Number of sessions: 8
Time: 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Date: Mondays, February 8, 22, 29; March 7, 14, 21 (no class Presidents’ Day), 28; April 4.
Course fee: $540
This course provides clear guidance on the fundamentals of successful screenwriting within an open and encouraging workshop format, and is designed to accommodate all levels. Weekly writing exercises, readings, and script analysis will demystify the mechanics while guiding each writer toward the most compelling aspects of their screenplay idea or work in progress. Writers will learn how to use the rules of screenwriting structure, character development, scene writing, etc, in order to apply them to their particular original vision for a screenplay without losing the sense of originality and emotional truth that rules sometimes inhibit. We will make the rules work for us, even if we bend them a bit.
There will be weekly exercises and viewing and reading assignments, some of them optional so that each writer can focus available time and energy on the work of writing. Readings addressing theme, premise, character, structure, and the basis for satisfying dramatic action will be drawn from a variety of screenwriting textbooks, including The Screenwriter’s Bible, Making a Good Script Great, and Story: Substance, Structure, Style and the Principles of Screenwriting, and will include interviews and articles featuring noted screenwriters. Students will complete the course with a working outline of 3-5 pages and 5-10 pages of a screenplay.
Xandra Maria Castleton is a Emmy Award- winning writer and producer whose scripts have served as the basis for films that premiered at festivals such as Sundance, Tribeca, AFI and Rotterdam. Her dramatic comedy, Full Grown Men, starring Judah Friedlander, Alan Cumming, Debbie Harry, and Amy Sedaris won the Sundance Channel Audience Award. She recently co-created a series called Stand Up Planet for Pivot TV. Xandra has an M.F.A. in Cinema and is represented by the Gersh Agency.