The Rocaberti Writers' Retreat
Saturday, June 6th 2020, 8:30am to 1:30pm PDT
Welcome to Rocaberti Virtual, the Rocaberti Writers’ Retreat online!
Rocaberti Virtual is a 5-hour mini-retreat which will give you a taste of a retreat itself by combining some of the ingredients which go towards creating the unique and unforgettable experience that is Rocaberti.
Live Presentations from Industry Professionals
Literary Manager Spencer Robinson will elaborate on THE MANAGER/CLIENT RELATIONSHIP and Kelly Edwards, the Senior Vice President of Talent Development for WarnerMedia Entertainment will speak on CRAFTING YOUR PERSONAL NARRATIVE: USING YOUR BACKGROUND TO SELL YOUR STORY.
In addition, each attendee will receive a pre-recorded presentation on INSIDE STORY: BUILDING A WORLDVIEW from the teacher for NBC's Writers on the Verge, Jen Grisanti, who was formerly the VP of Current Programming at CBS/Paramount, and A TEN-POINT LIST FOR A COMPLETED SCRIPT from former Disney and Touchstone Exec, Kathie Fong Yoneda, who has also worked for Paramount, Universal and Fox.
Eight writers will be specially selected for each online event and then individually matched with one of the Rocaberti Virtual mentors.
These writers will be invited to submit a 2-page synopsis of their project, and will then receive live feedback from their mentor.
Live Pitching Sessions
At each Rocaberti Virtual - just like at the retreats themselves - four writers will be selected to pitch their project to all four mentors, receiving valuable insights into not only the pitching process, but also into how the industry will respond to their project... and who knows what might happen as a result?! (We're delighted to say that 12 Rocaberti writers from the 2019 retreats now have their projects in development with a mentor!)
Live Q&A with Industry Professionals
Your chance to ask and receive feedback from the Rocaberti mentors on their presentations or on any other aspect of the industry! (You'll have the chance to send in as many questions as you like during Rocaberti Virtual itself.)
Saturday, June 6th 2020, 8:30am to 1:30pm West Coast time
11.30am to 4.30pm East Coast time
4.30pm to 9.30pm UK time
Please note all times below are U.S. West Coast time:
Karin Maxey (Canada)
Rocaberti Virtual is one of the best online writing seminars I've been a part of. The impressive roster of mentors, coupled with the amazing community atmosphere Claire has created leaves you feeling inspired and ready to write.
Sally Averill (United Kingdom)
I was so amazed that 5 hours in front of my laptop just flew by - thanks to the fabulous mentor stories/comments/contributions and the wonderful pitching and storytelling from everyone. I felt so inspired! I can’t deny that I felt a little sceptical that an online retreat would work so well but it way surpassed my expectations. Thank you for including me Claire and the really seamless & professional organisation between timezones which made it seem effortless... Best thing so far in my 5 weeks of lockdown. Thank you!
€ 199.50 / session
Early Bird Registration (by midnight, PDT, May 23rd, 2020): € 149.50
- Join in a video conferencing call to watch the mentors' live presentations.
- Receive a more in-depth understanding of the development process through the feedback to individual writers during their one-on-one mentoring sessions.
- Attend the pitching sessions and receive valuable insight into how to sell your project to industry professionals.
- In addition, each attendee will also receive a pre-recorded presentation from the teacher for NBC's Writers on the Verge, Jen Grisanti, who was formerly the VP of Current Programming at CBS/Paramount, and former Disney and Touchstone Exec, Kathie Fong Yoneda, who has also worked for Paramount, Universal and Fox.
- Post your questions on any aspect of the business during Rocaberti Virtual itself.
- You'll also be invited to be part of a private, Rocaberti Virtual Facebook community, which will continue after the retreat.
- In addition, you'll be able to use the full amount of your Rocaberti Virtual registration fee towards the cost of an actual retreat itself!
€ 399.50 / session
Early Bird Registration (by midnight, PDT, May 23rd, 2020): € 349.50
- All of the benefits of Level 1.
- Eight writers will be selected to send in a 2-page synopsis of their project to receive live, on-air, feedback from a specially-matched Rocaberti mentor during the virtual retreat. (Maximum of 15 minutes per writer).
To apply for Level 2, please write to [email protected] in order to set up an interview to begin the selection process.
(Personalised Feedback + Pitching)
€ 499.50 / session
Early Bird Registration (by midnight, PDT, May 23rd, 2020): € 459.50
- All of the benefits of Levels 1 and 2.
- Four of the eight writers from Level 2 will be invited to pitch their projects live to receive feedback from all four Rocaberti Virtual mentors. An invaluable insight into the pitching process and a chance to get your work heard by top industry mentors with the power to help get your project made!
To apply for Level 3, please write to [email protected] in order to set up an interview to begin the selection process.
Your Rocaberti Virtual Mentors
As the Senior VP of Talent Development for WarnerMedia Entertainment, Kelly Edwards oversees all emerging artist programs for HBO, HBOMax, and Turner.
Edwards brought an innovative new approach to developing the company’s writing and directing fellowships which have become an industry best practice. By marrying the two programs, material created by the writers is shot by the directors with a fully inclusive crew for air on WarnerMedia’s digital platforms. The content has garnered festival awards at SXSW, Tribeca, Seriesfest to name a few.
