In the words of one Hollywood agent, “Think not what the star can do for your script, but what your script can do for the star.”
“The emotional core of a successful screenplay is almost always built around two unlike, warring characters,” says instructor Terrel Seltzer. “Sometimes these two characters end up married, sometimes one defeats or even kills the other, sometimes they agree to part. Whatever the hundreds of variations, the goal of the screenwriter is to create a page-turning, burning need in the reader to find out how these characters resolve their connection at the end of the story, in an emotionally satisfying and (hopefully) unsuspected manner.
“We’ll cover a lot of ground in this six-hour day. The challenges of writing both protagonists and antagonists, how to create their motivations and objectives, the paramount importance of their transformational arcs. We’ll also discuss the role of supporting characters who either help or raise the stakes for the main characters, thereby adding dimension and atmosphere to your story. We’ll talk about tools for creating original, authentic characters. I’ve personally used both mythical models and the enneagram personality types to brainstorm my characters. We’ll also use examples from two films, THELMA AND LOUISE and MEAN STREETS, so it will be helpful for students to either view these movies or read the scripts (available at www.simplyscripts.com) before attending the class.”
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.