March 14 – 10 Cloverfield Lane

RegisterNow(registration deadline: Friday, March 11)

10 Cloverfield LaneMeet on the Fox Studios backlot for an in-depth analysis and discussion of the screenplay 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE.

Room meets Cloverfield. Waking up from a car accident, a young woman finds herself in the basement of a man who says he saved her from a chemical attack that has left the outside uninhabitable. Fearing she was really abducted, she tries to escape, despite the dangers she might face outside.

The original microbudget spec script, The Cellar, which is the draft we will be discussing, was written by Josh Campbell & Matthew Stuecken. Campbell, who was the editor for The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, is currently writing an English-language remake of John Woo’s The Killer. Stuecken was previously an associate producer on G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. Their contained thriller, The Cellar, was on the Tracking Board’s 2012 Hit List.

Paramount Pictures bought the script for their specialty label, Insurge (Project Almanac, Area 51), and Bad Robot (Star Trek). Academy Award nominated screenwriter Damien Chazelle (Whiplash) was hired to rewrite the script, which became a “blood relative” of Bad Robot’s found-footage hit, Cloverfield.

10 Cloverfield Lane stars scream queen Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Final Destination 3), John Goodman (Roseanne, Trumbo, Red State), and Tony award-winning Broadway star John Gallagher, Jr. (Spring Awakening, American Idiot).

Produced by J.J. Abrams (Lost, Star Wars: The Force Awakens) and Lindsey Weber. Executive produced by Bad Robot co-founder Bryan Burk.

Release Date: March 11 (Paramount). If you plan to see the movie before our meeting, reading the script before watching the film is advised.

Rated PG-13. 105 minutes. 95 pages. Sci-Fi, 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 recently completed adapting the novel The River Journey by Robert Nathan and is currently working on setting up his screenplay Top Hat. Wendell’s book, A Writer’s Roadmap, is available at Amazon.

January 12 – WHIPLASH

RegisterNow(registration deadline: Monday, January 5)

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

A promising young drummer enrolls at a cutthroat music conservatory where his dreams of greatness are mentored by an instructor who will stop at nothing to realize a student’s potential.

Writer/Director: Damien Chazelle (The Last Exorcism Part II)

Starring: Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons, Paul Reiser

Budget: $3.3 million (estimated)

Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics

Screenplay was included on the 2012 Black List of the best unproduced screenplays.

Premiered at Sundance Film Festival January 16, 2014, where it won the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award. Has played at over 40 prestigious film festivals including Cannes, New York, and Toronto. Nominated for four Independent Spirit Awards.

Release (US): October 10, 2014 (limited)

Rated R. 106 minutes. 111 pages. Drama, Music

BSchiffmanhead150Story analyst BARBARA SCHIFFMAN will lead the discussion. For over 35 years, Barbara has read scripts for Miramax, Dreamworks, Mandalay, HBO, CAA, UTA, and more. The writing guide NOW WRITE! Screenwriting Exercises by Today’s Best Screenwriters and Teachers includes her chapter “Key Things to Know About Your Script Before You Write.” More recently, she evaluated candidates for NBCUniversal’s Emerging Writers Fellowship program. Barbara currently writes personal development e-courses for and offers script coaching and “first look” feedback for screenwriters, as well as book coaching and editing for authors and self-publishers. Get info on Barbara’s services at her website,