Fundamentals

In just five weeks, learn all the basics you need to know in order to write a feature-length screenplay in this fun and accelerated group workshop.

Each week, there’ll be an outside film-viewing assignment, and analysis of this film’s story elements will be our jumping-off point to focus in weekly on one specific area of the screenwriting craft (ie, dialogue, character development, etc). There will be lecture material about this area; practical, straightforward techniques and in-class writing exercises to help you master it; analysis of excerpts from professional screenplays (and sometimes viewing clips from the actual film); and commentary on participant-submitted work utilizing our nondefensive, 100% constructive critique tool, “the two way mirror.” Participants may submit story pitches and beat sheets/treatments for in-class review.

Here is the syllabus week-to-week:

  1. Story (developing viable story ideas, the difference between a story and a situation, screenplay story structure & our revolutionary Nutshell Technique® which will forever change how you watch and write for film)
  2. Plot development and breakdown using the eight-sequence method
  3. Character development
  4. Dialogue
  5. Scene & action description, plus a definitive formatting “bible” you’ll swear by in the future.

Access to free screenwriting software will be provided. Most writers prefer, however, using a pen and paper for the in-class writing exercises, although laptops are welcome in the classroom.

All programs at The Screenplay Workshop are taught by professional screenwriters and meet in our central Austin classrooms (near 38 St and Guadalupe). Early registration is encouraged.

How to register