Category Archives: Class

8 x 10 Advanced Screenwriting

8 x 10: Advanced Screenwriting

WHEN: Thursdays 6:00 – 8:30 pm PST, September 14 – November 16

WHERE: On Zoom

COST: $600

In this 10-week class you’ll get in-depth instruction on something I feel very passionate about: closing the gap between the screenplay and the finished film.

As screenwriters you will learn to employ the skills of other filmmaking disciplines in order to bring more immediacy to your pages. You’ll write like a director directs, a DP shoots, an editor edits. The goal is to create a more complete cinematic experience so that when readers finish your script they will feel they have “seen” the movie or series pilot.

Visually-driven. Immersive. Visceral. These are terms you will hear a lot – along with my continued proselytizing about character revelation and the power of POV.

Structurally, this class will focus on sequencing your screenplay. Each week we’ll break down and examine one of the eight successive sequences that comprise feature films and series.

And, of course, you’ll also get my notes and feedback on your work each week.

This is not a beginning screenwriting class. You will get the most out of it if you come with a script idea you’re ready to write or an existing draft that you want to rewrite.

Enrollment is limited to 8 writers and sign-up is on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Payment can be made via PayPal, Venmo or Zelle. Contact me to sign up or if you have any questions.

Now What? Guidelines for Getting Your Script to the Screen

Now What?: Guidelines for Getting Your Script to the Screen

WHEN: Next class coming soon
WHERE: On Zoom
COST: $450

Almost as soon as “The End” is written, every screenwriter is confronted with one inescapable question: Now what?

This class explores the multiple routes – and a few shortcuts – aspiring screenwriters can take to get their work – and themselves – noticed. As Edna Mode states in The Incredibles, “Luck favors the prepared.” And that’s what this class will do: prepare you with the practical knowledge and knowhow to make informed decisions for when you usher your script into the Real World.

How do you protect your work? What is the WGA? Should you enter script-writing contests? How can you get an agent? What’s the difference between an agent and a manager? What’s an option? These are just a few of the topics we’ll cover in the 8-week course.

And, yes, there will be homework. You’ll create a set of effective log lines for your script along with verbal and written thumbnail pitches. Also, particular focus will be spent on developing a pitch deck.

Contact me if you’d like to be notified when enrollment for the next class opens.

Writer-Actor Workshop The Writer-Actor Workshop

The Writer-Actor Workshop

“This ain’t no Zoom class! This ain’t no table-read! This ain’t no foolin’ around!”

WHAT: A creative workshop bringing writers and actors together to test-drive original material
WHEN: Coming again in 2023!
WHERE: Rooney/Totman Studio, 305 SE 3rd Ave, 4th Floor, Portland, 97214
CO-INSTRUCTORS: Screenwriter Randall Jahnson and actor Ted Rooney
COST: $325

Tired of mouthing your own dialogue to yourself? Going crazy with all those voices in your head? Wonder what it’s like to have talented actors embody the characters you’re creating?

Then this class is for you!

In this studio setting, you collaborate with actors to stage selected scenes from your finished screenplay or work-in-progress.

Whether you want to direct your own script, learn how to communicate with actors, or inject your screenplay with fresh energy before submitting it to competitions, this class is an excellent opportunity to get your work off the page and into the hands and mouths of talented performers who can bring it to life. Not only hear your dialogue, see it performed; discover what works and what doesn’t; receive on-the-spot feedback from both instructors and your colleagues; make real-time adjustments; and run it again.

Each week half the class will present their scenes while the other half observes and offers input. The off-week writers will also receive notes from me about their scenes, which must be submitted the week before they are staged.

Instruction will also be given on how to diagram a scene – breaking it down into “beats” and identifying character objectives and actions. This can also sharpen the focus of a scene as well as create pathways for deeper understanding, exploration, and experimentation.

And it’s fun. That’s right, folks, we strive to keep the “play” in “screenplay.”

All scenes will be filmed.

This is not a beginning screenwriting course. If you have not taken a class from me before and I am unfamiliar with your work, please contact me immediately so I can discuss your work.

Also, out of consideration for your classmates, we ask that you be fully vaccinated for COVID.