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Screenwriting I: 10 Week Workshop (Self-Paced)

Master the art of screenwriting with this immersive workshop. Dive into the world of movies, learning the fundamentals of dramatic writing, crafting compelling characters, and developing captivating plotlines. Whether you dream of Hollywood glamour or indie grit, this course will equip you with the skills to bring your stories to life on the silver screen.

  • All levels
  • 18 and older
  • $464
  • Earn 10% Rewards
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  • Online Classroom
  • 47 hours & 30 minutes over 2 sessions

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  • $464/person
  • 47 hours & 30 minutes over 2 sessions
  • Includes $25 Reg Fee
    Class accessible anytime within the session dates
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  • Tue, Oct 08 at 12:00am - 11:45pm
  • Tue, Dec 17 at 12:00am - 11:45pm
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Class Description

Description

What you'll learn in this screenwriting class:

Movies are the modern mythology—the stories we all watch for excitement, inspiration, and entertainment. So many genres and types...drama, comedy, action/adventure, science fiction, fantasy, thriller, horror, crime, noir, epic, western, war, romantic comedy, musical. Larger than life blockbusters or down-to-earth depictions of reality. Tales told with emotional verve and visual imagery we never forget.

A movie isn’t great unless it starts with a great blueprint—the screenplay. Here you will learn about the craft of dramatic writing, how to write for the screen, and how to market your work.

Whether you seek to write shorts or features, Hollywood glamour or indie grit, we’ll show you how to write screenplays that light up the screen.

This course gives you a firm grounding in the basics of screenwriting craft and gets you writing a screenplay.

Course components:

  • Lectures
  • Writing exercises
  • Workshopping of student projects (each student presenting work two times)

Screenwriting I is for beginners or anyone who wants to brush up on the fundamentals. Students must be 18 years or older.


Course Syllabus:

Introduction to Screenwriting:

The visual nature of movies. Screenplays as blueprints. Where to find ideas. Forming a premise. High and low concept. Hollywood vs. Indie. Genre. The usefulness of outlines.

Plot I:

Finding a major dramatic question. The three-act structure. The difference between classic plots and subtle plots. Making a story map.

Character:

Finding a strong protagonist. Handling other characters. Making characters dimensional through desire and contrasts. Creating character profiles. Showing characters through their actions.

Format/Description:

How to format a screenplay. Writing effective screenplay description.

Scene:

Scene defined. Length of scene. Tenets of a good scenes—importance, desire/conflict, structure, compression, visual storytelling. Sequences. Making a step outline.

Dialogue:

Dialogue's illusion of reality. Compression. Characterization through dialogue. Subtext. Exposition. Stage directions. Voice over.

Subplot:

The value of subplots. Romantic subplots. Other kinds of subplots for the protagonist. Non-protagonist subplots. Subplot structure. Finding subplots in your story.

Plot II:

Creating an effective opening section. Techniques for sustaining Act II. Creating an effective climax. Flashbacks.

Tone/Theme:

Developing tone through genre, world, and lightness/darkness. Consistency of tone. Theme defined. Types of theme. Weaving theme into a story.

Revision:

Exploration of the various stages of revision.

The Business:

Creating pitches. Studios, producers, and representation. How to get your pitch to players in the industry. Query letters. The life of a screenwriter.

Content may vary among individual classes.


Important:

  • Schedule posted is the Start and End date of the class. You may access the class at any time, day or night, within the schedule provided. Please see Online Class Delivery for more details.
  • Registrants will receive email instructions and information on how to access the online classroom.

Remote Learning

This course is available for "remote" learning and will be available to anyone with access to an internet device with a microphone (this includes most models of computers, tablets). Classes will take place with a "Live" instructor at the date/times listed below.

Upon registration, the instructor will send along additional information about how to log-on and participate in the class.

