December 12 – TÁR

Meet ONLINE from 7:00-10:00 PM Pacific Time on December 12th for an in-depth analysis and discussion of the screenplay TÁR.

LOGLINE: A renowned orchestra conductor’s life unravels as she prepares a book launch and a live performance of Mahler’s 5th Symphony.

ABOUT THE WRITER: As a teenager, TODD FIELD co-created Big League Chew bubble gum. He began his movie career as an actor, appearing in such films as Twister, Woody Allen’s Radio Days, and Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut. He made his feature directorial debut in 2001 with In The Bedroom, which won the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature and was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay, which Field co-wrote. Field’s second film, Little Children, starred Kate Winslet and Jackie Earle Haley and earned Field another Oscar nomination in the Best Adapted Screenplay category. Tár, written, produced, and directed by Field, is his first film since 2006 and his first original feature-length screenplay to be produced.

(registration deadline: Friday, December 9)

Registration in advance is required to attend the discussion, and includes a copy of the script sent to you in advance.

Single Meeting Fee: $45
SPECIAL OFFER
– ONLY $150 FOR A 6-MONTH MEMBERSHIP OR RENEWAL!

Click the Register Now button for instructions.
(Email StoryBoardDG@gmail.com if you have any questions.)

Tár stars two-time Oscar winner and six-time nominee Cate Blanchett as Lydia Tár. The film was released in October by Focus Features after premiering at the Venice and Telluride film festivals and is currently available on VOD. If you have not yet seen the movie, it is highly recommended that you first read the screenplay so your initial impression is from the writing on the page. Afterward, you are encouraged to also see the film, as our discussion may include choices made in the process of adapting the script to a finished film.

Rated R. 92 pages. 158 minutes. Drama.

Diana LesmezDIANA LESMEZ will provide in-depth analysis and lead our discussion. A produced feature-film screenwriter and an award-winning filmmaker, Diana is a Jane-of-all-trades with vast industry experience in production, development, acquisitions, distribution, physical production, film finance, business and legal affairs, as well as new media. She wrote the adapted screenplay for the feature film The Journey Ahead starring Michael Madsen, and produced the feature film Culture Class in AmeriCCA directed by Emilio Estevez. Previously, she served as President of Production at a mini-studio, Arenas Entertainment in partnership with Universal Pictures, and was the Head of Development for a production entity, Patriot Pictures, and the industry liaison for Banque Paribas, a film financing institution, and has taught at the New York Film Academy. Via her banner company, Bumptious Media Consulting, Diana offers screenwriting and producing one-on-one coaching, workshops, and master classes, with a specialty in pitching and mastering communication skills. Follow her on Twitter (@DianaLesmez).

November 14 – The Whale

Meet ONLINE from 7:00-10:00 PM Pacific Time on November 14th for an in-depth analysis and discussion of the screenplay THE WHALE.

LOGLINE: A morbidly obese English teacher attempts to reconnect with his teenage daughter for one last chance at redemption.

ABOUT THE WRITER: SAMUEL D. HUNTER is a playwright, best known for Obie Award winning dark comedy A Bright New Boise (2010), and his Drama Desk Award winning The Whale (2012), which he has adapted for the screen. Based on his “track record of significant accomplishments,” Hunter was awarded the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship, also known as the “Genius Grant,” in 2014. He has also written for television, penning nine episodes of the FX series Baskets starring Zack Galifianakis and Louie Anderson (who won an Emmy for his performance as the mother of a rodeo clown). The Whale is Hunter’s first produced screenplay.

(registration deadline: Friday, November 11)

Registration in advance is required to attend the discussion, and includes a copy of the script sent to you in advance.

Single Meeting Fee: $45
SPECIAL OFFER
– ONLY $150 FOR A 6-MONTH MEMBERSHIP OR RENEWAL!

Click the Register Now button for instructions.
(Email StoryBoardDG@gmail.com if you have any questions.)

Producer/director Darren Aronofsky (mother!, Black Swan, Requiem for a Dream) spent ten years trying to get The Whale made, waiting until he found an actor who could handle the lead role. The Whale stars Brendan Fraser (The Mummy trilogy), Sadie Sink (Stranger Things, Fear Street), Hong Chau (Downsizing, The Menu), Samantha Morton (Minority Report, The Walking Dead), and Ty Simpkins (Iron Man 3, Avengers: Endgame).

