LA pro holds first time film/tv writing seminar here

LA-based screenwriter/producer Jeff Schimmel brings his unique two-day “Maximum Screenwriting” seminar to Chicago for the first time this weekend, delving into “what the books can’t teach you and what the others won’t tell you.”

“Maximum Screenwriting” is a double whammy course as it covers both film, over an eight-hour Saturday, and television writing all day on Sunday – the latter not usually taught by a pro like Schimmel.

He is a 27-year veteran of Hollywood movie studios, TV networks, production companies and Oscar-winners, who started his career during the 1980s after being invited to collaborate on a project with the late Chicago filmmaker Harold Ramis

“I cover every single topic you can think of, including the ‘secrets’ you’d never think of that otherwise would take a writer at least two years, or longer, to learn. I do everything in my power to help writers of all skill levels to succeed, whether they are trying to write for TV or film, want to work on staff, or want to sell a screenplay.”

Among those topics are film and television story structure; character development; keys to great dialogue; outlining (and how it sets the writer free); how to recognize a good idea; rewriting (and learning to love it); pitching; playing the agent game; how networks find new shows, how to forever kill the curse of procrastination, and more.

Schimmel also takes his seminar beyond the classroom. If he feels a student’s screenplay is exceptionally good, and at the writer’s request, he will pass it onto his industry contacts for further consideration. “I don’t forget my students,” he says.

In fact, he prides himself on not leaving a venue until every question is answered – “even if it means staying long after the Sunday session is over.”

A free pre-seminar Thursday, July 23 will be held at the Irish Bistro, 3905 N. Lincoln, 7 p.m., for seminar registrants and Schimmel will stay to have drinks and/or dinner with them.

At the Mundelein Center for the Fine and Performing Arts, room 616, 1020 W Sheridan, 9 a.m.- 5:30 both days

Register for the seminar here. Reel Chicago readers receive $60 off, or pay $229, by using the promotional code REELCHICAGO on the Eventbrite registration page. The discount code is valid until 12 noon Wednesday, July 22.

Bonus: Registrants will receive a free film or TV script coverage/analysis, a $125 value, valid anytime for one year.