This is a one week creative writing camp specifically designed for rising 10th -12th grade students who want to learn the basics of feature screenplay writing. During this week, a professional screenwriter will help students develop their script ideas by learning structure, character development, plot points, style and theme. Students will arrive with two ideas for a feature screenplay, the instructor will help them to decide which story they want to pursue, and start them on their storytelling journeys.
SPECIFIC SKILL DEVELOPMENT
Students will develop their movie script ideas into three acts. They will learn about conflict, story points and inciting incidents. Students will then write a four page treatment, exploring their ideas before starting the script. It’s important that the student master the unique structure of a screenplay in order to successfully start writing a script.
After mastering structure, students will do in-depth character work by studying classic movie characters and applying those journeys to their own unique characters. The students will also observe character behaviors, dialogue, and write character biographies.
What is the story actually about? Students will learn how to express the theme of the story by looking at other films and then applying those lessons to their own plots. How does the plot reflect the theme? How are the characters moving forward within the theme? Students will be encouraged to tell stories that have relevance to their own lives and to develop themes to fit their stories.
Much like a novel, a screenplay should have its own unique style. Students will be assigned to read professional, award-winning scripts, which will then be analyzed in class recognizing style and using the lessons already learned. Students will be challenged to find their own unique voices while telling a written, visual story.
Students will be assigned the viewing of both classic and modern films to be discussed in class. They will then apply these lessons to their own scripts. Students will evaluate the movies using structure, character, plot and theme analysis. A wide range of movies may include: To Kill A Mockingbird. Die Hard. Thelma and Louise. In the Heat of the Night. Witness. My Cousin Vinny. All the President’s Men. Rear Window. (All these movie are available on Amazon. Please note that some of these movies have R ratings.)
At the end of the week, students will have a treatment for their screenplay and will have started writing the first act. Inspired by the week of movies, scripts, and the art of basic screenwriting, students will be able to continue their screenwriting journeys.