If you've ever tried to master the craft of screenwriting, and have gone so far as to do even the tiniest bit of online research, there's a good chance you've heard of the Writers Boot Camp. Based primarily in New York and Los Angeles, folks can sign up for the Boot Camp's Basic Training (their most popular course) -- a six-week workshop that deals with everything from characters to format to re-writing. Personally, the screenwriters I've come in contact with aren't too fond of Writers Boot Camp. Usually, what they'll do is invite you to a free seminar and then spend most of it pitching their product, trying desperately to convince you to shell out a ton of money for their services. And, from what I understand, some of these folks are pretty pushy when it comes to getting you to open your wallet -- then again, I've never taken one of their courses, so I cannot say how valuable they are. Some of the folks that have signed up for Basic Training include David Levien (Ocean's Thirteen), Heather Hach-Hearne (Freaky Friday) and Shawn Schepps (Drumline).
With that said, Boot Camp founder Jeffrey Gordon has teamed up with producer Paul Rosenberg to create Writers Boot Camp Prods. The goal: To develop a wide array of feature projects "through the Writers Boot Camp alumni community in Los Angeles, New York and internationally." Honestly, it's one helluva smart move on Gordon's part, as he now has a new way to market his product (I'm sure these newbie writers will hear all about the possibilities of their scripts being produced through Writers Boot Camp Prods. when deciding whether or not to sign up for a course) and he'll also have his hands on a tremendous amount of material. I'd be curious to see just how shady this gets -- will incoming writers be asked to sign some sort of contract giving Writers Boot Camp Prods. first dibs on an option? The Variety article says the production shingle will operate as an entirely separate division from the various workshops, but you know just as well as I do that they'll be using this as a selling tool.
If you're a writer who's attended the Writers Boot Camp, feel free to share your thoughts on their program, as well what you think about their latest move into production.