- have a memoire, novel, short story or work of nonfiction you think would could spring to life as a performance art, and aren’t sure if it would best be a movie, or live in the exciting new landscape of streaming and TV shows?
- have story ideas you would like to explore in these different drama delivery systems?
- want a greater understanding of what the requirements are for each discipline?
This class offers a boot camp for prose writers. The 5-week class, taught by Mary Ruth Clarke (Meet The Parents), is designed for anyone interested in learning the basics of how to tell a story in a picture that moves.
Week One: What Is It? A Screenplay? A Limited Series? Participants will bring in their story or story idea and we’ll posit out where it fits in the drama landscape — will it best be served as a 2-hour movie or in a longer format? We’ll look at examples of adaptations that were successful (or not) and why. We’ll also deep dive into genre, loglines and a great hook that will cause a producer to shout, “That’s a movie!” (Participants will be required to read one short novel prior to Week One and write a logline of their story.)
Week Two: Thinking Visually. Cinematic storytelling is roughly 80% visual and 20% dialog. We’ll discuss tips, tricks, and tools great screenwriters use to avoid talking head scenes and how to drive a story visually. We’ll also tackle the challenge of adapting internal narrative of characters into the external reality of performance. And we’ll take a look at your loglines. (Participants will be required to read the adapted screenplay of the short novel they read.)
Week Three: The Structure of Visual Story Telling. Screenwriters are obsessed with structure. We will deconstruct the adapted screenplay. And look at reworked loglines.
Week Four: Scene work and Dialog. We will do a deep dive into how to create purposeful scenes that propel the story forward, dialog that is powerful and succinct, and the ever important subtext which throbs below the surface of scenes.
Week Five: Demystifying Formatting. Writers quake in fear of where to put the black words on the white page. Your job is to make the reader’s job as easy as possible, and that means getting the formatting right. (There is a reason most of us rely on software.) We’ll also look at your structure maps for your story.
There will be ample time allotted in each class to read and discuss participant’s homework.
Participants should come to the first session with a brief summary of their idea. And having read the short novel.