MPii – CES – Application Instructions, Step 6
Welcome to Step 6 of the application process for the Career Excelerator for Screenwriters at MPii.
Congratulations! You’ve made it to the final step.
It’s time for you to do a self-analysis/self-evaluation, at this point in your career preparation and your career development, to see if this program is right for you.
Before you do, we highly recommend that you do a little research to provide yourself with a bit more context.
Specifically, one area we recommend that you look into (or refresh/reacquaint yourself with) is the concept of one’s mindset, especially relative to learning, and improving skills and growing talent.
While one could easily delve deep into this subject for hours, days, and weeks, for our purposes checking out a few YouTube videos, and a few Kindle samples, reviews or summaries online of a couple key books will probably suffice. Some examples would be:
Carol Dweck ‘Mindset – the new psychology of success’ at Happiness & Its Causes 2013
Developing a Growth Mindset with Carol Dweck
The Growth Mindset | Carol Dweck | Talks at Google
Summary of Talent Is Overrated by Geoff Colvin | Free Audiobook
TALENT IS OVERRATED | By Geoffrey Colvin EXPLAINED!
Learning how to learn | Barbara Oakley | TEDxOaklandUniversity
The Talent Myth – New Yorker article by Malcom Gladwell
Book previews, reviews or Kindle samples:
Talent is Overrated by Geoffrey Colvin
And one or more book summaries you can find online such as this one.
Once you’ve prepared by checking out the above and whatever else you find online, it’s time to answer a few questions in the form (see link below), which are designed to help you determine if this program is the right fit for you, right now in your life and career development.
Again we’re not going to be judging you in the traditional sense of do we think you have the skills or talent to make a successful career. After all, the whole point of MPii offering this program in the first place is that our research over the years has overwhelmingly indicated that the most important skills for career success for screenwriters are simply not taught or otherwise made available to those who are launching their career or even working as professionals.
It would be kind of silly for us to judge you on competence levels of skills you likely haven’t even had reasonable access to yet, and that the whole point of the two year, intensive program is to provide you with your first real opportunity to find out about those skills AND to practice them to the point that you realistically have a credible chance of learning those skills at a professional level. THEN, maybe it would be fair or even logical to start judging.
Meanwhile, here you are on the brink of making a very significant commitment to a program that is, by design, rigorous and challenging. It would need to be in order to give you an authentic opportunity to truly learn and own those skills. You will want to make sure that this is the right program for you at this time in your life.
We also need to make sure that if you are taking up a spot in the program that you are ready, willing and able to fully commit to doing the work. Otherwise, you’re wasting that opportunity not only for yourself, but for someone else who could have been in that spot.
While the program is part-time and designed to work around a 40 hour a week day job, it is still very rigorous. It requires a full 20 serious hours a week.
That means with 168 hours in a week, if you work 40 hours at your ‘pay the rent’ job, and sleep for 8 hours a night (72 hours a week), after the 20 hours that the Career Excelerator for Screenwriters requires, you will only have a little over 5 hours a day left to eat, exercise and hygiene, commute, run errands, have some quality time with loved ones, etc.
And while 5 hours a day seems like a lot, it’s amazing how quickly that time and more can get eaten up, if you’re not super careful.
In other words, the only way anyone could be able to dedicate an additional 20 hours a week to something like this program, is if they were to be extremely efficient with their time, everyday, 7 days a week, for 2 years (with a couple weeks off for holidays).
In effect, you would have to treat your participation in the Career Exelerator for Screenwriters as though it was a 2nd job part time, yet super serious, that you work in addition to whatever job you must work 40 hours a week or more to pay the rent, etc.