The film premiered in competition last month at the Venice Film Festival where it won four awards and received a six-minute standing ovation. A24 is scheduled to release the film on December 8. There is no trailer yet, but here is a clip from 2015 of playwright and screenwriter Samuel D. Hunter discussing the impetus for writing the original play.

Rated R. 109 pages. 117 minutes. Drama.

JEFF KITCHEN will lead our script analysis and in-depth screenwriting discussion. Jeff trains writers in a two-year apprenticeship program as well as a three-month program at script.kitchen. He has taught thousands of writers from Broadway to Hollywood, with former students nominated for multiple Oscars and Emmy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay. Jeff is the author of the bestselling book, Writing a Great Movie: Key Tools for Successful Screenwriting.

October 10 – The Menu

Meet ONLINE from 7:00-10:00 PM Pacific Time on October 10th for an in-depth analysis and discussion of the dark comedy/horror screenplay THE MENU.

LOGLINE: A young couple travels to a remote island to eat at an exclusive restaurant where the celebrity chef, who treats his food as conceptual art, has some shocking surprises for his wealthy guests.

WRITERS: The Menu is the first feature screenwriting credit for SETH REISS and WILL TRACY. A graduate of Boston University, Reiss began contributing to The Onion while working as a page for The Late Show with David Letterman. After interning at The Daily Show and working his way up to head writer at The Onion, he wrote for Late Night with Seth Meyers, earning Emmy nominations four years in a row for Best Writing for a Variety Series. Raised in Portland, Oregon, Tracy was the editor for The Onion and has won five Emmy awards: two for writing for Last Week with John Oliver, three for writing for HBO’s Succession. He also created the upcoming HBO miniseries The Palace starring Kate Winslet. Reiss and Tracy’s spec collaboration, The Menu, was on the 2019 Black List, and they both have executive producer credits on the film.

(registration deadline: Friday, October 7)

Registration in advance is required to attend the discussion, and includes a copy of the script sent to you in advance.

Single Meeting Fee: $45
SPECIAL OFFER
– ONLY $150 FOR A 6-MONTH MEMBERSHIP OR RENEWAL!

Click the Register Now button for instructions.
(Email StoryBoardDG@gmail.com if you have any questions.)

Directed by Mark Mylod (Succession, Game of Thrones, Shameless), The Menu stars Ralph Fiennes (Schindler’s List, The English Patient), Anna Taylor-Joy (The Queen’s Gambit, Emma) and Nicholas Hoult (About a Boy, Renfield), with Hong Chau (Downsizing), Janet McTeer (Ozark), Judith Light (Who’s the Boss?), and John Leguizamo (Moulin Rouge!).

Produced by Adam McKay and Will Ferrell, the film premiered at the Toronto film festival in September and is scheduled to be released by Searchlight Pictures on November 18.

Rated R. 104 pages. 106 minutes. Drama. Thriller. Horror. Comedy.

Donna Michelle Anderson, will provide in-depth analysis and lead our discussion. “DMA,” as she is professionally known, is a story analyst, development executive, and the author of Write It, Pitch It, Sell Your Screenplay: A Hollywood Buyer’s Insider Guide to Getting Your Script Past the Gatekeepers, an update of her 1-3-5 Story Structure Made Simple System: The Nine Essential Elements of a Sellable Screenplay, which was the first story structure system integrated into Final Draft. She has helmed top-rated programming for CBS, Bravo, BET, A&E, TLC and more. Visit her at PlanetDMA.com.

September 12 – Don’t Worry Darling

Meet ONLINE from 7:00-10:00 PM Pacific Time on September 12th for an in-depth analysis and discussion of the screenplay DON’T WORRY DARLING.

LOGLINE: A 1950s housewife living with her husband in a utopian experimental community begins to worry that his glamorous company may be hiding disturbing secrets.

WRITERS: Don’t Worry Darling is based on a spec script written by THE VAN DYKE BROTHERS, who share story credit on the film. Actors Carey and Shane Van Dyke have both appeared on numerous episodes of Diagnosis: Murder with their grandfather, Hollywood icon Dick Van Dyke. Together and separately, they have writing credits on several low-budget horror films, and Shane wrote, directed, and starred in the 2010 Asylum film Titanic II. Their spec script for Don’t Worry Darling appeared on the 2019 Black List. Actress Olivia Wilde chose the film as her next directorial project, sparking a bidding war among eighteen buyers. Wilde then hired KATIE SILBERMAN to rewrite the script, as she had done previously for her fist film as director, the acclaimed indie teen comedy Booksmart. (We will be reading and discussing the Black List draft by the Van Dyke Brothers.)

