CLASS 1: Creating characters and developing your premiseJune 23, 2012 1st Assignment Due: July 2nd
CLASS 2: Creating story beats (mapping out your plot) July 14, 2012 2nd Assignment Due: July 23rd
CLASS 3: The ABC’s of Television Dramas August 4, 2012 3rd Assignment Due: August 15th
CLASS 4: Finessing your story and writing the script (screenplay formatting) August 25, 2012 4th Assignment Due: September 5th
CLASS 5: Polishing your draft and working in the industry September 15, 2012
10am - 12:30pm
Location: GSU Campus - ATLFF365 Offices (1 Park Place, SE, 30303)
This five-part “Screenwriting 201” series will guide students through the development process of turning their ideas into a solid one-hour television series concept. Storytelling structure will be used not as a template, but as a device to create a beat sheet outline. Students will then focus on the steps needed to finish a rough draft. Writers’ room brainstorming sessions will be conducted and scenes from produced shows will be screened and dissected in order to illustrate what works or doesn’t work on the small screen. Students should come prepared with ideas.
CLASS 1: Creating characters and developing your premise June 23, 2012
Writers often have great ideas that prompt creative executives to ask, “But why is this a series?” This first class will examine the character development process and delve into standard structure of the hour-long television format (teaser plus five acts). Find out what elements are needed to transform your idea into a series.
Assignment: Complete character profiles and structural template NOTE: Assignments must be submitted before class to receive feedback in the following session – (Due June 23rd)
CLASS 2: Creating story beats (mapping out your story) July 14, 2012
The true task of writing is the story you come up with before going to script. This second class will walk students through the process of plotting story beats for a step-by-step outline. Careful attention will be paid to the series structure developed in the first class.
Assignment: Refine structural template and begin beat sheet (Due July 11th)
CLASS 3: The ABC’s of Television August 4, 2012
Hour-long dramas typically have three storylines that are interwoven to create an episode. This third session will be used to examine the A, B and C stories of television and how they are used to heighten drama and conflict. Learn how to plot and interweave multiple storylines for a robust episode.
Assignment: Complete A, B and C stories (Submit by August 1st for feedback in session 4)
CLASS 4: Finessing your story and writing the script (screenplay formatting) August 25, 2012
The first part of this fourth session will explore the following elements of 6-act structure: Foreshadowing, set ups and payoffs, dialog, act breaks and the twist. The remaining part of the fourth class will examine the rules and conventions of screenplay formatting. Learn how to format your script in a professional manner.
Assignment: Submit teaser and Act I (Submit by August 18th for feedback in session 5).
CLASS 5: Polishing your draft and working in the television industry September 15, 2012
In this fifth and final class, students will learn how to improve and polish their scripts. Remember writing is rewriting. Learn how to tackle your rewrite and assemble submission materials like a logline, synopsis and television treatment. The discussion will end on the television industry and how to improve your chances of breaking into the business.
Kevin Collins is an Ivy League graduate with nearly two decades of entertainment industry experience. He has worked for several large studios including Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros. and most recently DreamWorks. After years of writing as hobby, Kevin took a draft of his screenplay, “Talk Show,” and used it to gain entrance into the Bill Cosby Screenwriting Fellowship Program located on USC’s film school campus. Even though features were his primary focus, in 2000, Kevin joined the production staff of the Showtime series “Soul Food.” In series television, he learned invaluable knowledge about the production process from writing to post-production. Fascinated by the world of television, Kevin wrote his first television spec of the then popular series, “Buffy The Vampire Slayer,” which advanced to finalist status in Disney’s Writing Fellowship Program and gained him “consider” status in Fox’s Diversity Writing Program. Two seasons later, Kevin received his first produced credit when he wrote a free-lance episode of Soul Food: the series. The following year, he was hired on as a staff writer in the show’s final season.
Kevin’s passion for storytelling centers on thrillers and sci-fi fantasies in the vein of “Silence of the Lambs,” “Fatal Attraction,” “Blade Runner” and “The Lord of The Rings.” In 2004, he wrote and produced his first short, a thriller entitled, “Headliners” about two competing serial killers. In 2009, he relocated from Los Angeles to Atlanta where he is now a professor of screenwriting at two local art schools, which include the Atlanta campus of The Savannah College of Art and Design and The Creative Circus. Kevin’s most recent work includes a feature-length, fantasy-action screenplay entitled “Mitlandia.” He has lived in Africa and Europe and is fluent in French. His memberships include Cornellians in Entertainment and two independent writers’ groups.