Speaking of opportunities to further your screenwriting career, screenwriting labs that work with writers extensively on their screenplays as well as introduce them to professional screenwriters and producers as advisors are worth exploring. At NFS we've discussed the Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab, perhaps the most well-known of the screenwriting labs here in the U.S. For writers living in the Los Angeles area, Film Independent's Screenwriting Lab offers a five-week program that meets two to three evenings a week in September and October to help writers improve their current screenplays as well as their overall craft. Plus, Film Independent helps lab fellows advance their careers with the help and guidance of film professionals. Check out the details below, but take note: the submission deadline is Apr. 1, 2013.
Each year, Film Independent selects a maximum of ten projects for the Screenwriting Lab. Individual writers and writing partners are both eligible to apply. Writing partners can submit as a team. Film Independent members receive a discount on the submission fee and receive written coverage on their screenplay submission, regardless of acceptance into the lab. Membership is not required to apply.
To apply, applicants must be the author of the screenplay submitted, and provide the following as part of the online submission:
- Cover letter explaining why the screenwriter wants to participate in the Screenwriting Lab
- Complete feature-length screenplay
- Logline and synopsis
- Bios of key cast and crew, if these elements have been attached
- Current project status and history
- Application fee ($45 for Film Independent members; $65 for non-members)
The Screenwriting Lab is open to narrative feature film projects only. Documentary, short film and television projects are not accepted.
Past projects include Robbie Pickering's Natural Selection (2012 Spirit Award nominee, Best First Feature; Winner, SXSW Grand Jury Prize, Audience Award), Suzi Yoonessi's Dear Lemon Lima (2009 Los Angeles Film Festival), and Beth Schacter's Normal Adolescent Behavior (2007 Tribeca Film Festival). Past instructors include Meg LeFauve (producer, The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys), Mardik Martin (co-writer, Mean Streets, Raging Bull), and Barbara Turner (writer, The Company, Pollock, Georgia).
Remember: Film Independent's Screenwriting Lab takes place over five weeks in September and October in Los Angeles, meeting in the evenings for two to three nights a week. If you don't already live in the Los Angeles area, this lab may not be for you.
For more information and to apply online, check out Film Independent's Screenwriting Lab website. Again, the submission deadline is April 1, 2013.
Do you think Film Independent's Screenwriting Lab offers a good opportunity to further a screenwriting career? How do you think it matches up with other screenwriting lab opportunities? Share your thoughts with us in the Comments.