How to Get Started and Do It Right
8 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. Eastern (5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Pacific)
Screenwriting not only demands a great story, but a specific kind of storytelling. From memorable dialogue to evocative stage notes to proper formatting, spinning a story for the screen requires a unique set of skills.
So how do you get started? How do you write scripts that sell?
In two sessions over two nights, Screenwriting 101 will focus on the three pillars of screenwriting: art, craft, and tools.
This class will help you face the blank page with confidence so you can create characters, settings, and stories worth watching.
You’ll be in the excellent hands of Tab Murphy, Academy-Award-nominated screenwriter for Gorillas in the Mist and writer of Disney films The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Atlantis: The Lost Empire; and David Kirkpatrick, the former president of Paramount and chief of production at Disney, who has read a whopping 80,000 scripts over his lifetime and has overseen more than 200 scripts into movies.
They’ll lead you through the nuts and bolts of screenwriting from the insider’s point of view.
This class will give you the confidence to take the first step in your screenwriting career.
Before the class begins, you’ll be asked to do two things:
Download and study the free Final Draft software template. Final Draft is the industry-standard software for screenwriters, and you’ll learn how to use it during the class.
Download Tab’s screenplay "Houdini" and read it. Tab and David will use the script as an example throughout the class.
When you register, you’ll receive the Final Draft link and downloadable script.
As many of you have requested this class because you want to adapt a novel or memoir, there will be a special emphasis on adaptation.
You’ll have plenty of opportunities for Q&A, too, so bring all your questions.
How do you decide where to start your story?
What do you need to establish in the first scene?
How do you use dialogue to build characters?
What information should you include in your stage directions—and what should you leave out?
What are beats and how many should you have?
How long is a typical script for a movie? For an hour episode? For a pilot?
Do you need to outline before writing?
What needs to happen in each act of your story?
What needs to be all capital letters in your script, and why?
What’s the difference between a treatment and a script?
For those who want to participate, we will set up small groups so you can continue learning from others in the class.
We've found that small groups that meet every few weeks following classes have been a great way to accelerate learning, share tips, and keep the momentum going while building community. We encourage you to participate. You can always opt out after giving it a try.
Whether you’re starting a screenplay for the very first time or going back to the basics to polish your skills, this class will set you on the right path to make your mark in the world of screenwriting.
Registration fee: $95 for three hours of instruction
June 23 - 24
8 to 9:30 p.m. Eastern (5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Pacific)
Please note: Our classes are designed specifically for live participation, so your attendance is important. If you need to miss a class for any reason, you’ll receive a passcode-protected link to watch the recordings after the course is over.
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