December 12 – GOLD

RegisterNow(registration deadline: Friday, December 9)

Gold (2016)Meet on the Fox Studios backlot on December 12th for an in-depth analysis and discussion of the screenplay GOLD.

Logline: An unlikely pair venture to the Indonesian jungle in search of gold in a treasure hunt story inspired by the 1996 Bre-X scandal, the most elaborate fraud in the history of mining.

Writers: PATRICK MASSETT & JOHN ZINMAN, the team who adapted the video game Tomb Raider into the massive 2001 hit Lara Croft movie that made Angelina Jolie an international superstar, were nominated for an Emmy and five WGA awards for their work on the series Friday Night Lights. More recently they have written for such shows as The Blacklist and The Chicago Code. Massett is a former actor who has appeared in Star Trek: The Next Generation, Murphy Brown, and Quantum Leap.

Directed by Sephen Gaghan, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of Steven Soderbergh’s Traffic (2000), Gold stars Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club), Edgar Ramirez (The Girl on the Train), Bryce Dallas Howard (Jurassic World), Timothy Simons (Veep), Corey Stoll (House of Cards), Bruce Greenwood (Star Trek (2009)), and Stacy Keach (The Bourne Legacy).

Producers and Production Companies: Two-time Oscar-winning screenwriter Paul Haggis (Crash, Million Dollar Baby), who began developing the script in 2011 with the writers, executive produced the film with Michael Nozik (Haggis’s The Next Three Days, Syriana, Quiz Show) through their HWY 61 Films. Producers Teddy Schwarzman (The Imitation Game) and Ben Stillman provided financing through their Black Bear Pictures. McConaughey and the two writers also have producing credits.

Release Date: December 25 (TWC-Dimension).

Rated R. 121 minutes. 129 pages. Adventure, Drama, Thriller, Crime.

Lane Shefter-BishopLANE SHEFTER-BISHOP will provide in-depth analysis and lead our discussion. Currently the CEO of Vast Entertainment, the go-to book-to-screen company, producer/director Lane Shefter-Bishop has won numerous accolades for her work including an Emmy, six Telly awards, and the DGA Fellowship Award for Episodic Television. Lane holds a BA in Literature from UC Santa Barbara and an MFA in Production from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts and began her career producing and directing projects at ABC, Showtime, HBO, and MTV. In 2016 she released her first book, Sell Your Story in a Single Sentence: Advice from the Front Lines of Hollywood. Follow @LaneShefterBish on Twitter.

October 10 – The Accountant

RegisterNow(registration deadline: Friday, October 7)

The AccountantMeet on the Fox Studios backlot for an in-depth analysis and discussion of the screenplay THE ACCOUNTANT.

Logline: After a life spent un-cooking the books for the world’s most dangerous criminal organizations, a brilliant forensic accountant tries to go straight just as the US Treasury Department closes in on him and the body count starts to rise.

Screenwriter: The Accountant is the third feature writing credit for BILL DUBUQUE. In 2008, the newbie scribe won the PAGE International Screenwriter Award for Best Drama for his original spec script Confessions of a Headhunter, which premieres this month at the Toronto International Film Festival as The Headhunter’s Calling starring Alison Brie and Gerard Butler. Before that got made, Dubuque was hired to rewrite The Judge for Robert Downey Jr.’s production company, Team Downey, and director David Dobkin. The Judge became Dubuque’s debut writing credit in 2014 and earned an Academy Award nomination for Robert Duvall. The Accountant was on the 2011 Black List.

Ben Affleck (Argo, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice) stars in the title role alongside Anna Kendrick (Twilight, Pitch Perfect), J.K. Simmons (Whiplash), Jon Bernthal (The Walking Dead, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl), Jeffrey Tambor (Transparent) and John Lithgow (3rd Rock from the Sun). The film was directed by Gavin O’Connor (Jane Got a Gun, Warrior).

Producers and Production Companies: The Accountant was produced by Lynette Howell for Electric City Entertainment (Captain Fantastic, Big Eyes, Blue Valentine) and Mark Williams for Zero Gravity Management. Williams also directed Dubuque’s other 2016 release, The Headhunter’s Calling. Zero Gravity (Beasts of No Nation, The Cooler) “is actively seeking talented writers with a unique voice and vision.”

Release Date: October 14 (Warner Bros.).

Rated R. 128 minutes. 113 pages. Drama, Crime, Thriller.

Melody JacksonMELODY JACKSON will provide in-depth analysis and lead our discussion. Melody completed her Ph.D. in Mythological Studies in 2003 with her dissertation on “The Mythic Impact of Film.” She has been praised by Creative Screenwriting on multiple occasions for her exceptional knowledge of traditional three-act structure and character development. Known for approaching plot and structure through examination of character motivation and relationships, Melody offers consulting and marketing services to screenwriters through Smart Girls, which she founded in 1992. Visit SmartG.com or follow @smartgirlspr on Twitter.

September 12 – The Girl on the Train

RegisterNow(registration deadline: Friday, September 9)

The Girl on the TrainMeet on the Fox Studios backlot for an in-depth analysis and discussion of the screenplay THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN.

