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Wednesday, August 03, 2005

This site seems pretty impressive until you sift through the doubletalk. Can anyone convince me that the "Screenwriters Federation of America" (previously, misleadingly dubbed the "Screenwriter's Guild of America") is not a bunch of guys without meaningful credits supporting themselves by taking advantage of wanna-be screenwriters?


A very slick and pretty site. Nowhere does it list who they are, and it is very unclear what you actually get for your hundreds of dollars in membership fees. Nice (he said with much sarcasm).

By Blogger Fun Joel, at 9:45 AM  

Alex, don't be ridiculous. They have a fancy flash intro. How could a site with a fancy flash intro be anything but legit?

Seriously, I've never heard of them, but I wasn't impressed when the first thing I saw (after the fancy flash intro) was:

The entertainment industry is one of the most competitive businesses in the world. If you're going to compete against working professionals, you have to know the standards—and those standards are very high. In order to work and work consistently, you must surpass those standards. You can't succeed as a professional Screenwriter without professional training and feedback. Any scirpt that you write is the product of literally thousands of decisions.

Yes, sir, there is nobody who can help my script meet professional standards like somebody who can't even spell the word "script."

-Jacob SW

By Blogger Jacob Sager Weinstein, at 11:36 AM  

Also misusing "literally." Scripts get to the screen as a result of maybe ten decisions, tops:

a. reader
b. development exec
c. her boss, a production exec
d. head of production co
e. director
f. star
g. head of studio.

Whoops, no, that's seven decisions.

By Blogger Alex Epstein, at 11:52 AM  

Wait a minute! There's standards in this business?!!! How come nobody told me?

(said with equal sarcasm to Fun Joel - I have to maintain standards don't I?)

By Blogger Bill Cunningham, at 12:21 PM  

Or is that..."sarcasm equal to Fun Joel's?"

English - what a language!

By Blogger Bill Cunningham, at 12:26 PM  

I can't believe I'm defending these guys, but the one thing I give them credit for is that they actually do seem to be using "literally" correctly. They don't say that selling a script is the result of thousands of decisions; they say writing a script is. And I think you could make a case that, when you add up all the choices involves in characterization, plot, word choice, etc, it does add up to thousands.

Of course, if the people who put this website together could actually write clearly, it would have been easier to figure out what they meant with that sentence.

-Jacob SW

By Blogger Jacob Sager Weinstein, at 9:22 AM  

I can attest that for a modest annual fee these guys have been awesome! They have held my hand as a new writer with mentorship on: script formatting, story structure, coverage, contacting agents and much more... Every time I've contacted them with a question they have responded immediately. I've also talked with a half dozen or so representatives via telephone (they called me long distance on their dime) to discuss my questions in-depth. They also help nonmembers with the same enthusiasm and kindness. I know, they helped me so much as a nonmber I finally joined.

By Blogger Slugline, at 3:28 PM  

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