Introduction to Screenwriting

There's never been a better time to start a career as a screenwriter. With technological breakthroughs bringing the cost of making and distributing movies down to almost nothing, there is an ever-increasing demand for great scripts—and for people who can write them. Learn the fundamentals of stories—why audiences need them, what they expect from them, and what kinds of stories work time after time. You'll discover how to create characters audiences connect with and how to write dialogue that will bring them to life. You will get hands-on experience through a series of short writing assignments that will have you working like a pro from the very beginning of the course.

Lesson List:

  • Lesson 1 - Why Write a Script Now?
    Discuss the increasing opportunities for new screenwriters and all the ways you can use those opportunities to build your own career. Get an insight into the three basic elements that any script needs to succeed: a great concept, compelling characters, and a strong structure. 
  • Lesson 2 - What Is a Story?
    Examine the rules that define Western storytelling and then learn the one simple sentence that will allow you to create compelling stories for your own scripts.
  • Lesson 3 - Conflict
    Look into the very heart and soul of any story—the conflicts that drive it. Learn about the one central feature that defines every story, and the seven conflicts that define all stories. 
  • Lesson 4 - Creating Characters
    Unlock the secrets of creating great characters. You'll blow up the stale formulas of "building profiles" and focus on the essence of your characters instead of the details. 
  • Lesson 5 - Screenplay Structure
    Analyze what goes into the three-act structures and figure out how to use them to tell an unforgettable story. Tackle outlining and learn why it's essential—and how to make it easier and more productive.
  • Lesson 6 - Beginnings
    Examine the subtle elements necessary to get your script off to the right start and explore the ways you can accidentally send your audience off-course. Tear apart the opening of some great movies to see what makes them tick. 
  • Lesson 7 - Middles
    Tackle the hardest part of any script—the second act. You'll explore the reasons why it's so much more difficult to plot than the first and third acts. Discover the essential element that keeps stories alive through act two. Take a hard look at act two's crucial structural component, and how you can make it work for you.
  • Lesson 8 - The End
    Find out why some scripts have endings you'll never forget—and some have finales you'd rather not remember. You'll explore the mysterious, contradictory nature of the great ending and discover how those last few scenes can completely transform everything that's come before. Take a hard look at that most difficult ending to pull off, the big twist.
  • Lesson 9 - The Scene
    Take those first steps from outline to script. You're going to see the difference between a scene that exists as a paragraph in an outline and one that comes vividly to life on the page. Dive into the process of creating exciting scenes that pop from the first line and how to keep them going until the end.
  • Lesson 10 - Dialogue or No Dialogue
    Learn what makes film dialogue special, and how you can use it to create and develop your characters. Tour through various types of dialogue with stops to explain the particular challenges each one poses and the rewards each brings. 
  • Lesson 11 - The Rewrite
    Find the joy of the accidental discovery and investigate how to use that to make the script better than you ever consciously knew it could be. Receive a step-by-step roadmap for approaching your rewrite.
  • Lesson 12 - Your Script and You
    Take your finished script and turn it into a movie. Explore the ways you can get your script to the movers and shakers in Hollywood—and examine who you should target. Weigh the merits of agents and managers, contests and script analysts who promise to get your screenplay to all the top executives.

Upon registering, you have six (6) weeks to complete the program.

Course Dates and Times

Date and Times Location Course Cost/Fees

New class starts monthly

Online
(Participate anytime day or evening) 

$99

Course Hours: 24 Hours

This workshop is offered through our continuing education online partner.