“It’s up to the character to make the story end right. It’s up to the writer to make it harder than hell for the character to pull that off.” ~ Max Adams
COURSE DURATION: This is a 6 week accelerated online master class in screenwriting.
COURSE EMPHASIS: Course emphasis is on creating characters who are electrifying from the first moment they appear on the page right up until the last time they appear on the page — and screen.
Characters are the heart of story. Their actions drive plot. Their individuality is what readers and audiences remember. And respond to. It is daunting — crafting seemingly real people out of mere words. But you can do it. And if you do? If you create compelling, interesting multi-dimensional characters that live and breathe for not just you, but an audience and reader? You’re on your way to a story that is not just compelling, it is mesmerizing.
COURSE EXPECTATIONS: In this course you’ll discover characterization tools and techniques that you can apply to fiction, nonfiction, screenplays, teleplays, and stage plays. Through lectures, script analysis, clips, and in-class exercises and assignments, you will learn and work with techniques that catapult characters off the page and bring them to instant and vibrant life in scripts for readers — and on the screen for audiences. And in the process you will receive feedback, guidance and support from Max to guarantee you are not just reading about these techniques, you are learning how to use them.
WEEK ONE: Character Intros & Set Ups || Lecture: Authorial Intrusion is Your Friend
WEEK TWO: Protagonists vs. Antagonists || Lecture: Chatting With Aristotle or, Whose Story Is It?
WEEK THREE: Empathy vs. Likability || Lecture: Use Flaws Don’t Lose Flaws
WEEK FOUR: Using & Defining Character Goals || Lecture: No Goal Equals No Character
WEEK FIVE: POV Characters || AKA What I Learned From Terry Rossio
WEEK SIX: Secondary Characters & Subplots || Lecture: Illuminate or Perish
WEEK SEVEN: Grace Period || No Lecture |
TIME LINES: Classes roll open online in the forum at approximately 12 AM EST Tuesday morning. Students have until 11 PM EST Tuesday night to read the initial weekly lecture and complete and post an initial short written assignment. There is additional reading and viewing material during the week. There are weekly one hour online chats on Thursday nights. Chat times start at 7 PM EST, 8 PM EST, and 9 PM EST, depending on your class’s chat schedule.
ACCREDITATION: This is an accredited University of Utah class. If you are a University of Utah student, contact Max Adams at max.adams @ utah.edu or Paula in Film & Media Arts for more information.
INSTRUCTOR: Max Adams
DURATION: 6 Weeks + 1 Week Grace Week
LOCATION: Online: AFW FORUM [classroom forums are private]
CLASS SIZE: There is a 12 person cap on this course.
MATERIALS: Lectures, reading materials and most viewing materials are supplied in class or online.
WRITING SAMPLE: A writing sample is required.
To register for the class please drop us a line:
*If by some freak occurrence you do not hear back from us in a couple days, assume our contact form betrayed you and us and hit us again with email at contact @ theafw.com [sans spaces]