Pro Tips & Tricks

Jess Hinds on the Importance of Clearly defining Character Goals

ISA Panel Series - From First Draft to Final Draft with James V. Hart

The ISA panel series returns in May with "From First Draft to Final Draft with James V. Hart." 

One of the biggest mistakes emerging writers make is trying to write a final draft, rather than a first draft. They are two different beasts and need to be approached differently. In fact the more a first draft resembles a final draft, the more difficult your writing process will become. Unfortunately, most writers hide their first drafts from the masses. The only examples we have of screenplays are polished, groomed, bowtie-wearing final drafts. But just like babies...they weren't born that way. Finally, we have convinced the writers of award-winning screenplays to dust off their first drafts and reveal their messy process to the world. 

Join Creativity Shaman Jess Hinds and Craft Expert Max Timm in a revolutionary new lecture series From First Draft to Final Draft where each month they will break down the first and last draft giving you the tools, perspective, and understanding you need to write an effective first draft, and then turn that into an extraordinary final draft.  

This month we'll be dissecting Bram Stoker's Dracula, with the writer James V. Hart (Hook, Contact, Sahara and August Rush). See below or click here for more about James V. Hart.

"The first draft of everything is shit." - e. Hemingway

"The biggest difference between a professional writer and an amateur... the Professional writer is okay writing shit." - Jess Hinds

Attendees who register here by noon PDT on the day of the event will receive an email with the first draft of Dracula before the event. 


Presented by the ISA in association with Final Draft and sponsored by Creative Screenwriting.
This event is free if charge and open to all 21 and over.

ISA's Third Thursdays Los Angeles mixer to follow right after the event.

Doors open 7pm. Event starts at 7:30.

WHEN: Thursday, May 17, 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Busby's East, 5364 Wilshire Blvd (Valet parking on Cloverdale recommended)

James V. Hart
Jim’s writing/producing credits include; HOOK, directed by Steven Spielberg based on an idea by Hart’s then 6 year old Son, Jake, BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, MUPPET TREASURE ISLAND, directed by Brian Henson, and CONTACT, directed by Robert Zemeckis.


Hart has served on the faculty of the Columbia University Graduate Film program. Served as mentor and advisor at the Austin Writer’s Ranch, Sundance Film Labs, and the eQuinoxe-Europe Writing Workshops for over 20 years in 11 countries. Hart has also conducted the Puglia Experience for writers and producers held in the Puglia region in Italy.

Hart is a co-founder of the Peter Pan Children’s Fund, a non-profit that fosters youth philanthropy supporting Children’s Hospitals, has served on the Meadows School of the Arts board at SMU, is a founding member of the Writer’s Guild Initiative board, and founder of Lionfish University, a non-profit dedicated to reef preservation and conservation.

His renowned story mapping tool app, THE HART CHART, was launched online at the 2015 Austin Film Festival. “Go with Gravity” is Hart’s primary mantra for the writing life.


Jessica S. Hinds
Jess is an award-winning writer, teacher, and creator of Meditative Writing © . As a teacher Jessica has mentored thousands of writers including Sundance Award-Winning Filmmakers, TV Showrunners, Reality TV Stars,  Tony Award Winners, Best Selling Authors, Professional Musicians, Published Poets and Emerging Artists in the fields of screenwriting, playwriting, novel writing, TV, memoir, poetry, and music. She recently launched the artists community The Science and Art of Writing and is currently working on a book series The Prolific Writers' Guide: Meditative Writing. Book one of ten will be published this summer. Learn more about Jess at and 



Max Timm
The Director of Education & Outreach with the International Screenwriters’ Association, President of The Story Farm, and with over a decade of experience in developing material and writers’ careers, Max Timm's focus with the ISA is to build a creative community and bring ISA writers closer to ISA Industry Professionals. Having attended Holy Cross College at Notre Dame and then transferring to Columbia College Chicago to study screenwriting and producing, Max is a Midwesterner and Chicagoan at heart who prides himself on supporting creative people in as many ways possible. Recently he helped build a development program with the ISA, submitting writers’ projects on their behalf and helping them launch their careers – ten writers received options and representation to date because of Max’s assistance and support. His Story Farm Service develops working writers and their material much like a studio executive or manager would, and his online classes, titled The Craft Course in Screenwriting, offer writers outside the Los Angeles area to take part in professional full development.


Event Sponsors:
Final Draft is the maker of the world’s number-one selling screenwriting software. Final Draft is used by 95% of film and television productions and is the choice of professional screenwriters and filmmakers around the world.

Creative Screenwriting Magazine is an online resource for screenwriters, with articles, advice and videos on all aspects of screenwriting, from the best in the business. With over a hundred free articles on the craft of screenwriting, you will find a wealth of advice and tuition from dozens of industry experts. Creative Screenwriting also has a unique range of over 60 lectures covering all aspects of screenwriting.

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