Clubhouse for Screenwriters: Opportunities & Scams

The first time I heard about Clubhouse, I had a hard time understanding the concept of what it was. An app that was by invite only, exclusively for iPhone users, that allowed you to talk to other people like zoom, but without video. If that doesn’t confuse you, then you must not be as old as I am and I’m jealous.

So, I did what every other Gen X’r probably did…and left the app to sit on my phone until it sank into the cracks of my iCloud until a few weeks later I was finally ready to figure it out. And I am so thankful that I did. Day one, I met a great group of people, who led me to meet even more amazing and interesting people. I believe I’m a month or so in and I I’ve learned there are cliques but most are welcoming and inviting to others. There are, of course, downsides, like racism, bullying, misleading information, and even scammers, just like any other social media. But I’m willing to brave all of that for the huge amount of networking I’ve been able to do a thousand miles North of Los Angeles. Most of whom, I can’t wait to meet in person now one day. Friends. True networking is about making a connection and Clubhouse is definitely a resource to have right now. Even after restaurants, coffee shops and other businesses open, if you aren’t living in LA, this app is a great way to keep in contact with other people in the entertainment industry.

Like I mentioned earlier, there are pros and cons with all social media platforms, but as long as you’re aware of it ahead of time, you should be good.

There are dozens of “Clubs,” groups with members who share the same interests as you: filmmaking (indie, too), screenwriting, production, acting, and more. All filled with professionals giving their advice and knowledge. Regularly scheduled “rooms” where you can go in and listen to pre-selected topics and panels, as well as “pop-up” rooms where industry pros, especially in the screenwriting field, gather to talk about what’s currently happening with their craft, the business and representation side of things.

Unfortunately, there will always be scammers and those who make a living by taking advantage of people.

Something to keep an eye out for, though, if you recall I mentioned scammers and those who are just out to steal your IP (intellectual property), whether intentional or not. I’ve seen a couple of rooms where people are asking others to share their “life story” to see if it’s “film worthy.” There are hundreds of people in those rooms and it always screams “DANGER” to me when I see them. Please, be cautious of those rooms. The last thing you want, is to have someone hear your story, use it in their own writing and pitch it to a studio, only to make a movie out of it without your knowledge and you not have any legal standing to claim rights to it.

The film industry isn’t new to that by any means. On Clubhouse, I’ve found so many people who host rooms and discussions about the needs of a “Pitch Deck” before even thinking about pitching a concept or script to studios and producers. What’s even worse, is these same people telling people that you need a Pitch Deck, are offering services to make one for you for the low-low price of $3K and your left-foot. The professionals that I have come to be close with on CH though, have been trying to counteract this by reiterating as often as possible that you “do NOT need a pitch deck” when pitching your script. Spend the time you would exhaust on building a useless pitch deck, on your script: Getting reliable notes and revising.

Hard truth alert; there are always sharks, no matter what social media waters you’re swimming in.

Despite all the teeth, Clubhouse is exactly what I needed to help me breakthrough as a screenwriter from another state. I now have contacts that have helped me so much. Through it, I’ve gotten two script requests and gained a mentor (barring what she thinks about my script, that is). The biggest piece of advice I have for anyone thinking about starting up a Clubhouse is to join in the conversation, don’t stay in the audience. In “real life,” as well. When you’re in a room filled with like-minded creators, you definitely don’t want to stay in the corner.

Alainna writes both books and screenplays in a range of genres but specializes in Celtic fantasy stories. Most recently her fantasy feature script, “Across the Veil,” won Best Unproduced Action Screenplay. A few weeks prior, her sci-fi feature, “Attrition,” made it on the quarterfinalists list in the Screencraft Fellowship Competition. She’s creating other worlds amongst ours between changing diapers and catching the school bus.


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