(registration deadline: Friday, September 9)

Registration in advance is required to attend the discussion, and includes a copy of the script sent to you in advance.

Single Meeting Fee: $45
SPECIAL OFFER
– ONLY $150 FOR A 6-MONTH MEMBERSHIP OR RENEWAL!

Click the Register Now button for instructions.
(Email StoryBoardDG@gmail.com if you have any questions.)

Don’t Worry Darling is scheduled to premiere early next month at the Venice International Film Festival, with a theatrical release from Warner Bros. scheduled for September 23.

The film stars Florence Pugh (Marvel’s Black Widow), Harry Styles (One Direction, Dunkirk), Gemma Chan (Crazy Rich Asians), KiKi Layne (If Beale Street Could Talk), Nick Kroll (Kroll Show), Chris Pine (Star Trek), and the film’s director, Olivia Wilde.

Rated R. 95 pages. 122 minutes. Drama. Thriller.

WENDELL WELLMAN will provide in-depth script analysis and lead our discussion. Wendell WellmanScreenwriter, actor, playwright, teacher, and author of A Writer’s Roadmap, Wendell has taught screenwriting at UCLA and UWV and has been a frequent guest moderator at StoryBoardDG.com’s Screenplay Development Group. As an actor, Wendell studied under Lee Strasberg and Peggy Feury at the Strasberg Institute and has appeared in episodic television, theater, and motion pictures, including prominent roles in the films The Klansman starring Lee Marvin and Richard Burton, Sudden Impact, Sommersby, and Street of Dreams. As a writer, he teamed up with Alex Lasker to adapt the novel Firefox for director Clint Eastwood, which Quentin Tarantino praised on his podcast last month for its “fantastic use of exposition.” Wendell also did additional work for Eastwood on the screenplay for Sudden Impact and wrote a final Dirty Harry project. Wendell also worked with the West End Theatre Group as co-founder and artistic director while continuing to alternate between acting and writing assignments. He is currently writing and producing original feature scripts.

August 8 – SAMARITAN

Meet ONLINE from 7:00-10:00 PM Pacific Time on August 8th for an in-depth analysis and discussion of the superhero screenplay SAMARITAN.

LOGLINE: A young boy suspects his reclusive neighbor is the vigilante superhero, Samaritan, who was believed to have perished decades ago in a fiery warehouse battle with his rival, Nemesis.

BRAGI SCHUT originally wrote Samaritan as a spec script before adapting it into a graphic novel that was published by Mythos Comics in 2014. The Nicholl Fellowship winner’s previous feature film writing credits include Season of the Witch, starring Nicolas Cage and Ron Perlman, and Escape Room, which made $155 million on a $10 million budget, making it one of the most profitable films of 2019. Schut also worked on video games for Game of Thrones and Walking Dead, created the CBS alien invasion series Threshold starring Carla Gugino and Peter Dinklage, and is currently the show runner for the popular Lego children’s show Ninjago.

(registration deadline: Friday, August 5)

Registration in advance is required to attend the discussion, and includes a copy of the script sent to you in advance.

Single Meeting Fee: $45
SPECIAL OFFER
– ONLY $150 FOR A 6-MONTH MEMBERSHIP OR RENEWAL!

Click the Register Now button for instructions.
(Email StoryBoardDG@gmail.com if you have any questions.)

Originally put into development in 2016 by Bold Films (Nightcrawler, Whiplash), Samaritan was acquired by MGM in 2019 with Sylvester Stallone (Rocky, Rambo) set to star in the title role. The cast also includes Javon “Wanna” Walton (Euphoria, The Umbrella Academy), Pilou Asbæk (Game of Thrones), Dascha Polanco (Orange Is the New Black), and Moisés Arias (Hannah Montana). The film is scheduled for an August 26 release on Amazon Prime Video, which bought MGM Studios in March.

