Applications for this mentorship are accepted year round. Submit an application when you're ready to begin.
*Please do not pay for the mentorship until you receive a formal acceptance notification via email. Payment plans are available for this mentorship program.
Click HERE to Apply Now. Payment plans are available for this mentorship program.
Any questions about this mentorship? Use the Chat Button (lower left) to talk with us.
Led by award winning writer/director Kenneth Lui. His satirical comedy “Artists In Agony: Hitmen at the Coda Teahouse” won best comedic feature at the Independent Filmmakers Showcase 2021 and is currently making the rounds on the festival circuit. His horror/action short film “White Wolf: Zombie Killer” won the Gold Remi Award in the Fantasy/Horror category at the Worldfest Houston International Film Festival 2020 and the Diamond Award for Best Director and Best Short Film at the Mindfield Film Festival 2020.
Kenneth currently works as a visual effects artist on major motion pictures for Marvel and DC such as Captain America: Civil War, Batman V Superman, and Guardians of the Galaxy.
Kenneth’s mentees have won the Nicholl Fellowship, Page Awards, Write Movies, Tracking B, Cinestory Fellowship (finalist), Inroads Fellowship, Launch Pad Feature Competition and Story Pros script competitions (finalist). One script by a mentee under his tutelage “The Never List” was made into an award winning film produced by Imagination Worldwide, Never List Productions, and Burning Bra Productions. Released in close to 200 theaters and is now available in wide release on VOD, it won:
-2020 Indie Street Film Festival (Audience Award for Best Feature)
-2020 Soho International Film Festival (Opening Night Selection)
-2020 Orlando Film Festival (Official Selection)
The Ideal Participant is someone that loves cinema and wants to learn the tools to turn their free-floating ideas, short stories, or novels into original screenplays. Participants can be completely new to writing or experienced—the only requirements are passionate enthusiasm, open mindedness, and a commitment to learning the conventions of visual storytelling which are vastly different from prose writing.
Through the action of writing, ideal students will:
- Learn what goes into sculpting a script, learn the rules—how, when, and if, to break those rules
- Overcome creative roadblocks
- Find their voice
- Adopt an artistic philosophy that can serve all endeavors of creativity
This mentorship is designed to help coalesce all of one’s ideas into a coherent shootable narrative screenplay, show them the ropes, demystify the process and ultimately create and improve the screenwriter inside of them.
This mentorship is focused on writing scripts and cultivating skills and concepts that participants can carry with them and cathartically use to help express their feelings cinematically on paper.
By the end of this 3-month mentorship, writers will learn:
- Screenplay format
- The components of an engaging screenplay
- To generate ideas from scratch and organize them
- How to spot good ideas and build on them
- Strategies to overcoming writing blocks
- What makes a good cinematic story
- How to generate an outline and structure a plot
- How to create interesting characters and dialogue
- Story structure (3 act structure, mythic structure, hero’s journey)
- The ability to edit their work
- To appreciate films in an entirely new way
- What works for them, hone their unique voice and have confidence in their ideas
- To create worlds bound only by imagination
- To have fun
This mentorship will teach you how different screenwriting is from other writing formats such as poetry, short stories, and novels. Its focus is to cultivate skills as a visual storyteller with the script serving as a blueprint for films. It will show you how to tell stories cinematically and how approachable writing a script can be.
Every writer is different so this mentorship is holistic in its philosophy to help overcome judgement, build confidence and learn at the writer’s pace. This comprehensive mentorship will guide you through the creative process and help you start writing regardless of experience or type of script you want to create. Together, we will explore what excites you about cinema and use that as a jumping off point towards creating an innovative and compelling screenplay.
How It Works:
You must first submit and application. Upon acceptance into the mentorship program, you will schedule an initial one-on-one call or Zoom session with Kenneth to discuss where you are at as a writer and your goals, allowing him to get a sense of your previous experience, what to focus on, and where to start.
You will then meet with Kenneth, by phone or Zoom, once a week until the end of the program. This program is flexible and moves at the writer’s pace. Between these meetings, you will be given reading, writing, watching assignments in service to finishing a screenplay.
The art of screenwriting is ultimately in service of creating cinema, so you’ll also be assigned films for study, YouTube videos, articles (on analysis, tips, and film review) tailored to the type of script you’re going to write. You will then discuss these in your weekly sessions and workshop how it can apply to your script. Kenneth will also be available to answer questions or give advice via email at any time. The tempo and amount of output is completely up to the writer; there are no deadlines.
The goal is to have at least a first draft of an outline you’re excited to start scripting by the end of the program.
The Three-Month Mentorship Consists of the Following:
- One-on-one initial consultation via phone or Zoom to discuss your experience, specific needs, and aspirations
- Access to mentor via email for three months
- Weekly meeting between mentor and mentee via phone or Zoom to discuss writing assignment and progress
- Weekly assignments (stories/craft essays/art/films/etc.) tailored to your individual needs and interests
- Personal guidance aimed at building writer’s confidence
- Workshop conversations regarding cinema, genre tropes and how to polish your ideas
- Phone or Zoom conversations to discuss progress and submission
- Based on each week’s discussion, mentor will assign new material (stories, essays, interviews, films, etc.) to aid in growth
- Available to answer questions/provide support at any time via email
Mentee’s Weekly Responsibilities:
- Complete writing assignments
- Read/listen/watch assigned ancillary materials and discuss how it applies to their script
- Participate in email conversations about progress
“I came to Kenneth with almost no screenwriting experience and he recommended the books I should read to learn structure and format, then helped me hone my ideas into an award winning film that was released in close to 200 theaters! He is a fantastic mentor. He is insightful, curious, and fantastic at helping you craft your story. He is a great person to bounce ideas off of and wonderful at helping you when you aren't sure which direction you should take your screenplay. I can't recommend him highly enough!” –Ariadne Shaffer, writer of “The Never List”
Full Tuition for the 3-month program is $1,900. Accepted writers must commit to the full three months and meet all assigned deadlines. You can pay the tuition in full or opt for equal monthly payments by selecting Affirm or Shop Pay at checkout. If you decide to create a monthly payment plan using Affirm, you can do so once you add "Full Tuition" to your cart, enter your contact information, and are on the payment page.
Additional Program Information:
You must first submit and application.
Tuition is $1,900
Program Starts Upon Acceptance
The Mentorship is fully online and students may participate from anywhere.
NOTE: Shifting some dates around may be necessary but any changes will be communicated well in advance, if possible.
Contact us HERE if you have any questions about this program.
Mentor Kenneth Lui is the writer/director of Artists In Agony: Hitmen at the Coda Teahouse, winner of the best comedic feature at the Independent Filmmakers Showcase 2021, which is currently touring the festival circuit. Kenneth grew up in Los Angeles and earned his BA in film production from Art Center College of Design where he wrote and directed his first award winning short film “Falsehood” that showcased at the Cannes Film Festival 2002. Since, he has gone on to make numerous short films which have also garnered numerous awards on the festival circuit. He is a freelance professional editor and visual effects artist and was part of the VFX team on major motion pictures for Marvel and DC such as Captain America: Civil War, Batman V Superman, Guardians of the Galaxy and commercial campaigns for Target, Lexus, and KIA (remember those cute dancing hamsters?) Kenneth also works as an educator for high school as a substitute teacher because the kids make him laugh and help keep him up to date on the latest slang and is also a private tutor for adults in screenwriting. He currently lives in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles with his wife and two cats.
Artists In Agony website: