Writing in Pictures: Screenwriting Workshop (with Xandra Castleton)

Xandra Castleton




SATURDAY, JUNE 8  |  Writers of all levels interested in screenwriting begin with the same questions (and some misconceptions) about how and why writing a screenplay is different from other forms of writing. What is the life cycle of a screenplay? What is different about writing with collaborators (such as directors and actors) in mind? What is the relationship of the screenwriter to the audience? What does it mean to write in the immediate present? Why do some ideas lend themselves well to the screenplay form and others not so well? What, in practical terms, does it mean to “write in pictures”? In this seminar and mini-workshop, we’ll tackle these questions and more through a mixture of lecture, examples, and opportunities for writing exercises.

Topics will include:

  • The unique challenges of screenwriting
  • The purpose of the screenplay format
  • The stages of screenwriting: idea, logline, treatment, screenplay
  • How to generate ideas and recognize promising ones
  • Learning screenplay structure without being limited by it
  • Creating unforgettable characters
  • Writing crisp dialogue
  • Writing cinematically
  • A mini-pitch session

This class is for writers of all levels and genres new to screenwriting. All students will receive an online packet with suggested screenplays, software recommendations, and links to useful resources, groups, and conferences.

Xandra Maria Castleton, M.F.A., is a screenwriter and producer whose scripts have served as the basis for award-winning documentary, television and narrative film projects, among them an Emmy Award-winning profile of John Waters. Her films have premiered at festivals such as Sundance, Tribeca, AFI, and Rotterdam, while her feature dramatic comedy, Full Grown Men, was the winner of the 2007 Sundance Channel Audience Award prior to a critically successful theatrical release by Emerging Pictures. Xandra was the co-creator and writer of the scripted television documentary Stand Up Planet, starring Hasan Minhaj of The Daily Show.

Contact: xcastleton@gmail.com

Number of sessions: 1

Time: 1:30 pm – 5:30 pm

Date: Saturday, June 8

Course fee: $150

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