Mastering Genre: The Sci-Fi Screenplay


This course will be offered again in the Fall.

Please scroll to the form below and email us to request schedule updates. We’ll let you know as soon as registrations are open.

Price includes HST.
Raindance Members save 20% ($15.80) on this course.

Duration: 3 hours
Date: tba
Time: 6:30 – 9:30 pm
Location: Daniels Spectrum – 585 Dundas St. E. [note new location]

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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.

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

In this fun, high-energy seminar, playwright and screenwriter Todd McGinnis will also show you how to identify the audience you want and how to write and create for that audience. 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

todd mcginnis

Todd McGinnis is an award-winning professional playwright, actor and screenwriter. He has worked as a script/story consultant and penned several screenplays as a writer-for-hire, including most recently The Never Man and Dirty Diamonds. His plays and monologues have been performed throughout North America, the UK and Australia, and he has worked for more than 20 years in most aspects of stage and screen production, learning the art and craft of storytelling from every possible angle. In 2016 Blur which he co-scripted for Director George D’Amato, premiered at Cinequest, took a Best Film award at Manhattan Film Festival, and screened at Raindance UK and Worldwide Berlin. His short film Shelly directed by Eric Johnson (The Knick, Fifty Shades Darker) took Audience Favorite at Toronto’s 48 Hour Film Competition. His online home is www.playingafterdark.com


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