Recap of Our 2017 Screenwriters Residency Program in Jamaica

by John - updated on November 16, 2017

What a week! After spending 5 days in the relaxing, inspiring atmosphere of Jamaica, our 2017 Screenwriters Residency Program has come to an end. The program consisted of 16 attendees who received one-on-one mentorship, group sessions and keynote speeches from the following ScreenCraft mentors:

  • Eric Fineman, VP Production at Columbia Pictures (Sony Pictures)
  • Steven de Souza, screenwriter of DIE HARD, THE RUNNING MAN and DIE HARD 2
  • Peter Craig, WGA Award-winning screenwriter of THE TOWN, HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY and more
  • Hannah Ozer, literary manager at Kaplan/Perrone
  • Aaron Covington, screenwriter of CREED and the video game NBA 2K17
  • Vanessa Ford, development executive at The Weinstein Company

Here's what the attendees have to say about the retreat:

"Wow! What an experience! Usually there’s one bad apple in the bunch, but not this time. Amazing how you can get to know people so well in such a short period of time. ScreenCraft ROCKS."

"I enjoyed the camaraderie and shared experience of peers; the approachability of the mentors; the atmosphere created by ScreenCraft, Jakes and Jamaica. When Steven said 'An inciting incident can happen before page one of a screenplay,' a ray of sunshine shone in the room, a glockenspiel glissando'd, as one, everyone reached for their books and noted."

"It was all great! The keynote speakers were very candid and honest. The mentors were all very helpful, and I felt comfortable being honest with them, and got great feedback. Everyone there (all participants -- writers, mentors, and our hosts) were AWESOME! And that's unusual -- to have such an amazing group of people, all there to participate and get to know one another."

ScreenCraft's Emily Dell chats with attendees on the veranda at Jakes Hotel in Treasure Beach, Jamaica.

"Now that I am off my red eye and back on terra firma, this is just a quick note to say how much I thoroughly enjoyed the Jamaica Residency and meeting both of you there."

"AMAZING location and even more beautiful souls I met at the ScreenCraft writers retreat. Thank you Justine for being a rockstar, especially for some of us who had issues with flights going through Florida due to Hurricane Irma."

ScreenCraft Retreat attendee Blake Michael takes some time to work on his screenplay with a view of the Caribbean Sea.

"I have a better understanding of what goes on behind the scenes from studio exec Eric Fineman (who was very open and explained the whole process) -- and from Peter Craig, who presented a very real story of a working writer, both the good and the bad. It was all enlightening. And Steven de Souza had such interesting things to say too -- about F. Scott Fitzgerald's failed Hollywood career! Also loved Hannah's explanation of what her typical day is like as a literary manager, and how she services her clients. And my small group mtg. with Vanessa was incredible -- she's SO interesting (and a Treasure Beach native!)."

"The fact that we had meetings with mentors who have read our scripts blew me away. It was constructive, productive and very insightful."

Screenwriter Peter Craig (THE TOWN, THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY) chats with program attendee Kurt Wright at the ScreenCraft Writers Retreat at Jakes Hotel in Treasure Beach, Jamaica.

Enjoy our video recap:

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