Screenwriting Classes | 8 weeks | $795Classroom - Los Angeles Brought to you by Hollywood International Film Academy
Enrollment limited to 20 student per class and takes place on Fridays from 7-10 pm.
This eight week intensive course covers the basics of screenwriting from concept to script. Students will be given a working knowledge of structure, format, and the creative process.
Upon completion of the course, there will be follow-up via the internet, phone and/or live meetings to discuss script development. The students will have the opportunity to troubleshoot any potential problems as well as receive feedback on the progress of their screenplays.
Process to Product: A practical Guide for the Screenwriter by Brian Herskowitz – available online through Amazon.com or from the instructor.
Recommended reading: The Screenwriter's Workbook by Syd Field The Art of Dramatic Writing by Lajos Egri Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell
Prior to the first class, students should prepare an idea for a FEATURE LENGTH film script.
I. Why write for film?
A. Concept and Theme
1. Story Premise
1. Communicating an idea
2. Film vs. Novels vs. TV etc...
II. What's commercial?
1. What is a genre
2. Types of genres
B. High Concept
1. What is high concept?
2. Pluses and minuses
III. Premise development
A. Where ideas come from
1. Inside - stories from our lives
2. Outside - stories from our imagination
1. Why do research?
2. How to do research.
In class work - Premise development - Inside/outside exercise (best/worst)
CLASS ONE ASSIGNMENTS:
1. Do any necessary research to become an expert on your story idea.
2. Rewrite the single sentence premise line for your idea.
IV. Additional elements
1. Who are they? What do they want? What do they need?
2. Why do we care?
B. The World of the Story
1. Defining the rules
2. Where and when
1. Creating momentum
2. A character's drive
3. Opportunity as a complication
CLASS TWO ASSIGNMENTS
1. Write a "bio" of each of your characters.
2. Write a fact sheet about the world of the character
3. Brainstorm potential obstacles
4. Complete the outline to be turned in prior to class five
V. Structure for Film
A. The Mythological Structure
1. The hero's journey EX: STAR WARS: The Force Awakens
B. Three Act Structure
1. Syd Field - EX: ROCKY
A . Training the brain
1. Exercises for brainstorming
B. Putting ideas on paper
1. Process and purpose
VI. Beating out the story
A. Finding the significant events - the 12 guideposts
B. Molding the story
IN CLASS: 20/20 brainstorming exercise.
CLASS THREE ASSIGNMENT:
Brainstorm potential scenes and obstacles for your story. Find 12 "anchors" that will serve as your road map. Each anchor represents a major "event" in your story.
VII. Outline development
A. Working with and without a net: the importance of the outline
B. Outline logic
C. Outline vs. synopsis: what’s the diff?
CLASS FOUR ASSIGNMENTS:
Write the 12 Guideposts for your film and start the outline for your screenplay.
Analysis of Shrek and or Silver Linings Playbook
A. Screening of the Film and in-depth discussion
1. Making a fantasy world feel real
2. Clarity in writing and how it translates onto the screen
CLASS FIVE ASSIGNMENTS:
1. Write an analysis of two diverse films one successful, one a failure.
VIII. Getting ready for the first draft.
B. Setting Goals
C. Scene Work
D. A few general "rules"
1. Rules made to be broken
2. Commentary in action
3. Clarity vs. Poetry
E. Writing Dialogue
IN CLASS: Dialogue exercise - voice clarity
Write 20 lines of dialogue for each of your five main characters, then remove the names and read the lines out loud. Are the characters’ voices clear enough to ID who’s speaking?
CLASS SIX ASSIGNMENTS:
1. Begin writing the screenplay
2. Continue with the voice exercises
IX. SCENE WORK IN ACTION
A. Read Scene work
B. Discussion on how actors affect the process
X. THE REWRITE PROCESS
A. How to rewrite
B. What to change
CLASS SEVEN ASSIGNMENTS:
1. Brainstorm new concepts and ideas
2. Incorporate those ideas into your outline.
3. Rewrite the outline.
4. Continue writing the script
XI. Q and A about the business
A. Agents and Managers
C. Work Discipline
IN CLASS: Pitch exercise
CLASS EIGHT ASSIGNMENTS:
Receive individual critiques on your outline/scene work, and direction to pursue.
Up to Two weeks after the completion of the class students may submit between 20-40
pages of their completed screenplay for feedback (the first “act”)
Work submitted for critique must be directly related to work in class.
Work submitted beyond the deadline will be subject to a consultation fee.