Rated PG-13. 121 pages. 99 minutes. Action. Drama. Fantasy.

pamelajayesmithPAMELA JAYE SMITH will provide in-depth analysis and lead our discussion. A mythologist and award-winning producer/director with over thirty years experience in features, TV, music videos, and more, Pamela is the author of five books, including The Power of the Dark Side: Creating Great Villains and Inner Drives: How to Write and Create Characters Using the Eight Classic Centers of Motivation. Her company, MYTHWORKS, offers consulting and coaching and, through her Pitch Proxy service, pitches writers’ projects at pitch festivals they cannot attend. Visit pamelajayesmith.com for more information.

July 11 – Vengeance

Vengeance (2022) [Movie Poster]Meet ONLINE from 7:00-10:00 PM Pacific Time on July 11th for an in-depth analysis and discussion of the black comedy screenplay VENGEANCE.

LOGLINE: A true-crime podcaster from New York investigates the mysterious death of a Texas woman he once dated.

B.J. NOVAK wrote, directed, and stars in Vengeance. Novak began his writing career while in college at the Harvard Lampoon and later performed stand-up comedy after graduating and moving to Los Angeles. He made his TV acting debut on MTV’s Punk’d with Ashton Kutcher, who co-stars with him in Vengeance, but is best known for his portrayal of temp worker Ryan Howard on The Office, where he also served as writer, director, and executive producer, earning five Emmy nominations and a WGA award. As an actor, Novak has appeared in such films as Inglourious Basterds, Saving Mr. Banks, and The Founder. He makes his feature film writing/directing debut with Vengeance.(registration deadline: Friday, July 8)

Registration in advance is required to attend the discussion, and includes a copy of the script sent to you in advance.

Single Meeting Fee: $45
SPECIAL OFFER
– ONLY $150 FOR A 6-MONTH MEMBERSHIP OR RENEWAL!

Click the Register Now button for instructions.
(Email StoryBoardDG@gmail.com if you have any questions.)

Novak is joined on screen by Boyd Holbrook (The Sandman), Dove Cameron (Liv and Maddie), Issa Rae (Insecure), and Ashton Kutcher (That ’70s Show). The film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival on June 12 and is scheduled to be released nationwide by Focus Features on July 29.

Not Yet Rated. 116 pages (12/7/17 draft). 107 minutes. Comedy.

STEVE KAPLAN will provide in-depth analysis and lead our discussion of the sci-fi action comedy Free Guy. The industry’s most sought-after expert on comedy, Steve has taught at UCLA, NYU, Yale, and other top universities, and created the HBO Workspace and the HBO New Writers Program. As co-founder and Artistic Director of Manhattan Punch Line Theatre he developed writers such as Peter Tolan (Analyze This), David Crane (Friends), Tracy Poust (Ugly Betty), Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester by the Sea), and Mark O’Donnel (Hairspray). Steve teaches a number of different workshops all over the globe, including The Comedy Intensive, a 2-day workshop that covers the fundamental principles of comedy. Look for his books The Hidden Tools of Comedy and The Comic Hero’s Journey, learn more about Steve and his workshops at kaplancomedy.com, and follow him on Twitter at @skcomedy where you can tweet quick comedy questions at him with the #AskKaplan hashtag.

June 13 – Watcher

Meet ONLINE from 7:00-10:00 PM Pacific Time on June 13th for an in-depth analysis and discussion of the Bloodlist screenplay WATCHER.

LOGLINE: A paranoid couple believes the man watching them from the building across the street is the serial killer known as The Headhunter.

ZACK FORD wrote two or three screenplays a year from the time he was twelve. At sixteen, he entered the Nicholl Fellowship and finished in the top twenty percent. His first produced feature script underwent sixty revisions before becoming Scar 3D. The finished film scored a 0% on Rotten Tomatoes and Ford’s agent dumped him. Without representation, he became a literary manager for a made-up media company to submit his spec screenplays under various pseudonyms for nearly ten years. One of those scripts, The Watcher by “Carl Young,” ended up on the 2016 Bloodlist, a horror version of the Black List, securing Ford a new agent. The script was optioned three times before going into production in 2021 after the director, CHLOE OKUNO (V/H/S/94), rewrote it, which Ford didn’t learn until the film’s Sundance premiere earlier this year. (We will be reading and discussing the 2016 Bloodlist draft by “Carl Young”.)

