Mastering Genre: The Sci-Fi Screenplay


Date:Thursday March 5th, 7-10pm
Location: The Daniels Spectrum Building at 585 Dundas St East

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Mastering Genre Storytelling for Screenwriters & Filmmakers

Sci-fi is an increasingly popular genre with an identifiable audience and lots of fresh opportunities for story-world development.  This genre, once thought to require expensive budgets, is increasingly being written for low-budgets by emerging filmmakers, such as Mike Cahill’s Another Earth (2011) or I, Origins (2014). More recently, 2015 BIFA Award winner, Ex Machina created a powerful human story in a future dystopia which competed well when up against conventional and powerful dramas of that year.

This one-evening course – part of the Mastering Genre series – helps you understand the conventions and tropes of specific genre storytelling. Whether you stick to the conventions or bend them, your ability to write a sci-fi genre screenplay that sells requires a deep understanding of the style and structure of the specific genre as a foundation to make your script exceptional.

This evening class is available separately or as part of the Mastering Genre Workshop Series.

What you’ll learn:

  • Define and distinguish sci-fi genre
  • Learn structural and story conventions of sci-fi genre scripts
  • Understand style and thematic tropes of science fiction
  • How and where to bend and play with these conventions in the script
  • How understanding “genre” can help you write a strong story outline

Whether your passion is to create an award-winning short film, the next viral web series or feature screen gem, this short course will help provide a writer’s road map for your script.


About the instructor, Randall C Willis

Randall C willis

Randall C Willis is an award-winning screenwriter based in Toronto. Randall is part of the writing team that produced the sketch comedy TV special Some TV!, and co-wrote several theatrical comedy shows staged across Toronto. Randall’s specialty is story and his ability to help writers develop both their ideas and their unique voices. He has brought those skills to bear with the Austin Film Festival, where he has served as Second Round Reader, and more recently, in his story analysis business So, What’s Your Story?


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