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  14. Screenwriting

    Thanks for the reply. I’m taking courses at SCPS; there’s certificate to be had but that’s of secondary importance to me. (I’m the one who wrote the “DIY or Film School” post some months ago. ) I thought this was a more cost effective way to assess the viability of their 4 year program; some of my instructors/courses overlap there. I could give the specific instructors/courses offline if that is critical; but I’ll say that the track spans from the basics of the craft to classes specifically devoted to dialogue, scene structure, then some development workshops that culminate in one-on-one sessions (Master Class) with an instructor. I’ve also written, directed, shot and edited a couple of short films as projects for other courses since that first post. I havent had any problems learning and applying the concepts being taught. In fact, I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback, but I’m only writing to suit the requirements of my classes -- and for that reason I’m not too attached to the work I’ve done thus far. From my understanding of the process, the screenplay is merely a blueprint that will be revised over and over again by others (or their suggestions) until it fits into a marketable template. Although criticism can be very helpful, the collaborative aspect is difficult for me to swallow at times. Unless you can produce and direct the project yourself, I cannot imagine the finished product resembling the original intention of you the writer. For that reason, and knowing how Rand handled editors and book publishers, I was always curious to know how she handled these issues during her screenwriting career. Anyway, I’m looking for quality resources in any form (book, course, teacher, etc) that might provide a different perspective -- or at least something more challenging than what seems to be a cookie cutter approach. p.s. I did read a book called “The Screenplay as Literature” by Douglas Garrett Winston that was interesting despite lauding some films and writers that I don’t like.
  15. Screenwriting

    I've read Rand's writings on fiction (Art of Fiction; RM; etc.) but there's not much devoted specifically to screenwriting of which I'm aware. (I understand that she considers the basic principles of drama to be at the root of all the forms.) I'm taking classes at NYU and I've read many of the screenwriting "classics" from Field, McKee, Hunter and others. Most all of these promote the idea that film is a primarily visual medium as well as encouraging a formulaic approach to writing -- Aristotle's three acts are broken down into subsections where certain things must appear at a certain page number. My instructors at NYU express the same sentiment where words are a distant second to the visual --i.e.; show, but dont tell. Do you have any better book/course/instructor recommendations for the art of screenwriting?