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In October of 2015 I entered the McKee Cartoon writing contest.
I actually had some faith and confidence in my submission. Some time went by and when I received the email I had actually forgotten about it. I WON 1st place and the prize was this a trip to this seminar for free plus my one page comic panel would be illustrated (as of writing this, it still hasn’t been published.)
April 19th, 2016 was the last day of my job which I’ve gone into that ad nauseam on my podcast so I’ll skip the details of that for now. The very next day I would depart and head to New York. As promised here is my experiences during the McKee 3 Day Story seminar in April 2016 in New York.
We sat together in Famous Originals Ray’s pizza (I’m not sure if this is the one Kramer was referring to)
Robert McKee is renowned as one of the top (if not THE top) story analysis in the world. McKee started this Story Seminar in 1983 while at USC.
I remember having lunch with a respected Yale screenwriting professor and attorney, and McKee’s name kept coming up as THE guy. There are several well known screenwriters including John Cleese who have expressed their admiration for McKee, and Cleese himself has taken the seminar three times before writing, ‘A Fish Called Wanda‘.
The Story seminar is a 3 day seminar dedicated to telling stories with a main focus on writing movies.
Would I recommend this seminar? Yes.
Is it for beginners? Yes
Is it for advanced? Yes
What were the biggest strengths? Definitely the third day. That’s when I felt everything really came together especially as McKee discussed Being and Becoming. Also I thank god McKee didn’t go over formatting. (Side note I find it odd that there are still webinars on screenwriting formatting. Why would anyway pay for that when all you have to do is use Final Draft?)
What were the biggest weaknesses? We agreed that since McKee has taught screenwriting to so many people, and since Neal,Howard, and myself aren’t beginners there were bound to be some information that was repeated.
What to bring if you decide to go;
McKee has a sequel to this seminar, called ‘Genres‘, which is one day that I’m strongly considering attending in October 2016 back in New York. If you decide to go please make sure you find me to say hi. This is what I look like:
Jeff Annison is an American businessperson, and co-founder and president of Legion M, the world’s first fan-owned entertainment company. He is also the co-founder and CEO of New York Rock Exchange, co-founder and CEO of Underground Labs, and co-founder of MobiTV.
Alan Watt is the founder of the LA Writers Lab and the author of the book, ‘The 90 Day Screenplay‘. He also recently completed his first feature film, Diamond Dogs, which is based off his own best selling novel of the same name.
David M Latt is the co-founder of the Asylum, one of the largest independent film studios operating today. We talk creating ideas, managing budget, and the upcoming Sharknado 4 – The Fourth Awakens.
William Dickerson is the writer/director of DETOUR, THE MIRROR, DON’T LOOK BACK, & author of the book, DETOUR: Hollywood. He’s currently crowdfunding for the project, No Alternative: A feature Film on IndieGoGo.