The Everything You Need to Know About Screenwriting Seminar Series
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Screenplays are not works of art. They are invitations to others to collaborate on a work of art.
– Paul Schrader
Designed for both new writers and seasoned writers new to screenwriting, The Everything You Need to Know About Screenwriting Seminar Series provides writers with all the essential building blocks, craft, tools, and instruction you need to write your first screenplay.
January 27 – March 29, 2020
7:00 – 9:00 p.m. EST
Online via interactive video conference
Enroll in individual seminars, or sign up for the full series and save 10%!
- Getting Visual (Screenplay 101) – 3 sessions
- Screenplay Story Structure Part 1 – 1 session
- Scene & Sequence Construction – 1 session
- Conflict is Character – 1 session
- Conflict, Momentum, and Story Pacing – 1 session
- Outlines and Beat Sheets – 1 session
- Writing a short script- 1 session
Individual sessions*- Reg. price $42
*Getting Visual (3-parts)- $126
Learn how to structure and format a screenplay, what “visual storytelling” is, manipulate time and manage pacing for the screen, and get the fundamentals of story structure, building conflict, and character design.
All sessions are delivered live via video conference and through conversation in our secure online classroom.
The seminars will use a combination of lectures, film/television clips, short exercises, and access to professional screenplays to further develop your screenwriting familiarity and skill.
Writers who take the full series will finish with a completed short screenplay and a stable of new visual storytelling skills.
(Yes, that’s right. A completed screenplay).
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Here are a few things you can expect to learn:
- Script format and software
- How to read a script and how other departments read a script
- Basics of writing each component (slug lines, action, dialogue, transitions, etc.)
- How to tell a visual story
- Basic story structure
- Time in screenwriting (playing time vs. story time)
- Conflict and pacing
- Character design
- Getting from writing to rewriting
The online seminar series is fully interactive and takes place via live video conference (which is recorded, so you can watch it on replay), and there is ample opportunity to share work, talk through and practice craft issues, and ask questions about the genre.
Assignments, readings, and video clips will guide you on your screenplay writing journey. In the end, you will not only have a short finished script but have the opportunity to create a revision plan to guide you on your next steps.
Isn’t a screenplay just a story?
Not exactly. While a screenplay tells a story, it is actually a blueprint for the final visual product. It will be used by the producers, directors, casting agents, actors, location scouts, set designers, costume department, etc. to bring together all the elements that make a movie or TV series. It is a very collaborative document and the success of every department starts with the writer.
How is telling a story for the screen different from writing any other type of story?
Film and television are visual mediums. What is described in a book can range from the physical surroundings, to the smells, to the deepest thoughts and feelings of a character. We spend time in their internal world, getting to know them and bonding with them. In screenwriting, if it can’t be seen on the screen, it shouldn’t be in the script.
Screenwriting forces the writer to ask: “How do I SHOW what the character thinks and feels since I can’t TELL the audience directly?” This includes actions and dialogue that convey emotional subtext.
Do I have to buy special software?
Not at all! While screenwriting does use special software like Final Draft and Move Magic Screenwriter there are free online alternatives that will help you format your screenplay. Of course, once you fall in love with screenwriting, you may want to purchase the more comprehensive software.
What is the Seminar Series format?
The class will meet in real time over interactive video conference for two hours to hear Rebecca’s lecture, and talk about the various craft, theory, and production elements in screenplay writing. All materials will be provided including assignment details.
How the Online Seminar Series Works
- After enrolling, you will receive an email with information about the seminar series. A few days before the first seminar is to begin, you will receive any other pertinent information and a reminder for the video conference.
- The seminars take place over video conference. Each week, prior to the video meeting, you will receive an email with a link to your class’ video meeting. Click on it, and you’ll be brought into the secure meeting where you can take part in the interactive conversation.
Rebecca Hales is a graduate of the Canadian Film Centre’s Bell Media Prime Time TV program and holds an MFA from University of British Columbia. In 2016 she was awarded the Telefilm New Voices award at the Toronto Screenwriting Conference and was one of the Corus Entertainment Writer’s Apprentice Program participants at the Banff World Media Festival. Her credits include script supervising the critically acclaimed and Canadian Screen Award winning CTV Series Cardinal – Blackfly season, a writing credit on Season 1 of Travelers, the Showcase/Netflix sci-fi series from showrunner Brad Wright (Stargate franchise), working in the development room of Solstice, another Brad Wright original series, interning on the CTV drama series Saving Hope, and the Women in Film and Television Toronto Showcase award winning short film “Dissecting Gwen.” In 2018 her political crime thriller Amazonas was short listed for the NSI Totally Television award. She is currently developing a number of projects with Rusty Halo Productions, has created a half-hour comedy series with creative partners Katherine Barrell (Wynonna Earp)and Ray Galletti with the support of producer JB Sugar(Bitten, Dark Matter), and multiple solo projects.