Reward Based Social Network Connects Volunteers With Opportunities

The most important question that we should ask ourselves is “what are we doing for other people?” Some of life’s greatest satisfaction comes from helping others as one of our strongest traits as humans is our capacity for compassion. This is where Alberta based startup GozAround comes in, a social network that connects those in need of help and those willing to lend a hand.

“We are often most fulfilled when we forget ourselves and focus on others,” says GozAround founder Ben Block. “When we come to look back on all that we have done in life, we will get more satisfaction from the joys that we have brought into other people’s lives than we will from the times that we out-did or defeated them.”

GozAround is centered around the idea that “what GozAround, comes around.” GozAround allows individuals and volunteer organizations to post and respond to help requests and formal volunteer opportunities, making it quicker and easier to get involved in your community. These connections include both “peer-to-peer” assistance directly between individuals or participation in formal volunteer opportunities with non-profits and community groups.


Upon registration users receive their first GozAround points. They can begin by posting a request for help themselves, offering those points as a thank you, or instead start by helping others, earning additional points for themselves.

Alongside these “peer-to-peer” acts of service (directly between individuals) are formal volunteer opportunities posted by organizations including non-profits and community groups. For these organizations the site will serve a means of volunteer recruitment as well as a low-cost recognition and reward program.

Accumulating points targets various psychological motivators for our users. First, the points, and the completed tasks that generate them, serve as a form of social capital. As users earn more points their ranking increases, tracked by city, state/province, and the world. This leaderboard model encourages friendly competition and repeated use. Alternatively, if users are more reward oriented, points can be saved and redeemed for a variety of items ranging from simple gift cards to once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.

GozAround can be thought of as a loyalty program for making the world a better place.



GozAround offers organizations the ability to advertise volunteer opportunities to a community uniquely interested in getting involved. However, unlike many other volunteer sites, GozAround is completely free to join and post with no “premium” or restricted features.


In addition to our no-cost recruitment model, what makes GozAround unique is the ability to recognize and reward volunteers. Recognition may be provided simply by verifying individual’s involvement on GozAround which may be tracked by the volunteer, viewed by others on their profile and shared on the volunteer’s Facebook page (optional). This process provides recognition of the volunteer both on GozAround and within their own personal social network, encouraging on-going involvement and increasing awareness of your volunteer opportunities.


Volunteer organizations are often challenged to create affordable yet meaningful reward programs to encourage and thank volunteers. Gift cards may be valued by the volunteers, but are costly in any significant amount. Alternatives such as branded merchandise can be cost effective (depending on the chosen item) but may be of inferior perceived value. To address this GozAround offers a program where organizations may purchase reward points to be distributed to volunteers. By accumulating points users increase their ranking on the site, save up and redeem their points for rewards in the GozAround store, or offer them to other users as a thank you for peer-to-peer volunteer assistance. This can be thought of as a “frequent flyer” program for volunteerism.

The cost of the point program can be quite minimal as it is entirely at your discretion how many points to award to each volunteer and how often. In this way, the program can be adapted to differing levels of involvement and to accommodate any budget. With the added non-monetary social capital our points will carry, your organization will be able to offer a valuable “thank you” beyond that of a small gift card, branded item or thank you card. The cost of participation is entirely variable, starting at as little as $0.40 per reward.


GozAround Inc. was founded in Edmonton, Alberta by Ben Block, an attorney with a heart, who set out in 2013 to build a central hub for community service. Believing it needed to be easier to find ways to give back to your community, or to find someone to lend a hand if you are in need, the GozAround concept was born.

Ben has over 10 years of entrepreneurial experience gained in a number of industries including web design and marketing. Following the sale of his multimedia design business in 2009 Ben practiced as a lawyer in Edmonton, Alberta, while still fostering his passion for business and community. Ben was once praised as an award winning “behind the scenes” contributor to community service, and has since participated as a volunteer ranging from a local soup kitchen to an overseas housing project in Kyrgyzstan. His day-to-day passion for helping others served him well in his legal practice, and is something Ben hopes to encourage the same on a bigger scale through the GozAround community.