Logline: Obsessively fantasizing about the perfect couple that lives down the street from her ex-husband, a self-destructive woman finds herself entangled in a mystery that will forever alter the lives of all involved.

Writers: Based on a bestselling novel, The Girl on the Train was adapted by ERIN CRESSIDA WILSON, whose first produced screenplay, Secretary, won the 2002 Independent Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay. Her other credits include Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus, Chloe (directed by Atom Egoyan), and Men, Women & Children (directed and co-written by Jason Reitman). The novel, written by PAULA HAWKINS, debuted in 2015 at #1 on The New York Times bestseller list, remaining at the top for 16 weeks. Hawkins had previously released a string of less successful romantic comedy novels under the pen name Amy Silver before challenging herself to write darker material with The Girl on the Train, which has often been called “the next Gone Girl.”

Directed by Tate Taylor (The Help), The Girl on the Train stars Emily Blunt (The Devil Wears Prada), Rebecca Ferguson (Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation), Haley Bennett (The Equalizer, The Magnificent Seven), Justin Theroux (Mulholland Drive), Luke Evans (The Hobbit trilogy), Édgar Ramírez (Point Break), Allison Janney (The West Wing), Lisa Kudrow (Friends), and Laura Prepon (Orange Is the New Black).

Producers and Production Companies: DreamWorks Pictures acquired film rights to the novel in 2014. The film was produced by Marc Platt, former president of production for Orion, TriStar, and Universal, under his Marc Platt Productions banner. The former entertainment attorney’s other producing credits include the Legally Blonde franchise, Wanted, Drive, Bridge of Spies, and the Broadway musical Wicked.

Release Date: October 7 (Universal Pictures).

Rated R. 105 minutes. 100 pages. Drama, Crime, Thriller, Mystery.

Lee JessupLEE JESSUP will provide in-depth analysis and lead our discussion. Born and raised in Israel, Jessup is a career coach for screenwriters whose clients include Golden Globe and Emmy nominated writers as well as emerging screenwriters just starting on their professional writing path. She previously ran development for a small production company and was product manager for Baseline’s ScriptShark coverage service. Her book Getting It Write: An Insider’s Guide To A Screenwriting Career is a comprehensive guide with practical advice for aspiring and working screenwriters. Find out more at leejessup.com and follow Lee on Twitter (@LeeZJessup).

August 8 – SOLACE

RegisterNow(registration deadline: Friday, August 5)

SolaceMeet on the Fox Studios backlot for an in-depth analysis and discussion of the screenplay SOLACE.

Logline: An FBI agent must work with a paranormal specialist to hunt a psychic serial killer.

Screenwriters: TED GRIFFIN is best known for writing the mega-hit heist movie Ocean’s Eleven. In 2011, he co-created the series Terriers for the FX cable network. Griffin’s other writing credits include a pair of con-man capers, Best Laid Plans and Matchstick Men, produced SEAN BAILEY, producer and co-screenwriter of Solace. Currently the president of production at Walt Disney Pictures, Bailey co-founded the production company LivePlanet in 2000 with Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, and Chris Moore, with whom he produced Project Greenlight. Solace is Bailey’s only feature writing credit.

Originally intended as a sequel to Se7en, Solace is the English-language debut of Brazilian director Afonso Poyart (2 Rabbits). The film stars Academy Award winner Anthony Hopkins (The Silence of the Lambs), Colin Farrell (Minority Report, The Lobster), Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Grey’s Anatomy, Watchmen), and Abbie Cornish (Sucker Punch, Limitless).

Producers and Production Companies include Beau Flynn for the Flynn Picture Company (San Andreas, Hercules), Thomas Augsberger for Eden Rock Media (Mr. Brooks), Tripp Vinson (the producer whose Las Vegas bachelor party inspired The Hangover), and Venture Forth (Rock the Kasbah), with financing by Silver Reel’s Claudia Bluemhuber (Under the Skin, The Host) and FilmNation (The Founder).

Release Date: September 2 (Relativity).

Rated R. 101 minutes. 107 pages. Crime, Thriller, Mystery.

Diana LesmezDIANA LESMEZ will provide in-depth analysis and lead our discussion. Currently an independent writer, producer, and director for her company, The StoryMaker Entertainment, Diana’s screenwriting has placed her as a finalist in the Walt Disney Fellowship Program, Broad Humor Film Festival, and Slamdance Screenwriting Competition. Her vast background in the entertainment industry includes developing film projects for Atlantic Streamline (Igby Goes Down) and Patriot Pictures (Air Force One) and she has taught at the New York Film Academy and the Los Angeles Film School. Diana also offers pitching, producing, distribution, and marketing consulting services through her Bumptious Media Consulting banner. Follow her on Twitter (@DianaLesmez).

September 14 – BLACK MASS

RegisterNow(registration deadline: Friday, September 11)

Black MassMeet on the 20th Century Fox studio lot for an in-depth analysis and discussion of the screenplay BLACK MASS.

Johnny Depp heads an all-star cast in the true story of infamous mob boss Whitey Bulger, second on the FBI’s most-wanted list for 12 years (behind only Osama bin Laden), who became an FBI informant to take down the Mafia family invading his turf.

