Development Program Evaluation

Evaluation, Full Notes & Consideration | taught by Max Timm

Course description

Need Representation?

The ISA Development Program can now be accessed through application! This specialized program was created to develop and support emerging screenwriters who have yet to secure an agent or manager, while helping writers better navigate this highly competitive business to find a path to break through. Our mission is to ultimately help you get represented and sell your work.

Every application receives a full score evaluation with 5 pages of extensive notes regardless of acceptance. Your project will be rated and considered for inclusion in the ISA’s Development Program and, if accepted, will immediately enable you and your project to be submitted to ISA approved agents, managers, production companies, producers and more at no additional expense to you.

8 writers in the program have signed with an agency or had their work optioned in the past 7 months. You can find out more about the ISA Development Program below, or by visiting


Denise Meyers script THE DARK OF NIGHT completed principal photography with director Robin Wright (Forrest Gump), and stars Leslie Bibb, Sam Rockwell, Callie Thorne and Michael Godere.

Eugene Ramos script NEWTON’s LAWS OF EMOTION has been optioned by Stage Screen Productions as a direct result of the ISA’s Development Program.

Andy Byrne was invited into the Development Program after becoming the ISA’s 2016 Fast Track III Fellow with his amazing screenplay DISCONN. Since then the script has won gold in the PAGE International Screenwriting Awards, and now is in the hands of an A-List Actress in Hollywood.

Development Program writer Jamie Anderson signed with Paradigm Agency, and received a writing assignment for a major production company. More details to come.

Development Program writer Travis Opgennorth’s script RANGER CREED, was recently optioned by producer David Harris, and his other screenplay THE POACHER, has led to Sixth Sense Productions offering Travis a writing assignment.

Emerging Screenwriter 2014 5th place winner and Development Program writer Phil Parker is developing a road-trip comedy script for one production company and has been hired by another to write a new draft of an Aussie sci-fi feature. His multi-award winning script 'The Third Bomb' has just been optioned by Sias Wilson,
a BAFTA-winning producer known for his work with Sir David Attenborough.

Partnering Companies

You do not need to enroll in any coursework to purchase this evaluation option. If you are currently enrolled in an online Craft Course, you may purchase this option to receive notes and program consideration. If you are already enrolled in "The Craft Course with Support & Evaluation" or you are in Max Timm's live Master Class in Los Angeles, you do not need to add apply for the Development Program - your enrollment in either of those two classes automatically enlists you for consideration.

If you have a finished project, or two or three, you may apply for evaluation, HOWEVER we will only review, evaluate, and consider ONE project per application. If you wish to have multiple projects reviewed and considered, you must submit an additional application.

Please Take Note: We can only accept individual writer applications. We can not accept applications that were written as a team or with a co-writer UNLESS that writing team will always be a writing team, and if the team has other projects to show the Development Program once accepted into the program itself. Thank you for understanding. Please see the FAQ section below for further details.


You will receive your evaluation and notes within five and seven weeks of applying and submitting your materials. If the script rating is high, you will be considered for the ISA Development Program. If you are accepted, the project will be submitted to ISA vetted industry contacts (agents, managers, production companies, producers, etc). The ISA works with companies like Lionsgate, The Weinstein Co, the BBC, Eclectic Pictures, Freckle Films and more.

The ISA Development Program is designed to be a fast track for ISA members so that the ISA can act as a representative of you and your material WITHOUT the ISA attaching itself to your material. In other words, we help writers find representation and receive options, and all the ISA is looking for in return are more success stories! We submit your material to industry professionals, pitch you and your writing, and attempt to jump-start your career.

You will remain within the Development Program for one full calendar year (starting as of the date of your acceptance). That year will include ongoing support and feedback on old and new material, and updates on to whom the program submits your work. Our initial intent is to get you meetings! We feel that our top writers should be in every room around town, so it is our goal to present our program writers to the industry's movers and shakers. After your first year is finished, the ISA's development executives will review you and your projects and determine if you will remain in the program. If it is determined that we wish for you to stay, there is NO additional charge or application required.

Note: Please read the FAQ section below for further details.

"I’ve seen first hand how its organizers have gone out of their way to create the most industry opportunities for its writers.”
- Lee Jessup
(Screenwriting Career Coach,

"The ISA has been instrumental in the momentum of my career. By submitting my projects to high level companies and executives, I have received exposure that propelled me to the next level. I have a team working for me. I love the ISA and their superhero Director of Outreach, Max Timm!”
- Jamie Anderson
(Development Program Alum and Screenwriter)



Q: Is there a limit to how many pages my script can be when submitting?

A: Yes! We will not accept a script that is longer than 130 pages. This is basic, industry standard stuff. Please disregard the stories you hear about people like Quentin Tarantino writing 200+ page scripts. This is not only rare, it's regarded as amateur if you are not, indeed, Quentin Tarantino. Even 130 pages is far too long, even for epic Sci-Fi and Fantasy. If you are writing a Romantic Comedy, you should aim for 95 pages. A drama, depending on whether it is period or current-day, should also be no longer than 100-105 pages (this includes horror, mystery, and thriller). If you are writing a wacky comedy, this too should be no more than 100 pages. If you have an action/thriller or action/adventure script, you will be OK between 105 and 110 pages at most. Fantasy and Sci-Fi can get away with maybe 110-120 pages, but even 120 pages is stretching it. Please be concise, specific, and make sure to put your best foot forward.