Ph. 1-888-472-0290

Twitter: @gozaround
Facebook: /gozaround

Founder – Ben Block
Twitter: @benjaminblock


Ben Block is the founder of GozAround, a website that connects people who need help with willing volunteers. – Calgary Herald (Oct. 8, 2014)

Mother-of-five with terminal cancer marries in bittersweet ceremony after locals fund the dream wedding she had been saving for – Daily Mail (Aug. 21, 2014)

‘They are so much in love’: Family, friends, businesses throw wedding for young woman with fatal cancer – Edmonton, Journal (Aug. 17, 2014)

Donations Pour In To Give Mom With Terminal Cancer Wedding Of Her Dreams – Huffington Post (August 17, 2014)

The Score G Exchange Podcast – Ben Block Interview (May 2014)


Social Network Connects and Reward Volunteers (September 8, 2014)

Local Businesses Pull Together To Give Terminally Ill Woman Dream Wedding (August 18, 2014)

New York’s Premier Venture Investment Conference Returns for 14th Year at The Yale Club

16 Entrepreneurs and 150+ investors are expected to attend Private Equity 2014: National Angel-VC Summit and Capital Investment Forum in the Grand Ballroom of The Yale Club New York, on Wednesday, December 3, 2014.

These deal-oriented venues have been hosted for the last twelve years and are the best investor-attended events of their kind in the U.S. Many private investors, crowdfunding enthusiasts and Angels along with principals from many investment groups, representing more than $25 billion in capital for early and later-stage companies, are expected to attend.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014
The Yale Club New York

Benefits of Attending:

  • Network for 8 hours with 100+ investors who are there to meet tomorrow’s business leaders (see recent list of investor attendees by sector of interest here)
  • Improve the likelihood of your getting funded soon by delivering your vision to a captive audience of receptive, direct funding sources
  • Find out why other successful entrepreneurs have considered this a “must-do” event (their testimonials are here)
  • Benefit from a well-refined agenda that we have developed with our 13+ year history and 49 consecutive fully-booked events to give you maximum exposure at the lowest cost of capital.
  • Value your time with our ultra high-end networking, which eliminates such non-value-added activities such as judging, panels, and dealing with non-check writers that are common at other events

An investor-only, privately underwrittten venue: In contrast with most groups that hold deal-oriented events, our principal differentiator is that we are not part of any government agency or non-profit group, nor are we supported by paid sponsors or are we subsidized by vendors or service providers. As a result, our events are not compromised with a high population of lawyers, accountants, advisors and other non-investors. Accordingly, our events are basically a co-op for the featured companies (basically a trade show model). We underwrite the venue with our own capital and the featured companies share in the cost. Over our 12 year plus history with 45 consecutive fully-booked events behind us, the cost/benefit and potential value of our prestigious investor forums is well-documented from other entrepreneurs.

Conference overview and references: In addition to the attached correspondence, reference letters from past registrants, as well as from companies that were featured at our recent forums can be found on the event website. These should be helpful in giving management a better insight as to the quality and value of our conferences. The upcoming event can provide a highly effective and prestigious venue for management to deliver its vision to a captive audience of receptive investors and well-qualified funding sources. Attendees will primarily include principals of private equity funds, investment partnerships, venture capitalists and Angel groups. More than 150 leading investment funds and other capital sources from throughout the United States are expected to be represented. It’s significant to note that, even against the backdrop of the current economic situation, our recent forum was great success with a sold-out roster of over 250 registrants. I feel that is strong evidence of the brand equity that we have built with investors as well as the readiness of private equity funds Angels and VCs to continue to look at early and later-stage opportunities.  A list of recent investor attendees by sector can be found here while entrepreneur testimonials are noted here.

Presenter Benefits: All Presenters as well as Featured Entrepreneur Guests benefit from broad distribution of their corporate material and the opportunity to engage with investors for extended periods of time on a one-on-one basis throughout the entire 8 to 9 hour venue – as more fully described below under Format and Agenda. In addition, immediately following the event, Presenters receive detailed contact information on all of capital sources attending, along with quantifiable interest from the Participant Surveys that are completed by investors. In this regard, we also provide direct assistance to Presenters in vetting the investors who expressed an interest and assist if the follow-up as may be necessary.  All Presenter slots include attendance of up to 4 members of the management team and/or current investors.

