TRANSCRIPT Ep20 - Taking Advantage of the ISA as a Screenwriter with Craig James & Molly Kasch

Updated: Apr 12

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Intro: All right, welcome to the successful screenwriter podcast, where we are dedicated to anything and everything screenwriting. Here, we interview successful screenwriters and filmmakers to discover just what it takes to make it in the industry.

Geoffrey: Welcome to the podcast, we have Molly Kasch, Director of Operations, and Craig James, the founder of the ISA. Thank you for being on guys!

Craig: Thanks for having us!

Molly: Thank you so much, we’re thrilled!

Geoffrey: I want to reach out because I love to talk about resources for screenwriters that can help take them to the next level. I started out with ISA a long time ago, I’ve always liked what you guys have done, and I just want to talk about how screenwriters can leverage the ISA to make sure they’re going in the right direction.

Molly: Sure! Something we hear a lot from our members is, “There’s so much on the site, where do I start? What do I do first?” It’s such a great resource hub. First and foremost, I tell people to go on and get a profile setup. It’s easy and free. You can upload everything from your screenplays to your successes/awards, posters, pitches, etc. Some of that is available to everybody, some of that is available to our upgraded ISA Connect members. With as much as you can put on that page, it’s like an online calling card for you. You can direct people to it.

Geoffrey: You’re absolutely right that. I wrote a book called The Guide for Every Screenwriter, and one of the things I talk about is branding yourself as a screenwriter. One of the sites I recommend is the ISA, specifically for building out that profile, because you guys have a killer SEO engine. It’s unbelievable! I always tell people that if you can’t be Googled, you don’t exist right now. If you go on the ISA, make that profile, then you get searched, your Google profile comes up right there from the ISA. The really cool thing is with your awards. If you put your awards in [your profile] as well, it’s like free bragging right there on Google.

Craig: It’s so funny that you mention that because I was searching a new writer, just randomly on Google, and the first thing that showed up was their ISA profile. I should’ve checked the member’s catalogue first. But through Google, I found their profile.

Geoffrey: It’s a beast. You guys also do community stuff. I’ve actually had the honor of being part of a Third Thursday, I got to be a special guest at one of them. I know right now we’re in the middle of a huge pandemic, so I’m sure Third Thursdays are taking a bit of a different approach. Can you talk about that, what it is, and maybe how it’s changed?

Molly: Absolutely, we started Third Thursdays sixish years ago as a way to bring the community together and have screenwriters congregate, meet each other, and form relationships/ friendships. Somebody they can carry with them; somebody they can talk to when something doesn’t go their way or share successes with. Just to form that comradery. When COVID came around, we pivoted quite rapidly. We were supposed to have a March event, and a week before we thought maybe we shouldn’t do this, then sure enough everybody locked down, so we brought it all online. It worked out really well, the upside is we have people all over the world now joining those events, and we’ve been doing more of them. Instead of just once a month, we have now an event a week.

Geoffrey: Wow!