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Guided course for feature film writing

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From The Concept To The Script: A Guided Path To Feature-Film Writing

Once your Cineuropa (or any other) screenwriting course has been completed, you should be capable to write high-quality scenes. Now that you’ve learned the basics of screenwriting you’ll perhaps be seeking for a challenge reaching beyond the efforts of writing a short film and might want to make a raid into the writing of feature films. The first objective of any aspiring screenwriter is to complete his own “writing sample”, which is a script the potential screenwriter can give out to prove his writing ability. Reluctantly, however, due to space, time and priority factors, all matters concerning the structuring of a script have only partially been developed in our former course. In other words, in spite of mastering the rules of visual writing and other hints you might be needing some help in developing an entire screenplay. The ability of fueling 100-120 pages with rhythm in its Action and Dialogue, quality and meaning is a tackling job loaded with obstacles.

This ideal continuation of our screenwriting course (if you already followed our Cineuropa course you will be followed by the same tutor and method based on personal dialogue via e-mail), wishes to simplify such challenge, helping you pursue your concept, story and script, and strengthen the screenplay structure while refining the details.

This guided path to feature-film writing is divided in two series of lessons that develop along the way through an e-mail communication:

Lesson 1: discuss and develop an original idea; write a two-page story; develop a three-page outline (generating the structural steps of the script, aka the structural balance of the screenplay); develop a 5-page story-treatment; write the first 10 pages of a script. The cost of Lesson One is 235.00 €.

Lesson 2: write the first draft of the screenplay keeping faith to the 5-page treatment of Lesson One; write the second draft of the screenplay; write the third draft. The cost of Lesson Two is 235.00 €.

How It Works

Once subscribed, the student sends his tutor a Logline.

A Logline is a two-line sum-up of a concept for a script. It answers the question: what is my movie about?

Here are a few sample of loglines:

A brilliant Philadelphia lawyer is fired when he’s discovered having AIDS.

Two musicians witness the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre and dodge the gangsters out for them wearing high heels and joining a woman’s band.

A young boy and girl with different social origins fall in love on the ill-fated Titanic.

An unsuccessful boxer, unlucky on the ring and in his life, is given the opportunity to challenge the heavyweight world champ.

In other words, a logline briefly describes the characters and main plot’s conflict (if writing a logline ends up being too difficult, don’t worry, we’ll work on it together. All the same, send in two-lines answering the question “What is my movie about?)”

This starting point sets off a communication via e-mail. Once the idea is set, the Tutor helps the Writer develop a story passing through all the stages of screenwriting: a 2-page story, a 3-page treatment, a 5-6-page treatment, the 1st Act. The Writer spurs the work with his ideas and develops the stages of the script. The Tutor gives the feedback, answering the Writer’s emails within 7 days.

Lesson 2 begins when the Writer sends in his first draft of the entire screenplay developed during Lesson 1. In this case, the Tutor’s answer will require 21 days. In any other case, not regarding the reading of the entire script, the tutor will get back to the Writer in 7 days max. Both in Lesson 1 and Lesson 2, the Writer must spur the communication, passing on to the next stage of the Lesson.

IMPORTANT: This e-mail communication keeps the role of the Writer and of the Tutor perfectly separated. The Writer is the author of the work, and as so he can make final choices on “how” and “what” to write. However, within this setting, there must be the confidence in trusting a guide, the Tutor. It is therefore fundamental for the Writer to follow the Tutor’s directions. If the Writer is too free, he will perhaps lose a chance to write a solid script. Channeling his efforts within a solid direction (based on basic narrative standardized rules recognized by the worldwide Industry,) the Writer will be given the tools to express his writing qualities and achieve in no time a coherent result.

For further info on contacts, method, and development of this guided path, contact a Tutor dedola@cineuropa.org.

To subscribe to the course “From the Concept to the Script: A Guided Path to Feature-Film Writing”, contact bernard@cineuropa.org.

F.A.Q.

May I follow one lesson only?

Yes. And this option should not be considered as half-a-path. Many screenwriters simply need help in structuring their story, while they feel more secure and independent in handling the screenwriting, specifically.

May I follow this guided path without having followed the Cineuropa screenplay course?

Yes.

May I follow Lesson Two without having followed Lesson One?

No, but you can use the Cineuropa Script Analysis service.

Is this course a 4-hand screenwriting path?

No, the Writer is considered the sole author. The Tutor is a guide and cannot act directly on the script.

How are the Writer’s copyrights protected?

The Writer can protect his copyrights how he prefers. Upon request, Cineuropa can supply a “declaration of reception” to witness the paternity of the material sent in.

In what space of time should the two lessons be completed?

The official deadline is 6 months from the subscription for Lesson One and 9 months for Lesson Two. A long range of time, therefore. Within reasonable limits, request for extra time can be tolerated.

 

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