About the Screenwriting Foundation Certificate
There are many steps to the filmmaking process, but one of the first and most important is writing the story. Screenwriters create scripts for films, television series, podcasts, video games, and other types of media. Their documents serve as the blueprint for the actors, director, producers, cinematographer, and the rest of the cast and crew. Almost everything in the finished film finds its origin on the screenwriter’s page.
The Screenwriting Foundation Certificate is a five-week course detailing the skillset needed to write for the screen. Topics covered include idea generation, character building, structure, formatting, scene work, and pitching. At the end of the course, participants will have the knowledge base to embark on an original screenplay.
What will the Screenwriting Foundation Certificate cover?
Week One – Idea Generation & Character Building
In its most basic form, a screenplay is simply a story about a person who wants something. The protagonist’s desires, the actions taken to achieve them, and the obstacles faced combine to form its plot. Together, these elements create the story, and they need to be carefully structured and developed to successfully communicate the screenwriter’s vision and appeal to an audience.
- Idea Generation Techniques
- Character Building Exercises
- Medium, Genre, and Other Considerations
- Protecting Your Work
Week Two – Story, Structure, & Formatting
Story structure is part of our collective consciousness. Beyond having a beginning, middle, and end, audiences expect films to conform to a three-act structure of rising action. Structure cannot make a mediocre story great, but having a poor structure can ruin great stories.
- Basic Three Act Structure
- 7 Steps Plot Structure
- 8 Sequences Structure
- 15 Beats Structure
- Linear versus Non-Linear Stories
- Elements of a Screenplay
- Screenwriting Formatting and Software
Week Three – Scene Work
Scenes provide the building blocks of story. They reveal character, showcase action, and further the plot. A well-written scene creates texture and elicits emotion from its audience.
- Show versus Tell
- Active versus Passive Voice
- Exploration of 20+ Narrative Devices
Week Four – Crafting Realistic But Compelling Dialogue
Every character in a movie needs to have a distinctive voice and point of view. Creating unique and compelling dialogue reveals character, engages the audience, and brings the story to life.
- Verbal Agendas
- Verbal Strategies
- Finding Character Voice
- Techniques for Adding Layers to Dialogue
Week Five – Loglines, Pitches, And Next Steps
Screenwriters need to be able to interest others in their ideas. Two essential elements are creating a solid logline and a compelling pitch.
- Creating a Logline
- Pitching Your Story
- Outlines, Treatments, and Other Tools
- Writing the First Draft
- Revision Techniques
- Accepting Feedback and Notes
What will you achieve?
At the end of the five weeks, you will have the tools and knowledge to create, write, and pitch screenplays.
How will you be taught?
Classes will feature a mix of lecture, group discussion, and in-room exercises.
Who should attend?
The Screenwriting Foundation Course is suitable for anyone interested in completing a screenplay. There is no requirement to have a specific project in mind, but participants might find the course more useful if they come with screenplay ideas they wish to explore. Writers from other mediums who wish to see how those techniques translate to screenwriting are also welcome.
5 Consecutive Tuesdays: October 16,23 & 30 and November 06 & 13, 2018 from 7 to 9 PM.
About the tutor
Robin Fusco is known for shattering social conventions in her work. She creates diverse characters who refuse to bend to society’s expectations and believes stories are a way of playing what if that, ultimately, spur change. She holds an MFA in Writing for the Screen and Stage from Point Park University and a BA in Theatre from Muhlenberg College. Favorite works include Collateral Damage (Drama Pilot – Finalist Orchard Project, Semi-Finalist SPACE on Ryder Farm), Bert Control (Comedy Pilot – Finalist 3 Rivers Pitch Competition, Second Rounder Austin), Happy Endings Senior Living (Feature – 2nd Place Winner 3 Rivers Pitch Competition, Quarterfinalist Big Break, Quarterfinalist ScreenCraft Comedy), Mission Complete (Published – OAPD), Live (Published – Lazy Bee), and To New Heights (Commissioned). She is an advocate of inclusion and feels that all protagonists shouldn’t look the same, and she enjoys being able to instantly visit whatever world she chooses by simply creating it. More information about Robin and her work can be found at http://www.robinfusco.com.