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, 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
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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.

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.

July 12 – Stillwater

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

LOGLINE: A father travels from Oklahoma to France to help his estranged daughter, who is in prison for a murder she claims she didn’t commit.

WRITERS: Two teams of screenwriters are credited in the Stillwater trailer. THOMAS BIDEGAIN & NOÉ DEBRÉ are from France. Bidegain has won two César Awards, one for Best Original Screenplay for the gritty prison crime thriller A Prophet, one for Best Adapted Screenplay for Rust And Bone, a romantic drama about a bouncer who falls in love with a woman who lost both her legs while training killer whales. TOM McCARTHY & MARCUS HINCHEY make up the second credited writing team for the film which was inspired by the real-life case of Amanda Knox. Hinchey, whose name is not on the 2/19/19 draft we will be reading and discussing, previously wrote All Good Things, a fictional account of accused murderer Robert Durst, starring Ryan Gosling, and Come Sunday, a Netflix movie about the real-life excommunication of Oklahoma minister Carlton Pearson. Stillwater is the first theatrical feature McCarthy has directed since 2015’s Spotlight won Academy Awards for Best Original Screenplay and Best Picture. His other films include The Station Agent, Win Win, and The Visitor, and he shared another Oscar nomination for his writing contributions to the Disney/Pixar animated hit Up.

(registration deadline: Friday, July 9)

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

SPECIAL OFFER – ONLY $150 FOR A NEW 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.)

Stillwater is set to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in July ahead of its July 30 release from Universal’s Focus Features. Academy Award winning screenwriter Matt Damon (the Bourne franchise, the Ocean’s trilogy) stars as the father. Academy Award nominee Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine, Zombieland) plays his Foxy Knoxy-like daughter. Damon’s character gets help overcoming language and cultural barriers from a lawyer played by Camille Cottin (Parisian Bitch, Princess Of Hearts).

Rated R. 122 pages. Drama.

JAMES N. FREY, author of How to Write a Damn Good Thriller, will lead our script analysis and discussion. James is one of America’s leading creative writing teachers. For over ten years, he conducted the popular Open Workshop at the Squaw Valley Community of Writers conference. He’s taught and lectured at dozens of other schools and conferences in America and Europe, including the Oregon Writers Colony, the Santa Barbara Writers Conference, and the California Writers Club conference. An award-winning playwright and author of nine novels including The Long Way to Die, which was nominated for an Edgar Award, and Winter of the Wolves, a Literary Guild selection, Frey is also the author of How to Write a Damn Good Novel, How to Write a Damn Good Novel II, How to Write Damn Good Fiction Using the Power of Myth, and How to Write a Damn Good Mystery.

September 14 – Greenland

Meet ONLINE on September 14th for an in-depth analysis and discussion of the screenplay GREENLAND.

LOGLINE: When comets smash into Earth causing an extinction-level event, a Philadelphia man races against time to get his family to safety in a bunker in Greenland.

Screenwriter CHRIS SPARLING‘s breakthrough came with 2010’s groundbreaking single-character contained thriller Buried, which starred Ryan Reynolds and was set entirely inside a coffin. This was followed by script work on a string of scary movies including ATM, about three friends trapped in an ATM by a psycho killer; The Atticus Institute, a horror film dealing with demonic possession; and an adaptation of the 1974 Gothic YA boarding school novel Down a Dark Hall, produced by Twilight author Stephenie MeyerVariety named Sparling one of “10 Screenwriters to Watch” in its November 2014 issue. Originally writing the Greenland script for District 9 director Neill Blomkamp, Sparling told reporters he tried to make his screenplay more like the 2012 character-based tsunami drama The Impossible than the 1998 Michael Bay end-of-the-world popcorn hit Armageddon.

(registration deadline: Friday, September 11)

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

SPECIAL OFFER – ONLY $150 FOR A NEW 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.)

Directed by Rick Roman Waugh (Angel Has Fallen), a former stunt performer, Greenland stars action hero Gerard Butler (300, Law Abiding Citizen), Morena Baccarin (Firefly, Homeland, Deadpool), David Denman (The Office), Hope Davis (About Schmidt, Captain America: Civil War), Holt McCallany (Mindhunter), Scott Glenn (The Right Stuff, The Silence of the Lambs), and internet celebrity King Bach.

