FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions
- Q1: Must I have written a script before taking David’s class? If not, is it helpful if I have?
All writing experience and training is helpful. However, while we get many professional writers in the class (you can read their comments on this website), we also get a sizable percentage of people just starting off. What you’ll learn in this class will literally shave about five to six years off your learning curve.
We support that with a money-back guarantee. Whether you’re an advanced or beginning writer, if, by the end of the first day, you don’t feel that your writing has significantly improved, let us know and we’ll give you all your money back.
Personally, we wish all classes in every subject offered similar guarantees. It would mean that teachers would have to deliver what they promised.
- Q2: Will you be selling Movie Magic Screenwriter in class?
Yes, Movie Magic Screenwriter will be available for purchase at the workshop itself.
- Q3: I’m looking for a writing partner, can you possibly help me with my script or co-write it with me?
DAVID RESPONDED: If you remind me in class, I’ll make an announcement for all people looking for a writing partner to gather in one of the corners during the break and meet each other. Classes such as these are a great place to meet potential writing partners.
- Q4: How do I qualify for the $100 Off Fly In Discount? I’m flying into town a week before the seminar to handle some business. Can I still get the discount? What if I take a train?
Wow, that’s always been one of the tough ones for us, but, unfortunately, we’ve found our generosity in the past consistently abused. The problem is, how could we ever verify your story? There is no way. So we’ve become pretty cut and dry about it: the fly-in discount is for those coming in for the class. By the way, people who take a train and pay $100 or more for their ticket get the same discount.
- Q5: Is it safe to leave my registration and credit card info on your hotline or through your website?
Absolutely. In all the years we’ve been doing the course, we’ve never had a single problem.
- Q6: Does David do script consultations?
Yes, he does quite a few consultations, both for people who live in L.A. and people who live outside of L.A. His procedure is written up on the website.
- Q7: What level of screenwriter do you have to be to take this course?
We get attendees who range from in skill level from total beginners up to highly successful professionals. You’ll find quotes by people from all the entire spectrum up on the site.
The goals of the workshop are:
For advanced writers: To vastly expand their creative toolbox, so they can be even more successful, both artistically and commercially.
For intermediate writers: To rapidly get them to the point where they can start making a living on their writing.
For new writers: To shave five to six years off their learning curve, so they can spend all those years writing instead of learning.
- Q8: I woke up this morning and can’t remember who I am. Please help?
Your name is Fred. You come from Milwaukee. You enjoy the rich smell of the earth after an autumn rain, but you’re irked by Swiss Cheese. First of all, it isn’t from Switzerland, and secondly, what’s with the holes?
- Q9:Do you help writers that take your course by reading their scripts or helping them get an agent?
This class focuses just on writing. But we sell a book in class that can be of great use in locating an appropriate agent, and we recommend other resources as well.
- Q10: What about breaks during the day. Do I need to bring a sack lunch? Where can I get something to eat during the lunch break?
We take a fifteen-minute break every hour and a half, with a lunch break that lasts one hour, fifteen minutes, which we take around 1:00 PM. There are many local places to eat in both NY and L.A., but if you want to bring a sack lunch, that’s fine.
- Q11: Where do I park?
If you’re talking about parking in New York, the best solution is to have a very good relationship to your chosen deity.
In L.A., there is ample local parking, and a map of all the parking structures is on this website.
(undergrad) where I unfortunately learned almost nothing about screenwriting. Instead we focussed on film theory, blah, blah, blah and I am wondering if attending your class, without a specific script idea is useful or not. Thank You. Look forward to meeting you.”]DAVID RESPONDED: I know just what you mean. Screenwriting is something you do, not just talk about. So teaching should be completely oriented to helping the writer do it much better.
“The doing” of something is always harder to face just thinking about it, whether that something is sailing a boat or writing a script. From my experiences at U.C. Berkeley, many university teachers seem to have a hard time facing doing things and that’s why just thinking and theory, completely absent of doing anything, is easier for them.
