Writers/Filmmakers Retreat

The Eugene International Film Festival again proudly presents a feature unique among major filmfests: an intensive 3-day Writers/Filmmakers Retreat, taught by Hollywood-and-Publishing insiders!

And – starting in 2016 – EIFF is excited to announce that The Retreat’s focus has expanded to include solid instruction/advice on writing and selling books and stageplays plus one-on-one sessions with these highly successful Professionals!

Hollywood Writer’s Agent Ken Sherman, Film/Video Distributor/Producer Mike Katchman, and TV Series Showrunner/Screenwriter/Novelist/playwright Thomas B. Sawyer will present and demonstrate no-nonsense techniques for creating and selling or even self-publishing/producing your TV and movie projects, stageplays, novels and non-fiction books in today’s changing marketplace.

During their intro session, scheduled one-on-one talks, and 9 hours of class-time at our Oakshire Public House classroom, these veterans of “the Biz” work closely with aspiring writers, helping them hone their material, and effectively “pitch” their concepts and themselves – essential elements of breaking into Film/TV/Stage/Book Writing, and winning.

Sharing their experiences and answering questions about launching one’s career. Sherman, Sawyer and Katchman’s popular, widely acclaimed Retreat is now in its 10th year, running concurrently with the Festival, Nov. 14-20, 2016, and new this year, a private 20 minute one-on-one with a Retreat instructor!

Tom Sawyer

Filmmaker, screenwriter, novelist, playwright Tom Sawyer was Head Writer/Showrunner of the classic CBS series, Murder, She Wrote, for which he wrote 24 episodes. Edgar and Emmy-nominated, Tom has sold and written 9 TV series pilots, 100 episodes, both comedy and drama, and was Head Writer/Showrunner or Story Editor on 15 network TV series. He wrote/directed/produced the feature-film cult comedy, Alice Goodbody. His documentary film, Reunion, was honored by the New York Film Festival, and received national theatrical release.

Tom is co-librettist/lyricist of JACK, a musical drama about John F. Kennedy, backed by the Shuberts, that has been performed to acclaim in the US and Europe. He is publisher of Storybase 2.0 writer’s software. Tom’s book, Fiction Writing Demystified, and Storybase are Writer’s Digest Book Club Selections. He’s taught writing at UCLA, at other colleges, at writers conferences from Maui to Cape Cod, Florida, Las Vegas, Dallas, Biloxi & elsewhere.

Tom is a member of the DGA, WGA, MWA, ITW and ATAS, his recent best-selling thriller: No Place to Run. His newest, a thriller-with-humor: Cross Purposes. Visit his website.

tom sawyer

Ken Sherman

Ken Sherman is President of Ken Sherman and Associates, a Los Angeles-based literary agency. An agent for more than twenty years, Ken represents screen, television and book writers, and also sells film and television rights to books as well as life rights.

Ken’s clients include David Guterson, author of Snow Falling on Cedars, Tawni O’Dell, whose screenplay of her international bestselling, Oprah Book Club first novel, Back Roads, is about to become a major, Adrian Lyne movie (starring Spiderman Andrew Garfield), Anne Perry, the world’s best-known Victorian murder mystery writer and author of 60 books, and Starhawk, considered the best-known witch in the world. David Cronenberg’s movie, A Dangerous Method, released last October, is based on client John Kerr’s book. Ken also represents the estates of Luis Buñuel, John Hersey, and Simon Wiesenthal.

Ken has lectured extensively at venues including UCLA, USC, Loyola University in both New Orleans and Los Angeles, Santa Barbara Writer’s Conference, Maui Writer’s Conference, University of Oklahoma, Sherwood Oaks Experimental College, Santa Fe Writer’s Conference, The Novelists, Inc. Conference/San Diego, San Francisco Writer’s Conference, Aspen Institute, and The Aspen Summer Words Writer’s Conference.