Currently scheduled to be released in the United States on September 25, the summer disaster flick has already earned more then $10 million dollars on a small number of screens internationally.

Rated PG-13. 119 minutes. 117 pages [1/25/17 draft]. Drama, Action, Thriller, Disaster.

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. He 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 original feature scripts.

June 8 – Unhinged

Unhinged poster Meet ONLINE on June 8th for an in-depth analysis and discussion of the screenplay UNHINGED.

LOGLINE: This psychological thriller takes road rage – something so many of us have experienced – to an unpredictable and terrifying conclusion.

ABOUT THE WRITER: CARL ELLSWORTH has a long list of television writing credits, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Xena: Warrior Princess to Godzilla: The Series and Cleopatra 2525. Inspired from reading an early draft of Phone Booth, Ellsworth penned the thriller Red Eye, which became his first produced feature. Like Unhinged, it involves a seemingly random encounter — on a plane — that sets the stage for a test of wills between two resourceful individuals. The 2005 film starred Rachel McAdams and Cillian Murphy and was directed by Wes Craven. Ellsworth would go on to pen the 2009 remake of Craven’s The Last House on the Left as well as the 2012 remake of Red Dawn, but his most successful feature so far is the 2007 hit Disturbia, which he rewrote from an earlier draft by Christopher Landon (Paranormal Activity 2, 3, and 4) that had been optioned in the 1990s.

 

(registration deadline: Friday, June 5)

Registration in advance is required to attend the discussion, and includes a copy of the script sent to you in advance. Click the Register Now button for instructions.

Directed by Derrick Borte (The Jonses), Unhinged stars Academy Award winner Russell Crowe (Gladiator, A Beautiful Mind) and Caren Pistorius (Slow West). Moved up from its scheduled September 4 release date, it is now expected to be the first new movie to be released as theaters around the world begin to reopen on July 1.

Rated R. Draft dated June 9, 2019, 101 pages. 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. He 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 original feature scripts.

April 13 – Promising Young Woman (UPDATED)

Meet on the lot at Fox Studios ONLINE on April 13th for an in-depth analysis and discussion of the screenplay PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN.

LOGLINE: After her sexual assault complaint is dismissed, a promising medical student drops out to systematically lure badly-behaving men into her vengeance-seeking clutches.

ABOUT THE WRITER: The erotic thriller was penned by EMERALD FENNELL, who also makes her feature directorial debut, following Careful How You Go, a short film she wrote and directed that played at Sundance in 2018. An actress who has appeared in such films as Albert Nobbs, Anna Karenina (2012), and The Danish Girl, and the hit Netflix series The Crown, Fennell is a two-time prime-time Emmy nominee as head writer for the BBC series Killing Eve, a position she took over from her good friend, Fleabag sensation Phoebe Waller-Bridge. Fennell is also a novelist, having authored the children’s book series Shiverton Hall as well as the 2015 adult horror novel Monsters.

(registration deadline: Noon, Wednesday, April 8)

Registration in advance is required to attend the discussion, and includes a copy of the script sent to you in advance as well as sandwiches, snacks, and beverages at the meeting. Click the Register Now button for instructionsDUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC, THE APRIL 13th MEETING WILL BE HELD ONLINE. INSTRUCTIONS WILL BE SENT TO ALL REGISTERED PARTICIPANTS IN ADVANCE OF THE MEETING, so don’t forget to register by April 8.

Oscar nominee Carey Mulligan (An Education) stars as the titular woman along with Bo Burnham (writer/director of Eighth Grade), Alison Brie (GLOW), Connie Britton (American Horror Story), Adam Brody (The O.C.), Jennifer Coolidge (American Pie), Laverne Cox (Orange Is the New Black), Max Greenfield (New Girl), Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Superbad), Sam Richardson (Veep), Molly Shannon (SNL), and Alfred Molina (Raiders of the Lost Ark, Spider-Man 2). Margot Robbie, who was nominated for an Oscar for her performance in last year’s similarly-themed Bombshell, was one of this film’s producers.

