Participants Praise First Phase of Short Film Lab

May 13, 2022

Filmmakers accepted into MPI’s 2022 Short Film Lab recently completed its first phase—MPI’s Screenwriting Workshops. The eight participants were split into two small workshop groups, which met regularly over the course of nine weeks to develop and rewrite their original concepts and scripts under the guidance of award-winning filmmakers Toby Fell-Holden and Lana Link. 

The workshops are designed so filmmakers can hone their storytelling craft through an intensive process of writing, revising, reading, and the giving and receiving of constructive criticism. The first session of each workshop began with a script from each filmmaker in the rough draft stage. Writers presented their work to the group twice: first to get initial feedback on their rough draft and a second time to get feedback on the revised draft. 

“The feedback from Lana, Toby, and the workshop participants was invaluable in helping me step back and see objectively the areas I needed to concentrate on when writing and rewriting my script,”’ said Lab participant Mark Apicella. “My workshop colleagues’ engagement, creative ideas, and thoughtful notes really helped push me to make my characters and stories stronger and distill what I was trying to do and say.”

Participants particularly praised Toby’s insightful, constructive notes that made the writers dig deep to better flesh out their stories and characters. Alex Dee wrote, “Toby brought a deep care and knowledge of the works being discussed and always seemingly had a mountain of ideas for every note or point that was flagged in a script.”

Filmmakers also commented on the importance of Lana’s feedback, she being a seasoned producer; her guidance helped them reign in their scripts to something that could more easily be produced. Nicolas Delgado de la Camara commented, “Lana is great; a big dreamer like me needs a reassuring and knowledgeable producer to remind them that the sandbox has limits.” Alex agreed, writing, “Lana’s level of expertise from experience on set as a producer was super valuable.” 

From these workshops a select few will be chosen to advance to MPI’s Directing Workshop, where they will learn the skills needed to effectively manage a crew, communicate with a cast, and prepare for pre-production, production, and post-production. At the completion of the Directing Workshop, MPI may choose to acquire the very best scripts to produce as MPI Original Films.

Click here to learn more about MPI’s filmmaker opportunities.

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