(registration deadline: Friday, June 10)

Registration in advance is required to attend the discussion, and includes a copy of the script sent to you in advance.

Single Meeting Fee: $45
SPECIAL OFFER
– ONLY $150 FOR A 6-MONTH MEMBERSHIP OR RENEWAL!

Click the Register Now button for instructions.
(Email StoryBoardDG@gmail.com if you have any questions.)

Opening exclusively in theaters on June 3, Watcher stars Maika Monroe (It Follows), Karl Glusman (The Neon Demon), and Burn Gorman (Game of Thrones). The film currently (as of 5/18/22) holds a score of 82% from 55 critics on Rotten Tomatoes, with Harper’s Bazaar calling it “A stunning gaslighting whodunnit” and Variety calling it “pretty damn good.”

If you have not seen the movie but plan to, it is highly recommended that you read the screenplay first so that your initial impression comes from the writing on the page before you are influenced by any revisions that were made prior to shooting or the execution (acting, production design, cinematography, editing, and music) of the finished film. Please prepare for our discussion by writing down your detailed recommendations for rewriting this script. What would you keep, change, delete, or add?

Rated R. 90 pages (“Carl Young” draft). 91 minutes. Horror. Thriller. Suspense.

Brian HerskowitzBRIAN HERSKOWITZ will provide in-depth analysis and lead our discussion. Brian currently holds the title of lead faculty in screenwriting for the prestigious Boston University in Los Angeles – Writer In Hollywood Program, has taught online for UCLA Extension, and spent five years as the sitcom instructor for Writer’s Bootcamp. He has written for such TV shows as Blossom, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Acapulco Heat, Dream On, Renegade, and Murder, She Wrote. and in 2014 released he released the book Process to Product: From Concept to Script: A Practical Guide for the Screenwriter. His feature screenwriting credits include the horror/thriller Darkroom and the family comedy Tio Papi. Also a talented actor, producer, and director, Brian made the award-winning short film Odessa or Bust starring Jason Alexander, Red Buttons, and Jason Schwartzman, and the domestic abuse documentary 1736: Somewhere To Turn. Find out more about Brian and his projects at brianherskowitz.com.

May 9 – The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

Meet ONLINE from 7:00-10:00 PM Pacific Time on May 9th for an in-depth analysis and discussion of the screenplay THE UNBEARABLE WEIGHT OF MASSIVE TALENT.

LOGLINE: Hollywood has-been Nick Cage finds himself tumbling down a rabbit hole of references to his past roles in a real-life action-adventure.

THE WRITERS: TV writer/producer KEVIN ETTON began his career as a writer for The Late Show with David Letterman. His credits include such notable shows as Scrubs, Reaper, Ghosted, and Desperate Housewives, for which he won a Golden Globe award for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy. Unbearable is his first feature film screenplay credit, which he shares with the film’s director, TOM GORMICAN. In addition to working with Etton as a writer on Ghosted, Gormican co-produced the 2013 anthology comedy Movie 43 and made his directorial debut in 2014 with That Awkward Moment starring Zac Efron, Miles Teller, and Michael B. Jordan, from his spec script, Are We Officially Dating?, which landed on the 2010 Black List.

(registration deadline: Friday, May 6)

Registration in advance is required to attend the discussion, and includes a copy of the script sent to you in advance.

Single Meeting Fee: $45
SPECIAL OFFER
– ONLY $150 FOR A 6-MONTH MEMBERSHIP OR RENEWAL!

Click the Register Now button for instructions.
(Email StoryBoardDG@gmail.com if you have any questions.)

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent stars Academy Award winner NICOLAS CAGE (Leaving Las Vegas, Adaptation) as Nick Cage. The film also stars Pedro Pascal (The Mandalorian), Sharon Horgan (Catastrophe), Tiffany Haddish (Girls Trip), Ike Barinholtz (Suicide Squad), Alessandra Mastronardi (Master of None), DEMI MOORE (G.I. Jane) as Cage’s ex-wife, and Neil Patrick Harris (Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle).

Filmed in Croatia, The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent premiered in March at the South by Southwest film festival. The Lionsgate film was released on April 22 and spent its opening weekend in the top five at the box office.

If you have not yet seen the movie, it is highly recommended that you first read the screenplay so your initial impression is from the writing. After reading the screenplay, please make an effort to watch the movie as our meeting will include discussion of the writing as well as what is seen and heard while watching the movie.