Prior to HBO, Edwards was a key corporate diversity executive at Comcast/NBCUniversal for over five years where she oversaw over 20 divisions, launched employee resource groups, and introduced diverse creative talent to NBC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and Telemundo.
Edwards’ career has spanned both television and film having produced the movie of the week A CHRISTMAS DETOUR for Hallmark, the one hour series SEX, LOVE, AND SECRETS for UPN, serving as a network executive for UPN and Fox, and as a creative executive in features. As an executive she helped to develop series such as GIRLFRIENDS, THE PARKERS, MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE, CLUELESS, and THE WILD THORNBERRYS.
In 2000, Edwards co-founded the non-profit organization Colour Entertainment, a networking group for diverse creative executives and assistants in TV, Film, and Digital, all designed to connect current and future industry executives with one another.
Edwards graduated from Vassar College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theater and holds an MFA in Writing for Film and Television from Emerson College. She currently serves on the Annenberg Inclusion Board and is a 2019 Sundance Episodic Lab fellow.
International speaker Jen Grisanti is an acclaimed Story/Career Consultant at Jen Grisanti Consultancy Inc., Writing Instructor for Writers on the Verge at NBC, former 12-year studio executive, including VP of Current Programming at CBS/Paramount, blogger for The Huffington Post and author of the books, Story Line: Finding Gold In Your Life Story and TV Writing Tool Kit: How To Write a Script That Sells and her new book, Change Your Story, Change Your Life: A Path To Your Success.
Grisanti started her career in 1992 as an assistant to Aaron Spelling, who served as her mentor for 12 years, and she quickly climbed the ranks and eventually ran Current Programs at Spelling Television Inc., covering all of Spelling’s shows including Beverly Hills, 90210, Melrose Place and Charmed. In 2004, Grisanti was promoted to Vice President of Current Programs at CBS/Paramount where she covered numerous shows, including Medium, Numbers, NCIS, 4400 and Girlfriends.
In January 2008, Grisanti launched Jen Grisanti Consultancy Inc., a highly successful consulting firm dedicated to helping talented writers break into the industry. Drawing on her experience as a studio executive where she gave daily notes to executive producers/showrunners, Grisanti personally guides writers to shape their material, hone their pitches and focus their careers. Since launching the consulting firm, Grisanti has worked with over 800 writers specializing in television, features and novels. Due to her expertise and mentorship, seventy-five of her writers have staffed on television shows and forty have sold pilots, five that that went to series.www.jengrisanti.com
Spencer Robinson was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, and got his start in the Film Industry as a Production Assistant on glamorous productions like car commercial, cereal commercial, and other car commercial. He then landed a job in the mailroom at MBST Entertainment, where he learned about management from some of the legends of the representation world.
After mastering the art of making phone calls and scheduling lunches as an assistant at Cornice Entertainment and Howard Entertainment, he eventually moved to Verve Entertainment where he was promoted to manager. His focus was always split between writers and actors because having relationships with both sides only helps the clients that much more. Six years ago, Verve merged with Art/Work Entertainment, and Spencer is still there.
Art/Work has writers and actors on several TV series, as well as feature writers making movies for major studios. The company also represents comedians who tour nationally and internationally. Spencer has been a manager for 10 years. He loves to watch TV, and even sleeps sometimes.
Kathie Fong Yoneda
With 35+ years experience, Kathie Fong Yoneda has worked for Paramount, Universal, Fox, and Disney, focusing on analysis and development of live action and animated film, television, novels, adaptations, and web series projects. Her career includes exec posts with Disney, Touchstone, Island Pictures and Disney TV Animation.
Kathie has given workshops in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia, and wrote a column on screenwriting which became her book, The Script Selling Game. Some of her clients include RAI-TV Roma, National Film School of Denmark, Bournemouth University, ScreenTraining Ireland, South Carolina Writers, Singapore Media Academy, Romance Writers of America, ScriptFest, Roma Webfest, Writers Institute, Hawaii International Film Festival, and Melbourne Webfest. She was a guest of The Soviet Peace Committee for a 10-day media symposium in Moscow and was Keynote Speaker for Asian-Pacific Heritage Month at The Smithsonian. Kathie received the Mayor’s medal from the City of Marseille for her work in Cultural Arts and was honored as a Catalyst SuperStar for her work by the BronzeLens Film Festival.
Kathie is a mentor for the Rocaberti Writers Retreat and also team-teaches with author/consultant, Linda Seger, Pamela Wallace (writer-producer, co-writer of Oscar- winning WITNESS), Carole Kirschner (author, CBS TV exec) and Pamela Jaye Smith (author, writer-producer, creator of MYTHWORKS).
Her clientele includes several award-winning writers and her book, The Script Selling Game (2nd edition), is used in screenwriting curricula in universities worldwide. She was Co-Executive Producer on the series BEYOND THE BREAK, Associate Producer on the web series drama THE BIG O, Executive Producer on the award-winning short film THIRTY MINUTES and is on the Advisory Board for IMAGO (French Production Company) and LA Web Fest.