Fundamentals of Screenwriting
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November 16 & 17 (2019)
Room “D” @ BMO Centre in London, Ontario
This course is for screenwriters of ALL skill levels and covers everything from setting healthy expectations and achievable goals to building a premise that works, choosing the right genre and themes, creating a cast of characters that suit your story, proper structure, scene construction, dialogue, effective editing strategies and even the value in "pitching" your screenplay. It will familiarize you with all of the foundation principles of successful storytelling, every step of the process of writing a screenplay and will also give you insights on how to navigate the film industry at large.
The course is fun, intense, thorough and covers everything you need to know about the nebulous art (and science) of how to write a screenplay. Novelists, comic book artists, playwrights, game designers and creative writers of all kinds have taken classes with Sighthound (some multiple times), and because much of the focus is on the foundations of effective storytelling, everyone comes away with something valuable. If you've ever wanted a leg up on your dream of becoming a screenwriter, or simply how to tell better stories, here is your chance!
Screenplay “Wireframe” Workshop
Translating your notes and ideas into a complete first draft is a massive undertaking. Sighthound Studio strongly recommends this step BEFORE you begin to write your first draft. This exercise will prevent a lot of wasted time and frustration by forcing you to create a “wireframe” of your entire screenplay on customized recipe cards using a universal story model we call the MASTER RECIPE. This master story model will help you structure your story and your character arcs more successfully and make taking on your first draft much, much easier.
Build a Premise That Works
Most struggling writers make the mistake of writing without having a strong premise in place first. Your premise is your creative touchstone and every other detail of your story needs to serve it. If not, you're effectively writing in the dark and guessing what to add and what to cut. Stay focused and more efficient in your writing by learning to craft a crystal-clear premise that will guide you through the entire process of writing from "the centre outward".
Prerequisite: Building a Premise that Works
To succeed, every artist must be able to speak about their work and both explain and defend their choices. Have some fun articulating your work to a group of peers in a format that forces you to focus on your screenplays' core: a crystal clear concept, an exciting hook and set-up, and a cast of fascinating characters . If your pitch works, chances are your screenplay will too and if it doesn't, you'll hear all about why not and how to improve it.
Harnessing Theme & Subtext
These two concepts can be the most difficult to grasp for many emerging writers, but without them, any creative writing will feel shallow and irrelevant. Learn how to understand and harness the power of universal themes and the nebulous concept that is subtext, both of which will add much needed depth, complexity and relevance to your work as a writer.
Prerequisite: Fundamentals of Screenwriting
Join us for an informal gathering to "jam" with other writers also working on screenplays. If you've taken the Foundations course, then get right to work in a closed and conducive environment with an instructor that can help guide you and provide feedback along the way.
Meet one-on-one with Sighthound Studio instructor Jordan Morris for some personalized consultation and advice. Enjoy uninterrupted attention from someone who will give you the perspective and motivation you need to elevate your skills and move your screenplay forward.
Creating Characters for Your Story
There is far more to it than simply creating a "great" character. Consider what might happen if you took the lead character from the musical "Annie" and tried to make her the hero of "Die Hard". Your characters must serve your specific story, genre and themes to work within your screenplay. This course will help you create the perfect character to compliment your work and create an unforgettable story.
It takes a lot of understanding, perspective and practice to make fabricated dialogue seem honest and "real". Learn how to carefully craft powerful, memorable and insightful dialogue by studying the relationship between your characters' words and the central themes that your story is exploring both as a whole and within each character's arc. And let's not forget about dialogue subtext! No "on the nose" dialogue, please!
MASTER RECIPE CARDS
(pack of 100)
Get right to work by filling out these unique cards designed to help you turn loose notes and creative fragments into a solid foundation for your screenplay. Designed to help bridge the gap from premise to first draft, these unique fill-in-the-blank cards tell you what you need in your story and where to place them in the timeline before sitting down to tackle the massive and intimidating task of writing a first draft.
(NOTE: these are also included in SCREENPLAY IN A BOX)
SCREENPLAY IN A BOX
Everything you need to sit down and create the fundamental building blocks of a successful screenplay. This is an incredibly unique product focused on tactile tools and practical exercises. Screenplay in a box is the antithesis of creating art in the digital age. It releases you from the confinement of your computer screen, and instead focuses on the fun and excitement of actually building something with your own two hands (and heart and brain).
THE SCREENWRITER'S COOKBOOK
This book is our full Fundamentals of Screenwriting course all written down in easily digestible chapters with lesson plans and milestone goals from start to finish. Learn everything you need to know about the challenges of screenwriting and have it with you at all times to refer to when things get tough.