I’m obviously not condemning all university instructors in screenwriting or any other subject. Many people, including myself, have had professors who opened their eyes, shared valuable insights with them, taught them useful techniques, and helped them understand their potential.
It’s just a little discouraging that I’ve heard comments like yours a bit too often.
That’s the main reason why we offer a full money-back guarantee on the course. If, by the end of the first day, your writing hasn’t significantly improved (in your own estimation), just let us know and we’ll give you all your money back.
You see a number of quotes by people who said they learned more in two days from Beyond Structure than they did in their MFA writing programs, which took years.
You asked if it mattered or not if you were working on a script idea. The next question should handle that:
- Q13: If I’m working on a script, should I bring it to class?
Even if you had a specific script you were working on, there’s no need to bring it to the workshop, for all the small writing exercises in the workshop are self-contained. So no, you don’t need to be working on a script at the moment, and many or even most attendees aren’t.
- Q14: Have you written a book on screenwriting that I may purchase?
- Q15: Should I pay a deposit or the full amount?
Either one is fine. Just realize that at the door and during the class, we don’t take personal checks — just credit cards, money orders, or cash.
The $75 deposit is non-refundable, but can be applied to any future Beyond Structure workshop. If you pay the entire amount, but for some reason can’t make it to the workshop, we refund all of your money except $75, which then can be applied to a future workshop.
Thus, many students pay the entire amount, to save themselves waiting in line at the door with the others paying off the remainder of their fee.
- Q16: Can I pay with a check at the door the day of the seminar?
No, just credit cards, money orders, or cash. Unfortunately, we’ve faced the situation one time too many where someone pays with a check, two weeks later it bounces, and we could never collect the tuition fee.
- Q17: Can I simply show up and pay at the door, even if I haven’t registered?
ANSWER: We do allow people to be a “walk-in,” if they pay with a credit card, money order, or cash (no checks). But we faced a situation recently where we had so many walk-ins that we didn’t have enough handout packs. We made more, but some people had to wait a couple hours.
So it helps us a lot if we know how many people will be there.
ANSWER: We charge so little for those half-day classes that we just break even. But we enjoy putting on these small and specialized classes for a variety of reasons.
Unfortunately, it would cost so much to fly out to NY, rent a facility, rent hotels, etc. that we’d lose too much money if we put them on there.
- Q19: I have a great idea for a movie. Can I pitch it to you?
ANSWER: David works as a writer but not a producer. So he’s probably not the right person to pitch to.
- Q20: Can I receive college credit for this course?
ANSWER: That’s up to your college, not us. We have no say in such things. We recommend that you show the flyer to your college teachers and administrators, and what they decide is up to them.
People have done this in the past and received credit. Usually all they need to show their university, having gotten pre-approval, is proof they attended.
- Q21: I type much faster than I write. Why can’t I use a laptop in the class? I’ll even sit in the back.
TONY, ONE OF DAVID’S PRODUCERS, RESPONDED: Unfortunately, David has a “no laptop” policy. I know for a fact that both David and I type much faster than we write, so we definitely understand. However, past experiments with laptops have always ended up distracting David and annoying other students. Students never say anything until the break and they complain bitterly. Compound this by having a dozen or two students with laptops and things get out of hand. However, David goes at a pace that will allow you to get everything down, even by handwriting. Thank you for your understanding.
- Q22: I registered and I haven’t received anything in the mail.
ANSWER: We normally confirm students by email. So when you sign up please make sure to include your email address. Thanks.
- Q23: I registered a few weeks ago and was confirmed by email a few days later. But I haven’t heard from you guys since. Am I still enrolled in the class?
es, we only confirm people once. And it’s usually almost always by email.
- Q24: Will I get a receipt for the class?
Yes. You’ll get one once you’re there.
- Q25: Can I record the seminar?
Sorry, we don’t allow audio or video recording. But David’s got a lot of experience teaching this class. His style, pacing, and the 130+ page handout pack ensure you’ll be able to get all the techniques..