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Intro to Screenwriting – The five stages of writing any screenplay

Five Sundays, June 3rd thru July 1st, 7-9:30 p.m. San Francisco
$165 members/$195 non-members

The basic premise behind almost every successful feature film can be stated in one simple sentence: Someone we care about wants something badly and is having a terrible time getting it. "Pretty simple, right?" says instructor Terrel Seltzer.  "But how do you make a character sympathetic? How do you establish a compelling desire?  How do you structure rising tension so that the Hollywood Reader keeps turning the page? That’s the art and the craft of screenwriting." 

In this class, every aspect of writing your screenplay will be explored in the following five stages:  Story Concept; Characters; Plot Structure; Individual Scenes; Writing Visually. "As in my nine-week class," says Terrel, "my approach is to teach by personal example, to provide a professional insider’s look at the screenwriting process.  By studying scripts of well known movies and referencing my own work, I’ll take you through the process of choosing and writing a viable story premise, and then how to work that premise into a feature length screenplay." Writing assignments (for those who want to do them) will encourge students to devolop an idea, or to hone an alreadly written screenplay into a more polished spec script.

Terrel Seltzer is a self-taught screenwriter. She learned the craft by watching and outlining literally hundreds of movies.  Her career started in the Bay Area, working with SF director Wayne Wang, for whom she wrote the screenplays for the independent films Chan is Missing and Dim Sum. Her two produced Hollywood screenplays are How I Got into College (with Lara Flynn Boyle and Anthony Edwards) and One Fine Day (with Michelle Pfeiffer and George Cloony). Currently, she has two scripts in development: Magick written for director Robert Zemeckis at Dreamworks,  and Foolproof, a spec script recently optioned by Warner Brother Classics.


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