Format and Agenda: The event program is designed to provide a great deal of 8+ hours of investor networking time and a maximum amount of exposure for both the Presenters and Entrepreneur Guests. This is accomplished in several ways. With respect to visibility, each presenting company has a total of thirty to forty minutes of structured face-time with the attendees and up to ten minutes for a Power Point presentation with the entire audience of investors, followed by a twenty to thirty minute breakout session. The presentations are organized in groups of only three to five companies, each presenting in sequence to the whole conference, during which time everyone is seated. There are no concurrent presentations, nor is there anything else going-on when the companies are speaking.

What is important about our format is that, in most cases, a company is never more than ten to twenty minutes away following their presentation, from being able to meet with interested investors, one-on-one or in small groups. By using this type of agenda, we avoid guest burn-out, as the participants are usually never in their seats more than forty minutes at a stretch. This keeps the event very energized and fast-moving. In addition, we maintain the ballroom in a banquet setting all day with round tables – in lieu of a classroom or auditorium-style. This facilitates networking and creates a very social environment at the forum. Following the day’s program, the event continues with a two hour reception. The room is set up with a large number of tables for the principals of the presenting companies to continue their dialogue with investors. The reception is always very well attended and provides an excellent staging area to schedule follow-up with investors.

Transparency: In order to make the event as transparent as possible to potential Presenters, we provide confirmed guest information in advance when it is available. In evaluating the value of this event as platform to showcase a company, we encourage entrepreneurs to look at the websites of the investment organizations listed on the event site. The sites provide detailed information on their portfolio companies, industry preferences, funding capabilities and investment criteria.

Post-Event Targeted Investor Outreach:  If your company is selected to be a Presenter or Featured Entrepreneur Guest then we can provide you with introductions to any of the firms listed on the conference website, irrespective of their attendance at the upcoming event. As you know, in many cases, companies can pay investment bankers up to several hundred thousand dollars in front-end fees and monthly retainers to gain access to these types of investment groups. Companies presenting at this forum gain the same entrée at only a small fraction of that cost, notwithstanding the inherent efficiency of the symposium.

We are aware of no other events in the US which offer the concentration of active private equity investors that are in attendance for the primary purpose of seeing early and later-stage opportunities as do our private equity forums. We expect that our conference will be sold-out, as were our prior forums. From our vantage point, venture capital firms and private equity funds, although still cautious and more selective, are clearly showing increased optimism and much greater interest in considering new investments. In fact, we have seen many top investment funds sign-up for our recent conferences, of which a good number had not registered for our earlier events. Please keep in mind that our forum is not a venture fair or a trade show, but a highly focused symposium for serious early-stage investors and fundable companies.

Very important: One of the principal reasons that our conferences have been so successful is that most other venues, having  the similar stated objective of reaching investors, generally have a very low percentage of investors in attendance. This is because they are supported primarily by “paid corporate sponsors”, who in-turn populate the events with their people. This is not the case at our forums. The majority of the attendees at our events are reliable direct or indirect sources of capital, not service providers, who have no interest in making investments. In addition, the conference program has been specifically designed to maximize management’s ability to meet with interested investors, one-on-one or in small groups in an upscale setting. As you are aware, most professional investors will not even consider deals where they do not know management or those which have not referred by a reliable source. Our forums significantly help to remove these barriers to management’s ability to reach qualified investors.

Our experience has taught us that, even under the best market conditions, raising capital is very time consuming and labor intensive, dominating the attention of management when it should be focused on their company’s objectives. Accordingly, raising capital needs to be handled as a targeted marketing project with an appropriate budget and plan, as would be the case with any other business endeavor – not just an ad hoc project undertaken by the principals of the company. Locating potential investors one by one, sending business plans to people who don’t know to you and following-up can be a daunting task. The question then becomes “What would be the most efficient way to do this?”

If you need funding and want to accelerate the process, presenting this forum can significantly reduce the cost of finding capital as well as the time necessary to raise it, particularly in this current market with fewer active players and tougher investment criteria. The upcoming venue can help you solve the three biggest problems in raising capital 1) identifying qualified investors, 2) gaining credible entrée to them and 3) meeting them under favorable circumstances. Moreover, the event drives the single most essential factor in getting funded quickly, and that is the ability to create “contemporaneous interest” among investors, which also can serve to significantly improve deal terms.


