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An introduction to Week 1

Michael Lengsfield introduces the course and gives an overview for Week 1.
Hello and welcome to our course: An Introduction to Screenwriting. I’m Michael Lengsfield - the lead educator for this course. I’ll also be joined by a trio of writers for some free-flowing, sometimes contentious, discussions of the material but you’ll meet them in a little while. Now for those of you who’ve never given much thought to screenwriting, the course will offer a brief glimpse into the thinking that goes into the construction of a screenplay. For those of you who have previous experience with screenwriting, the course should offer you new techniques, or approaches, that will help to further your own work.
And we hope that the course will create a common vocabulary to help us in more advanced courses that we will offer in the future. We’ll look at the most common approaches to screenwriting but we’ll also look at some of the alternative methods as well. The course consists of two sessions over two weeks, so we will move through the material fairly quickly. Each week will offer a new information, or techniques, a chance to apply some of those techniques, and the opportunity to discuss the material with other participants. The first week we’ll take a broad look at story and consider how we might find and develop our own narratives.
We’ll also look at what makes a screen story, and discuss the role of plotting, which is sometimes described as story structure. The second week we’ll take a closer look at actually constructing a screenplay. We’ll discuss the tools of screenwriting, which will include a look at the mechanics of creating a scene. We’ll go through script formatting, consider characters and character development, and learn to organise our workflow in a way that will help us complete a full length script. The panel of writers and I will discuss some of the issues that arise in any discussion of screenwriting.
The four of us began, we thought, with a great deal of agreement on the subject but we soon discovered that each of us has a very different approach to screenwriting. And in fact, in some places, we don’t even agree on basic definitions. It should make for a lively conversation. We hope you enjoy the course!

Michael Lengsfield, Lead Educator, welcomes you and introduces the course.

In the first week, we’ll take a broad look at story and what makes a screen story, developing our own stories and then consider plots and story structure.

We hope that you enjoy this brief two-week look into the thinking behind the construction of a screenplay.

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An Introduction to Screenwriting

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