Panel: How the ScreenCraft Fellowship Helps Screenwriters

Past ScreenCraft Fellowship winners Mark, Dante and Anna got together for a roundtable discussion about what they got from their ScreenCraft Fellowship experience.

When asked about their experiences after winning the ScreenCraft Fellowship, Mark started the conversation off with, “It was a whirlwind of a week. You meet with producers, managers, agents, executives, all week and it kind of culminates in this awesome dinner where we learned a lot … it was an amazing week … at 3Arts, I met with a manager there, who I ultimately signed with, that I’m still with, and he has been a huge proponent of me and has made my writing better and has helped launch my career. That was the most important thing of Fellowship week for me.”

Dante says, “I think the best part for me was the dinner. It was very inspiring hearing all these writers, kind of at the peak of their career, and just leaving feeling like you had a little community… writing is so isolating a lot of times and so, to be able to sit with the other fellowship winners, who I still keep in touch with, who I still talk to, who are all doing awesome things as well, just to create that community and just to hear these stories and hear how, you know, they were just like us at one point and it’s so easy to forget that. You just see them holding their Oscar and you’re like, ‘Oh, that’s easy’… it’s not … Just having the opportunity to keep in touch with them as well and be able to have a lifeline when you have a question or a problem, because the business can be so daunting and scary, especially when you’re alone, writing, you know? So I think the community and that dinner was probably the best part for me.”

Anna Klassen, who won the ScreenCraft Screenwriting Fellowship just last year added, “One of the things I found so helpful was taking all of these meetings back to back and being able to practice my pitch over and over and over again … At the start of it all, I was a little shakey, I didn’t know what to say. By the end, I could say it in my sleep.”

The fellows also talk about how to take advantage of opportunities. Mark took years to build his craft so he could make sure he was ready to take on Hollywood when it was ready for him. Dante wants to produce his own films, so he started out as a production assistant, taking pride in learning all of the aspects and roles that go into making a film or TV show. Anna started out as an entertainment journalist straight out of high school, found her passion for screenwriting and has succeeded in making the transition from one career path to the next.

See the full video below.

From Left to Right:
Mark S. — 2015 ScreenCraft Fellow
Dante Russo — 2016 ScreenCraft Fellow
Anna Klassen — 2017 ScreenCraft Fellow
John Rhodes — Moderator, Co-Founder of ScreenCraft


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