Scene and Unseen:
Scene Analysis Master Class
Leader: Nicholas Griffin
Date: next date to be announced
Have you stalled out on a scene because, although necessary, it contradicts or negates some other element in your story?
Have you worked toward a climactic scene only to find that it somehow isn’t very climactic?
Do you have a scene that ends up being purely informational no matter how often you revise it?
Our assumptions are:
- Screenplays are structure. (Goldman)
- No conflict, no drama. (Shaw)
- Surprising yet inevitable is best. (Aristotle)
If these basic principles sound familiar, you’ve probably taken Screenwriting 101 in one form or another. It’s simple stuff, and that’s good news. The bad news is: it’s incredibly difficult to get on the page, and you have to keep learning it, forgetting it, and rediscovering it in your own work. Forever.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The big leaps in your development will always arrive in the process of writing, solo or in workshop, where you’re seeking solutions to the specific problems of your own story. If you’ve been doing this awhile, and the fundamentals are getting into your bones, there may be new questions that are starting to appear in that process.
If you haven’t come up against these issues in your work, don’t worry. You will. The answers lie in the specifics of your story. But seeing how other writers negotiated the same problems can be an enormous help. Peeling the onion on someone else’s scene helps you learn how to peel the onion on your own scene, and gives you a fresh perspective.
This 90-minute seminar is designed to complement the heavy lifting of your own story work by identifying and examining some commonly encountered problems, going beyond the basic principles above.
In Scene and Unseen, we’ll look at 5 scenes in 5 different movies. I’ve picked scenes that I believe will help you explore questions similar to those posed above.
In advance of class, you’ll get a list of the films we’ll be discussing. Some are well known, some aren’t. If you haven’t seen a particular film, it’s a good idea to watch it before we meet, since a scene usually draws energy from what’s come before. No need to re-watch a movie you’ve already seen unless you want to. I’ll let you know which are most critical in this regard. (If you’ve never seen The Godfather Part II, for example, I’m surprised you’ve read this far.)
In the class: First we’ll watch the individual scene I want to talk about. Then I’ll point out some hidden or unexpected dimension to what we’ve seen. We’ll talk about scene construction and scene dynamics. Hopefully, there will be insights.
At the end, we’ll have time for a general discussion and questions. If it works out right, you’ll have a good time and head back to your own work with a new sense of purpose and clarity. Register below!
Note for returning participants: We will review five different scenes in the next session.
Alumni of PageCraft’s Italy retreats, Concept to Pages workshop, or Writing is Rewriting workshop are entitled to a 10% discount.
Registration: next date to be announced
- Workshops will not be recorded.
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- Cancellation Policy: You are entitled to a refund of your registration price minus 5% if you cancel by noon Pacific Time on the day of the workshop. After that time, we will offer a PageCraft credit in the amount you paid (minus 5%), provided you email us at least one hour before the workshop begins. After that time, we will be unable to offer any refunds or credits.
- Anyone who registers at the alumni rate without being eligible for that discount will be asked to upgrade to the full rate. Otherwise, the registration will be subject to cancellation and refund (minus 5 percent).
- PageCraft is not responsible for other costs incurred by participants or prospective participants.