Los Angeles Model Cassandra Pennington Available for International Fashion, Glamour, and Commercials

Cassandra Pennington, 23, Los Angeles, was first scouted for modeling at the age of 15 in Los Angeles. She has since worked as a fashion, commercial, and glamour model in multiple markets. Travel and the creative process involved in materializing a client’s vision are her favorite aspects of modeling work. She is a graduate of UCLA. Some of the brands she has worked for include:

Addiction Lingerie, AT&T, Benefit Cosmetics, Burger King, Harem Swimwear, Jocio, L’Anza, Lisa Blue Swimwear, L’Jepotica, Maidenform, Neuma Beauty, Paul Mitchell, Planet Blue, Renault Formula One, Roar USA, Triumph, Wahb Beach Couture.

Photo Gallery:
Height: 5’10’ 5″ / 179 CM
Bust: 34″ / 86 CM
Waist: 24″ / 61 CM
Hips: 35.5″ / 90 CM
Dress: 2 US / 34 FR / 38 IT / 6 UK
Shoe: 8 US / 38 EU / 6 UK
Hair: Blonde
Eyes: Green
Social Handle: @Cassandra_Penn

For bookings or interviews contact:

Mike Will Downey or (310) 514-6820

Skills needed to be a successful CEO

It is difficult to become a qualified CEO. The skills are not acquired easily. They are generally obtained through years of experience as a senior executive or CEO. A CEO needs to have general knowledge in each area, because he can’t afford enough C-level executives to cover all the responsibilities.
There are many skills required to be an outstanding CEO. Let’s look at them:
Planning -
Strategic planning, operational planning, competitive planning
Organizing -
Designing an organization, managing an organization, team building, assembling critical resources
Staffing -
Assessing personnel, Hiring and firing
Directing -
Managing C-Level Execs, Problem solving, Motivational skills
Coordinating -
Communications, Work with Board of Directors
Operating -
Decision making, Meeting objectives, Work with lawyers
Budgeting -
Financial analysis, Accounting, Corporate finance, Valuing companies
Fundraising, Mergers & Acquisitions
Presentations, Know what investors want, Negotiating
For more helpful tips visit

First Love Yourself Message Driven DYME LYFE Has Roots in Miami

DYME LYFE is for individuals that focus on bonding and building relationships, while indulging in the finer things in life, and never, I repeat NEVER, press for acceptance. It’s a culture that encourages and inspires people to influence others positively. This brand is about being comfortable and confident with being you. Whatever that may be, each individual creates for him/herself. Ask yourself ” D-do Y-you M-motivate E-emanate? That’s DYME LYFE and this line is a tangible presence in and of that culture.
Help the Dyme Lyfe culture spread by posting pictures, tagging Dyme Lyfe and add #DYMELYFE.

Rediscover Amazing at Mi Casa Es Su Casa Holiday Trip in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico October 8 – 12, 2014

Snapshot memories flash in your mind; linger as mementos of another time. A souvenir from when you felt inspired and free, this lost place is where you long to be. Possibility makes life worth living. Be free and rediscover amazing!

Seize the opportunity to regain balance through invigorating activities and themed music events. Mi Casa Holiday is your ticket to re-energize and re-awaken. Look forward to walking away feeling refreshed and reconnected.

Mi Casa Holiday hosts a full season of events, featuring international DJ talent, in some of the coolest cities in the world. Each holiday destination is unique and offers a masterfully curated blend of energizing DJ entertainment and rejuvenating daytime ventures and activities. Follow the full season, then join us for the highly-anticipated culmination of it all. The MCH Season Finale invites you front and center to one of the most pristine tropical paradises in the world: Playa del Carmen & Tulum, Mexico.
Join us in Playa Del Carmen, Tulum Mexico at MI CASA HOLIDAY from October 8 – 12, 2014Micasa Holiday Video – Learn more at 

Central booking – US: (916) 850-1976

International: 800-448-4444

MCH Mobile – text MICASA to 55469

MCH Email –
















































Mi Casa Es Su Casa

Growing up where exposure to diversity was nurtured, Julius Spates and Jenn (Spates) Hurst cultivated open-minded perspectives. Throughout childhood, Jenn and Julius heard “imagine if” from their father, William, and “you have to have passion” from their mother, Carol. The belief that if you have the passion and are willing to work hard, anything is possible, planted the seed for Mi Casa Es Su Casa Holiday.