Rated R. 117 pages. 107 minutes. Action. Comedy.

BILL TAUB will provide in-depth analysis and lead our discussion. Screenwriter, producer, author, creative troubleshooter, and teacher Bill Taub has written or co-written the pilots for Relic Hunter, Friday the 13th: The Series, Mission Genesis, The Odyssey, and Dark Shadows (1991), as well as two unproduced pilots for NBC, Blue Skies and Burger Palace. He was recently honored by the WGA for his work on Barney Miller and Hill Street Blues, and his spec pilot, Raffle Guy, won first place at Scriptapalooza. Bill has also recently taught Creating a Web Series at UCLA Extension Online. His book, Automatic Pilot: Writing a TV Pilot has never been so easy!, is available at Amazon. For more information, visit billtaub.com. or follow @BillyTaub on Twitter.

April 11 – BELFAST

Meet ONLINE from 7:00-10:00 PM Pacific Time on April 11th for an in-depth analysis and discussion of the Academy Award winning screenplay BELFAST.

LOGLINE: A young boy and his working-class Belfast family experience the tumultuous late 1960s.

THE WRITER: Sir KENNETH BRANAGH was almost nine years old in August of 1969 when the thirty-year conflict known as the Troubles began in his Belfast neighborhood in Northern Ireland. Trained at the Royal Academy of Art in London, where he has served as its president since 2015, Branagh received his first two of eight Academy Award nominations for directing and starring in Henry V in 1989. The actor-writer-director continued making acclaimed films of Shakespeare’s plays with his 1996 screenplay of Hamlet bringing him another Oscar nomination. Some of his other films include Disney’s 2015 live-action Cinderella remake starring Lily James, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein starring Robert De Niro, Murder on the Orient Express and its sequel, Death on the Nile, currently in theaters, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe blockbuster Thor. As an actor, he has appeared in Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk and TenetHarry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and My Weekend with Marilyn as Laurence Olivier, for which he was nominated for another Oscar. Based on his own childhood, his most personal film, Belfast, was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, winning Branagh his first Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.

(registration deadline: Friday, April 8)

Registration in advance is required to attend the discussion, and includes a copy of the script sent to you in advance.

Single Meeting Fee: $45
SPECIAL OFFER
– ONLY $150 FOR A 6-MONTH MEMBERSHIP OR RENEWAL!
Save $120 over the single meeting fees and get six consecutive online meetings!

Click the Register Now button for instructions.
(Email StoryBoardDG@gmail.com if you have any questions.)

Filmed in black and white during the COVID pandemic, Belfast stars ten-year-old Jude Hill in his film debut, for which he was nominated for fifteen industry, critics, and festival awards, winning six. The coming-of-age film also features Caitríona Balfe (Now You See Me, Ford v Ferrari), Jamie Dornan (Christian Grey in the Fifty Shades trilogy), Dame Judi Dench (Shakespeare in Love, Skyfall), and Ciarán Hinds (There Will Be Blood, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part 2, Game of Thrones).

The film received more than 200 nominations and won more than 40 awards, including the BAFTA for Outstanding British Film of the Year, a Golden Globe for Best Screenplay, and Best Film at the Toronto International Film Festival. Belfast grossed over $46 million worldwide at the box office and is currently available to rent or purchase on DVD, Blu-ray, and streaming.

If you have not yet seen the movie, it is highly recommended that you first read the screenplay so your initial impression is from the writing. After reading the screenplay, please make an effort to watch the movie as our meeting will include discussion of the writing as well as what is seen and heard while watching the movie.

Rated PG-13. 94 pages. 98 minutes. Drama. Coming-of-Age.

Diana LesmezDIANA LESMEZ will provide in-depth analysis and lead our discussion. A produced feature-film screenwriter and an award-winning filmmaker, Diana is a Jane-of-all-trades with vast industry experience in production, development, acquisitions, distribution, physical production, film finance, business and legal affairs, as well as new media. She wrote the adapted screenplay for the feature film The Journey Ahead starring Michael Madsen, and produced the feature film Culture Class in AmeriCCA directed by Emilio Estevez. Previously, she served as President of Production at a mini-studio, Arenas Entertainment in partnership with Universal Pictures, and was the Head of Development for a production entity, Patriot Pictures, and the industry liaison for Banque Paribas, a film financing institution, and has taught at the New York Film Academy. Via her banner company, Bumptious Media Consulting, Diana offers screenwriting and producing one-on-one coaching, workshops, and master classes, with a specialty in pitching and mastering communication skills. Follow her on Twitter (@DianaLesmez).

