The Rocaberti Writers' Retreat
Saturday, October 17th 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
In addition, each attendee will receive a pre-recorded presentation by British Producer Joan Lane, who developed THE KING’S SPEECH and Kala Guess, the Industry Liaison for Final Draft and Contest Director for the Final Draft Big Break Screenwriting Contest.
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, October 17th 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:
Pitching sessions: Four writers will pitch their projects to all four mentors, receiving valuable insights into both the pitching process and how the industry will respond to their projects.
Q&A: Your chance to ask and receive feedback from the Rocaberti mentors on their presentations or on any other aspect of the industry!
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, October 4th, 2020): € 149.50
€ 399.50 / session
Early Bird Registration (by midnight, PDT, October 4th, 2020): € 349.50
(Personalised Feedback + Pitching)
€ 499.50 / session
Early Bird Registration (by midnight, PDT, October 4th, 2020): € 459.50
Your Rocaberti Virtual Mentors
Joan Lane is a British film and theatre producer, primarily known for having developed the Academy Award-winning THE KING’S SPEECH, directed by Tom Hooper, starring Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, and Helena Bonham Carter, and adapted from the stage play by its author David Seidler.
Her company, Wild Thyme Productions, has toured six innovative productions of Shakespeare’s plays in the UK and Germany (including the first all-female production of ‘Hamlet’) mounted world premiere showcase performances of new plays and musicals in London, and has a double bill in development for late 2023-2024.
Primarily engaged as a Consultant by the BBC, Joan’s skills were used for the recording, filming, and Royal Opera House performance of ‘The Little Prince’. She was a director for BBC Radio Two and BBC Television’s New Talent UK-wide search for the ‘Voice of Musical Theatre’, involved with background music for the film ‘The Actors’, coordinated the participation of singing Angels for Stephen Fry’s directorial film debut ‘Bright Young Things’ and casting director and coordinator on a BBC’s Promenade Concert/Opera ‘The Water Diviner’s Tale’. As well as touring with her own company, she has worked on plays at the Royal National Theatre and toured with ATG, PW Productions, and Pleasance Theatre. For the last few years, she has been the resident judge on the Kenneth Branagh Award for New Drama Writing.
Joan recently edited two books, alongside which she and the writers developed TV series which are about to go to market. Brought in to edit the screenplay of ‘Gateway to the West’, she went on to completely rewrite it. The film is now in post-production and due out later this year (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt13542474/). Her first fully original screenplay, completed in 2018 and based on a true story, is expected to go into production in early 2024.
Prior to co-founding the management/production company Fictional Entity in January 2017, Chris Deckard spent over seven years working with and representing talent at major agencies such as ICM Partners and WME. He has worked closely with traditional and new media buyers to find and develop content for domestic and international audiences. In addition to helping cast and package numerous features and series, he has evaluated thousands of scripts for actors and directors. Chris graduated from Cornell University and earned his J.D. from Notre Dame Law School.
Fictional Entity’s clients have been named to The Black List, The Hit List, The Young & Hungry List, The Blood List and been lauded by the PAGE Awards, the International Emmys’ Peter Ustinov Award for exceptional international television writing and placed as finalists in The Heath Ledger Scholarship and the Academy Nicholl Fellowship The Academy Nicholl Screenwriting Awards, the AWG, ADG, SPA, and AACTA. Clients have written, directed, starred, and produced in numerous formats, including features, TV, virtual reality, and podcasts, independently and for companies like Netflix, NBCUniversal, Legendary, Marvel, Fremantle, SyFy, the CW, Warner Bros., Amazon, Blumhouse, Comedy Central, the ABC Australia, Foxtel, TruTV, Super Deluxe, Hallmark, CBS, Facebook, E!, and MSNBC.
Chris has advised clients through multiple successful series pilot and pitch sales. In 2019, Fictional Entity clients have: staffed on Netflix and Amazon series; directed features and high-budget shorts; entered option and shopping agreements with high-profile producers; and have premiered feature films and shorts at festivals around the world.
Kala Guess is the industry liaison for Final Draft and the Contest Director for the Final Draft Big Break Screenwriting Contest.
As the Director of the Big Break Contest, Kala champions screenwriters to break into the industry and to date has had seven writers signed (two of whom sold pilots and a spec in the room!), one writer staffed as a showrunner’s assistant and six option deals, amongst numerous other successes.
Kala has successfully evolved the contest alumni into one of the largest in the business and a real community where filmmakers mix with industry movers and shakers from top studios and streaming platforms, such as Berlanti Productions, CBS, Starz, HBO, Netflix, NBC and many more.
She is also the driving force behind Final Draft’s move towards representation and inclusivity in the entertainment industry, which includes partnerships with Sundance, The Black List, Women in Film, The Geena Davis Institute, Free the Work, CBS Diversity & Inclusion, NBC Talent and Inclusion, NALIP, NHMC, Bromont Program, Get Lit, Ghetto Film School and many more. Kala also championed Final Draft to create the Inclusivity Analysis Feature, a free tool for studios and writers to measure how inclusive a script is.
As Content Producer for Final Draft, Kala has built strong relationships with major PR companies, such as 42 West, Netflix, Strategy PR, Ginsberg Libby, Warner Brothers, and many more and is regularly invited to speak on panels about writing, development, producing and inclusion.
With ten years of experience in the entertainment industry, a passion for championing storytellers, a keen eye for talent, and a vast network of aspiring and award-winning creators, Kala continues to turn her ‘wild’ ideas into exciting success stories and is looking forward to mentoring at the retreat to work with each writer to help them get their scripts market-ready.
Niall Johnson has been a British-based film writer and director for 20+ years. His most recent work is as a writer on the visually-striking animated drama-documentary ANOTHER DAY OF LIFE, based on the memoir by Ryszard Kapuscinski about the Angolan civil war of the mid-1970s. Winner of the Best Animated Film at this year’s European Film Awards, it received its World Premiere at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. Niall’s two most recent films as Writer-Director were released within a year of each other: MUM’S LIST (2016) the critically-acclaimed true story weepie romance based on St John Greene’s best-selling memoir, starring Rafe Spall and Emilia Fox; and the Western-styled adventure story THE STOLEN (2017) set in New Zealand’s 1860s Gold Rush, starring Alice Eve, Jack Davenport, Graham McTavish and Richard O’Brien.
Niall came to Hollywood’s notice in 2003 with his spec supernatural script WHITE NOISE, starring Michael Keaton, which opened in January 2005 at #1 in the UK and #2 in the US, where it broke the record at the time for the biggest January opening for a non-sequel. In 2005 Niall wrote and directed black comedy KEEPING MUM, starring Rowan Atkinson, Maggie Smith, Kristin Scott Thomas, and Patrick Swayze. He adapted the script from an original by Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Richard Russo (Nobody’s Fool, Empire Falls). His other credits include wife-swapping comedy-drama THE BIG SWAP, and traditional haunted house TV-Movie THE GHOST OF GREVILLE LODGE starring Prunella Scales and George Cole.
Born and raised in Sutton Coldfield, near Birmingham, Niall’s passion for movies is a result of a childhood spent producing epic remakes of the likes of PLANET OF THE APES, STAR TREK, DOCTOR WHO and BATMAN with his brother, a friend, and a silent Kodak 8mm film camera—the most notable recurring feature of these being his mother’s laundry hanging on the washing line in the back-yard.