The 2001 book Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob by Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill was adapted by screenwriter Jez Butterworth (Edge of Tomorrow, Fair Game) and executive producer Mark Mallouk (Rush, A Walk Among the Tombstones).

Cast includes: Joe Edgerton (The Gift), Benedict Cumberbatch (12 Years a Slave, The Imitation Game), Dakota Johnson (Fifty Shades of Grey), Kevin Bacon (The Following), Jesse Plemons (Breaking Bad), Peter Sarsgaard (An Education), Corey Stoll (House of Cards), Sienna Miller (American Sniper), Adam Scott (Sleeping with Other People), and Juno Temple (Maleficent).

Directed by Scott Cooper (Crazy Heart, Out of the Furnace), the film premieres September 4 at the Venice Film Festival.

Release date: September 18 (Warner Bros.).

Rated R. 122 minutes. 113 pages. Crime Drama.

David Kohner ZuckermanDAVID KOHNER ZUCKERMAN will provide in-depth analysis and lead our discussion. David began his producing career as a production associate on Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles before heading his own production company, DKZ Films, where he produced the comedy Strictly Sexual, which found unexpected popularity on the fledgling streaming service Hulu in 2010, spawning a limited six-episode series. His other producing credits include All I Want for Christmas (Hallmark), Chump Change (Miramax), Caught in the Act (Lifetime), and the just-completed The Fourth Noble Truth starring Harry Hamlin. David is also the president of ScriptCoach.com and CEO and co-founder of VirtualPitchFest.com.

April 13 – CHILD 44

RegisterNow(registration deadline: Monday, April 6)

Child44UKMeet on the 20th Century Fox studio lot for an in-depth analysis and discussion of the screenplay CHILD 44.

The thrilling hunt for a serial child killer in the Stalin-era Soviet Union, adapted from the award-winning 2008 novel by Tom Rob Smith — the first in a trilogy following disgraced military police investigator Leo Demidov — and inspired by the gruesome, real-life crimes of the Red Ripper.

Screenwriter: Richard Price, Academy Award nominee for The Color of Money, WGA Award winner for The Wire. His other credits include Shaft, Ransom, Clockers (adapted from his novel), Mad Dog and Glory, and Sea of Love.

Director: Daniel Espinosa (Safe House, Snabba Cash)

Producers: Ridley Scott (Gladiator, Black Hawk Down), Greg Shapiro (The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty).

Starring: Tom Hardy (Inception, Locke), Gary Oldman (The Dark Knight trilogy, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), Noomi Rapace (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy)

Release date: April 17 (Summit Entertainment)

Rated R. 137 minutes. 132 pages. Crime, Drama, Thriller

WendellWellmanWENDELL WELLMAN will provide in-depth analysis and lead our discussion. Trained at the Actors Studio and the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute, Wendell has acted in feature films, television, and on stage. He has taught screenwriting at UCLA and wrote FIREFOX, SUDDEN IMPACT, and the final Dirty Harry script for Clint Eastwood. He is currently adapting the novel The River Journey by Robert Nathan. Wendell’s book, A Writer’s Roadmap, is available at Amazon.

March 9 – Nightcrawler

RegisterNow(registration deadline: Monday, March 2)

NightcrawlerMeet on the 20th Century Fox studio lot for an in-depth analysis and discussion of the screenplay NIGHTCRAWLER

A driven man, desperate for work, muscles into the world of L.A. crime journalism, blurring the line between observer and participant to become the star of his own story.

Screenwriter: Dan Gilroy (The Bourne Legacy), making his directorial debut.

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal (Brokeback Mountain, Donnie Darko) and Renee Russo (Thor, Lethal Weapon 3 & 4)

Released: October 31, 2014 (Open Road Films)

AWARDS: Independent Spirit Awards (Best Screenplay, Best First Feature), Austin Film Critics Association (Best Original Screenplay, Best First Film), Boston Society of Film Critics (Best New Filmmaker), Nevada Film Critics Society (Best Director, Best Screenplay), San Diego Film Critics Society (Best Director, Best Original Screenplay) and dozens more!

NOMINATIONS: Academy Awards (Best Original Screenplay), Golden Globes (Best Actor – Drama), BAFTA (Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Editing, Best Original Screenplay), Independent Spirit Awards (Best Editing, Best Male Lead, Best Supporting Male), and many, many more.

Budget: $8.5 million. Domestic gross: $32 million.

Rated R. 117 minutes. 107 pages. Drama, Thriller

Bill Boyle, UCLA Extension, Visual MindscapeBILL BOYLE will provide in-depth analysis and lead our discussion. Bill is an award winning screenwriter, UCLA Extension instructor, and has been rated among the top 10% of script analysts and consultants by Creative Screenwriting. His book, The Visual Mindscape of the Screenplay, teaches screenwriters how to let the viewer “discover” elements of the story rather than being told. Bill has been involved in the film industry in both Canada and the U.S. for over 25 years as a writer, director, agent, producer, story editor, and mentor. For additional information, visit his website, billboyle.net.