Q: Does the ISA Development Program accept writing teams or projects with co-writers?

A: No. We can not accept submissions that were written as a team or with a co-writer UNLESS that writing team will always be a writing team. A writing team agreement and/or contract needs to be established and executed between each writer AND shown to the ISA Development team as proof. The writing team will stay in the Development Program only if they write together as a team moving forward. Thank you for understanding.

Q: What does it cost to participate in the ISA Development Program?
A: After the application fee, there is no cost. HOWEVER, every writer accepted into the program receives one free year of the ISA CONNECT membership ($120 value). Each writer will receive a review after their first year to determine if the Program is still a good fit. Once determined, and in order to remain in the Development Program after your first year, the writer must subscribe to CONNECT ($10/month).

Q: How long will I be included in the program?
A: We invite writers for up to 1 year. This is typically extended as long as the writer is continuing to work with the ISA Team to improve their craft, their current projects and/or develop new ones. If your time is extended, you will NOT be asked to reapply, nor will you pay an additional fee.

Q: Who decides if I get into the program?
A: ALL screenplays submitted will be read thoroughly by vetted ISA Readers. They will pass their notes to both you and the ISA Development Team consisting of Felicity Wren, the ISA's Director of Development and Max Timm, the ISA's Director of Community Outreach for a final decision.

Q: Will my ISA Rating be made public?
A: No. You will eventually have the option to share your ISA Rating via the ISA website and your member profile if you wish. Yes, you will be required to register with the ISA website, but this does not include an additional free. Registration with the ISA website is free.

Q: How will the notes be presented to me?
A: You will receive UP TO five pages of notes based on Concept, Structure, Character Development/Evolution, Page Writing/Dialogue, and Script Marketability.

Q: What score do I need to receive in to be accepted into the Development Program?
A: A score of 90 or above is the minimum requirement but there are no guarantees even if you receive a high score. We may consider projects that receive a score lower than a 90, however. It all depends on the level of originality, potential of the script and idea, and how well the writer shows his/her skills and ability. There will always be room for improvement, and though we are not expecting a script to be "perfect", we do expect the writer to have a very strong handle on the screenwriting craft and storytelling process.

Q: Can I resubmit if I don't get accepted the first time?
A: Yes! We urge you to take our notes from the first evaluation and do a thorough rewrite. You can then re-submit that same project for only $100. Please email us at when you complete your rewrite in order to inquire on how to resubmit.

Q: Can I submit a different screenplay?
A: Yes. You can submit as many screenplays as you like, but you must pay the full application fee each time. There is only a discount if you re-submit a rewrite.

Q: Once accepted into the program, what is the process to participate?
A: One of the team members will contact you and fill you in on all the details. You must sign some basic documentation/release for the ISA to solicit on your behalf, none of which obligates you to the program. The release form is only to grant the ISA permission to submit your project to outside sources. It does NOT grant legal control or participation to the content itself. The ISA does not attach itself as a producer, manager, or agent to your material. You retain all creative rights.

Q: Once accepted into the program, when do I get an agent or manager?
A: The ISA makes no promises to deliver either of these to you, nor can we guarantee that your material will be optioned. We are simply opening the door to get your work in front of industry players. You must participate to help us help you.

Q: What if I no longer want to be in the ISA Development Program?
A: You can withdraw from the program at any time.

Q: Can I be dropped from the program?
A: Yes. Since we are working for you, for free, we rely on your participation. This means working with us to develop your work. If you don't do what it takes to improve your work, develop as a writer and/or heed our advice, we reserve the right to drop you from the program at any time. There are no refunds for your application fee.

Q: If I don't make it into the program, can I get a refund?
A: There are absolutely no refunds. We are providing development notes for a reasonable cost. An invitation to the Development Program is an added benefit, not a promise.

Max Timm
Max Timm

Max Timm is the Director of Community Outreach with the International Screenwriters’ Association, and has over a decade of experience not only as an instructor, but in developing projects and supporting thousands of writers from A-list to novice.

His focus with the ISA is to build a creative community and bring ISA writers closer to Industry Professionals, i.e. producers, managers, and agents. Recently he has helped build a development program with the ISA, submitting writers’ projects on their behalf and helping them launch their careers – eight writers received options and representation in the past year because of Max’s assistance and support.

A development consultant and screenwriting instructor, Max is also a screenwriter and published author. His debut novel, a young adult fantasy adventure titled The WishKeeper, about a teenage fairy with broken wings, won the young adult category of the 2015 Los Angeles Book Festival and can be found in all nationwide bookstores. Books Two and Three are slated for release in 2017 and 2018. Max has also served as a part-time instructor at UCLA, teaching high school students the history of film and television through their Summer Discovery Program.

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Course Curriculum

Development Program Evaluation, Script Review, Course Add-On
Details On Your Development Program Evaluation and/or Craft Course Add-On
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by Douglas MacLeod

by Douglas MacLeod