The First Draft with Pilar Alessandra
The First Draft with Pilar Alessandra

The First Draft with Pilar Alessandra

Event Information

Share this event
Date and Time

Regent's University London

Inner Circle



United Kingdom

View Map

Friends Who Are Going
Event description



Got a great idea?  So why is it not a screenplay yet?
If you have great ideas but consistently procrastinate or get stuck before you even get it on the page, this intensive, highly practical and immediately useful workshop with Hollywood screenwriting teacher Pilar Alessandra will transform both your ideas and your writing process.

What happens over the two days?
"My workshop is about writing, so expect to do some work! There are three stages we will work through, brainstorming the story you want to tell, then outlining that idea (without writing a novel!), and finally getting your story out of your head and on the page quickly, efficiently, and creatively." Pilar Alessandra

You kick around your idea with Pilar, then get to work. Right away.
Right away? What if I am not ready to work? Think again. Pilar will share her techniques then give you 10 minutes. And you just do it. You don't talk.  You don't analyze... You Write!

First, you'll  break story.  Think you don't have a feature or TV idea?  Pilar has three different techniques to help you discover it.

Then you'll write the outline.  But outlines should be 25 pages, right?  Wrong.  Dead wrong. Prepare to have all the major beats worked out in a day.

Next, you'll take those story beats and flesh them out, using your characters as a guide.  Need scenes?  In-class character work will help you discover scene activity!

By day two you're "roughing it out" with a speed draft.  The goal is to finish.  You'll make it pretty later.

And don't forget the dialogue. We'll talk about dialogue that does more than just serve the scene. We'll focus on dialogue that makes people want to hire you.

And by the end of the two days? Pat yourself on the back! You will have found your story, characters and even discovered your writing voice. That's right: You've started writing your script. And you're going to finish it.

Saturday Night Networking
We will be holding unofficial networking drinks at the Metropolitan pub next to Baker Street Tube Station. This is an excellent chance to make a pile of powerful new contacts that can help move your project to the next stage. Remember, at the heart of all our events is our community and networking. So dive in, ask for help and offer you help too. Everyone has a unique set of skills, resources and contacts – and these events help connect that talent and resources.

Absolutely inspiring and stimulating!’
Giordano Trischitta, Screenwriter


SATURDAY 8.45am REGISTRATION // Collect your pass and meet other delegates… The adventure begins!

9.00am BREAKING STORY // We brainstorm story from character, event and premise.  Story and log line templates help you make decisions about what story you want to tell and how you’re going to tell it.

11.00am (30 mins) // Coffee and Networking

11.30am FINDING THE STRUCTURE // It’s not as difficult as you think. And we don’t adhere to common structural rules. Instead, a simple structure tool helps you see the big picture and encourages you to experiment with the time-line.

1.00pm (60 mins) //  Lunch and Networking

2.00pm ADDING STORY BEATS // We break your four-column structure into beats and use set-up and pay-off to help you mine for story gold.  Before long an actual outline begins to take shape.

4.00pm (30 mins) // Coffee and Networking

4.30pm DISCOVERING SCENES // We dig into character to expand story and create new scenes.  We also make stock genre moments feel new by adding a “fresh take” to the scenes.   Add these scenes to your beat-sheet and your outline is complete.  Overnight assignment:  WRITE YOUR OUTLINE!

6.00pm Saturday ends

9.00am SUNDAY – THE SPEED DRAFT // Get ready to cruise through a rough first draft by working solely around scene intention.  What has to be on the page and why?

11.00am (30 mins) // Coffee and Networking

11.30am THE CRAFT // We take a hard look at word choice, spacing of the page and writing style to help smooth out the edges of your rough draft.

1.00pm (60 mins) //  Lunch and Networking

2.00pm THE DIALOGUE // Mastering dialogue is mastering the “power game” of the scene.  No empty chatter here; just agenda-driven dialogue that keeps the reader’s attention and moves story forward.

4.00pm (30 mins) // Coffee and Networking

4.30pm YOUR WRITING PATH // A discussion of the writing challenges ahead and ways to work toward a rewrite.  Questions encouraged.   Assignment :  WRITE YOUR SCRIPT!

6.00pm Close

What screenwriters’ say about Pilar

'Pilar is great! I’m no longer daunted by the prospect of rewriting, and confident I have the tools to make my script great!’
Adam Spring, Screenwriter

'Pilar’s class is the most important workshop I’ve been to for those taking their script through the scary waters of the rewrite’
David Jacobson, Writer and Filmmaker

‘Unless you’ve got producers banging your door down begging to make your film, you NEED Pilar’s rewrite’
Lynda Kennedy, Writer

‘Jam packed with practical tools and effortless insight – brilliant teaching from a very generous expert’
Giselle Boucher – Writer

‘Just bloody brilliant’
Mary Evans, Screenwriter

‘Exceeded all my expectations – a must for any writer, no matter how experienced!’
Natasha Pring – Actor, Writer

Meet Pilar Alessandra, voted Number 1 speaker at the London Screenwriters’ Festival five years in a row

PILAR ALESSANDRA is the director of the popular writing program “On The Page” and author of “The Coffee Break Screenwriter.” A sought-after teacher and lecturer, she’s traveled the world teaching screenwriting, pitching and story analysis. As a consultant, she’s helped thousands of writers create, refine and sell their scripts and was named “Cream of the Crop” in Creative Screenwriting’s Script Consultant Survey. Her students and clients have sold to Disney, DreamWorks, Warner Brothers and Sony and have won prestigious competitions, including the Austin Film Festival and Nicholl Fellowship.

Pilar jump-started her career in film as a script reader for Amblin Entertainment. With the formation of DreamWorks, she became Senior Story Analyst and a reader liaison between the studio and Robert Zemeckis’s company ImageMovers. Her expert script analysis was also sought out by The Robert Evans Company, Cineville Entertainment, Handprint Entertainment and Saturday Night Live Studios. Work at Interscope Communications led her to a position as Senior Story Analyst for Scott Kroopf’s production company Radar Pictures.

Pilar was later bitten by the “teaching bug” while teaching screenwriting and story analysis at the UCLA Writers’ Program. In 2001, she started her own company “On the Page,” and in 2004 opened the On the Page Writers Studio in Sherman Oaks, California. In the interest of expanding access to her teaching tools, Pilar created the instructional DVD “On the Page” and presents the weekly “On the Page Podcast” with guests from within the industry. Recently, Pilar was listed as one of LA Weekly’s top 100 people in their “Best of LA People” issue.

Share with friends
Date and Time

Regent's University London

Inner Circle



United Kingdom

View Map

Save This Event

Event Saved