Since graduating from the UC-Berkeley as a psychology major, Ken has taught his course, The Business of Writing for Screen, Television and Publishing, at both USC and UCLA for more than six years.

Ken maintains strong community involvement, serving as an Arts and Cultural Affairs Commissioner in the City of West Hollywood, is a founding member of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts/Los Angeles (BAFTA) and is a member of both the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and the International Advisory Board of the Christopher Isherwood Foundation.

ken sherman

Mike Katchman

Following his successful career in home video marketing, sales, and acquisitions, Mike Katchman was recruited by Orion Films, quickly moving into management where he flourished during the golden era in which Orion set the pace with such hits as Dances with Wolves and Silence of the Lambs.

From there, Mike became involved with film acquisitions as well as marketing. Rising to Senior VP of Sales, Mike became responsible for all of Orion‘s entertainment sales in the U.S. and Canada. When Orion was sold to MGM, he filled a similar role until being drafted by Lionsgate. In his three very productive years with Lionsgate, their revenues rose from $32 million to $110 million. Lured away by First Look Studios, from 2004-07 Mr. Katchman was central to an even more dramatic 500% increase in sales.

Following that achievement, Mike decided to break away from the establishment and create a brand new entity. He is now at the helm of Patient Educational Media Services, Pemsed.com, creating valuable Film Discharge learning programs, in order to provide better patient health care outcomes.

mike katchman

Retreat Schedule

 

INTRO SESSION – Wednesday, Nov. 16

Hollywood Insiders Thomas B. Sawyer, Ken Sherman and Michael Katchman will be available from 5-6 PM to describe Retreat Goals, meet, greet and answer Students’ questions at our Oakshire Public House classroom.

RETREAT INSTRUCTOR/STUDENT MIXER – ONE-ON-ONE STUDENT CONFERENCES – Thursday, Nov. 17 – 4 – 5:30 pm. OPENING RECEPTION – 5:30 PM

Scheduled 15 Minute private sessions with Ken, Tom or Michael.

 

CLASS SESSION #1 – Friday Evening, Nov. 18

6 – 8 PM

INTRODUCTIONS

WORKSHOP: Ken & Tom
A. In class, students write one 1-3 sentence story idea/logline.
B. Students expand each into one paragraph.

ASSIGNMENT:
Write a one or two-page synopsis with brief descriptions of each major character.

8 – 9 PM

Scheduled 15 Minute One-on-One private sessions with Ken, Tom or Michael.

 

CLASS SESSION #2 – Saturday Morning – Nov 19, 9 AM – Noon

PRESENT and CRITIQUE ASSIGNMENTS: Mike, Ken & Tom

WORKSHOP: Tom
THINKING VISUALLY – STORY STRUCTURE – BEGINNING, MIDDLE & ENDINGS
A. Basic three-act structure.
B. Scene structure.

WORKSHOP: Ken & Mike
FINDING AN AGENT – WHAT WORKS IN THE MARKETPLACE
Pitching your work – and yourself.

PERSONAL MEETINGS with Ken, Mike, or Tom

ASSIGNMENT:
Write a two to three page dialogue scene, which will be read aloud/performed tomorrow by fellow students.

 

CLASS SESSION #3 – Sunday Morning – Nov 20, 9 AM – Noon

PRESENT/CRITIQUE ASSIGNMENTS (roles played by students): Ken, Mike & Tom

WORKSHOP: Tom
CHARACTERS
A. Character creation.
B. Motivating plot by building conflict into character mix.

WORKSHOP: Ken & Mike
THE BUSINESS OF PUBLISHING, FILM AND TELEVISION.
What you need to break in – and stay in!

Ken, Mike & Tom
Summations/Questions/Discussion

NO HOST LUNCH with Ken, Mike & Tom.

Upcoming Events

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017
Sweet Cheeks Winery Tasting Room
7:00 PM | “The Promise”
Reservations: (541) 600-8972

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