There are two essential skill sets required for screenwriting and television writing success:
The ability to write scenes that grab a reader’s attention and make them want to keep reading, and the ability to sequence those scenes into the most compelling order (story structure). These skills are not equal.
The first skill is far more important than the second one.
Many writers believe they already write sufficiently strong scenes, characters and dialogue, and that if they could only get better at story structure they’d be able to write professional-level scripts. Unfortunately, this is too often not the case.
I recently met a producer who received 116 script submissions from writers at a pitch fest. He read the first scene or two of each script, but would only continue reading if those scenes were compelling and well written. I asked how many scripts he read beyond the first couple of scenes?
He said only two.
Which means he tossed 114 of the 116 scripts after only a few pages.
The single most important skill required for success is the ability to write original, powerful, and compelling scenes. If a writer can’t consistently do that, all the story structure in the world won’t save them. Without this ability, a writer simply has no shot.
PROFESSIONAL SCREENWRITING AND TELEVISION WRITING WORKSHOP
In this intensive eight-week workshop, we will analyze successful scenes, complete weekly writing assignments, and review participants’ work in a supportive, yet challenging environment. By working on emotional context, narrative intensity, cohesion, organic escalations, clarity, efficiency, high impact pacing, set-ups, builds and pay-offs, participants will learn the tools necessary to write and edit professional-caliber scenes essential for any successful screenplay or TV script.
Additionally, participants will learn how to develop the four essential screenwriting skill sets necessary for long-term success – writing clear and compelling professional-level conflict, strengthening and integrating both the conceptual (story) and intuitive (character) sides of writing, organic story structure, and rewriting.
$495. Participants may pay by check or credit card.
The Professional Screenwriting and Television Writing Workshop is offered online using multi-video conference technology allowing participants to see and hear each other in real time. Writers have attended this workshop from across the US, Europe, Australia, Canada, and South Africa.
For writers living in Los Angeles, the Professional Screenwriting and Television Writing Workshop is offered at The Writers Junction, located at 1001 Colorado Avenue in Santa Monica.
New workshop sessions tend to sell out within a few days of being announced. Enrollment priority is given to writers on the Workshop Interest List. To put yourself on this list, or if you have questions, please email Lisa Mulcaster at [email protected]
ABOUT THE INSTRUCTORS
Corey Mandell is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter who has written projects for Ridley Scott, Wolfgang Petersen, Harrison Ford, Meg Ryan, Julia Roberts, John Travolta, Warner Brothers, Universal, 20th Century Fox, Fox 2000, Fox Family, Working Title, Paramount, Live Planet, Beacon Films, Touchstone, Trilogy, Radiant, Kopelson Entertainment and Walt Disney Pictures.
Corey’s students have gone on to sell or option scripts to Warner Brothers, Paramount, Sony Pictures, Fox, MGM, Disney, Universal, Showtime, FX, USA Network, NBC, HBO, MTV and AMC. Others have been staffed on such as Community, The Fosters, Bones, Justified, Young and Hungry, Playing House, The Mentalist, Marvel’s Agents of Shield, Up All Night, State of Affairs, Rosewood and Treme.
Talton Wingate is an award-winning writer and professional screenwriter. He was honored for his first script Norman, named one of the “Top 10 Scripts of 2005,” alongside other screenwriting luminaries that year such as Aaron Sorkin (with Charlie Wilson’s War), Diablo Cody (with Juno), and David Benioff (with The Kite-Runner). Norman was released in 2011 as a feature film starring Richard Jenkins, Dan Byrd, Emily Van Camp and Adam Goldberg.
Talton has experience with all aspects of the business from selling specs, adapting original properties, rewriting and pitching. He has also been featured in scr(i)pt magazine. Talton is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Film Program and Creative Writing Program, where he was awarded Best Fiction Writer of 2003. He hails from Atlanta and currently resides in Los Angeles.