The typical daily/weekly schedule breakdown of the Career Excelerator for Screenwriters is:
- One hour a day, 5 days a week, in a morning group online workout session. This is divided into a 30 minute training presentation called the Daily Wisdom, which is followed by a 30 minute Daily Workout of training exercises, skill-building practice, and project concept generation. [5 HOURS]
- One 1-hour small group online meeting per week to practice pitching. Expect to dedicate 1 to 4 hours to preparing your weekly practice pitch. [5 HOURS]
- Self-directed weekly “homework” which typically requires:
- Four hours to screen assigned movies or series episodes (and writing up analysis) or reading an assigned script (and writing up analysis)
- Four hours reading/screening assigned story and screenplay skills materials (and writing up analysis)
- Two hours miscellaneous training exercises, reading/screening additional training materials. [10 HOURS]
So, you can see it’s a very full schedule. Which means, realistically, this program can only work for you if you can genuinely make the commitment to reliably ‘show up’ with your homework done, ready and able to fully participate in the daily and weekly training sessions.
This kind of self-assessment or evaluation is particularly challenging, but it’s going to be important to this application process for a number of reasons.
First, this application process is different from the usual sort of assessment or judging process whereby you submit examples of your creative work for judgment by a panel of experts. The intention or hope being that early signs of “talent” will stand out in the evaluation of the applicant’s creative work thus far. However, all that traditional method does is determine who has had a head start over others, which isn’t very fair to those who come from less-advantaged backgrounds, or who may be differently abled.
But also, if a major reason that MPii is providing this unique program is because it provides access to the most impactful insights, concepts, as well as practical tools and techniques for career success, many of which a fundamental to building the higher-level craft skills required for a writer’s talents to be able to truly shine, and most of which are not available anywhere else in the world, then…
How much sense does it make to evaluate the caliber of the applicant’s creative work before they’ve had the opportunity to gain access to, learn and practice those very skills, which will most impact their level of craft and demonstrate their talent?
It’s a little ridiculous. But in defense of those traditional programs with their biased application process, it’s not like there’s a well-established and time-tested alternative method of more fairly determining who among the as yet untrained should be allowed to gain special access to the most comprehensive and highest-level career success training in the world for currently working as well as future professional screenwriters. This method we are currently using, which you are participating in, is a bit of an experiment.
It’s an experiment based on years of research into the questions surrounding what attributes make for more likelihood of career success for professional screenwriters. And we can tell you that “talent” while on the list, is not even in the top 10.
Other aspects, such as reliability, work ethic, positive can-do attitude, courage, and craft skills, are far more important to career success. And what if each and every one of those human attributes can be significantly improved with the right training and practice, and the right environment that supports that training and practice, so that you can have a real chance to truly learn the array of skills required for career success–going from unaware that you’re not yet fully masterful (the unconsciously incompetent) to on the road to becoming authentically masterful (consciously competent) and, in due course, ultimately becoming so competent and so practiced/experienced that it all just flows naturally, intuitively, with a genuine, earned confidence, joy and fulfillment (unconsciously competent)?
And what if it matters more how ready, willing and able someone is to learn, practice and grow in all of those areas (and more), then how much “talent” their early, untrained work might (or might not) demonstrate?
And, BTW, if you are thinking that because you attended a top film school or an industry fellowship that you have the training you need to succeed, we can only tell you that our years of research say that is highly unlikely, because much of what is divulged in the Career Excelerator program, simply isn’t available anywhere else.
And the amount of practice you received in the skills that may have been covered was not sufficient to give you a credible chance to truly learn and own the skills required for a top-level career as a professional screenwriter.
And that is why MPii has designed, tested and is now offering this program. In fact, if other programs provided these things, MPii wouldn’t go through the trouble of creating and offering this program.
So, it all comes down to a matter of what you are ready, willing and able to commit to, and stick to, and do.
The insights, tools and techniques, as well as the exercises for practicing until they become second nature high-level skills that you truly master, are by design the best available anywhere, and are only available in this program.
The question is…
Can you, will you show up and really apply yourself to practicing the tools and techniques that this program shares with you?
Hopefully, all that makes sense to you and sounds fair.
If so, please proceed to the final step, which is simply filling out THIS FORM.
Thank you for participating in this application process. Please share any comments you may have with us at CES@MPii.org.