Friday March 8, 2013 at 6:00 PM CST
Saturday March 9, 2013 at 6:00 PM CST

Add to Calendar 


Oakridge Hotel and Conference Center 
1 Oakridge Dr.
Chaska, MN 55318

Driving Directions 


Vicki Peterson 

$395  Includes: Friday night accommodations (single occupancy*), Friday dinner, Saturday breakfast, Saturday lunch, and snacks.

$310  Includes: all of the above meals, no accommodations.

$150 Metro State Special Rate Includes: all of the above meals, no accomodations.  (Student ID Required)

* Double Occupancy may be arranged by request. Contact Catharsis to register.

** Accommodations for additional nights may be arranged. Register for the event before contacting the conference center to arrange.



Friday, March 8, 2012

5:00pm – Registration

6:00pm – Dinner and Opening Remarks “What is a Cathartic Movie?”

7:30pm – “Who Are You and Why Are You Here?”

8:30pm – “Watching a Movie vs. Participating in a Story:  Where Do Movies Go Wrong?”

10:00pm – bed or bar time

Saturday, March 9, 2012

8:30am – breakfast

9:00am-9:50am – “Character Not Characterization”

10:00am-10:30am – Character Development Exercise

10:30am-11:15am – “Choice-based Plots”

11:15am-11:45am – Plot Development Exercise

12:00pm – 1:30pm – Lunch break and time to walk on the grounds

1:30pm – 2:00pm – “Breaking Down Up

2:00pm – 2:45pm – “Movie That Didn’t Matter and Why”

3:00pm – 3:45pm – “A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words:  Writing Visually”

4:00pm – 4:45pm – “Creating Haunting Moments in Your Movie"

4:45 - 5:30pm - Debriefing



Making Movies That Matter Conference

Presented by Barbara Nicolosi and Vicki Peterson

Founders of Catharsis

Bios here:

Spend two days in the company of other serious writers at the beautiful Oakridge Hotel and Conference Center in Chaska, MN.

Be part of a new movement to spawn a Renaissance in fiction writing and especially screen storytelling.

Presenters have over twenty-five years in the entertainment industry as writers, producers, actors, story consultants, development executives and educators.


Get away to the natural and pristine setting of Oak Ridge Hotel & Conference Center, located just 30 minutes from downtown Minneapolis and the Minneapolis/St. Paul Int'l Airport. Privately situated in Chaska, Minnesota, on 130 acres of rolling meadows with miles of tranquil woodland trails, Oak Ridge features the extraordinary amenities of a five-star resort. The grand entrance of Oak Ridge Hotel & Conference Center displays a vibrant glass scene of floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Lake McKnight. Relax and take in the breathtaking views of nature at its finest. on 130 acres of lush meadows and miles of peaceful woodland trails, only 30 minutes from downtown Minneapolis and the Minneapolis / St. Paul International Airport. Stunning floor to ceiling windows of the grand entrance overlook the natural splendor of Lake McKnight.


Twenty-five hundred years ago, the great philosopher Aristotle, cooked himself up the ancient equivalent of a bowl of popcorn and a Coke, and sat down to watch the most influential plays of the time.  He observed not only the plays themselves, but the impact the plays had on the audience.  Aristotle believed that the peaceful and productive running of society is directly connected to the kind of stories that the people of that society take into their minds and hearts.  Aristotle’s theory, as expressed in his still vital work, The Poetics, was that society needs stories that lead people to cathartic moments of compassion and the fear of evil. 

 With over twenty-five years as Hollywood writers, producers and script consultants, the staff at Catharsis is very aware of the problems in storytelling today. Forty years of the blockbuster formulaic movie in which the bottom line is the deciding factor in all the story decisions have driven the global audience away from the entertainment industry that once had the attention and esteem of the world. 

Cartharsis is intent on being part of a vital renewal in the art and craft and social responsibility of stories told on the screen.  A big part of our mission statement is to be a bridge for new creative voices coming from outside the Hollywood enclave.  We believe that there are great stories to be told from all over, and we want to do everything we can to help writers and producers ready themselves and their work for a hearing from the mainstream entertainment industry.


“Making Movies That Matter” will be an intense two-day series of workshops that will focus on the particular elements that make a visual story memorable and powerful.  We will break movie writing down into the creation of moments that will delight the audience and lead them to cathartic questions, like:  Am I a good Dad?  Am I a good friend?  What is my duty today?  What am I doing with my life?  How can I make a difference in the world?

Transformational Arc:

Making Movies That Matter is an experience geared to writers who are serious about their craft, and intent on producing work that will be beautiful, and so, good for the world.  It will be an intense two-days of presentations from accomplished fellow writers who have real world, hands on industry and story experience to share.  You can expect to be challenged to a whole new bar of excellence and depth as a writer.  You can expect an irrevocable new insight into your vocation as writer and screenwriter.  You can expect to walk away with pages and pages of notes, and a whole new roster of writers to be companions and friends on your journey.