“Story momentum travels in only three directions: Up. Down. And more down.” ~ Max Adams
COURSE DURATION: This is a 6 week accelerated online master class in screenwriting.
COURSE EMPHASIS: Course emphasis is on recognizing the difference between “story” and “plot.” On utilizing this knowledge to restructure story events and scene sequences that drag down pacing and tank dramatic tension. On using cause and effect to create and maintain escalating, plot driven scene sequences and a more focused story plot engine. And on overcoming and eliminating plotting obstacles that lead to a slow opening, flailing second acts, and climaxes that are — anticlimactic. [Oops!]
COURSE EXPECTATIONS: In this course you’ll discover practical writing tools and techniques that you can apply to screenplays, teleplays, novels, short stories, and stage plays. Through lectures, film clips, script analysis and in-class exercises and examples, you will use cause and effect to increase scene tension, maintain strong story pacing, will learn how to bring dramatic tension and momentum to scenes using obstacles and cause and effect connections that escalate story events and tension, will learn how to avoid the pitfalls of screenplay parlor tricks that at not pacing’s friend, and you will study how these story effects link to introducing a story, launching a story, and maintaining story momentum that rises to a riveting story climax — and much much more.
You will not do this alone. You will be working with Max, implementing craft tools and leaning how to use them, with solid feeback and support, in order to learn how to use them to achieve professional level results in your writing that can catapult you into the professional writer’s arena.
WEEK ONE: Story Versus Plot || Lecture: Why Linear Writing is Not Your Friend
WEEK TWO: Connect the Dots Writing || Lecture: The Dots Must Die
WEEK THREE: Cause & Effect || Lecture: The Matt Stone & Trey Parker Model
WEEK FOUR: Boy on a Skateboard || Lecture: Good News, Bad News – A Practical Study of Cause & Effect
WEEK FIVE: Scene Sequencing || Lecture: Cause & Effect and Scene Sequences
WEEK SIX: Act Sequencing || Lecture: Cause & Effect and Script Acts
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]