Tag: UCLA

Beginning in September, I will be teaching a brand new class for UCLA Extension: Television Series Development Workshop (FILM TV X-423).

What’s my logline for this class?

We’re going to learn how to create an industry-ready tv pitch in just 10 weeks. Here’s a quick look at the course (2 min):

We will be learning to create the same caliber of professional presentation that I use (and hundreds of other WGA writers and producers use) to sell our shows to networks, every season.

This course will take you from raw idea, through world-building, the creation of complex characters, backstories, and ongoing conflicts – to the kinds of visual elements and high quality presentations that buyers want to see.

And we’ll do it all as a workshop, with help at every stage, and no soldier left behind.

I cannot think of a more valuable skill in media than learning how to package and present your vision to the people who can make it happen.

It addition to myself, we will have two major players as guest speakers to help guide us on our path: Lee Aronsohn, creator of ‘Two and Half Men’; and Bad Robot’s Senior VP of Television, Matt King.

This class will rock. This class WILL sell out. Do not pussy-foot around or this ship will sail without you. Registration is open now. Click here to join us.

See you in September!

Next month (April and again in June) I am teaching a class in Story Analysis at UCLA Extension. Teaching has given me a chance to revisit some of the most important lessons I’ve learned in 20+ years of screenwriting, and foremost on that list are the principles of CHARACTER.

“A story starts with a character”

– Frank Daniel

Although screenwriters and many development executives tend to focus a great deal on concept and plot, every story is about SOMEONE. Even if that someone is a dog (Marley) or a pig (Babe) or a robot (Chappie) it is a story of someone’s transformation. Because transformation is what great stories are all about.

“I started here. I believed such-and-such. Something unexpected took me away from all that. It forced me to do what I had not done before. It forced me to become who I was not before. I am not the same person now, I am new.”

This basic story, what Joseph Campbell called the mono-myth, is the template that underlies every well-composed drama: The going out, the adventure, and the return as someone new, someone changed.

Whether that person’s transformation is one of character, or of circumstance, or fortune, or understanding –  (more…)