At the age of 17, Julius bet his cousin that he could throw a party and get 500 people to come. He threw his first party and over 600 people attended. After that, it was on and a slew of successful parties followed. In 1993, Julius used some of the money he raised from his parties to help send his sister on her senior trip. Thanks to Julius’ generosity, Jenn was able to travel to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. This experience inspired Jenn so much that the following year she pursued a career with USA Student Travel, the same tour company that organized her school trip to Puerto Vallarta. In 1994, Jenn was hired as one of the youngest international tour operators in the companies history. Jenn has worked for USA student Travel, now International Student Tours (IS tours) for over 20 years, endlessly exploring her passion for travel and hospitality.

While his sister found pleasure and purpose in her travel, Julius began his love affair with the art of DJing. In 1999, Julius gained world-wide recognition as a co-founder of the production group 3Degrees Global, and performed on the international DJ stage as Julius the Mad Thinker.  Jenn frequently traveled to attend Julius’ gigs.   Inspired by Julius’ DJ sets, she began envisioning the possibility of fusing music events with destinations. Jenn took Julius back to their childhood and reminded him that with their abilities and connections they could inspire their friends and families to come together and rediscover amazing.

Jenn Hurst and Julius Spates created Mi Casa Holiday in 2009 . They named their event Mi Casa Es Su Casa Holiday (MCH) because “my house is your house” embraced the culture of house music and the foundation of Jenn and Julius’ multicultural upbringing. Holiday is a simple reminder that taking time for yourself is mandatory. While considering many destinations, Julius met Nickodemus at the Mosaic Spring Music Festival.  Nickodemus, a New York DJ/Producer who’d been performing in Playa Del Carmen for years, offered to connect Julius with his contacts in Playa. Jenn was very familiar with the Riviera Maya and had a longstanding friendship with the president of IS Tours, Bobby Voelz. The serendipity was undeniable and solidified that Playa Del Carmen, Mexico was the location for their event.

Julius enlisted the help of talented designer Adam Gibbons and journalist Brent Crampton to help sculpt the message of the event. Master strategist RC helped plan logistics and helped develop Jenn and Julius’ vision. Brad Hurst, Susanna Gomez, Keith Evan, AQuaBeaT, Hallex M, Abel Rogers, Sabo, Cher Carter, Tasha Guevara, Chasity Finley, Toyya Cole, Sabine, Max Pela, Eddy Plenty, Gerry Hartman, Anish Shah, Ramon Rawsoul, and many other loyal fans, dj’s, promoters, and friends supported and helped spread the word.

October 2009, fifty determined souls traveled to the white sandy beaches of Playa for what became an intimate affair with beats in paradise. While attendance has doubled every year Jenn and Julius are committed to preserving the magic experienced the first year and designed MCH to maintain a sense of intimacy regardless of growth. In five short years, friendships have forged, life partners have met, children have been born, and new communities have connected. MCH is a classic example of how a thought, that turned into a dream, can become reality. What started out as a simple bet in their teens, led to a moment where twenty years of passion, inspiration, and encouragement all came together.

Bombay Sapphire GQ Bartending Competition Returns to Four Seasons Denver

We’d like to extend you the exclusive invite to attend this year’s event being held on the Four Season’s Pool Deck patio Monday, August 4th from 7pm-10pm. Doors will open at 6:45pm. All RSVP’s will get priority in line until we reach capacity on the pool deck, which will occur early. RSVP now to, and skip the rest of the message or read on for more detail.

This year’s event will feature 10 of Colorado’s finest bar men and women as they battle it out for Colorado and to be crowned the Nation’s Most Imaginative Bartender. This year you will again have the opportunity to sample some of Colorado’s most imaginative cocktails, served by the industries most progressive bartenders and mixologists. To top it off we’ll have DJ Brian Howe on the 1’s & 2’s, The Sapphire Girls, and a crowd that rivals the best looking Friday and Saturday night crowds. Needless to say, this isn’t your typical bartender competition.

Oh, and we can’t forget about the importance of charity, we can have fun, but it’s better when we give back. With that we are asking for a suggested $10 donation at the door, all proceeds benefiting a Colorado Bartender’s Guild charity of choice.

So, you “Gin it to Win it?!” Ok, great, let’s do it again. RSVP’ing is simple, copy and paste this link and enter you name and your +1’s and 2’s.

