Testimonials

Lee Jessup Screenwriting Career Coach

“Hollywood is a town of make believe.  We tell stories to the world.  We also tell stories to each other.  “I am talented writer!”  “I’m an A-list producer!”  “I have financing for your film!”  “I’m friends with Denzel Washington!”  In our world, it is hard to tell fact from fiction.  What does one really know for sure?  One of the things that I know for sure is that Lee Jessup has been consistently valuable to me and to the screenwriter community for 20 years.  She has great taste in material.  She really cares about the craft.  She really cares about those of us who have devoted our lives to this industry.  I am honored to know her and trust her.  If I was in in a coma for a year and lost all my clients while I was away, one of the first calls I would make when I returned would be to Lee Jessup.  I’m sure she would have read something good and would point me in the direction of where to find it.”
Jewerl Ross, Literary Manager, Silent R Management. Clients include Academy Award winner Barry Jenkins

“Lee knows everything about Hollywood and what it’s like to be a writer struggling to make it here. I go to Lee for all my questions about how this town works. She always has answers and sound advice on how to navigate my career. She has been such an asset to me — kind of a secret weapon. She is passionate and compassionate, a truth teller, a motivator, a doer. Ask anyone who knows Lee Jessup and they will tell you, “Lee makes things happen.” She certainly did for me.”
Barbara Curry, Screenwriter The Boy Next Door & NBC’s Reversible Error (in development) repped by APA & Heroes & Villains
“Lee is, far and away, the best career coach in the Business. Every time she recommends a TV or Feature writer to me, I prioritize it and usually end up signing them. Lee has a keen eye when it comes to spotting talent but it’s her ability to foster and guide that talent that really sets her apart. Hollywood can be a daunting jungle for screenwriters trying to break in. Let Lee help you navigate it.” ”
Jeff Portnoy, Literary Manager, Bellevue Productions. Recently sold specs include The Keeper of the Diary and The Miserable Adventures of Burt Squire
“If you’re anything like me, your worst nightmare is to get THAT amazing opportunity and not being ready for it. In the past year, Lee not only helped me to keep my writing and career moving into the right direction, she also played a crucial role in me being chosen as a fellow to two of the highly competitive TV writing fellowships. Not only did Lee challenge me to write a spec that played to my voice and strengths and helped me frame appealing personal letters and prepare for first interviews, she was also my tireless (and much needed) sounding board and support system once the rigorous selection process required me to quickly adapt to the challenge of developing pitches and show concepts under pressure and on short notice. While one can never be truly ready for what lays ahead, working with Lee helped me to adapt quickly and make the best out of the wonderful opportunities that were given to me. Working with Lee is one of the most inspiring and rewarding perks of my daily writing routine. Aside helping me to continuously make progress by setting achievable goals, generating and leveraging opportunities and continuously developing new material, Lee has become my most trusted advisor in all things career. Her incredible insight on the inner workings of the industry and her razor-sharp judgement when evaluating career-defining decisions help me worry less about whether I am playing my cards right and allow me to focus more on continuing to become the best writer I can.”
Greta Heinemann, Writer on NCIS New Orleans, CBS Mentoring Program participant & Humanitas Fellow, repped by Madhouse Entertainment & UTA
“I met Lee in one of my classes at UCLA Extension. She was a guest lecturer and she said a few things that made a tremendous impact on me. She explained that emerging writers need a strong portfolio of scripts in the same tone, a constant drive to network and foster relationships and, most importantly, they need to allow “two to 12 years to break in.” Instead of scaring me, that range sold me! It relieved me of the pressure of becoming an overnight success. For me, writing is a life commitment and Lee confirmed if for me. Her guidance and coaching advanced my career: I have reputable representation, a production company was attached to produce my pilot and I’ve met many studio heads, producers and executives who are responding to my writing. She’s helped me navigate through all that. After three years of taking my first TV writing class and less than two years of working with Lee, I broke in. I got hired as a staff writer for the third season of the Emmy-nominated drama American Crime, created by the Oscar-winner John Ridley. It wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t been ready. I’m absolutely grateful to Lee!”