Universal’s arthouse label Focus Features acquired distribution rights for the film early last year and premiered it at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, earning rave reviews and an early tomatometer score of 98%. The film opens nationwide on April 17. UPDATE: The film, originally scheduled to be released on April 17, has been pulled from the schedule due to the coronavirus pandemic; new release plans have not yet been announced by Universal.

Rated R. 113 minutes. 106 pages. Drama. Thriller.

UPDATE: Longtime StoryBoard member DIANA CALDWELL will lead our in-depth analysis and discussion. Diana wrote her first spec script at the age of 11 and got her first notes on that script from Academy Award winner Louis Gossett Jr. More recently, she has placed in numerous screenwriting competitions, winning the Legacy Award in Screenwriting at the Festival Angelica in Big Bear for her script Fair Trade, which also won her a slot in the prestigious Cinestory Writers Retreat. Diana has also worked as a reader for Barry Levinson’s production company and as Film Inspector and Technical Director for various film festivals, including Telluride, TCM, and AFM.

October 9 – Suburbicon

RegisterNow(registration deadline: Friday, October 6)

Meet on the Fox Studios backlot on October 9th for an in-depth analysis and discussion of the screenplay SUBURBICON.

Logline: Violence, murder, and mayhem come to the quintessential peaceful suburban town.

Screenwriters: JOEL and ETHAN COEN wrote the first draft of Suburbicon in 1986, shortly after the release of their first film, Blood Simple. The Coen Brothers went on to release a string of cult classics, including Raising Arizona, The Hudsucker Proxy, Fargo (for which they won their first Academy Award, for Best Original Screenplay), The Big Lebowski, and No Country For Old Men, which earned the brothers three more Oscars. The scribes returned to Suburbicon for another draft in 2006, twenty years after they’d written their first draft. GEORGE CLOONEY, who has starred in four Coen Bros. movies (O Brother Where Art Thou, Intolerable Cruelty, Burn After Reading, and last year’s Hail, Caesar!), recently asked the team if he could direct the still-back-burnered Suburbicon. Clooney and his writing partner GRANT HESLOV, who share two Oscar nominations for their screenplays for Good Night, and Good Luck and The Ides of March, are said to have brought a fresh angle to the long-gestating project. (We will be reading the Coens’ 2007 draft.)

Suburbicon stars Matt Damon (Bourne franchise, Ocean’s trilogy, The Martian), Julianne Moore (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Parts 1 and 2, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, The Big Lebowski), and Oscar Isaac (Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Ex Machina, Inside Llewyn Davis).

Producers and Production Companies: Credited producers include writers Clooney and Heslov for their Smokehouse Pictures banner, along with Teddy Schwarzman for Black Bear Pictures (Gold, The Imitation Game), and co-producer David Webb (previously an associate or co-producer and 1st AD for Ben Affleck’s Live by Night and Atom Egoyan’s The Sweet Hereafter and Clooney’s 1st AD on Good Night, and Good Luck, among many other AD credits).  Joel Silver, of Silver Pictures and Dark Castle Entertainment, is among the film’s executive producers. His 100+ producing credits include the Matrix trilogy, the first two Die Hard movies, and Xanadu.

Release Date: October 27 (Paramount). The film premiered September 2 at the Venice International Film Festival and is also on the lineup for this month’s Toronto International Film Festival.

Rated R. 104 minutes. 113 pages. Dark Comedy, 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).

April 10 – The Circle

RegisterNow(registration deadline: Friday, April 7)

Meet on the Fox Studios backlot on April 10th for an in-depth analysis and discussion of the screenplay THE CIRCLE.

Logline: A woman lands her dream job at the most powerful tech company in the world only to find herself facing questions of privacy, identity, and freedom that will determine the future of humanity.

