Archive for January 22nd, 2013
Pretty much since the day I announced the creation of The Loose Cannon, my on-line writing workshop series, people have been asking me to include a screenwriting workshop.
To date I have not. I always felt like I should have a fully produced and released feature under my belt before I started telling anyone how to write a screenplay. And although I’ve written, sold, and/or been hired to write several feature-length scripts, none of those have thus far been produced into movies (this is, of course, not at all uncommon).
But screenwriting is also how I make my living, especially in the last year and since moving to Los Angeles. I spent the tail end of 2012 penning a biopic about one of the biggest rock stars ever to come out of Australia. I’ve written every kind of video content for the web from corporate to narrative to edutainment (the fact Word did not just red-line that phrase makes my heart hurt). I worked on the animated Nanovor series for Smith & Tinker. I worked on the award-winning Illusion TV series Stranger Things. I’ve worked for Fox Studios scripting EPK content for The Three Stooges, Taken 2, the X-Men series, and A Good Day to Die Hard.
I even got to write some dialogue for Liam Neeson.
That was pretty cool.
So I know how to make enough money doing this to feed, clothe, and shelter myself. I guess I know enough to get you started.
The other thing is… even more than prose, it is hard figuring out how to break into screenwriting. I was clueless for a long time. I even entered the first Project Greenlight contest, I had so little concept of what to do with a screenplay. I would’ve loved a workshop where, more than learning how to write a script, someone told me how to get a job doing it.
That’s actually not true. I fucking hate workshops and always have. But you probably dig the idea. And you should.
Saturday and Sunday, March 9th & 10th, I’ll be leading my first weekend of TLC Script Writers where that very thing will happen. The cost is $100.00 USD to attend. I’m limiting class size to no more than ten people. If I get enough overflow I may add a second weekend, but that’s not guaranteed, so if you want in I recommend acting fast on this one.
The official schedule is as follows…
Saturday, March 9th, 2:00 p.m. PST – “Introduction (by Fire) to Screenwriting.” Guess what? You’re going to write your own script. Script Writers will be no different from my regular TLC fiction writing workshops in that you will learn by doing. A lot. Over and over again. With no time to overthink it or procrastinate. Until you fucking hate me. This is also how you’re going to learn the basic format of screenwriting. You’ll learn what a script looks like, how to make it look like that, the shorthand and what it all means, etc.. We’ll also touch on the three-act structure, structure in general, and how that all will factor in after you have a basic handle on what the hell you’re doing.
Sunday, March 10th, 2:00 p.m. PST – “… It Also Has to Not Suck.” Now that you have the basic tools to create something recognizable as a screenplay… you need to actually write something in that format which does not suck. We’ll deal with story, characters, dialogue, and all those elements that create a narrative screenplay. We’ll also deal heavily with how screenwriting is different (and should be different) from writing prose. This is very important. Finally, I’ll talk about actually taking all of this knowledge, and your screenplay, and using it to sell something and/or get paying work. Because that should be your goal.
I recommend screenwriting as a field. It’s more diverse than prose and it’s generally far more lucrative even at the shallowest end of the pool. It’s always a good and worthy avenue for the professional and aspiring professional author to explore.
It’s also hard to get into. It’s hard to know what to do with a script or with screenwriting ability once you have it. It’s hard to break through the wall into what can be and is a very exclusionary industry. If you come out I’ll tell you everything I know that I think might possibly help you in those veins.
That’s my humble guarantee.
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more info and to register for the workshop. Spots will be taken on a first come, first serve basis. No exceptions.