“Sometimes, you learn a hell of a lot more about a character listening to what a character doesn’t say.” ~ Max Adams

COURSE DURATION: This is a 6 week accelerated online master class in screenwriting.

COURSE EMPHASIS: Course emphasis is on recognizing  and incorporating the very real differences between every day “real” speech and “movie” speech in scripts. On using writing techniques to condense and focus dialogue to support plot and character and to move story. On using tools and craft to augment dialogue and subtext, ways to accelerate dialogue to get in and out of scenes quickly, and ways to support primary and secondary characters.

COURSE EXPECTATIONS: In this course you’ll discover tools and techniques you can apply to fiction, nonfiction, screenplays, teleplays, and stage plays. Through lectures, clips, script analysis, and in-class exercises and assignments, you will learn how to condense dialogue. How to remove artificial sing song back and forth exchanges between characters. When monologues work and when they don’t — and why. How and why speech length vs. brevity reflects on and builds character. How characters withholding information or lying contributes both to dialogue strength as well as to character. And much much more…

During the duration of the class, you will be working with Max, who will provide you with assignments, feedback, examples, and support learning craft tools and implementing them to strengthen and perfect and focus dialogue not just in a script you bring to class — but in every script you have ever written or plan to write.


Student Feedback: “Max, I just gotta say… I did a rewrite on a feature today. This class has proved it’s worth! It was so easy to see where dialogue was dragging. Where things didn’t work. Where I could lose entire conversations. Where I could put in subtext. Can’t believe I waited so long to take this class. Just fantastic!”

~ Jennifer Mulligan, Minerva’s War, Algebra


SYLLABUS:

WEEK ONE: Reality vs. Dialogue Reality || Lecture: But That’s How People Really Talk!
WEEK TWO:
Monologues vs. Withholding || Lecture: When to Go Shakespeare
WEEK THREE: Rhythm & Cadence || Lecture: Colloquialism, Friend or Foe?
WEEK FOUR:
Character & Dialogue || Lecture: Why Does Molly Sound Like Mary?
WEEK FIVE: Subtext & Depth || Lecture: The Duck Metaphor; Or, Why Woody Allen Was a Writing God
WEEK SIX: Voice Over & Narration || Lecture: Film vs. Audio Book
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 8 PM PST/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 that stretches out during the week, and there are weekly one hour 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, and last one hour.

ACCREDITATION: This is an accredited University of Utah class. If you are a University of Utah student, contact Paula in Film & Media Arts.


INSTRUCTOR: Max Adams
DURATION: 6 Weeks + 1 Week Grace Week
LOCATION: Online: AFW FORUM [classroom forums are private]
TUITION: $475.00
DEPOSIT: $150.00
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 — some outside viewing is required.
WRITING SAMPLE: A writing sample is required.

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