3-Month ONLINE Playwrighting / Screenwriting Mentorship, Applications Accepted on a Rolling Basis
Click here to apply | Applications Accepted on a Rolling Basis
Mentorship is open to Playwrights and Screenwriters
Mentor Taz Skylar is a 2020 Lawrence Olivier Award nominated writer, actor and producer based in London. His last play, WARHEADS, which got him the nomination, has been sold to Ascendant Films and is being developed into a feature film with Taz as a writer/actor.
The Ideal Applicant may be at any stage of writing their script(s), but will have at least decided that they have stories to tell and want to do so through the mediums of Film/TV and/or Theater. The ideal applicant should come to this mentorship program with the drive and energy to work on their craft in a consistent and systematic way.
"It’s not about how fast you’re moving, it’s about not pausing."
Applicants should have a basic understanding of scriptwriting. The goal of the 3-month program is to have at least one polished piece (re-drafted and developed into a script they can eventually show to agents, producers, etc.) along with a plan on how they are going to move forward. At the end of the mentorship, each writer should also have developed a deeper understanding of their personal style and voice as a writer and, fingers crossed, have a clearer idea of how they will start to build their stable of scripts.
The mentorship is NOT about being perfect or having all the answers. It’s about working on your craft, figuring out what your strengths are, whilst also doubling down on your weaknesses. You'll learn and develop a system, which you can take forward for the rest of your writing journey, whereby the next time you want to write something, you know how to take the initial steps, develop it past the first draft, and translate notes/suggestions into actionable changes. You'll know how to arrive at something that is polished and produceable.
This mentorship is ALSO NOT a formal and/or dry teacher-student program, where you’ll get a stereotypical rundown of how scripts should be written. Rather, it is a program where you’ll be working with your mentor on figuring out how YOUR scripts should be written and what makes you an individual. Together, we'll draw your voice out. You’ll receive actionable advice and experience from someone who has learned by doing and is making a living selling scripts.
Questions this mentorship will help you answer:
- How do I choose between all the different stories and ideas I have?
- Once I’ve chosen an idea, what is the process I should be going through to get it on the page?
- How the fuck do I structure it? What even is structure?
- I’ve heard so many different takes on structure, I’m confused as to which one I should be using?
- How does structure differ in a play, film, television show, or short?
- How do I know if my idea is a TV show, a film, or a play?
- How do I create three dimensional characters?
- How can I write great dialogue that rolls off the tongue?
- Once it IS on the page, how do I make it better?
- When do I know if a script is ready to be sent to the people who can make it?
- Once it is ready, how do I even find the people who can make it?
- How do I make a career out of this?
Interested applicants should be aware that the answer to all these questions is one part your mentor telling you an answer and two parts you applying those answers and figuring out how those answers work for you. A good script requires critique, consistent work and an openness to learn.
Two quotes you need to agree with going into this:
‘’He/She Who Knows Not And Knows Not That He/She Knows Not, Is A Fool.’’ -Confuscious
‘’Give a man/woman a fish, they’ll eat for a day… Teach a man/woman how to fish, they’ll eat for the rest of their life."
How much of yourself you put into it will be how much you get out. Taz will be there to push you as hard and far as you’re willing to go. You will work through all your doubts and obstacles together in a collaborative way. This program is about teaching you how to fish. That is the mentality you should be coming in with.
How It Works:
Upon acceptance into the program, you will schedule an initial one-on-one call or Zoom session with Taz to discuss where you are in your writing journey and what your concrete goals are. This will give Taz an understanding of your previous experience and attitude toward feedback. Together, you’ll narrow down your ideas, chose the right medium they should be written in (unless you’ve already decided) and create a work plan for the next three months.
You will meet with Taz by phone or Zoom every two weeks until the end of the program.
Prior to these meetings, you will be expected to send a concise process letter of no more than one page detailing the work you have accomplished as well as your successes and concerns for the month. As you know, the Film/TV/Theater world is built upon being direct/concise with your ideas, so the shorter you can learn to make these reports, the better position you will be in going forward into pitching, working with producers, directors, etc.
Along with the letter, you will also submit written assignments set on the previous call. Keep in mind these may vary in length. Some tasks may require you to submit a two page outline and others, depending on your progress, may include deadlines for script drafts. Often, you will be asked to talk through these submissions on the call, reinforcing your ability as a writer to be concise and clearly communicate your work and ideas to a third party.
Regularly reading and watching different forms of storytelling across various mediums is essential to improvement, so every two weeks Taz will help supply you with a read/watch list tailored to your goals.
Regardless of wether you want to write a Film/Short Film/TV Show/Play, you may end up watching/reading mixtures of all of them. Your ability to write better dialogue in your film could be greatly enhanced by reading more plays, and your ability to effectively construct better plots in plays might be enhanced by watching specific films and/or TV shows. You will then discuss these in your monthly sessions in addition to your process letter and task submissions.
Taz will also be available to answer questions, talk through any issues or blocks you may be having, and provide advice via email at any time for the duration of the three-month mentorship.
By the end, you and Taz will collaborate to put together a list of agents and producers who may be the right fit for your work, along with an action plan for getting them to actually answer your emails and potentially want to work with you.
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
- Monthly meeting between mentor and mentee via phone or Zoom to discuss latest submission and progress.
- Monthly assignments tailored to your individual needs and interests.
- An actionable plan for moving your career forward and building the right team of collaborators around you.
Mentor’s Monthly Input:
- Phone or Zoom conversations to discuss progress and submission
- Based on each month’s discussion, assignments, and progress letters, mentor will assign new material (films, TV shows, Plays, books, interviews, podcasts, etc.) to aid in growth
- Available to answer questions/provide support at any time via email.
Mentee’s Monthly Responsibilities:
- Complete the tasks set every two weeks by mentor and send in relevant material for commentary and discussion.
- Concise One-page progress letter, reflecting on successes, concerns, and goals.
- Read/listen/watch assigned ancillary materials.
- Participate in email conversations about progress.
Full Tuition for the 3-month program is $1,900. Accepted writers must commit to the full three months and meet all assigned deadlines. Once accepted into the program, writers can pay the tuition in full or in two equal payments of $950 (1st Payment made upon acceptance; 2nd Payment made one month later).
Additional Program Information:
Tuition is $1,900
No more than 8 writers will be accepted
Program Starts September 14, 2020
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 Taz Skylar is a 2020 Lawrence Olivier Award nominated writer, actor and producer based in London. His last play, WARHEADS, which got him the nomination, has been sold to Ascendant Films and is being developed into a feature film with Taz as a writer/actor. Taz has also optioned and is developing a TV show with a UK-based production company Three Little Birds Pictures, alongside developing many more with his UK/US based manager and agents. He has written/produced an array of award-winning short films, which have screened around the world at Madrid International Film Festival (EU), Orlando International Film Festival (US), and New Renaissance Internanional film festival (UK). Taz honed his craft as a writer at one of the Royal Courts writers groups in London, home to some of the most prolific British writers in history, from Oscar, Toni and Olivier Award nominated writers such as Harold Pinter, David Hare and Christopher Hampton. As an actor, Taz has also worked on both contemporary and classical pieces in productions of all scales, from West-End renditions of Agatha Christie’s plays, to American Feature films and British Indies, which has given him an understanding of the different tonal and scaleable angles from which to approach different forms of work.