SO HOW DO WE GET STARTED?
If you’re interested in pursuing the possibility of working with me, first send me a short initial email (see the contact page on this site) saying as much and I will get back to you pronto. This way we’ll be able to establish a private (and spam free) email connection.
Then we can set up a short initial phone call to briefly discuss your project and answer any procedural questions you may have. I'll then most likely ask you to send me via email attachments or snail mail (whichever you prefer) a simple one-page description or outline of the story idea you want to develop (or have developed) as either as a film or a play, a paragraph or two about yourself and your experience as a writer, and a ten-page scriptwriting sample (either play or screenplay, not necessarily from the project you're seeking help with).
For no charge, I will read this material, determine if I think we’re a good fit, and get back to you within a few days. I don’t want to waste your time and money if I don’t think I can be of good service to you and your project. My other consideration is that, as much as I enjoy doing this, I have a finite amount of time to devote to consulting work and as a result can take on only a limited number of clients at any one time. In other words, it’s impossible for me to take on every project that I’m presented with—I take this game very seriously and make a major and personal commitment to clients—and therefore I’m admittedly a bit selective.
If I think I can be of help to you and your project and, after these initial exchanges, you decide you want to proceed, then we can begin the process of working together.
WHAT I CAN OFFER AND WHAT IT MIGHT COST YOU
How we proceed with the consultancy will obviously depend on what stage you’re at with the project and what you want help with. As every project is different and at a different stage of development with its own set of issues, we’ll take it step by step, with the option always open after each step for you to call it quits.
Because each project has its own unique issues and set of challenges—this work is not a mass-produced, assembly line type of operation (and I would be leery of anyone who suggests a set-in-stone price for various services)—it’s impossible upfront to say precisely how much you may be shelling out as we work together on a project. However, here are some ballpark numbers laying out roughly what you might expect to pay if you were to work with me through a typical step-by-step approach:
• If we start working together with initial story idea development, then via email and/or on the phone I'll take you through a series of exercises and discuss with you ways that will help you define and test your premise and design your story's structural underpinnings. Call it basic story structural engineering. (c.$200)
• Then, building on this work, we can move into character work and backstory, where I will guide you through the development of a rich and intricate story world populated by living, breathing characters. (c.$200)
• Next, analysis and further invention of the main story structural elements, including drawing up an initial blueprint of how the story can be shaped into a three-act script with the creation of a preliminary plot outline, a road map as to how it might unfold scene by scene. (c.$300)
• And then, when you feel ready, you'll go off and write your first draft. As is often the case, this may be the phase where we first start working together. If you've already brought me in pre-first draft, then I may or may not be involved in this part of the process--giving feedback and support as you work through writing the draft (you do the writing!)--or you may want to keep me out of it until you turn in the finished draft. We'll figure that out as we proceed. Regardless, when you turn in the draft, I'll give you extensive script notes and analysis and as much consulting time on the phone as is warranted and/or that you can afford or want. (c.400-600+)
• Finally, it's on to the rewriting process until you think it's ready to show to the world. I'll weigh in on this phase as much as you want. (Cost will vary depending on how much you involve me)
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It's important to stress that I'm open to begin working with you at any phase, depending on where you're at with a project and the kind of help you're looking for. Also, that this kind of consultancy must remain necessarily flexible in terms of our time together on the various phases and explorations undertaken. The process of writing a script always has to be open to new discoveries as you proceed. What you think now is the best road map for a script might change considerably as you dig deeper into the process and new layers of your story are revealed.