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screenwriting

Introduction to Screenwriting

There's never been a better time to start a career as a screenwriter. With technological breakthroughs bringing the cost of making and distributing movies down to almost nothing, there is an ever-increasing demand for great scripts—and for people who can write them. Whether you want to write micro-budget indie films or Hollywood blockbusters, this course will teach you everything you need to know to write a script that sells.

You will learn the fundamentals of stories—why audiences need them, what they expect from them, and what kinds of stories work time after time. You'll discover how to create characters audiences connect with and how to write dialogue that will bring them to life. You will get hands-on experience through a series of short writing assignments that will have you working like a pro from the very beginning of the course. In addition, you'll get an inside look into the business of selling your script and building your career as a writer. When you finish the course, you'll be ready to start writing your own script!

6 Weeks / 24 Course Hrs
Starting October 18, 2017

Offered in Partnership with your Preferred School

Portland Community College Why this school? It's been chosen based on your location or if you've visited this school's website.

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Learning Method

Instructor-led Confirm your Start Date in Cart

Introduction to Screenwriting

Learning Method

Instructor-led Confirm your Start Date in Cart

Introduction to Screenwriting Reviews

Introduction to Screenwriting Details + Objective

Course Code: isw

You Will Learn
  • Learn the basic elements of compelling storytelling and how to use them in your own writing
  • Discover how to transform a rough idea into a finished and marketable screenplay
  • Examine how good screenplays use character, conflict, and dialogue to connect with an audience
  • Learn how to turn your writing talent into a career - with an overview of the industry and its key players
How the course is taught
  • Instructor-led course
  • 6 weeks in duration
  • Courses begin each month
  • 2 lessons released each week
  • 24 course hours
How you will benefit
  • Gain confidence in your ability to write compelling stories and share your ideas with an audience
  • Learn the important aspects that make a screenplay sell, and be on your way to a successful, fulfilling career
  • Discover how to turn beats from a simple and rough outline into vivid, exciting drama
Introduction to Screenwriting Outline
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Week 1

Explore the exploding new market for screenplays, and learn what a script needs to find a place there. Then, learn where stories come from and how they work. You will discover how to apply that knowledge to your own writing.

Week 2

Understand the nature of conflict, and recognize it as the heart of every story we tell. You will discover how to develop conflicts in your own scripts. Then, examine how characters are the embodiment of conflicts, and then learn how to create compelling characters for your own stories.

Week 3

Learn the fundamental simplicity of the three-act structure. You examine ways to use it to build your own stories. Then, discover the essential elements of a story's beginning. You will learn how to employ these elements in your own work.

Week 4

Identify the particular challenges posed by your script's long middle section. You will learn ways to address these challenges. Then, learn what makes a movie's ending work. You will discover how to craft the right one for your script.

Week 5

Learn the elements that bring a scene to life. You will discover how to turn beats from your outline into vivid, exciting drama. Then, examine how movie dialogue works, identify how it differs from theatrical dialogue, and discover how to use it to create and explore character.

Week 6

Learn the steps you will need to take in order to turn a first draft into a great script. Finally, learn how to turn your writing talent into a career with an overview of the industry and its key players.

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Introduction to Screenwriting Instructors
William Rabkin

William Rabkin is a veteran writer/producer whose 300-plus hours of produced television include Monk, Psych, and The Glades. He has served as "showrunner" on Diagnosis Murder, Martial Law, and She-Wolf of London, and has written a dozen network pilots. He is the co-creator and co-editor of Amazon Publishing's bestselling Dead Man series of action horror novels, and has also published five additional novels and two books on writing, Successful Television Writing (2003, with Lee Goldberg) and Writing the Pilot (2011). As a teacher, he has lectured and led workshops for writers, producers, and executives in Spain, Sweden, Belgium, and the Netherlands, and led traditional classes at UCLA Extension and Stephens College. He is currently an adjunct professor of screenwriting in the University of California, Riverside-Palm Desert's low-residency MFA program.

Introduction to Screenwriting Requirements / Prerequisites

There are no prerequisites for this course.

Introduction to Screenwriting Frequently Asked Questions
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When can I get started?

A new session of each course opens each month, allowing you to enroll whenever your busy schedule permits!

How does it work?

Once a session starts, two lessons will be released each week, for the six-week duration of your course. You will have access to all previously released lessons until the course ends.

How long do I have to complete each lesson?

Keep in mind that the interactive discussion area for each lesson automatically closes 2 weeks after each lesson is released, so you’re encouraged to complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.

What if I need an extension?

The Final Exam will be released on the same day as the last lesson. Once the Final Exam has been released, you will have 2 weeks plus 10 days to complete the Final and finish any remaining lessons in your course. No further extensions can be provided beyond these 10 days.

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