Screenwriting classes in NY?
March 6, 2007 3:07 PM   Subscribe

Does anyone have any opinions on screenwriting classes in NY? Good ones? Bad ones?
posted by o2b to Education (2 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I recommend checking into the classes at the 92 St. Y. Helen Kaplan's a good teacher -- try to get into a workshop she's running.
posted by buriedpaul at 5:48 PM on March 6, 2007

Meanwhile you can get a strong free education with a lot of reading, and (of course) writing all the time. There are many strong screenwriter blogs and websites out there - Wordplayer (Rossio/Elliott), Kung Fu Monkey (John Rogers), John August, Jane Espenson, Alex Epstein, etc. The blogroll at each site should help you get to the next place.

Meanwhile read lots of scripts - DailyScript and Drew's Script-o-Rama are the places to start. I learned a lot about script conception and construction from William Goldman's writing-in-Hollywood books - which also have gossipy/literary merit.

David Milch recommends exercises to improve scene writing: write for two nameless characters in an unspecified space, without thinking it through in advance at all. 20-50 minutes work, neither more nor less. Do it for a week. Then add an arbitrary formal convention for a week. Then a narrative voice. And so forth. (Then again, he's Milch, so his methods are...unique.) Keep writing, show your scenes to people, get a friend to play it with you. Get competent actor friends to play the scenes, let 'em know they're trial runs. You don't need a class a priori, you need deadlines and practice and a sense of the norms of structure.

Sorry I can't speak directly to the question, but hopefully you can find value in the suggested sites and activities in any case. Write. Write more. It's no more complicated than that, ultimately, whether you're paying tuition to learn shortcuts or not.
posted by waxbanks at 9:03 AM on March 7, 2007

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