What People Are Saying About Sherwood Oaks
Sherwood Oaks is the best bang for the buck for screenwriting/film schools and has been around since 1971.
The classes I took on Sept. 19-20 were well worth my money just for the information provided by the speakers. They all were top notch writers, producers and directors and they spoke REALITY to the class. Come on…Shane Black!! You can’t get much better than that and he was great during and after the class. He actually stayed after class while some of us were giving pitches to Gary.
I am making arrangements to attend the Oct. 28th class with Agents & Producers and the Oct. 29th class of Pitching to Agents, Managers, & Production Companies .
Sherwood Oaks [IS LEGIT]. You get access you would never normally get, and the owner and founder are connected to the high levels of the Hollywood A list. I’ve taken the class twice, made great connections, gotten my work read and considered. As with everything you have to follow the rules and temper your expectations.
An amazing place to learn and make contacts. I’ve done several pitching conferences. Sherwood’s leaves them all in the dust in terms not only the caliber of their panels, but also the enthusiasm these industry pros have for the people looking to get established in this tough town of Hollywood. The secret is Gary’s many years in the trenches and the loyalty his alumni feel. At other seminars you get a lot of junior execs. Here you get the senior decision makers. I highly recommend Sherwood to anyone regardless of their level in the industry.
[Sherwood Oaks is a learning treasure…] #1 in my book. Workshops are taught by filmmaking professionals, whose breadth and depth of knowledge is shared in a small class settings. There’s nothing else like it!
Attending Sherwood Oaks Film School was a magical experience. It was an amazing opportunity to meet industry professionals in an intimate setting. I learned a great deal about the inner workings and dynamics of Hollywood and made some lifelong treasured friends in the process. The program was like the best mix of school, camp, biz trip and vacation.
I loved it. I went to the August 23 -25, Pitching Class/ Session. Within 5 seconds of opening my mouth, Gary [Shusett] shut me down, said it was terrible, and taught me the RIGHT WAY to pitch to big executives. He did the same thing to everyone. HE’S A GENIUS. Once we had the skills we needed, the actual Sessions started. For the next 7 hours, we pitched our screenplays to one executive after another. THREE of them are reading my screenplay RIGHT NOW!! You’ll network with stars and execs, you couldn’t meet on your own in 10 years, MAYBE IN YOUR LIFETIME! If you’re trying to break into Hollywood, check their website regularly for classes and events. They can’t do miracles with poor work but they will connect you to execs that can make a difference in your career.
I loved it. I went to the August 23 -25, Pitching Class/ Session. Within 5 seconds of opening my mouth, Gary shut me down, said it was terrible and taught me the RIGHT WAY to pitch to big executives. He did the same thing to everyone. HE’S A GENIUS. Once we had the skills we needed, the actual Sessions started. For the next 7 hours, we pitched our screenplays to one executive after another. THREE of them are reading my screenplay RIGHT NOW!! You’ll network with stars and execs, you couldn’t meet on your own in 10 years, MAYBE IN YOUR LIFETIME! If you’re trying to break in to Hollywood, check their website regularly for classes and events. They can’t do miracles with poor work but they will connect you to execs that can actually make a difference in your career.
Sherwood Oaks is the most amazing experience I’ve had since I began my career as a screenwriter. The access the classes give you is unbelievable!! You’re put up front and personal with experienced people in Hollywood who know what it takes to get to the next level….and they’re sitting with you at a table with only about 6 or 7 other students taking your questions and sharing their very personal experiences. That’s nothing less that amazing….an amazing opportunity to learn and grow in leaps and bounds!
Thank you Gary and Christine for the amazing opportunities you give us time after time.
I started going to Sherwood Oaks Film School about 8 years ago when Gary Shusett was running it. I have made so many contacts in the business through this school it is amazing. It is not your conventional school, it is much more than that. It is a gateway to Hollywood for screenwriters. They help you get your screenplay ready to pitch to studios and agents. It may be pricey, but definitely worth every dime. Five stars.
Amazing 3 day class. Great insight from incredible guests. Gary[Shusett and staff] genuinely seems like he just wants to help people.
Been a student for a couple years. Every time I go, I’ve had great learning experiences. Gary gives me insight on how the business side of things are, and I’ve made a lot of contacts! Def a fan!
Thank you Gary and Christine for making the Sherwood Oaks All-Access Weekend a sensational hit. I have to admit I was a little starstruck sitting next to and chatting with some of the hardest working, most successful people in the film industry.
I got a whole new slant on the phrase “it’s all about contacts” in my meeting with Heather Hale. I learned that it’s not just about creating relationships with people who have made it in the business, but also about connecting the dots between my project and who is right for it by researching bios, interviews — hitting those buttons that others don’t think about.
And speaking of creating relationships, at the cocktail party Sunday evening, I had the opportunity to meet the hyphenate of all hyphenates: Ronee Blakley (Nashville, Nightmare on Elm Street). She is an Academy Award nominated actor, writer, producer, director, singer, songwriter, etc. I pitched my screenplay story to her and the role I had in mind for her to play and she immediately gave me the info for her agent and told me to send him the script. I went to the website for her agency and noted that they only accept work by referral. My feet haven’t touched the ground yet!
