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Introduction to Screenwriting
February 4 @ 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
About the Course
This powerful information-packed day will give you the basic tools and information you need to build on and hone your screenwriting skills. The day is part exercise and part lecture; a day focused on the details of the craft of screenwriting. Introduction to Screenwriting is all about the tools that stock the screenwriter’s toolbox. The topics covered include story structure, formatting, character introduction and development and dialogue.
The afternoon will also include defining loglines, synopses, and treatments. By the end of the day you’ll know the difference as well as what makes a low budget film and what screenwriting and networking resources are available for you online.
A great script is a study in detail. Every word choice has repercussions, and every act in a script is dependent on those words. The words on the page affect how actors perceive character, how production departments break the script down, and how directors build on tone.
A script is judged by its words. Learn why those words are never chosen haphazardly.
Who is it for?
Introduction to Screenwriting is not just for screenwriters. If you have an interest in storytelling or how screenplays are read and interpreted, bought and sold, then this is the class for you. Actors who want to write their own work will leave understanding the technical aspects of screenwriting, and emerging producers will walk away better understanding how a writer breaks the story down before building it up. Do you have a novel you want to adapt? Come out for the day and learn how screenwriting differs from narrative fiction.
If you have a project in mind, we could help you hone and sharpen it. If you don't, we could plant the seed.
The Day’s Breakdown
Attendees are provided with a handout full of tips and tricks, resources and more.
You will leave the workshop with the tools and techniques you will need to write a feature length or short screenplay; a notebook full of ideas, story notes and new contacts.
Writing The Screenplay
Let Michelle Muldoon explain the basic principles of writing screenplays and demonstrate the powerful storytelling tools used by the professionals.
- Finding an idea
- 13 Screenwriting Rules to Write By
- The 4 Acts of the 3 Act Structure
- FORMATTING: The single easiest way for a reader to know if you are serious about screenwriting
Developing your characters
- Writer’s techniques for creating complex characters
- Character function
- The importance of character “tells” and flaws
- The importance of cause and effect for your character’s journey
1 Hour Lunch
Writing Effective Dialogue and Scene Direction
What makes great dialogue? How does dialogue influence character? How does scene direction affect tone and feel of a story? What makes scene direction an effective component of a screenplay?
- Scene Direction structure
- Words that reflect tone and style
- Rules for writing effective dialogue
- In class writing exercises to practice dialogue techniques
Writing for Low Budget Filmmaking & Networking
Chances are pretty good that the first script you write gets made on a ridiculously low-to-no budget. This is a fact. Learn how to write for low budget filmmaking. Film is a people industry. Learn why the “overnight success” story is never what it appears to be.
- Writing for low budget filmmaking
- Online resources
- Query Letters
- Loglines, Synopses, Treatments
- Networking and the value of Contests, Film Festival Competitions, Pitch Events
Networking & drinks
We retire to a nearby bar for networking & drinks.
About Michelle Muldoon
Described as a “writer’s writer” by Del Weston of EFC Film, Michelle Muldoon is an award-winning screenwriter who believes the primary foundation of great visual content is the result of first placing pencil to page. Michelle has won screenwriting awards at The Action on Film International Film Festival, The Indie Gathering Film Festival, the SOCAL Film Festival, and the NOVA Film Festival, among others. She is currently in pre-production on her first feature film, Dead Fest, in cooperation with EFC Film of Los Angeles. Michelle Muldoon sits on the Board of Women in Film and Television Vancouver, has contributed to the venerable Burbank subscription publication, Hollywood Scriptwriter, and is the creator and producer of two screenplay competitions; the Vancouver International Women in Film Festival Screenplay Competition, and the Action on Film (AOF) International Film Festival alumni writers’ event, The Writers Room.