A King is…

You wanna be a king? Here is what it will take:

A king is…

  1. Warrior
  2. Loves
  3. Leader
  4. Compassionate
  5. Trusts
  6. Lives outside the box
  7. Unselfish
  8. Noble
  9. Honorable
  10. Listens
  11. Builds
  12. Healthy
  13. Has faith
  14. Good
  15. Creates
  16. Unique
  17. Fearless
  18. Treats all as equals
  19. Fights for fairness
  20. Mindful
  21. Confident
  22. Intelligent
  23. Purpose driven
  24. Bold
  25. Respectful
  26. Postitive Attitude
  27. Non-attached
  28. Empowers his Kingdom
  29. Believes in what’s good
  30. Doesn’t demand money, power, or credit

How to Write and Sell Screenplays

Writing a screenplay is not easy. You will need discipline and you will need to learn the structure, character development and format. Not to worry, that is why I have condensed ten years of experience, hundreds of books and movies, into this article.

I have written seven screenplays now, two television scripts, and two music video scripts. Only one of those films has made it to the big screen. Breaking into screenwriting often times requires persistence and focus and many, many years.

Story logic, character development and structure are paramount when writing a traditional script. Each film follows a six stage plot structure.

Robert McKee’s Story tells us that you must be good at the nuts and bolts of a scene. Each scene hinges upon the other scene and everything must continue to move forward. A good story is a detective story – the audience wants to know what is going to happen next? Keep them guessing. You never want to be predictable. Scenes need to turn on at least one value charged condition of a character’s life through action – reaction. Real truth is found in underlying meaning and real entertainment is when humans experience charged values and emotion.

The first thing you must do is determine your controlling idea which is the ultimate meaning expressed in one sentence. Next write your logline, which is your pitch to a producer or studio and summarizes your movie set-up, conflict, and resolution. The American Association of Screenwriters recommends you keep the logline to three sentences. For character-driven movies include identification, connection, potential crisis, and risk. There are plot-driven scripts in which you want to highlight complications in the logline.

Loglines should consist of the following:
* Reveal your star’s situation
* Reveal Important Complications
* Describe the action the star takes
* Describe the star’s crisis decision
* Hint at the climax – danger, showdown
* Hint at the star’s potential transformation
* Identify sizzle, sex, greed, humor danger, thrills, satisfaction
* Identify Genre
* Keep it to three sentences
* Use present tense

You can fill in a logline by replacing these “An interesting hero must accomplish a goal (x), despite extraordinary obstacles (y), because of emotionally compelling stakes (z).

Characters should go through raw identity, self awareness, self enlightenment, and self actualization. How your character chooses how they react to an event in your script is who they are. Reluctant heroes are always interesting if they only appear to care about themselves, but in clutch situations help others.

What is your hero’s everyday world like? What event, referred to as the inciting incident, changes everything? Is the event passive, disruptive, personal, or casually linked to your first act break? At what point in your hero’s life does your story begin? Time-wise, how far away is your story beginning from the inciting incident. Stack the odds against your hero. You can throw coincidence at your hero, but you can’t use coincidence to get them out of a situation.

Describe your hero. What is his or her profession? What is his overall goal? Who or what is stopping him from achieving it? What’s at stake if he fails?

Next you can write a treatments which is a story concept, plot, basic characters, and sometimes snippets of dialog of main characters. Typically a treatment is 30 pages or less and can be protected by law (see below below).

Character development is extremely important to a good script. One exercise you can do is talk to your characters and interview them. Where are they from? What do they do? What drives them consciously and subconsciously? Your protagonist doesn’t need to be sympathetic, but must be empathetic. Heroes should be given insurmountable obstacles as they pursue compelling objectives.

No aspect of characterization (age, race, IQ, speech, mannerisms, beliefs, personality) may undermine credibility of character. Actions must be believable. Positive and negative charges. Compare and contrast. Subplots should contradict the controlling idea. Put characters in situations which are rich with moral quandaries and elements of good drama.

You must make sure your script is in top form before you send it to someone. Beware, sending out unsolicited intellectual property (be it script, music, anything creative basically) is very difficult and risky. You can read other scripts at Drew’s Script-O-Rama.

The first step before showing anything to anyone is to protect your work. Register your Treatments, Loglines, and scripts with The United States Copyright Office, or Don’t make the mistake of thinking your idea is copyrightable – it’s not. Copyright will protect the literary or dramatic expression of an author’s idea but not the idea itself. A script is considered a literary expression of an idea.