Moises Zamora, Writer on American Crime, repped by Silent R Entertainment & CAA
I reached out to Lee when I had just been accepted to one of the top five television fellowships in Hollywood. She helped me leverage that experience to the fullest advantage. With her guidance I was able to reach every single goal I had set for myself which included signing with a literary agent and manager, both of which have been amazing. She is smart, she is well-informed and she is incredibly effective.I love working with Lee. She’s worth every penny.”
Jorge Rivera, Writer on A.P.B., Fox Diversity Fellow, repped by Bellevue Entertainment and The Kaplan-Stahler Agency

“Working with Lee has greatly impacted my writing and television career. Not only did she challenge me to constantly generate story ideas, but Lee also pushed me out of my comfort zone in order to find ways to break into the industry. With her sage advice, I became more focused and productive with my work and my crazy ambitions. She never let up on my goals, and most importantly, Lee always believed in me. As a result, incredible things started to happen. A TV spec I wrote placed in the semifinals at Austin Film Festival, and I was accepted into the prestigious Warner Brothers Television Workshop. With her continued guidance, I recently landed a staff writing position with a television series for one of the major networks. Lee is the real deal. She doesn’t hold back any punches, and I can’t thank her enough for that.” 
John Covarrubias, Writer on Training Day, Warner Brothers Television Workshop participant, repped by The Shuman Company
“If you’re new to the business, or are simply looking for the most sound, most logical and most actionable advice on how to get to the next level, Lee is the one you want to listen to.” 
Tracey Becker, Producer Finding Neverland, Hysteria
“I’ve been working with Lee for a year and a half. Lee was instrumental in highlighting, then motivating me, to take the critical steps needed to truly launch my career. She worked closely with me to create a highly personalized plan on both the writing side and the equally important business side. Her depth of industry knowledge is invaluable in navigating the complex paths of finding and securing representation, getting your work noticed, and getting concrete movement in your career. Lee knows how the system works and helps you understand how to work it. In this industry, for which there is no clear-cut career path, she is a necessary part of my team.”
Nora Nolan, Warner Bros. Television Writers’ Workshop participant, repped by Skyway Entertainment
“Lee is the perfect secret weapon every writer should have on their team. Her expert strategies on branding and goal setting have been essential to my success.” 
Chandus Jackson, 2014/2015 Universal Pictures Emerging Writers Fellow, repped by WME & Circle of Confusion
“It takes a village. Success is a team endeavor. The challenge is to assemble the team that is best for you, your brand and your goal. I was fortunate enough to find Lee Jessup as I transitioned from aspiring to professional writer. I needed someone to help me strategize my career path, clarify my goals and define my brand. Her mix of passion and pragmatism helped me navigate my way towards career milestones. Lee brings with her a wealth of industry knowledge and insight. She also brings a respect and love for writers. Her combination of motivator, advisor ,task master and fairy godmother makes her invaluable. Everyone needs a Lee Jessup in their corner. I am fortunate to have her as an advisor and friend. Thank You, Lee!”
Charmaine DeGraté , Writer on CW’s The 100, Warner Bros. Television Writers’ Workshop participant, repped by UTA
“Lee’s breadth of knowledge of this industry and the craft of screenwriting is unparalleled. Her experience will give your career a huge jump on the learning curve we all face in this business.”
Chris Cook, Manager, Skyway Entertainment
“Meeting with Lee has been my absolute saving grace. From our very first meeting – when I was feeling profoundly stuck and looking for a way to strike a match to my career – she blew me away with her ability to both inspire and challenge my writing. She has refined and refocused my approach with an uncanny sense of story, an almost psychic ability to zero in on writers’ creative road blocks, an attitude that is both optimistic and realistic, and absolutely priceless advice for building longterm success. I leave every meeting on fire. Lee has been an amazing mentor, guide, coach and friend – there’s no on else I’d want in my corner in this crazy business.”
Eileen Jones, Screenwriter, Warner Bros. Television Writer’s Workshop participant, repped by Skyway Entertainment
“I have worked in Hollywood as a filmmaker for nearly 10 years. Over the course of my career, I’ve enlisted the support of consultants, studio executives, readers, agents, managers, producers, screenwriters, distinguished professors… None of these people measured up to the aggregate insight and expertise of Lee. She’s both creative and business savvy. As well versed in the film marketplace as she is in crafting story. Lee serves the role of an A-list manager and then transcends that role as friend and confidante. Always responsive, helpful and astute, I never pitch or develop a project without running it by Lee first. Lee’s services are an outstanding investment in yourself and your career. I cannot recommend her more emphatically.”
