Free Mini-Camp: “Night of 1000 Conceits”
An Opportunity to Test Your Project Ideas
to Identify & Best Describe Their Fresh Entertainment
Thurs., Feb. 15th, 4:30pm-6pm (LA Time) via zoom
with Founder Jeffrey Gordon (JG)
Once you RSVP, zoom will control your access.
LA-Based Professional Members are welcome to attend in-person
FOR IN-PERSON RSVP, please email email@example.com
We Work In An Idea Business–But What Is An Idea Anyway?
Please join us as Writers Boot Camp Founder Jeffrey Gordon (JG) will briskly walk a group of alumni through a process of testing and revising their Conceit Statements. We’ll cover this unique exercise that identifies the one or two layers of material within a story that will separate it from all others of similar content, genre, character experience, archetypes, paradigms, and thematic subject.
Not the renowned Premise Line, created by JG back in the late 80s, which does so much more to focus a writer’s process than any logline can ever do–including becoming a much more effective elevator pitch–a Conceit Statement may often feel like a compact description of the story and overlap with the premise while focusing ONLY on the Story Components and ingredients pertinent to and comprising the fresh and entertaining part of the story.
All the lip service paid to the importance of story misses the point because it’s all story is derivative. That means your project is inherently at risk of falling flat under the weight of its lack of originality.
A conceit as we define it–in the tools and development sense at Writers Boot Camp–is the fresh approach you will take to some aspect of your project. It’s NOT the arrangement of the story, like the cool three-stories-in-one decision in PULP FICTION. And it’s NOT the art direction in BLADERUNNER. Those two facets are elements of the medium of filmic storytelling and can elevate an audience experience, though they are not Conceits.
At its core, a conceit can be interchanged with the word unique, as in two kinds of conceits: Unique Action or Unique Personality.
A refresher, primarily for our Professional Members, JG will define these approaches, share a Conceit Test, and then conduct a notes section to offer suggestions for further articulating Conceit Statements.
Past Pro Members back in the 90s and early 2000s, may recall that we originally started these statements with the phrase “Scenes that show”, that phrase at the start of a single sentence exercise a handle of a sort to follow with what will be shown.
By 2010, if not before, JG noticed that scenes alone may not convey enough of the DNA that a writer needs to develop a unique approach in the actual script. Scene ideas can be fool’s gold in that the execution is only fully illustrated with moments on the page, “setpieces”, that phrase borrowed from the two-word industry term “set piece”, which means something different, literally a piece of the set or a prop or article or artifice of the stage or production.
That distinction (about distinctions) led to a better start to Conceit Statements: “Setpieces that show…” When a writer’s lines of dialogue or lines of scene direction or action carry the ingredients of the fresh approach, the promise of the premise becomes explicit on the page.
That’s the challenge of writing and development. To match the page–the character interactions and moments of action–to the idea. When writing any script or book intended to be adapted to the big or small screen, we’re writing conceptually. Screenplays are not the usual form of writing–and ideas and stories for the screen require an iterative process. Your first version will rarely survive the third draft.
The Mini-Camp will be hosted at our space, Unit B, across from the main gate in the historical arts center B-Building at 2525 Michigan Ave, Santa Monica, one block east of Cloverfield Blvd just north of the 10 freeway. Plus, Bergamot Station is a convenient Metro stop since 2016 for anyone crossing town.
Normally reserved for our Professional Members, this is a free topical event to support breakthroughs as you approach the year ahead. If you RSVP, please let us know if you have a last-minute conflict and cannot attend. Feel free to forward to one individual artist who will benefit from what we do.
This short Mini-Camp will help you identify your priority areas of improvement. Whether it’s in your business approach, your planning and process management, or story development, or issues on the page, a few of the many recurring writer problems will naturally resonate.
Our Professional Members gain the benefit of the delineation of the writing process into six stages of achievement, most of which are about rewriting in layers. They quickly learn to avoid linear or text-driven writing and editing of earlier drafts.
Additional Note About Our Professional View
Of session, even the best concept for a movie or TV series will be limited by your level of craft on the page. Ultimately, the execution of the script page is a function of the idea expressed page-by-page and that’s one of the unique aspects of screenwriting versus other forms of writing like prose. That said, writers of books and novels will benefit from the application of Writers Boot Camp’s structural and fundamental tools.
Writers Boot Camp’s support of countless careers for more than 30 years has encouraged alumni through unique tools and techniques to activate and align through focusing on the work. The strategies of integrating more definitive rewriting techniques, regularly updating Premise Lines and project lists, and owning one’s storytelling approach–within scripts and manuscripts, and also in the arrangement of shared personal experiences and anecdotes–empower and cultivate a sensibility, a creative intention and direction.
While Writers Boot Camp’s tools ritually help writers become more productive and efficient with their time, it’s professionally important to refine your creative point of view and artistic intent.
Career breakthroughs after numerous scripts and struggles are mostly due to a writer’s hard-fought epiphanies from countless critiques by producers, executives, friends in the business and gatekeepers (readers). Undeterred, the integration of the layers of comment can finally foster a writer’s own authority.
A writer’s lack of idea testing, including the failure to compare and distinguish ideas to the lineage of what’s come before, will tend to limit success and creative transcendence. The best writers do not take years and years to get a clearer picture of the process and the profession.
If you have hesitated to go through our 10-Week Basic Training or to become a Pro Member, especially if the obstacle has been primarily financial, then we encourage you to email us to schedule a conversation to stop letting finances be a career obstacle.
For questions, call 310/998-1199 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.