Writers: The Circle is based on the novel by DAVE EGGERS, who wrote the first draft of the screenplay. He also wrote screenplays for Away We Go with his wife, novelist Vendela Vida, and Where the Wild Things Are with director Spike Jonze, and has a story credit on Gus Van Sant’s Promised Land. The Circle is Eggers’ tenth novel. His 2009 book, Zeitoun, has been optioned by Jonathan Demme, and his novel A Hologram for the King was made into a movie in 2016 by Tom Tykwer starring Tom Hanks. JAMES PONSOLDT rewrote the script for The Circle and is the film’s director. Ponsoldt’s other writer-director credits include Off the Black starring Nick Nolte and Smashed starring Aaron Paul. He also directed The End of the Tour starring Jason Segal and Jesse Eisenberg and the acclaimed The Spectacular Now starring Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley.

The Black Mirror-esque sci-fi thriller stars Emma Watson (Harry Potter film series) and Tom Hanks in his first-ever villain role, with John Boyega (Star Wars: The Force Awakens), Karen Gillan (Doctor Who, Guardians of the Galaxy), Ellar Coltrane (Boyhood), Patton Oswalt (Young Adult), and the late Bill Paxton in his final film appearance.

Producers and Production Companies: Hanks optioned the novel in 2014 to star in and produce through his Playtone banner with producing partner Gary Goetzman (Sully, Game Change). Anthony Bregman (Collateral Beauty, Sing Street, Foxcatcher) joined the producers with his company, Likely Story. Sophia Dilley (Netflix’s Tallulah) co-produces through Route One Entertainment. Writer-director Ponsoldt also has a producing credit. The film’s financing came from Image Nation (Rings, Contagion).

Release Date: April 28 (STX Entertainment), after its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Rated PG-13. 110 minutes. 141 pages. Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller.

LINDA COWGILL will provide in-depth analysis and lead our discussion. After completing her MFA at UCLA’s School of Film and Television, Linda landed her first TV writing job on The Incredible Hulk and sold her first feature screenplay to Orion Pictures. She continued writing scripts for Paramount, Universal, MGM, Warner Bros., and for the acclaimed series Life Goes On, until deciding to focus on teaching screenwriting. She has since taught seminars and workshops at AFI, Kennedy Center, Boston Film Institute, Loyola Marymount, IFP Miami, and NALIP and now heads the Screenwriting Department at Los Angeles Film School. She has also published three books, The Art of Plotting, Secrets of Screenplay Structure, and Writing Short Films, and has many useful screenwriting articles on her website, Plots Inc.

January 9 – Miss Sloane

RegisterNow(registration deadline: Friday, January 6)

Miss Sloane movie posterMeet on the Fox Studios backlot on December 12th for an in-depth analysis and discussion of the screenplay MISS SLOANE.

Logline: A ruthless lobbyist faces off against the powerful gun lobby in an attempt to pass gun control legislation.

First-time British screenwriter JONATHAN PERERA wrote Miss Sloane while working as an elementary schoolteacher in South Korea after a BBC News interview with corrupt D.C. lobbyist Jack Abramoff inspired him to explore the untapped milieu of the behind-the-scenes power players pulling the strings in American politics for his first-ever attempt at writing a screenplay. The original spec script found representation through a query letter and landed on the 2015 Black List. Perera is managed by Scott Carr of Management SGC and the script was repped by Peter Dodd and Carolyn Sivitz at UTA.

Directed by John Madden (Shakespeare in Love). Starring Jessica Chastain (The Help, Zero Dark Thirty), Alison Pill (The Newsroom), Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Dr. Who), John Lithgow (3rd Rock from the Sun), Michael Stuhlbarg (Trumbo, Steve Jobs), Mark Strong (The Imitation Game), and Sam Waterston (Law & Order).

Producers and Production Companies: Perera’s manager took the property to executive producer Patrick Chu at FilmNation (Arrival, The Founder) where Ben Browning (Passengers) produced alongside Kris Thykier (Kick-Ass) of Archery Pictures. EuropaCorp (Taken franchise), the France-based international distributor co-founded by Luc Besson (The Professional), picked up Miss Sloane for distribution after a bidding war in Toronto.

Release Date: Opened in limited release on November 25th, followed by a wide release on December 9th. If you have not seen it yet and plan to go to the movie before our meeting, reading the script before watching the film is advised.

Rated R. 132 minutes. 123 pages. Drama, Thriller, Political Thriller.

Wendell WellmanWENDELL 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.

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.