Few kinds of writing need to work in as many dimensions as screenwriting. Dialogue, visual cues, and true-to-life emotion all come into play when penning a script, and it must be able to live and breathe once a cast and a director take it on.
It’s a big undertaking—fortunately, members of Screenwriters Down South don’t have to go it alone.
Nick Savides, local podcaster and filmmaker, co-founded Screenwriters Down South two years ago with Upperline Event Productions owner Joe Vuci.
“Because writing is so solitary, you can get stuck in your own little space, and it feels kind of lonely,” Savides says. “So it’s encouraging to have that sense of community.”
The monthly meetup centers on workshopping members’ scripts and reading and discussing some of the greats, from Casablanca to Lady Bird to the pilots of Mad Men and Breaking Bad. While some members just write for fun, others are penning web series or short films, while others are working on longer projects and looking to collaborate on how best to sell to Hollywood. One member has even sold a script to Lionsgate.
It’s not just each member’s approach to screenwriting that differs, but their lifestyles. The club’s members range from film industry insiders to a trauma counselor to IT specialists. A diverse group means diverse points of view, which comes in handy during critique. After all, a script has to feel real.
“We have a wide mix,” Savides says. “It gives [our workshopping] something that’s grounded in reality. That’s something that I like about Louisiana: that there are so many kinds of people, people with all kinds of backgrounds, and it’s not just a movie town. L.A. has a very strong movie town kind of feel, and while that’s interesting, it’s nice to have conversations with people sometimes that aren’t just about the movies, that are about culture and music and food and every walk of life.”
When they sit down inside the Main Library at Goodwood for meetings, there are no bad ideas, only ideas with room to grow. They’ll collaborate, discuss, critique, pull inspiration from classic scripts and from one another. They hold one another accountable by encouraging everyone to share what they’ve been working on this month. They share the love of film and television and that sweet feeling of a perfectly hit line or emotional beat.
But most of all, they write.
HOW TO JOIN
Find Screenwriters Down South on meetup.com, where you can sign up for the group’s next session.
Click here to head back to our club headquarters.
This article was originally published in the March 2018 issue of 225 Magazine.