Aaron Bierman, Screenwriter
“Lee is a no-nonsense resource for any writer or professional trying to get things done. She can easily make the difference between an idea that never makes it onto the page and a creative success, a project that languishes on the shelf and one that crosses the finish line with gusto to find commercial and financial success. With surgical precision, she zeroes in on the issues that keep the professional or the product from achieving success, and helps her clients, students and colleagues move forward with greater focus, purpose and intensity towards their individual and professional success.”
Stephanie Palmer, Good in a Room Founder & Author
“Lee Zahavi-Jessup launched my screenwriting career. Period. Unlike other professional advisors, she didn’t simply polish Hollywood’s sparkling surface to mesmerize me with unlikely career possibilities. She has been my screenwriter’s “personal trainer,” pushing me to unprecedented levels of skill and confidence. With her pragmatic guidance and firsthand knowledge of the film industry, I developed a business plan that has taken me from unknown wannabe writer to the offices of Hollywood’s biggest production companies in less than two years. I highly recommend Lee both professionally and personally as a dynamic speaker, a savvy leader, an enthusiastic coach, and a trusted advisor.”
Kelly Anelons, Screenwriter
“You have only to glance at Lee Jessup’s CV to get a sense what makes her the platonic ideal of a screenwriting coach. Her decades in the entertainment industry give her that rare combination of creative and business acumen that any professional or aspiring professional screenwriter needs access to on a regular basis. But Lee’s breadth and depth of knowledge are only part of what makes her special. The three traits I find most remarkable about her are how present she is, at all times; how intently she listens, both to what’s said and what’s not said; and how smart and incisive her questions and comments are. Without being ego-driven or heavy-handed, she’s invariably able to drive straight to the heart of the matter, whether it’s something that’s not working in a screenplay or the best approach to a business situation. Lee’s pragmatic advice and insightful counsel have long been incredibly helpful to me personally, and I can’t recommend her and her services highly enough.”
Jason Scoggins, Founder, www.SpecScout.com
“Hiring Lee Jessup as a career coach was the single best career decision I made last year. By the end of our very first meeting, I had a set of strengthened and clarified goals, a new sense of optimism and motivation, and an action plan that was significantly different (and far more effective) than anything I’d come up with on my own. I wish I had met her ten years ago.”
Michelle Steffes, Writer-Director, repped by Echo Lake
“The main reason I first reached out to Lee was because of a comment she made in an interview about how it would be impossible for her to not genuinely care about her clients. Here’s the thing: she really does care. In an entirely self-serving industry, Lee actually puts the best interest of her clients above all else. She is a rarity, a true gem. In a crisis, Lee is the one running toward the fire. She is wildly intelligent, completely authentic and an all-around kick-ass chick. I’m endlessly grateful to have her on my team.”
Alexandra McHale, Comedienne & Writer
“During the three years I’ve worked with Lee (aka “Coach En Fuego”), I became a best-selling co-author and my first screenplay on the market was picked up in two days. Lee accomplished in five minutes a breakthrough that would have taken a therapist five years. I couldn’t have accomplished what I did without Lee’s no-nonsense notes and professional guidance.”
Kristina Paider, Screenwriter & Best-Selling Author
“As if the writing itself wasn’t hard enough, trying to build a career out of your efforts is a near Herculean task. But in this, Lee Jessup is a lifeline.Offering professional advice and support in navigating the choppy waters of ‘The Business,’ her tough love approach doesn’t suffer fools but constantly challenges you to raise your game whilst developing both yourself and your brand. A fierce champion for her writers, her secret weapon is that she cares.”
