-by Jo Bellew
Before February 2016, the only thing I knew about the art of screenwriting was that it was something I suspected I would resonate with. I attended a few weekend workshops to get an idea of the vibe. I liked it. I was right…And so I asked a Director of that Academy who the best person was to learn story structure from. She told me, Karel Segers (and no, he wasn’t employed by that Academy. Nepotism was not a factor).
I looked Karel up and, suffice to say, it was one of the best decisions I have made in my life to date. I booked into, and completed, Karel’s course, ‘The Story Series’…An injection into my hungry screenwriting veins. But my fantastic, fun and intoxicating journey of learning wasn’t over…
I was in the right place at the right time for Karel’s next venture, ‘Immersion Screenwriting’. He told me to forget all the structure I had learned so far, and absorb myself into the new learning practice of ‘Osmosis’. Having just completed The Story Series, I was able to switch mindsets without too much difficulty. It was the push I needed to make writing a ritual. I allowed the Osmosis process to infiltrate me. All I had to do was follow the rules and dedicate myself to completing the tasks. I stayed on course and wrote my first screenplay ‘SAVING SIMON’.
I took ‘Saving Simon’ to Karel’s retreat ‘The Story Cave’ and worked on it for five days, and then…
Entered my first competition this past month. Within three days of entering, I was informed that my Immersion screenplay had reached Semi-Finalist placing at the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival Awards. I’m really not worried about the outcome. The entire process of learning and reward so far has been one that I wasn’t sure I could ever find or attain in this lifetime.
From what I have seen and experienced, the only way to succeed in this business is absolute dedication, a whole heap of guts to believe that you can do it (particularly during the times that others think you are pipe dreaming – and there are many) and, most importantly, the knowledge that you are being taught by somebody who is not wasting your time and is not just trying to financially fleece any willing participants.
Immersion Screenwriting is THE PERFECT place to begin to sink your teeth into the process of becoming a screenwriter. The financial risk is low. It costs next to nothing, and Karel provides great content. His team on the site are always there when you need them.
A warning though…You’ll be so addicted and so proud of yourself that you won’t be able to stop at just Immersion. You’ll want more. You’ll be hungry for everything you can learn about structure, marketing, and the industry in general. Karel’s been in the industry for so long though, that he has all of the info you need. Check out his other courses. Go to his retreat, ‘The Story Cave’, if you can. I recommend it all. I’ve never looked back.