The First Draft with Pilar (March 18th and 19th)

with Pilar Alessandra

The First Draft with Pilar (March 18th and 19th) image

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.

When: March 18th and 19th (Sat / Sun) 2017
Where: Regents University, Regents Park, London
How Much: £159 (£99 Early Bird)

1039178264‘An excellent workshop. Insightful, inspiring and jam packed with useful tools and information’
Janet Awe, Screenwriter

What happens over the two days?

‘My workshop is about writing, so expect to do so me 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

‘Ju1039105834st bloody brilliant’
Mary Evans, Screenwriter


The Six Rapid Steps To YOUR First Draft… Here’s how it works…

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.

1387383449Saturday Night Networking

We will be holding networking drinks on the summer evening of Saturday the 18th March, at the Garden Cafe in Regents Park. 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


Feedback from London 2015 event

‘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

‘If it stopped at coffee time the first day it would be worth the money’
Carl Bennett, Writer

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

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.

Appearing in this session

Pilar Alessandra

Pilar Alessandra – Script Consultant and Educator

Credits include: The Coffee Break Screenwriter

Pilar's students and clients have written for Lost, Prison Break, Nip Tuck, House of Lies, CSI and Family Guy.
Pilar Alessandra

Additional Courses, Workshops and Masterclasses

Writing TV with Pilar Alessandra (March 24th - 25th 2018)

Writing TV with Pilar Alessandra (March 24th - 25th 2018)

In this two day practical masterclass with Pilar Alessandra, we will show you how to deconstruct your ideas and then rebuild them into marketable projects that commissioners will be clamouring to read.

Perfect Your Pitch: One day Masterclass with Bob Schultz (Aug 18th 2018)

Perfect Your Pitch: One day Masterclass with Bob Schultz (Aug 18th 2018)

With two weeks to go, get yourself LSF and Pitchfest ready spending a full day developing the skills you need to pitch your project to producers, agents, actors, and more with one of the best Pitch tutors in the world, Bob Schultz.

Networking Tuesday, work the room with confidence: LondonSWF Festival Week (Sept 4th 2018)

Networking Tuesday, work the room with confidence: LondonSWF Festival Week (Sept 4th 2018)

Talent is great but relationships get you hired. The ability to create powerful new relationships in any given situation is one of the primary factors in the success of your career and that of any screenplay that you write. A one day masterclass.

Pitching Thursday (evening): LondonSWF Festival (Sept 6th 2018)

Pitching Thursday (evening): LondonSWF Festival (Sept 6th 2018)

Don’t fall at the first hurdle. Prepare for an extraordinary PitchFest at the LSF by joining Hollywood pitch guru Pilar Alessandra who will transform you pitch so you can present professionally and with confidence.

The Narrative Imperative in YOUR Screenplay with Scott Myers

The Narrative Imperative in YOUR Screenplay with Scott Myers

The protagonist is the heart of almost every story, yet so many writers don’t take advantage of the depth and complexity of this central character. Scott Myers returns from the USA to deliver a one day class that will transform every aspect of your script by working outward from the beating heart of your protagonist.

The Craft: Advanced Fundamentals of Screenwriting with Lucy V Hay

The Craft: Advanced Fundamentals of Screenwriting with Lucy V Hay

The Craft: Advanced Fundamentals of Screenwriting is a must for any writer who needs to get laser focus on their actual pages and elevate their projects from ‘good’ to ‘recommend’. So, buckle up and prepare to massively transform your writing!  

Breaking Into Script Reading, 2 day workshop with Lucy V Hay (June 22nd & 23rd 2019)

Breaking Into Script Reading, 2 day workshop with Lucy V Hay (June 22nd & 23rd 2019)

An intensive two-day workshop that breaks down the art and craft of reading scripts to help improve your own writing, to also improve your feedback for other writers and most importantly, to earn you money as a professional reader.