The purpose of Concept Prep is twofold. First, it allows the Director to introduce their story and its larger concept to faculty who will help oversee the film through completion. Second, it is an opportunity to hear story concept questions and concerns and incorporate any final notes and suggestions.
Writer/directors or writers and directors are required to present at Concept Prep. Other department heads are welcome to attend and listen if invited to do so by the director but should only observe. Expect to spend 1 hour and 45 minutes, although in some cases actual meetings may be shorter.
Join the slack channel #sp19-mth-conceptprep to submit a PDF of the latest draft of your script, then click the channel name to leave the channel. Faculty representing screenwriting, directing, production design, and editing will read your draft. To give faculty time to fully review and digest, submit a dated draft to faculty NO LATER THAN 48 hours before the meeting. (Ex. 11am Thu mtg will be due by 11am Tue.)
Section I – Story and Concept Presentation
The director or writer/director begins with the title, the tone and genre, the logline, the essence or takeaway for the audience, and the reason why you are passionate to tell this story. Then the writer or writer/director gives a short (5 min max) pitch, hitting the key emotional beats of the story. This brief summary of the story helps faculty know if the story being told is also the story on the page.
Remember we have read your script, so keep it brief. Focus on beats relating to character change, and detail any larger concept ideas that help us to understand tone, world, and scope. Underlying visuals that assist during this presentation are helpful and encouraged but not mandatory
Section II – Faculty Q&A
The remainder will be questions and discussion led by the faculty about story clarity, intention, and concept based on both the script and the Story and Concept Presentation. The director, writer, or writer/director must be prepared to address any thoughts the faculty may have. Anticipate potential questions regarding your specific story to make this process as beneficial as possible for you.
Please be as open and honest as possible as we all wish to help you tell the story you want to tell. Consider this an opportunity to get “fresh eyes” on material that is almost ready to shoot. Write down all notes and then decide later how best to implement them. Be sure to ask any clarifying questions during the meeting if you are unclear about feedback, as after Concept Prep we will no longer talk story and only focus on HOW to achieve what is in the script moving forward.
After the Meeting
Incorporate any notes occurring as a result of Concept Prep. You will submit the revised draft of the script no later than 48 hours prior to the Production Prep.