Refund Policy

All Classes (except One-day and Zoom Intensives and Write-Ins):

  • For a refund or credit, contact us three business days or more before your class starts. You can either choose to hold a full credit with us good for one year on other Gotham classes OR you can opt for a refund less a $25 administrative fee and your $25 registration fee ($50 total).
  • If you need to withdraw after your class has started (or two business days before it starts), you won’t receive a refund, but you’re welcome to a Gotham credit less the price of Week 1 and your $25 registration fee, but we need to hear from you three business days or more before Week 2 meets for that to happen. After that point, no credits are available.

One-day and Zoom Intensives:

  • You may reschedule a One-day or Zoom Intensive one time, if you notify us two business days before the class begins. After that first reschedule, there is a $25 rescheduling fee.
  • If you notify us three business days or more before your class begins, rescheduling is free. If you notify us less than three business days before your class begins, there is a $25 rescheduling fee. If you don’t notify us until after your class begins, we cannot reschedule you.
  • You may get a refund (minus a $50 fee) if you notify us three business days or more before your class begins.

Write-Ins:

  • If you withdraw 1 business day or more before it begins, you’re welcome to a full credit good for one year toward another Write-In. No refunds are available.
  • If you simply don’t show up and don’t notify us in advance, you forfeit your money.

A few more things:

  • Credits are valid for one year and cannot be changed into refunds down the road.
  • Simply not attending class or notifying the instructor does not mean you've officially withdrawn.
  • Some exceptions are made on a case-by-case basis for medical emergencies with a doctor's note.
  • Refunds take up to six weeks to process.

Please understand, we can't issue a refund after classes have started, even if you miss your first class. Similarly, we can't offer you a credit one day before your second class or after that. We understand that other obligations get in the way of attending class, but these policies allow us to get other interested writers into class early enough to have a good experience, and this allows us to offer our classes at a reasonable price.

Important Notes:

  • Students are allowed to join a class in the second week.
  • Only those who pay the tuition in full can be guaranteed a place in class.
  • Class dates and times may be subject to change. A substitute may be assigned or make-up classes added to the end of the term.
  • Auditing and the recording of classes are not allowed.
  • For all classes, students receive a record of payment and registration.
  • Gotham reserves the right to remove any student at our discretion.
  • Gotham does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, disability, socioeconomic status, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, age, or marital status.
  • Our courses are not intended to provide instruction that will result in the student's acquisition of occupational skills.

In any event where a customer wants to cancel their enrollment and is eligible for a full refund, a 5% processing fee will be deducted from the refund amount.

Reviews of Classes at Gotham Writers Workshop (745)

(4.4-star rating across 745 reviews)
  • Screenwriting I: 10 Week Workshop (Self-Paced)

    Reviewed by Joan M. on 3/14/2021
    I enjoyed the class and learned a lot. The instructor was enthusiastic, personable and knowledgeable and kept the information coming. He had excellent answers for any questions and made me want to take more classes on this subject.
  • Screenwriting I: 10 Week Workshop (Self-Paced)

    Reviewed by Haley G. on 5/20/2019
    This course was great! I had Vanessa, and she gave an awesome overview of the screenwriting process, answering the group's (many) questions along the way while staying on track with her course material, too. Well worth the $—I now feel equipped to get started writing my own screenplay!
  • Screenwriting I: 10 Week Workshop (Self-Paced)

    Reviewed by Elizabeth B. on 2/25/2019
    This was an excellent intensive one-day intro to screenwriting, including the development and classification of ideas, the process of taking a script from idea through various stages to the actual writing of the draft, an in-depth discussion of structure and the way it has changed over time (from the 1970s to today, for example), and a quick but informative overview of the software used in the actual screenwriting process. Loved it, would highly recommend.
  • Screenwriting I: 10 Week Workshop (Self-Paced)

    Reviewed by Matthew M. on 1/10/2016
    I gained a lot of useful and practical tools for working on my first screenplay. Great overview of structure. Jeremy was delightful and engaging.
  • Screenwriting I: 10 Week Workshop (Self-Paced)

