According to Hitchcock’s famous line the essentials of a good movie are, ‘the script, the script, the script’. It is reassuring for all of us writers focusing our talents on film. We pay our respects to this idea in this screenwriting course, by studying some masters in the field. The Russian filmmaker, Tarkovsky expressed something worth noting when he said ‘it is not pacing that moves a film quickly along but the strength of ideas expressed in the writing’. What you can expect in this course is authentic scrutiny and analysis, help with self-questioning of your creative ideas and developing them to the maximum.
A screenwriting coach from Hollywood whose classes I attended said that, ‘all writing is about re-writing,’ and instilled in us the notion that anyone not ready to accept this would not last the pace. If you have a script completed, we will work on re-writes. If you have an idea, we will work to develop an outline and firm that up, before you structure your script. When you are ‘chomping at the bit’ to get your story out, we will work on your pitch, polishing it until it shines.
Before selling my first film scripts to television, I trained and worked as an actor where I landed a few film parts. On my first days on a film set, what excited me was the process of putting all elements together. I have taught screenwriting, as you see, but it is my experience as a practitioner, in front on the cameras and behind that I found invaluable in understanding the blood, sweat and tears of taking ideas to script and screen.
MODULE 1 – The importance of good structure, underpinning and firming up your story idea. The student will gain an understanding of traditional narrative structure and the technique of dramatising story from conflict, through suspenseful development to climatic conclusion. Writing tasks will allow the student to put these skills into practice through their own stories.
MODULE 2 – Explores how to introduce and develop characters successfully and in the correct manner for film scripts. Explores the development of a simple basic story and the importance of the organic approach in film script construction. Assignments allow students develop their main characters and their story ideas.
MODULE 3 – From story to script. This module introduces the student to the beats – plot development, how a story is expanded into scene breakdown and finally to script. Techniques on creating characters that work on screen are also explored. Assignments allow students review narrative story samples towards an understanding of structuring their own work.
MODULE 4 – The ordering of the story’s incidents. The film scenes and how they are connected to character. Examples of scene format are given. Students are given an insight into copyright, finished script length, style, dialogue, conflict in story etc., ending on script style and formatting.
MODULE 5 - Scripting your screenplay and dialogue study. This module focuses further on firming up your script towards a polished draft. Notes on endings. Assignments include research, scripting and re-drafts.
MODULE 6 – Re-drafting, editing, cutting, exploring further elements of scriptwriting such as, rhythm, tempo, pacing and how a script must convey the information that we need to know to help us understand the story – ensuring our audience has the information at the right time. Exploring visual ways to tell us what we need to know. Assignments deal with re-drafts of students work, towards polished drafts. Re-cap of major elements of good script technique.
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|Course Length||Start Date||Tutor||Fee|
|6 weeks||On Demand||Anne Barrett||€150|