which is why it is important for him to still do a show like Ransom, his CBS hostage negotiating drama, which is targeting the kind of audience that used to wait for their crime-of-the-week drama.
Aim High. No, Not That High. Higher.
The image that will stick with me is of Spotnitz hand-chopping the air above his head and making the impassioned argument that this lofty altitude – this rarefied air where you’re attempting to write the best thing ever – is what we, as writers, must strive for.
A lot of writers, he says, look at what’s out there and say: I can write that. But this should not be the target. The target should be much, much more ambitious. Because if what we write is only OK, then we are blurring the focus of our collaborators and we will end up with mediocre fare.
Persistence Is More Important Than Talent
Mr. Spotnitz. We really hope so…
When Luck Comes, Make Sure You’re Ready
…and that when luck arrives, we’ll be ready for it. Of course, we will be. We want to believe.
Natasha Mostert is an award-winning novelist who segued into scriptwriting after two of her novels were optioned. She is a member of the WGAW.
If you would like to know more about the London Screenwriters’ Festival click HERE.