Craig Mazin, author of The Artful Writer screenwriting blog will tell you that chain of title . The Writers Guild of America often times finds contributing writers to a project through arbitration. Participation isn’t defined by employment, rather by the contribution of intellectual property. Chain of Title can be very hard to prove, but the WGA helps determine screen credit on the basis of copyrightable contributions.

I highly recommend Michael Lent’s book Breakfast with Sharks – A Screenwriter’s Guide. He breaks down the process of paper to screen and offers many helpful hints including a resource guide which includes Hollywood Literary Sales, Screen Players, Movie Bytes, Who Represents, Writers Mind, Done Deals, The Hollywood Reporter,Script Savvy, Write Movies, Ain’t It Cool News, Hollywood Creative, Representation, and Distributors Directories.

You will need a good lawyer and an agent, because the problem with sending unsolicited material is this: most people in the position of choosing projects will not even open it. The reason is that if I as an producer or an agent (the two people you would be sending scripts to) have a movie deal about a bank heist in the works and they read someone else’s script about a bank heist they are instantly incriminating themselves as plagiarists. The question becomes which script came first is what the unsigned writer will undoubtedly ask?

It takes a lot of money to make a movie. One way to sell a script is to get it in the hands of someone with money who wants to enter into the Hollywood world. Convince this person that the movie appeals to a wide range of people and get him to sign over funding. Once the first domino falls in promising (in writing) money towards film production, each following domino tips much easier. Once you have funding to produce the film, you then have ammunition to go after distributors (a studio – who gets the film into theaters, television, or DVD).

Once you get enough money, the writer suddenly becomes the producer of the film, the people with the funding are the executive producers. The writer / producer then hires a ESTABLISHED FILM PRODUCER and a SOLID DIRECTOR and hands the project over to them. The writer protects his vision while handing over the nuts and bolts of the production to people who’ve done it before, thereby protecting the financial investment of the executive producer.

Keep in mind, when funding for a feature length film isn’t achievable, sometimes people will make trailers or short form versions of their films and submit them to festivals, which then can generate buzz to further the project to feature completion.

Keep in mind, probably thousands of scripts are sold to producers/studios/agents which never become movies. Typically on a mid-sized to major film, the writer selling a script will get a few hundred thousand for the script, & a few hundred thousand more should it actually go into “production” (meaning the movie gets made). Beyond that, tons of movies are made to sit on shelves because though produced, they never get released.

To simply sell the script first, move to LA or NYC. Then, package yourself as a successful Hollywood writer (Eurotrash clothes, eccentric neuroticism, various lies about what you’ve done professionally), then go to organization meetings (Producer’s Guild, Director’s Guild, or any of the other hundreds of independent filmmaker / writer organizations), then meet as many people as you can in positions of choosing. Go to their parties, become their friends.

In Los Angeles you will also want want to join The Office, a quiet workplace for writers and a great place to get your work done. Studying is important – The Dialogue series is a must watch, interviews by former New Line Cinema Executive Producer Mike De Luca include Sheldon Turner, Paul Hagis, and Jim Uhls. You can get these on Netflix as well. You can take Syd Field’s Screenwriting Workshop or UCLA Extension writing courses which are considered inexpensive. Personally, my homework sometimes consists of watching up to two or three movies a day and reading a lot of material – books, magazines, Web sites.

There are hundreds of script writing contests you can find online too, winning one of those will certainly add to your material’s worth. There are only two kinds of people in entertainment, beggars and choosers, guess where 99.9% of writers fall? Once you meet these people socially, THEN you can ask them to read your script. Now of course, this takes a gross amount of time and a disgusting amount of soul-selling and gut-wrenching “schmoozing” with people you really would rather not deal with. This is why entertainment is a wonderful industry.

The basic rule is, if it’s too easy to get the script in their hands, they aren’t important enough to be worth wasting your time on, meaning they aren’t in the position to make your movie a reality. Hollywood is an “old boys” club and quite honestly, unless you are geographically or financially positioned to gain access to these people, it isn’t going to happen.

Write something that a lot of people would like to see that you can make for about $10,000 to $500,000 dollars. This would mean a script set in VERY few locations and easily accessible locations, no special effects, small cast, a crew with a few seasoned professionals but mostly college interns, a concept able to be shot on digital video or 16mm film.