March 14 – The Power of the Dog

Meet ONLINE from 7:00-10:00 PM Pacific Time on March 14th for an in-depth analysis and discussion of the Oscar-nominated screenplay THE POWER OF THE DOG.

LOGLINE: A charismatic rancher inspires fear and awe in those around him, tormenting them until he finds himself exposed to the possibility of love.

THE WRITERS: The Power of the Dog is based on the 1967 novel of the same name by THOMAS SAVAGE, who, like one of the characters, moved with his mother and stepfather to a Montana cattle ranch as a boy in the 1920s, where he felt like a misfit. He wrote thirteen novels, all Westerns set in or connected to Montana, in a career spanning 44 years. The Power of the Dog is said to have previously been optioned five times, including once by Paul Newman, but did not make it to the screen until acclaimed Kiwi filmmaker JANE CAMPION read her stepmother’s copy of the book in 2017. In 1993, Campion became the first woman to win the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival for her best-known film, The Piano, which also earned her an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. Some of her other work includes The Portrait of a Lady starring Nicole Kidman, Holy Smoke! starring Kate Winslet and Harvey Keitel, In the Cut with Meg Ryan, and Top of the Lake, the first TV series to screen at the Sundance Film Festival. The Power of the Dog is her first feature film in over a decade.

(registration deadline: Friday, March 11)

Registration in advance is required to attend the discussion, and includes a copy of the script sent to you in advance.

Single Meeting Fee: $45
SPECIAL OFFER
– ONLY $150 FOR A 6-MONTH MEMBERSHIP OR RENEWAL!
Save $120 over the single meeting fees and get six consecutive online meetings!

Click the Register Now button for instructions.
(Email StoryBoardDG@gmail.com if you have any questions.)

The Power of the Dog leads this year’s Academy Awards with 12 nominations including Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, and four acting nominations. Furthermore, Jane Campion is the first woman ever to receive a second Best Director nomination, 28 years after her nomination for The Piano. The Netflix original film premiered last September at the Venice film festival where Campion won the Silver Lion award for directing. After a healthy festival run and a limited theatrical run, it began streaming on Netflix last December. It stars Benedict Cumberbatch (Dr. Strange), Kirsten Dunst (Spider-Man), Jesse Plemons (Breaking Bad), Kodi Smit-McPhee (X-Men: Apocalypse), Thomasin McKenzie (Jojo Rabbit), and Frances Conroy (American Horror Story).

The film has already won three Golden Globes, including Best Picture – Drama and Best Director, as well as hundreds of other awards and nominations from SAG, DGA, USC, BAFTA, and many more.

If you have not yet seen the movie, it is highly recommended that you first read the screenplay so your initial impression is from the writing on the page. Afterward, for extra credit, you are encouraged to also watch the film (currently streaming on Netflix) and/or read the novel (available from Amazon or your local library), as our discussion may include choices made in the process of adapting the novel to the script to a finished film.

Rated R. 106 pages. 123 minutes. Drama. Romance. Western.

Diana LesmezDIANA LESMEZ will provide in-depth analysis and lead our discussion. A produced feature-film screenwriter and an award-winning filmmaker, Diana is a Jane-of-all-trades with vast industry experience in production, development, acquisitions, distribution, physical production, film finance, business and legal affairs, as well as new media. She wrote the adapted screenplay for the feature film The Journey Ahead starring Michael Madsen, and produced the feature film Culture Class in AmeriCCA directed by Emilio Estevez. Previously, she served as President of Production at a mini-studio, Arenas Entertainment in partnership with Universal Pictures, and was the Head of Development for a production entity, Patriot Pictures, and the industry liaison for Banque Paribas, a film financing institution, and has taught at the New York Film Academy. Via her banner company, Bumptious Media Consulting, Diana offers screenwriting and producing one-on-one coaching, workshops, and master classes, with a specialty in pitching and mastering communication skills. Follow her on Twitter (@DianaLesmez).