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The Hollywood Development Process from the Inside Out

Have you ever wondered what happens to your script when it’s submitted to a studio? Have you heard of the dreaded word “Coverage” but don’t understand what it truly is? How about working with other writers on their screenplays and being able to give proper development notes? For those of you who have pondered those questions and more, what you are really asking is, “How does the Hollywood Development Process work?” What are the steps?

Students will learn about each of the players at studios, production companies and agencies; what their job function is and how they all fit together. Having a strong understanding of the studio and production company mechanisms in place to analyze material, work with writers on bettering their scripts and stories, and how to package and put together projects will strengthen a writer, director or producer’s insight into what goes on behind the scenes when you submit a project to a studio, production company, network or streamer.

This is a perfect course for screenwriters, directors, producers and those who want to become development executives to gain great insight into a process that has been a part of Hollywood for more than a hundred years. A process that is emulated the world over.

Topics covered:

  • Defining the Development process and what that means
  • Learning about the players in Hollywood who work in creative development and what their job functions are
  • Learn what happens to a screenplay when it leaves the writer’s hands
  • Learn how to write loglines, coverage, development notes and talent lists
  • Learn how to give and receive development notes
  • Learn the best ways in which to network and meet industry professionals
  • Learn how new writers, directors and talent are discovered

Learn from expert instructors!


A graduate of California Institute of the Arts, Rona Edwards was VP of Creative Affairs for Emmy-winner John Larroquette, Academy Award-winner Michael Phillips, & Emmy-winning Producer Fern Field before becoming an indie producer. Producing Credits & Experience include Killer Hair, Hostile Makeover, Blind Trust (Lifetime), One Special Victory (NBC), The Companion (USA/SCI FI CHANNEL), I Know What You Did (ABC), Out Of Sync (VH1) Der Morder Meiner Mutter (Sat.1), Selling Sex in Heaven (CBC), which won the Beyond Borders Award for Best Documentary. She produced another award-winning documentary, Unforgettable, the story of a man who can remember every day of his life. Edwards has served as a film consultant for numerous film commissions and production companies worldwide including Film Victoria, Screen Queensland, Stewart-Hall Productions, Enjoy Entertainment in Australia and Pilgrim Pictures in Singapore. Edwards is currently developing several books, true-life stories, animation and fictional tales for feature film and television. She is a proud active member of the Producers Guild of America, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, International Documentary Association, SAG-AFTRA, and Film Independent.


Monika Skerbelis is the programming director for the American Pavilion's Emerging Filmmaker Showcase at the Cannes Film Festival since 2008, and was the artistic & programming director for the Big Bear Lake International Film Festival for fourteen years. She is a co-author of the book, I Liked It, Didn’t Love It: Screenplay Development from the Inside Out and The Complete Filmmaker's Guide to Film Festivals (Your All Access Pass to Launching Your Film on the Festival Circuit), from Michael Wiese Publishing (MWP).

Course Runs: Nov 10th, 2021 – Dec 23rd, 2021