Skip to Main Content

SCREENWRITING 101/ Six-week course

—Published on 3rd Mar, 2020.

NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE!

Writing a successful screenplay is almost a science. Most of the stories that succeed are the ones that engage an audience, and they tend to follow a similar structure. Ingenuity, creativity and a good understanding of the human condition all play a large part in telling a compelling story, but the professional execution of that story is what will get the attention of industry professionals and audiences. Before understanding the structure of an entire screenplay, one must first have a thorough understanding of how to structure and format each individual scene.

Screenwriting 101 will focus on formatting and structuring the first 10 pages of a screenplay, preparing the writer for the task of writing a feature-length screenplay.

During this 6-week intensive workshop, you will be learning the basics of format and structure of a scene, how to introduce conflict into those scenes and engage your reader and audience so that they take on the main character’s problems as their own. These are all necessary for a captivating first 10 pages of a screenplay. When a writer can master a strong opening, it sets the momentum for the rest of the screenplay, and crafting the rest of the story comes more easily.

NAILING THE FIRST TEN PAGES…
The best screenwriters in the industry understand that the first 10 pages of a screenplay give the reader a good grasp of the overall story and can make or break your project’s life within the industry. Industry professionals are short on time and read endless screenplays. If the story isn’t engaging, if there are format issues or if your main character seems uninteresting, it’s quite likely that your screenplay will be tossed in the bin by page five. It’s harsh but it’s true. This crucial section of the screenplay is what will hook audiences so that they emotionally invest in the protagonist and the world of the story.

.

Logistics

We’re determined to go ahead with our Screenwriting 101 workshop series as we know it will be an invaluable experience for attendees. So! With this in mind, we will be using the online platform, Zoom, for all our screenwriting workshop sessions, so participants can attend from the comfort and safety of their homes.

Dates + Time: April 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th and May 6th// Sessions start at 6:30pm
Duration: Six sessions over six consecutive weeks/ 1.5hrs- 2hrs
Cost: $650/ person for the full course (non-members)
$500/ person (FILMCO members and students)
Tickets are available online here: https://filmco.org/product/screenwriting-101
You can also pay for the event via online bank transfer or in cash at our office. Participants must sign up for the full course, and pay fees in advance of the first session. If you’re a student or FILMCO member, please email us at admin@filmco.org to receive a discount code.

.

About the Facilitator

AWARD-WINNING SCREENWRITER, TENEILLE NEWALLO

Teneille Newallo is an award-winning screenwriter, actress, filmmaker and author. ‘The Cutlass’, which made the shortlist for the Sundance Screenwriters Lab 2012, is Teneille’s debut feature-length film as a screenwriter, producer and casting director. It won multiple awards including both People’s Choice and Best Feature Film at Trinidad & Tobago Film Festival, 2016 and Best Actress and Best Cinematography at Palm Bay Caribe Film Festival 2018. ‘The Cutlass’ also had a successful 6 week run in Caribbean theaters and is now available on multiple platforms in the US, Canada, UK, Scandinavia and China.

Her screenplay, ‘Soucouyant’, also made the shortlist for the Sundance Screenwriters Lab in 2015; now a pilot script for a television series, it was chosen to be pitched at Toronto International Film Festival through the Caribbean Tales Incubator Program 2019, was a Top 5 finalist at the New Orleans Film Festival 2019 and was the winner of Best TV Pilot Script at Oaxaca Film Festival 2019. ‘Mangroves’, shot in 2018 as the proof of concept for the series, was her debut short film as a director and won the people’s choice for Best Short Film at the Trinidad & Tobago film festival in 2018, beating out over 80 other films. Teneille is currently fundraising for the feature film, ‘La Diablesse’ which she wrote, and is ‘shopping around’ other feature projects, all written by her.

.

Course Outline

WEEK 1: FORMAT (1.5 hrs)
Using the first 5 pages of a screenplay which will be made available to all participants, we read through, discuss and practice standard screenplay format to gain an understanding of what is acceptable in the industry. Participants will have the opportunity to write a standard one-page scene.

WEEK 2: STRUCTURE (1.5 hrs)
This session will involve reading through the same screenplay for a second time, focusing on central conflict in each scene in order to discuss the different types of central conflict. Participants will rewrite previously written scenes, this time inserting central conflict into each scene.

WEEK 3: DISCUSSIONS AND OBSERVATIONS (1.5 hrs)
Participants will discuss the conflict in scenes read by their peers. Focus will shift to the importance of the first page and the first five and ten pages of a screenplay. Participants will write the first 5 pages of their own screenplay.

WEEK 4: DETAILING AND CRITIQUE (2 hrs)
Workshop participants will read through scenes written by their peers and give feedback. A large part of the process of screenwriting is being able to both give and receive constructive criticism.

WEEK 5: SCREENWRITING IS REWRITING (2 hrs)
After completing rewrite from the previous notes given, the rewritten scenes are read and participants look for improvements. Was the writer able to implement the suggestions into their rewrite? Participants will be assigned to write the first 10 pages of a screenplay.

WEEK 6: READ THROUGH AND DISCUSSIONS (2 hrs)
The screenplays are read and final feedback is given.

*Event Details Here Note: Participants must sign up for the full course, and pay fees prior to the first session.

Registration/Payment Details Here Note: There are limited spaces

.

What’s Next?

SCREENWRITING 102
The follow-up to Screenwriting 101, this six-week course will focus on the structure of the entire screenplay, plot points, character arcs and ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ stories. It will demonstrate the strength in dividing your story into a 4-act structure as opposed to 3; and dives into creating compelling characters, developing their journeys and creating the world in which they live. Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list for information on upcoming workshops and masterclasses.