Screenwriters create scripts for films, television and any other filmed scripted media. They provide the blueprint for the creative contribution of the director, producer, cinematographer, designer, editor and composer, cast and crew. The Screenwriters’ Foundation is a day course designed to take you from idea to finished page.
This screenwriting course provides a detailed overview of the skills, knowledge and professional requirements for those wishing to write for the screen. The information covered in the Screenwriter’s Foundation includes viable idea generation, screenplay formatting, as well as character, plot and structure creation.
What will the Screenwriter’s Foundation Certificate cover?
Session 1: The Beginning
The first and most important part of your screenplay is the idea. It’s important to understand how to break this down and develop it into something an audience will want to see. Often screenplays fail because the story or structure is poor – mistakes which even the most experienced of screenwriters make.
- Idea-generation techniques
- How to make your ideas compelling
- Copyright and how to protect your ideas
- Proper script format and style guide
Session 2 – Writing Compelling Dialogue
Think of the last bad film you saw. Was it poor because of the acting and story, or was it because of the script? If the script isn’t good enough then the film will more than likely fail. The dialogue is an important factor in this and getting it right is not always obvious.
- The tricks and traps of writing dialogue
- The 3 tracks for recording dialogue
- Honing and mixing effective dialogue
Session 3 – Building Your Story
You may have a great story or scene and perfect formatting, but there’s also an art to understanding how to give texture to the story. This will be the difference between whether you elicit emotion in your audience or not.
- Scene writing and story structure
- How to create a page turner
- Suspense and other dramatic tools
Session 4 – Casting your story
By understanding each of your key characters, you will be able to define the story and subplot. Then, by studying existing screenplays, you will be able to identify what works and what doesn’t work, and what you like and what you don’t like for your own script.
- How to create compelling characters that stay with you
- Magnification, traits and other character tools
- Film analysis of a character from an existing film or screenplay
Session 5 – Pitch clinic
Pitching is one of the most important skills needed for a successful career in the film industry – and as a screenwriter, you will be doing it for your entire career. It is also one of the least considered by new entrants to the industry.
- Running a pitch meeting
- What the goals of a pitch meeting should be
- How to use visual aids
- Finding your hook
What will you achieve?
On completion of the Screenwriter’s Foundation, students will have acquired the skills, knowledge and confidence to write and pitch professional-level scripts.
Who should attend?
The Screenwriter’s Foundation is suitable for anyone interested in screenwriting, of all levels and abilities. It is not necessary to have a project for this class, but you might find it even more useful if you come with something in mind. We also welcome novelists, short story writers, and storytellers seeking a structured class with specific targets and measurable results.
About the tutor
Elliot Grove is the founder of Raindance Film Festival and the British Independent Film Awards. He teaches screenwriting and producing in the UK, Europe, Asia and America.
Elliot Grove has developed a simple, practical introduction to the art, craft and mechanics of screenwriting. As a script consultant, and having produced or exec produced 5 features and over 150 short films over 20 years, he has a key understanding of the concepts, theories and tools that will make your screenplay exceptional.
Elliot has written three books which have become industry standards: Raindance Writers’ Lab: Write + Sell the Hot Screenplay, now in its second edition (Focal Press 2008), Raindance Producers’ Lab: Lo-To-No Budget Filmmaking(Focal Press 2013) and 130 Projects to Get You Into Filmmaking (Barrons 2009). In 2009 he was awarded a PhD for services to film education.