Introduction to Screenwriting (March 8 - March 29) - Online Class

Taught over four nights through activities, discussions, and practical exercises, this lively online screenwriting course is designed to introduce simple, reliable writing concepts and techniques that build up the confidence and skills required to take a great idea and bring it to life! Whether just starting out or hitting a wall with a current script, this course offers something for everyone. Be prepared to talk about the movies you love and get ready to work on your own screenplay!

Topics covered include:
  • Writing characters the audience cares about
  • Building a workable, robust outline
  • Writing memorable dialogue
  • Subverting cliches and using themes
  • Formatting rules
  • Scripting a scene from beginning to end
  • Creating a treatment via story beats
  • When to rewrite and what to focus on
  • Recommended screenwriting books, podcasts, and other material
Practical activities are featured throughout, as much as three to four per class. Homework will be assigned after each class to maximize techniques learned and help bring screenwriters closer to their finished manuscript. Homework is not mandatory, though recommended.

Part I: Characters

Class 1 introduction:
Great stories begin with great characters. Through practical activities, students will focus on effective methods behind character creation, motivation, and emotional arcs. Take that idea and turn it into a character!
  • (Lead) Character Creation
  • Underdogs, Friends, and Villains
  • Genre Expectations
  • The Hero's Journey VS. The Story Wheel
  • Character Arcs

Part II: Structure

Class 2 introduction:
In this class, students will debate and discuss popular screenwriting structure concepts, learn how to build a story around acts, and work on outlining a screenplay of their own. Got a great beginning or middle but no end? This class will help!

  • 3 Acts or 5 Acts?
  • Non-Linear Structure And Other Styles
  • Adapting Japanese Storytelling Techniques
  • Outlining With Confidence
  • Pacing To Audience Expectations

Part III: Themes & Dialogue

Class 3 introduction:
Focusing on essential topics such as dialogue, themes, and character arcs; students will discover confidence in their own voice as they learn core elements in creating original, rewarding screenplays. Make your characters sound like living, breathing, joking people!

  • When To Add The Theme
  • Hooks: Dramatic Irony, The Ticking Clock, and more
  • Subverting Cliches and Tropes
  • Dialogue, Dialogue, Dialogue
  • Your Style VS. Audience Need
  • Creating “Spielberg Moments” And Writing A Memorable Scene

Part IV: Mechanics & The Full Script

Class 4 introduction:
In this final class, students will discover the practical techniques behind developing a troublesome treatment into a successful script, formatting, pacing, and more! Nowhere to hide, no excuses to use...this class will help you get writing! You can do it!
  • Treatments and Elevator Pitches
  • Plot Beats and Post-it Notes
  • Rules of Formatting
  • The Novel VS. The Screenplay
  • Scripting A Scene:
  • The Intent
  • Starting From The Middle
  • How To Write Action
  • When To Write Nothing
  • The Rules of Rewriting

About Brad Freeman

Born in New Zealand and based in Tokyo, Bradley Freeman was responsible for writing and directing several short and feature length films, as well as working behind the scenes on the big budget 2007 Japanese film, Dororo.

The author of three novels, and with 12+ years of experience in Japan, Bradley’s classes are designed to introduce realistic, practical exercises to increase confidence and help screenwriters make progress on their work.
Mon Mar 8, 2021
7:00 PM - 9:30 PM JST
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Online event
General Admission ¥20,000

Combini / ATM payment will be closed at the end of Mar 7, 2021.

English Language Film School Japan

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