Sherwood Oaks is the one folks. (hey, that rhymes)
Amazing. Went to their Hollywood executive class and they promised 12 guests but delivered 20. I got three requests for my script so was happy. Not everyone got requests but many of the attendees did. Those that get requests tend to be those people who have representation or won contests or have credits or been coming to these classes for years. I also gained insight into how Hollywood executives think and how they make decisions which will influence my future writing. Well worth attending.
Sherwood Oaks is the real deal. Got my screenplay optioned. Made some great contacts.
What’s astonishing about the Sherwood Oaks classes is the low ratio of students to industry guests, and the resulting quality of access. In the class I attended, only six students were seated round each table for one hour or more with each industry guest. Multiply that by five guests through the course of the day, and you had a quite remarkable opportunity to engage directly with industry players.
Why bother trying to get just a foot in the door, Sherwood Oaks holds the door open for you and invites you in. Amazing seminars, panels and group discussions with countless people who are doing what you want to do. These are the professionals that make it all happen….and they’re willing to talk with you! There are even some one-on-one sessions available. These are the top people in this industry- Producers, Directors, Writers, and Actors and also several Agents, Managers and Executives- it’s a great place to build your network. Sherwood Oaks is the only event like this. Don’t waste your time anywhere else.
I have been to several of the classes held by Sherwood Oaks. They always have good speakers with expert knowledge of the business. I like the small class setting with one-on-one interaction with Hollywood Executives who will accept your material without an agent. I will be a repeat student as soon as I can get back to LA.
Sherwood Oaks provides an extraordinary, immersive experience with some of the top professionals working in the entertainment industry today. Better still, because of their profound respect for Gary Shusett, guest speakers offer honest insights into how Hollywood really operates. I cannot recommend it enough to aspiring screenwriters and producers alike.
A must for anyone who is really serious about a career in film or television. I know it sounds like a cliche, but it’s absolutely true.
While events like the Austin Screenwriters Conference and the Screenwriting Expo are great, Sherwood Oaks is the only place I’ve found that gives you contact with industry professionals at a ratio of about one guest to five or six students per table, including during lunch. Often you get to meet industry folks at the studios so you can see what that environment is like. As Sherwood Oaks director Gary Shusett says, “The whole business is really about relationships.” Sherwood Oaks gives you access to people in the business you wouldn’t have otherwise.
The information these people offer is invaluable, and many of them give their contact information. And, attending award shows including the Directors Guild Awards, Writers Guild Awards and Emmy Awards are an optional part of some Sherwood Oaks events.
Sherwood Oaks College is the best way to meet filmmaking pros and to learn about the business by powerful, famous, and hard working professionals in Hollywood. I’ve been at writing for many years and this is by far the very best way to learn and network with industry pros. The students range from screenwriters/filmmakers that are starting out to those who are working pros themselves. I’ve been going to Sherwood Oaks classes for a few years and will continue to do so. THERE IS NO OTHER LIKE IT! Anyone wanting to break it or further their career in Hollywood need to attend. Gary and Christine are hard-working and connected individuals. Oh, it’s a lot of fun, too!
…I am a small-town lawyer from Texas and enrolled in the “Bankable Actors and Directors” class. I enrolled even after reading the “sham” review on [a] website. I’m glad I ignored the unfair review and enrolled and attended. The Course was exactly as represented, and by following the guidelines on participation, listening to the presentations, and obtaining the materials presented by the guests, and following through on both guest suggestions, and the suggestions from the website, I found it to be a tremendous help in understanding how to succeed in Hollywood. This is not, by any stretch of the imagination, a scam, and I intend to follow up with other classes. If you enroll, tell Gary or Christine you read a review by Catfish, and decided to follow his advice. I am confident that you will not be disappointed or feel you did not get your money’s worth. I was not disappointed and considered my class to be E.W.E.P. – (Excellent, Worth Every Penny)…
For any writers out there looking for an open door to Willie Wonka’s Chocolate Hollywood Factory, [Sherwood Oaks] has the golden ticket! Forget film school. Forget making cold calls. Forget rejection letters. This place is a breeding ground for professionals in the Biz; and, you get to have lunch with them!
I was one of seven people sitting around a table at a Sherwood Oaks event – seven “students”- one industry professional. He asked what we’re working on and when I described my “front burner” project, he said, “You should get that to Mr. X.” When I answered that I had already tried to get it to Mr. X and been unable to get past his assistant, the host at our table said, “Give me the one-sheet; I’ll get it to him.”
If you know some other place where that could happen, please tell me about it because I want to go to both Sherwood Oaks and that other place you know about, too.
I don’t mean to be pessimistic, but I don’t think there is anyplace else where one can do that. Congratulations Gary and congratulations Christine. You’re doing a great job, especially this past February (’08).