    Anonymous review on 2/24/2019
  • Screenwriting I: 10 Week Workshop (Self-Paced)

    Reviewed by Orlando C. on 2/24/2019
  • Screenwriting I: 10 Week Workshop (Self-Paced)

    Reviewed by Lauren B. on 11/13/2018
  • Screenwriting I: 10 Week Workshop (Self-Paced)

    Anonymous review on 11/13/2018
  • Screenwriting I: 10 Week Workshop (Self-Paced)

    Anonymous review on 11/11/2018
  • Screenwriting I: 10 Week Workshop (Self-Paced)

    Reviewed by Raegan H. on 5/27/2018
  • Screenwriting I: 10 Week Workshop (Self-Paced)

    Reviewed by Rebecca H. on 9/18/2017
  • Screenwriting I: 10 Week Workshop (Self-Paced)

    Reviewed by Nicole E. on 6/18/2017
  • Screenwriting I: 10 Week Workshop (Self-Paced)

    Anonymous review on 1/17/2017
  • Screenwriting I: 10 Week Workshop (Self-Paced)

    Reviewed by Ayinde R. on 8/22/2016
  • Screenwriting I: 10 Week Workshop (Self-Paced)

    Reviewed by Renata A. on 8/21/2016
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Review Summary by CourseHorse

Students express high satisfaction with the Screenwriting Level 1 Two-Day Intensive class, highlighting the knowledgeable and engaging instructors who provide comprehensive overviews of the screenwriting process. They enjoyed the well-structured course that walks them through idea development to the actual writing of a script, including changes in structure over time. Students found the answers to their questions rewarding and noted that the class enhanced their enthusiasm for further study in this field. The course was also seen as good value for money, equipping students with the confidence and ability to commence writing their own screenplay. They also appreciated the practical tools given to work on their first screenplay. Some students went further to recommend the course. 1. "The instructor was enthusiastic, personable, and knowledgeable and kept the information coming." 2. "I now feel equipped to get started writing my own screenplay!" 3. "This was an excellent intensive one-day intro to screenwriting, including the development and classification of ideas, the process of taking a script from idea through various stages to the actual writing of the draft."

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Questions & Answers (5)

Get quick answers from CourseHorse and past students.

Question from Anonymous
How is your own material protected from being copied from anyone in the course?
Answer from Joan M. Verified Student
This class was an intensive and the instructor did most of the talking. What students offered was very minimal -- mainly rough ideas submitted before an outline was even created. That said, if someone like their idea and wanted to copy it, it was not formally protected.
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Question from anonymous
Is this class ok for students who have zero screenwriting experience?
Answer from Brenda L. CourseHorse StaffCourseHorse Staff
Hello, there! Yes, this is an entry-level course. Thanks!
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Cancel
Question from Anonymous
Will this course help me put my ideas down in a useable, industry standard script?
Answer from Brenda L. CourseHorse StaffCourseHorse Staff
Hi there! It will help with that, yes. You will be learning from people who have written in the industry, so they know all about it. Hope this helps!
Answer Show answer
Cancel
Question from Anonymous
Who is the teacher?
Answer from Georgia C. CourseHorse StaffCourseHorse Staff
Hi there! For the January 11th one, Tal McThenia is the teacher. The February 23rd one doesn't have a teacher assigned yet.
Answer Show answer
Cancel
Question from Claudia L.
In this course will we be writing our own material or learning how to breakdown a script?
Answer from anonymous
Hi Claudia! Josh here, from the Gotham office. In this course, you will be writing your own material AND learning how to breakdown a script, as well as participating in in-class writing exercises. Hope that helps!
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Gotham Writers Workshop

Gotham Writers Workshop is a creative home in New
York City and Online where writers develop their craft and come together in the
spirit of discovery and fellowship. We’ve been teaching creative writing to
students since 1993.




We believe that everyone has a story to tell.
Indeed, many stories. Keep your...

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