Lesson #1: SCRIPTWRITING
a) FILMMAKING BASICS
LESSON #1: SCRIPTWRITING
Your Final Class Assignment Will Be:
WRITE A (2-5) PAGE SCRIPT
(with friends, family, neighbors, or co-workers)
That can be shot in (1-2) days as a low/no budget film
There are (5) modules to Lesson #1
It's important you do the modules in the order given:
a) Filmmaking Basics (this page)
BE PREPARED TO BE SURPRISED!
Those of us working for wages (rather than a salary) usually don't talk about how to develop ourselves as thinkers, doers, creators, and confident risk-takers, working towards goals beyond what we know. (Though if you have children you push for their development!)
Guess what?! As a beginning Writer, you need to understand why people are (or aren't) thinkers, doers, creators, and risk-takers. This understanding will help you develop believable Characters your audience will respond to as human. Otherwise you'll end up with stick figure Characters that exist only to execute your plot twist!
DIFFERENT KIND OF TEACHING
I developed my approach and training materials specifically for adults like in my own blue collar family. I pull from my first career in counseling and community organizing to incorporate stuff that helps you in life, period, whatever you're up against (like pulling together yourself and other adult beginners not use to working as a team).
Want to build your story around really interesting Characters? Don't skip exercises that ask: What do you think about being human? Your written answers will fuel lots of ideas as you develop the characters and scenario for your short script.
(One of the things you will be learning is film terminology.
So look up words you don't know!)
IS DIVIDED INTO (5) SECTIONS
EACH WITH AN EXERCISE
FOR YOU TO COMPLETE
It's fine to glance over all the sections first. But you won't understand the lesson if you don't take time to do the exercises! Recommended: Do just one section / exercise per study session and really think about it. THIS IS NORMALLY A SEMESTER LONG CLASS!
1. REWARDS OF LEARNING
HOW TO WRITE A SHORT SCRIPT (even if you don't turn it into a film)
Free and fun mental and creative challenge -- especially if you do it as a Writing Team
Become a better storyteller, period, even at parties! You'll understand how to shape your thoughts for an audience
Watch films (or series) you like (or don’t) with a new insider's perspective
Better understand human behavior; how our routines and everyday choices reveal who we are
If you're an actor or been helping on other people’s small shoots, here’s help for developing your own project!
NO ACTION SCRIPTS!
People can get hurt doing fights and stunts! (Plus it's hard to repeat with multiple takes!) Using Action can also cover up how boring your Story and Characters are!
MOTIVATION & OBSTACLES
ASSIGNMENT (30 min)
1) Write down (5) things you think might be fun or interesting about writing a short script.
2) Write down (5) reasons why you will never (can’t) write a short script! (Even if you plan to write a script, list things that might slow you down or distract you)
3) Can you fail when you are trying to learn? Yes or no, and why? (This is a great ? to discuss with others)
MY UNIQUE FOCUS AS A TEACHER
My emphasis as a teacher is not on running the technical -- Camera and Lighting.
(Lesson #2: ‘MAKING YOUR FILM’ will include tips and resources to help you either handle your own Camera and Lighting, or recruit crew who will work for free or a small fee. TIP: Getting people to help starts with having a great script to show them! )
Let's start with learning how to become a great Storyteller!