Course description

Use ALL of your brain while screenwriting! Film is the art form that encompasses all the other arts, and this challenging but safe course takes hands-on lessons from the visual and performing arts and applies them creatively to screenwriting. With a sprinkling of Jungian typology, theatre improv, journaling techniques, and even drawing (no experience necessary), and featuring weekly readings of student scene work by professional actors, this unique experiential course will have you writing daily and turning in scenes weekly. This approach is aimed at pushing you to your next level, rekindling your enthusiasm, and opening new doorways into screenwriting. Designed for writers from the advanced beginner to the seasoned pro; a basic knowledge of screenplay formatting is required.

Instructor's statement

Filmmaking thrills me because it is the art that encompasses all the arts. And writing is where the most creative, juicy stuff happens. During my thirty plus years as a creative professional, Iıve often been inspired by lessons learned in an art form different from my current focus, and know that many great artists draw from their other artistic facets. My goal in the class is to introduce you to a cross- disciplinary panoply of approaches to great scene writing. Deceptively playful exercises from theatre and the visual arts, for example, can add color, depth and sparkle to your writing, connect you more deeply to your work, and help build or regain the stamina and flexibility you need to stay in the game. My class is very much a process, not a product oriented class. Inspired by some master teachers who have helped me along the way - particularly Betty Edwards, and also Dennis Krausnick, Natalie Goldberg, Tim Gallwey, and the writings of Julia Cameron and Viola Spolin - I aim to inspire your process in enjoyable ways that may open the door to your finest work.


Gene Roddenberryıs Star Trek inspired me in high school and appealed to my utopian leanings, especially after reading Orwell, Capek, and other grim visions of the future. A few years later, my idol welcomed me as a young college student on my first visit to Hollywood, and not only used some of my suggestions for his new pilot, but encouraged me and gave me some of the best (and unexpected) advice Iıve ever had. He said, "Learn to type really, really fast." At the precise moment, my 20- year old budding feminist sensibilities were slightly ruffled, but I quickly realized the wisdom of this advice. I spent that summer doing typing drills, and my lightning speed has paid off, over and over, during my writing career. My biggest influence since then is my husband Alan Kay, whose famous quote is a beacon of optimism, "The best way to predict the future is to invent it."


Copyright 2006 Bonnie MacBird