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Intro to Screenwriting

Welcome to intro to screenwriting! In this course you are going to learn how to craft a screenplay and some about the industry.

Day 1

1. Watch the video ‘Intro to Screenwriting.’

Day 2

1. Watch the video ‘Designing a Story‘ (part 1).
2. What value do stories add to human existence? What purpose do stories serve? Take a moment and think about the stories that mean the most to you. Why are they important to you?

Day 3

1. Watch the video ‘Designing a Story‘ (part 2).

Day 4

1. Read pages 1-10 of “Save the Cat.”
2. Create a new document entitled, ‘Screenwriting Terms.’ Use the glossary at the back of the book to look up the terms block comedy, four-quadrant picture, hook, logline/one-line, on the nose, and pre-sold franchise. Summarize their definitions in your own words and write them in your document.

Day 5

1. Read pages 11-17 of “Save the Cat.”
2. Add high concept, one-sheet, and page one to your ‘Screenwriting Terms’ document.
3. Practice writing loglines. Choose movies that have been made, ideas that you have, or books that you have read to write loglines for. Write at least three.

Day 6

1. Turn to the exercises on page 18 of “Save the Cat.” Read the directions for exercise #4. Try to think of a movie idea for each one. Right down what you come up with.

Day 7

1. Workshop your movie ideas. Come up with a title for each one (it’s okay to have a “working title” – the best thing you can come up with that you might replace with something better later) and work on your logline. Remember that each pitch should try to include irony (or an obvious conflict that will interest viewers), create a mental picture, and have an audience in mind (who is this movie FOR?).

Day 8

1. Read the first part of chapter 2 of “Save the Cat” (pages 21-31). Try and come up with 3 movie or tv examples not listed for each of Monster in the House, The Golden Fleece, and Out of the Bottle.

Day 9

1. Today read pages 31-37 of “Save the Cat” and study Dude with a Problem, Rites of Passage, Buddy Love, and Whydunit. Try to come up with 3 movie or tv examples not listed for each one.

Day 10

1. Read pages 37-44 of “Save the Cat” and study The Fool Triumphant, Institutionalized, and Superhero. Try to come up with 3 movie or tv examples not listed for each one.
2. Add at the end of the day to your ‘Screenwriting Terms’ document.

Day 11

1. Today make a list of your “top 10” favorite movies in a new document. (You will be able to change this later, so don’t stress too much about making it perfect.)
2. Using the guide from “Save the Cat,” try to categorize each movie.

Day 12

1. Read the first part of chapter 3 of “Save the Cat.” (pages 47-56, stop before ‘Casting for the Role of Your Hero.’)
2. Think about the last three movies you’ve seen. Identify the hero and the stakes. Can you write a logline for them? (“It’s about a guy who…”)

Day 13

1. Finish reading chapter 3 of “Save the Cat.” (pages 56-64) What are the five ways to find the hero of your story?
2. Do exercise 4 on page 65.

Day 14

1. Today watch the video, “The Screenplay.”