Think movies like Clerks, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Home Alone, Blair Witch Project, and Meet The Parents. Think about a movie that not only would someone want to see it in the theater, but would they would also want to watch it on DVD. Comedy and horror are both genres that are consistently sellable- straight drama is much more risky.

Take the money, make the movie (be it feature length or shortform), put it on YouTube, MySpace, Facebook, MetaCafe, with your cell phone number at the end. If it’s that great a concept that someone can make money off of, the phone will ring.

When pitching a project in person, wear lots of deodorant. Forget “controlling” your sweat. You want to be able to strike a match off your pits. Know where you’re going. Get there early, but don’t go in early. Show up exactly at the time of your appointment. You’re going to wait regardless, but that’s irrelevant. Thinking too much about what you are going to say will throw a wrench in your pitch. Simply Variety or stare at the wall and laugh about how superior you are to the world. You’re not, but just do it. It helps.

In a pitch meeting, when offered a drink, accept water. Never soda. Just water. Don’t drink it yet. Wait until you start pitching. Then use it as a prop. When you get to a cliffhanger (drinks water) take a slug. Make ‘em wait. When you’re done pitching, stick around for a brief period of time to hear any immediate reactions, but not too long. You’ve got another pitch to get to right away…even if you don’t.

Now that you have a solid foundation, get busy writing and apply all the principles above. The next great writer is YOU.

HowtoWriteaScene How to Write and Sell Screenplays

South Park Music and Camping Festival Boasts Entertainment Packed 4th of July Weekend

The inaugural South Park Music & Camping Festival, presented by Cannabis Network Radio & Channel 9.33, will take place on 4th of July Weekend (July 3 – 5, 2014) at the beautiful American Safari Ranch in Fairplay, Colorado. South Park Music Festival (SPMF) celebrates our rights and freedom of choice by honoring the legalization of cannabis in Colorado over the country’s Independence Day weekend.

SPMF holds true to the philosophy that diversity creates unity. After years of seeing specific niche type festivals, it was time to have a music festival that combined the likes of Woodstock, Ultra Music Festival, Bonnaroo and Coachella together to make the most inclusive Music Festival in decades, and never seen before in Colorado. SPMF is a true music-lover’s festival with a well-rounded lineup featuring a wide variety of music genres, offering something for everyone to enjoy. The final lineup includes Slightly Stoopid, Tech N9ne, Paper Diamond, Matisyahu, Collie Buddz, Heroes X Villains, The Flobots, Kottonmouth Kings, Blackalicious, Souls of Mischief, Alien Ant Farm and many more.

This three-day event combines an entire summer’s worth of activities into one all-inclusive weekend. SPMF is for people who love music, love cannabis and pays homage to the great State of Colorado and its citizens for allowing the true love of music and cannabis culture to come together in a one-of-a-kind experience. Festival-goers will enjoy three stages with state-of-the-art sound, lasers and lighting, a huge fireworks display that will rival any major city and some truly EPIC surprises. SPMF will also feature interactive live art installations, moon bounces, a full bar, entertainers, merchandise vendors, the very best in cannabis-related products and an amazing selection of food & drinks. 

Along with multiple stages and the nation’s top musical acts, the festival will offer a variety of cannabis-curated workshops including presentations on the current state of recreational cannabis, instructional information on how to grow and purchase cannabis properly. The festival will also feature The Underground Cup, designed to reach out to the Colorado cannabis community and enable the talented independent, small growers and extract artists to be recognized in the mainstream cannabis industry. The goal is to bridge the gap between the BIG cannabis industry and “the little guys”. Cannabis is legal for everyone 21+ to consume, and medically available for patients 18+. All adults 21+ will be able to enjoy cannabis at the festival and all redcard holders 18+ will be able to consume for medicinal purposes. These guidelines will be strictly enforced by an onsite security team to ensure our complete compliance with the law.

As a thank you to the Colorado community for their support of cannabis legalization, South Park Music Festival is offering $50 Early Bird Weekend Passes (camping included). For those who want to camp in style or need to rent camping gear, South Park Music Festival is offering rentals on “glamping tents” and camping gear packages. VIP packages will also be available and include an exclusive front row area at the main stage and camping area, private VIP areas with private bars, food stations and tented areas. For information, lineup and ticketing information please visit the official South Park Music & Camping Festival website: #SouthParkFest

SPMF email v2 South Park Music and Camping Festival Boasts Entertainment Packed 4th of July Weekend