Course Outline – Screenwriting Crash Course
MODULE ONE: What Exactly is a Screenplay?
We explain the key differences between writing for the page and writing for the screen and the technical and dramatic differences between the different formats: movies, dramatic tv series, and soap operas. We consider what’s involved in adapting stories written for the page, for the screen and what a script looks like – and why.
MODULE TWO: The Killer Opening Scene
It’s the duty of the screen or script writer to capture the attention of the viewer in the opening scene – whether it’s a blockbuster super-hero movie, or the teaser opening of an episode of a soap.
MODULE THREE: Kick-Start Your Story
Stories only come alive when our characters are confronted with a challenge of some sort. But it all begins with The Inciting Incident.
MODULE FOUR: Creating Great Characters
Great stories are wasted on two-dimensional characters. Every story deserves a compelling and interesting protagonist who wants something – and a matching and equally compelling antagonist who wants to prevent her from getting it.
MODULES FIVE: Scenes
Scenes are the building blocks of any script. Whether they’re provocative, shocking, thoughtful or simply dramatically satisfying, they must maintain the momentum of the story you’re telling.
MODULE SIX: Dialogue
Dialogue plays an essential role in the unfolding of the story, and the presentation of character. Dialogue isn’t quite speech: it’s clearer, less repetitive and richer. But it has to sound like real dialogue. We’ll show you ways in which to achieve these apparently mutually exclusive objectives.
MODULE SEVEN: Visual Writing
Film and television are visual mediums, so it’s essential to learn how to write visually. We explore the techniques of writing a scene without dialogue, using the power of the image to tell the story and reveal character.
MODULE EIGHT: Tension and Suspense
Tension and Suspense in stories is created when questions are asked – and the answers are delayed. In film, foreshadowing is used quite deliberately to anticipate dramatic action, to “set the scene” for drama to come.
MODULE NINE: Upping the Stakes
Writers keep their audiences glued to the screen by constantly and incrementally upping the stakes. But the stakes are doubled and quadrupled by the internal contradictions within characters. Competing loyalties constantly push characters to and beyond their limits.
MODULE TEN: The Hero’s Journey
In this final module we reveal the secret magic of structure, using the popular method known as The Hero’s Journey.