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  • Workshop
  • Online: Zoom
  • Adult (18+)
  • 9 Weeks

Screenwriting for Film & TV

No Longer Enrolling

  • $595.00 Non-Member
  • $570.00 Member

Class Description

In this interactive 10-week workshop, writers will learn the art of script writing while working on either a feature-length film or a pilot for a television show. With Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and YouTube redefining what the word “television" means, the boundaries between TV and feature films have become less clear. Television shows have evolved into long-form movies lasting dozens of hours and told over the course of years, creating some of the most compelling stories of our time. Whether your movie is two or fifty-two hours long, a movie is a movie, and this class seeks to break down the barriers between television and the movies (or better, show that they have already gone away).

Students will learn about the differences and similarities between film and episodic television, explore new media, and discuss how the medium is evolving. We will discuss screenplay format, as well as how to structure a scene, create compelling characters, write dialogue, and overcome writer’s block. Students will work on creating a backstory (or “show bible”) to help make the world of their story more complex and populate this world with fascinating and believable characters.

During the class, we will analyze the structure of several films and episodic television shows to help students gain a complex understanding of stories that follow the Hollywood paradigm as well as those that defy it.
Students can expect to leave the class with a detailed outline, several completed scenes crucial to the screenplay, and either a completed first act of a feature-film or the first half-hour of a television pilot.
Writers we will study include:

Jordan Peele (Get Out)

Jenji Kohan (Orange is the New Black)

  • Sam Esmail (Mr. Robot)

    Christopher Nolan (Inception, Memento)

    Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich, Adaptation)

    Sarah Gertrude Shapiro (Unreal)

    Donald Glover (Atlanta)

    Kumail Nanjiani, Emily V. Gordon (The Big Sick)

    Guillermo Del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth, The Shape of Water)

    Alejandro G. Iñárritu (Birdman, The Revenant)

    Jill Soloway (Transparent)

    Rashida Jones (Nosedive)

Did you know that we have scholarships available for all GrubStreet classes? To apply, click the "APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIP" button in the top right corner of this page. In order to be considered for a scholarship, you must complete your scholarship application and await our Scholarship Committee's decision before registering for the class. Scholarships cannot be applied retroactively.

Scholarships Format/Location

Thanks to the excellent literary citizenship of our donors, scholarships are available for all GrubStreet classes. To apply, click the gray "APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIP" button. In order to be considered for a scholarship, you must complete your application at least one week before the start date of a class. Please await our scholarship committee's decision before registering for the class. We cannot hold spots in classes, so the sooner you apply, the better. Scholarships cannot be applied retroactively.

For more detailed information about GrubStreet scholarships, including how to contribute to scholarship funds for other students, click here.

This class will take place using Zoom videoconferencing. Please visit the Resources tab to access the video-conference link.

Zoom Participation:

Students are not required to turn their camera on, but are encouraged to participate any way they feel comfortable through functions such as the live chat, emoji reactions, and unmuting the microphone. Learn more about using Zoom here.

Zoom Accessibility:

We ask that instructors enable closed captioning and send a transcript of the session after class. You can also enable closed captioning at any time during the meeting. If your instructor forgets to send the transcript, just send ’em an email!