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WSP 15 — Screenwriter for a Day

Quarter: Fall
Day(s): Saturday
Course Format: On campus
Duration: 1 day
Date(s): Nov 12
Time: 10:00 am—4:00 pm
Drop Deadline: Nov 5
Unit(s): 0 Units
Tuition: $200
Limit: 21
Status: Closed
On campus
10:00 am—4:00 pm
Nov 12
1 day
Drop By
Nov 5
0 Units
Has an idea ever crossed your mind that made you think, “Now, that should be a movie!”? Have you ever left a theater or turned off Netflix midstream and said, “I could do better than that!”? Are you looking for a way to dip your toes into the screenwriting pool without dedicating weeks of time to it? This intensive workshop will introduce you to the form and content of writing for film. Spanning the entire toolkit of screenwriting, we will begin by discussing the business mechanisms of the entertainment industry, followed by an introduction to the format and style of writing a manuscript that evokes the creative work of hundreds of visual and aural artists, from costume designers to sound engineers. We will progress to the conceptual underpinning of feature film ideas, including premise and protagonist; we will then discuss major structural elements of act and sequence building; and we will end by writing a key scene. Short writing exercises will be interspersed among lecture, clips, and discussion. Walk in a fan, and walk out with a sense of how writing for film and TV really works. All experience levels are welcome.

Due to its short format, this workshop may not be taken for Credit or a Letter Grade.

If screenwriting is pursuit of yours, you might also be interested in the online course “The Art of Creating Narrative Surprise in Successful Screenplays” with screenwriter Jeff Hoffman. For more information, please visit the course page.

Adam Tobin, Senior Lecturer, Film and Media Studies Program, Stanford

Adam Tobin is a screenwriter and actor. He created the sitcom About a Girl, and has written for ABC, ESPN, Discovery Channel, and the National Basketball Association. Tobin was a story analyst for Jim Henson Pictures and has taught story and pitching seminars at DreamWorks Animation, Twentieth Century Fox/ Blue Sky Studios, and Aardman Animations. He was a founding member of the Stanford Improvisors (SImps) and the Los Angeles performance group The But Franklies. He received an MFA in screenwriting from the USC School of Cinematic Arts.

Textbooks for this course:

(Optional) Neil Landau, 101 Things I Learned In Film School (ISBN 0446550272)
(Optional) Paul Gulino, Screenwriting: The Sequence Approach (ISBN 0826415687)