Patrick Mahon, Screenwriter, PAGE Gold Winner, repped by Bellevue Entertainment
“Nobody does it alone in this business. Everyone needs an ally. A champion. A muse. Someone who can help you navigate the icy, shark-infested waters of Hollywood.  Lee Jessup is my secret weapon. My Obi-Wan. My Mr. Miyagi. She knows the business of moviemaking, but more importantly, Lee knows the business of story — from the telling to the selling.   Every writer needs a kick in the pants sometimes. Lee asks the right questions. The hard questions. She’ll make you face your demons and kill your darlings — but only out of a genuine love and respect for the art and craft of screenwriting. She’s insightful, authentic, disciplined, and savvy.  She won’t teach you how to write like her… she’ll teach you to write like you.   Simply put, if you’re looking for someone to blow smoke up your tailpipe… Lee ain’t your girl. But if you’re looking for a champion, look no further.”
Kim Cunningham, Screenwriter, Screenwriting Instructor – University of Washington; Northwest Screenwriters Guild President 2010-2013, repped by Gotham
“Lee has been a godsend! She’s like the career fairy godmother that I’ve always wanted/needed. For me, it’s been helpful to have someone to run submission emails by, to create a strategy, and to be reminded to be patient and grateful for where I am instead of frustrated over where I think I should be…”
Elena Zaretsky, Screenwriter
“Where would I be without Lee Jessup’s guidance? She has talked me down from many a window ledge. And kept me calm and laughing through it all. Launching my career with Lee Jessup by my side felt like a First-Class, private jet experience – I am forever grateful to have her as a mentor and master navigator through the labyrinth of Hollywood!”
Scotty Mullen, Screenwriter My boyfriend is a Zombie Stoner
“Films are not made alone, and neither are film careers. Lee Jessup provides the essential elements that every screenwriter needs and deserves: Knowledge, motivation, and a driving loyalty. There is no better advocate for a writer in the film industry than Lee Jessup.”
John Kim, Screenwriter
“The services Lee offers were exactly what I was looking for and needed. Although she is very encouraging, she is not just a cheerleader. She was — and continues to be — honest about my work. Lee’s comments may not always be what I want to hear, but they are always helpful and constructive. One of the reasons I love working with her so much is that she is a strong, driven, no-nonsense kind of person. She worked collaboratively with me to identify personalized career objectives and my brand. I am excited about this ongoing relationship and cannot wait to see where we end up”
Jocelyne Morin Nurse, Screenwriter
“As a professional screenwriter I have had the privilege of working with Lee several times and I can say, unequivocally, that Lee’s ability to work with writers is exceptional. She provides experienced insight into the industry process and professional expectations, challenges them with the cold hard truth about how things work, while zeroing in on the writer’s brand, ability, and strong suites to best position them for a successful writing career.”
Dwayne Alexander Smith, Screenwriter/Novelist: Forty Acres, Ten Simple F*cking Rules to Writing a Great F*cking Screenplay
“Breaking into the screenwriting business has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, and while I’m not there yet, I’m inching ever closer thank to Lee’s help. She has been a mentor, coach and friend through the branding, querying, pitching and negotiating process. While she’s quick to remind me of the realities of the film business, she also never holds back with praise and encouragement. I feel blessed to have crossed Lee’s path and to have her in my corner as I navigate the unpredictable road of becoming a screenwriter.”
Leigh Medeiros, Screenwriter & Screenwriting Coach
“Lee’s value comes in many different forms. She is exactly what you need her to be: an advisor, a motivator, a task master, a road map, and one who can instantly plug you in with colleagues in your position. She never claims to know the exact way for you to break in, but encourages you to try all the ways she’s personally seen work for her vast network of writers. Not only will she teach a man to fish, but she’ll tell you where the fish are biting, and where to buy the bait. 5 stars. Two thumbs up.”
Aaron Kozak, award-winning writer of The Birthday Boys
“After spending five years as an “aspiring writer”, I finally made the shift to a working writer, and I owe a great deal of that to Lee Jessup. Not only has Lee helped me gain clarity as to where to invest my writing time, but she’s also introduced me to some fantastic contacts who have become integral parts of my career. The truth is, Lee Jessup cares about her writers — A LOT — and it shows in every single thing she does. I honestly don’t know how I made the last five years without Lee by my side. As much as I would love to keep Lee all to myself, it would be a shame for other writers out there to miss out on all the amazing support and guidance that Lee has to offer. Bottom line? If you are serious about writing, you need Lee Jessup in your corner. Period.”
Travis Bryant, Screenwriter, repped by Madhouse Entertainment
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