Theory. Craft. Workshops. Movies. TV. We pretty much cover it all. If you feel like you can use some guidance from experienced professionals who have worked in the film and TV business for a combined six decades, who know what we are talking about, why not give us a try?
Screenwriting Master Class tip of the week: When Tom and I were first discussing the concept of an online screenwriting resource, one idea we had from the start was that every class should have some sort of workshop component. Why? Because we wanted to ground whatever theory we taught in practice. At the end of the day, we believe writers only get better through the act of writing.
We have courses which are fundamentally workshops:
Prep: From Concept to Outline: A 6-week workshop in which participants develop a story from its core concept all the way to a Narrative Throughline.
Pages I: The First Draft: A 10-week workshop in which writers pound out pages, week after week, until they complete a first draft of an original screenplay.
Pages II: Rewriting Your Script: A 10-week workshop in which participants break down one of their scripts, then identify its strengths and weaknesses, brainstorm improvements, then rewrite the draft.
The Quest Writing Workshop: A 4-day intensive workshop in which writers learn three components of Character Based Screenwriting (Character, Plot, Theme), then use the Prep approach to develop an original story.
While one of the benefits of a workshop is the feedback from other writers, we also offer all of them as private one-on-one courses.
So several actual writing workshops. But even in our Core and Craft classes which offer more screenwriting theory, we always include a writing component. Whether it’s scene-writing or character development exercises, logline or synopsis assignments, there is always some sort of writing going on.
Again theory is great, but Tom and I want to mentor writers in the actual writing process.
If you feel like your writing could use a boost, consider one of the many classes we offer through Screenwriting Master Class. No matter which one you take, you will always have the opportunity to put theory into practice on one of your own stories, not only making progress on your scripted project, but also advancing your understanding of the craft… through the critical act of writing.
For more information about all of our upcoming classes into the summer, go here.
We look forward to the opportunity to work with you!
These French titles of American movies explains a lot about American stereotypes.
Finally the 10 most influential screenwriting bloggers… and Go Into The Story is one of them.
Screenwriting Master Class tip of the week: One of the most remarkable aspects of taking online classes that Tom and I offer through SMC is the incredible community that can emerge. Even in our 1-week courses and with writers literally from all around the world, deep connections emerge as we delve into screenwriting theory and workshop story ideas and script pages.
And that community often lives on after the class is over. I know dozens and dozens of writers who have worked with me in an online setting who have developed long-term friendships with each other. Moreover many of them create writing groups to review their story ideas, loglines, treatments and script pages, and just generally ‘be there’ to support one another through the ups and downs of the writing life.
In fact, I recently received an email from one such group of 5 writers who got together to meet in person in Southern California… and they met taking classes with me a decade ago! Yet here they are, still actively supporting each other even while living great distances from each other.
The great thing is this phenomenon is happening right now. These recent Craft classes I have been teaching, there has been incredible creative work done by participants in the Logline Workshop forums. Then I come in wearing my ‘producer’s hat’ and provide feedback on every single story. And that is just one piece of the learning that goes on in my classes. They are a terrific creative environment and as I say, professional and personal relationships are being formed as we speak.
While you don’t need to do any formal education — it’s possible to become a pro screenwriter just by watching movies, reading scripts, writing pages, and immersing oneself in the world of cinema — the courses Tom and I offer through Screenwriting Master Class are a great way to speed your process of learning the craft, and make some great connections with other writers.
And who knows where those connections will lead? Hopefully all the way to Hollywood!
For more information on Screenwriting Master Class and the courses we offer, go here.
Finally did the demise of the video store kill “word of mouth”.
Screenwriting Master Class tip of the Week: Recently several people have inquired about what classes Tom Benedek and I offer at Screenwriting Master Class. Well, here is what we have scheduled through June:
* All of the classes are online which means you can take them from anywhere in the world and participate almost totally on your own schedule.
* The Craft classes focus primarily on specific aspects of the… what else… craft of screenwriting and TV writing. For example starting Monday, I will be teaching a class called Handling Exposition in which we drill down into a key subject that I’ve not seen handled at any depth anywhere else.
* Many writers find the Craft classes so helpful, they enroll in the Craft Package which enables them to take 8 of the courses for about half-price. Plus this allows writers to access the material for all of the courses immediately, so they can go through the content on their own time as well as join each 1-week session as they are offered.
* We offer several workshops including Prep: From Concept to Outline, one of our most popular courses because you not only develop your story to the point you can type FADE IN with confidence, you also learn a proven, professional approach to prep-writing which you can adopt and adapt for all future writing projects. I will be leading the next Prep session which begins March 3.
* The Prep, Pages I: First Draft, and Pages II: Rewrite workshops are great for numerous reasons. They provide weekly deadlines to propel you through the writing process. Feedback from participants through written message board comments and in live teleconferences can provide remarkable insights into your story. And, of course, either Tom or I are there to help steer and oversee the entire process.
* If your interest is writing for TV, Tom offers several classes in that area, and the response of writers who have participated in his courses rave about them. Tom’s next session is TV: Writing the Original Pilot Script which begins February 24.
* In addition to these classes listed here, I also offer the 8-part Core curriculum from July through December, offering a comprehensive, coherent take on screenwriting theory, what I call Character Based Screenwriting. If you don’t want to wait, you can enroll in the Core Package which enables you to access all of the Core content instantly so you can immerse yourself in at your own pace.
* Finally we do offer one on-site course: The Quest Writing Workshop. The next session is scheduled for March 13-16, 2014 in Santa Monica, California. We have an excellent group enrolled already and there is one (1) slot left, so if you are interested in learning more, go here.
Tom and I have over 60 years professional experience with screenwriting and TV writing. We have over 20 years experience teaching the craft. That means we not only know what we are talking about, we know how to communicate it. We love stories. Movies. And working with writers. We are good at what we do.
As I always say, you can learn the craft on your own. How? Read scripts. Watch movies. Write pages. If you have talent, immerse yourself in the craft and are persistent in your pursuit of knowledge and experience, you don’t have to spend a dime to master the tools of screenwriting.
However many writers will benefit from a more structured education. To avoid mistakes. To speed the learning process. To gain confidence in an honest, yet supportive evaluative environment.