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Group Workshops

I will work with you, using your screenplay, to show you the mistakes you’re making and how to fix those mistakes. You will be actively engaged in the learning process while correcting your own screenplay.

Submissions & Formats

Workshop attendees must submit the first five (5) pages of their screenplay and the Title page two (2) weeks prior to the workshop date. I need time to review these closely for maximum personal service to you.

I prefer screenplays to be written in Final Draft or Movie Magic Screenwriter and submitted electronically. I will accept screenplays written in MS word, OpenOffice, PDF files or hard copies.

Workshop Services & Pricing

  • 5-10 Students for 1 day (up to 5 hrs plus a 30 minute lunch break)
  • 15-20 Students for 2 days (up to 5 hours plus a 30 minute lunch break)
    • Day 1 - I will work with half of the class on their screenplays while the other half observes.
    • Day 2 - I will work with the other half of the class on their screenplays while the first half observes.
  • Minimum requirement: three (3) students   
  • Fees
    • $95.00 per student
    • Travel expenses
    • Per-diem for lodging, meals and incidental expenses
  • Facility Requirements:
    • overhead projector with laptop connectivity

Lesson Plan

Goal: Learn to write to Industry Standard using your own screenplay. It’s easy, fun and always eye-opening.

This hands-on course teaches screenwriters how to correct their individual mistakes, while learning the “DOs” and “DON’Ts” of writing a spec screenplay to suit today’s ultra-competitive market. Give your screenplay the opportunity it deserves, to be read by the people who can make a decision for you.

There are many classes out there, taught by extremely talented people, that tell you how to develop your story line, develop 3-D characters, and write believable dialogue and exciting action. Some even claim to help you write the next blockbuster. I make no such claims.

My method is to show, not tell. In a comfortable seminar environment, I work from your screenplay, point out your problems and show you how to fix them. That means thoroughly covering…

  • Why writing to Industry Standard is so important
  • Why, without it, your screenplay is doomed before it ever gets a chance to be read by the people who can push it up the line
  • How to give your screenplay that professional look and read so necessary in today’s competitive market

The Schedule

The First Hour

  • Getting to know what Industry Standard means and why it is important to you and your story.
    • Introduction
    • Handouts
    • Questions are encouraged immediately

The Rest of the Day

Working from your screenplay, we show…

  • Problem areas and how to fix them
  • Answers to relevant questions (encouraged throughout the day)

Topics

Tools of the Trade

  • Screenwriting Software - why you need screenwriting software, which software programs are recommended and why, etc.
  • Books - Save the Cat -- Screenplay, Writer's Journey -- Story, etc.

Physical Structure

The first step is making your screenplay look like a professional wrote it.

  • Margins
  • Font
  • Spacing
  • Page Numbers
  • Mores & Continueds
  • Title Page
  • Covers
  • Brads

What you can put on the page and why

  • How to write for the screen and not make amateur mistakes
  • The screenplay industry is constantly evolving to fit the modern market

Typos and Omissions

  • Why they kill your hopes and dreams, and your chance at success
  • Camera Angles, POVs, Editing, etc.
  • How to write the camera into the action without spelling it out
  • When it’s okay to insert editing instructions
  • How to use “The Shot”

Writing Visually

  • Illustrate, don’t describe (and how to accomplish it)

Narrative Paragraph Length, and Why

  • How to write narrative that guides the reader’s eye
  • Rule of thumb on paragraph length
  • What is and is NOT acceptable

Choosing the Right Verbs

  • Importance of choosing strong verbs
  • Avoiding “to be” verbs

When to Use Upper case and When Not to Use Upper Case

How and When to Stack Action

Present Tense Always

Continuity and Cohesiveness, and why they are so important

Learning to visualize your story scene by scene and why