4 days left

March 7, 2015

Four days left to register for Character Writing & Dynamic Writing at The AFW.

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one week left

January 6, 2015

One week left to register for —

AFW January classes. If you want one of these seats, hit us at http://theafw.com and reserve your seat now.

 

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meanwhile, back at the ranch

December 28, 2014

Meanwhile, back at the ranch —

Seats are available in AFW January classes and going fast.  If you want one of these seats, hit us at http://theafw.com and reserve your seat now.

 

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last classes of the year

November 3, 2014

 

Ohyez, there are November classes. Structural Writing and Dynamic Writing are the last two online master classes in screenwriting of the year. Grab your seat now or you will be out in the cold till 2015.

Dynamic Writing 11.11.14

Structural Writing 11.11.14

 

Oh yez, hot September classes are right around the corner. You should all go sign up for them right now.

Academy of Film Writing September Classes 2014:  The Sex Scene

Academy of Film Writing September Classes 2014: High Concept Writing

Academy of Film Writing September Classes 2014: The Art of the Pitch

 

 

white_chairs

 

What do you see on the screen?

Nothing until you put it on the page. And then, for someone to see something while they read that page? The writing must be Visual with a capital V.

Visual Writing begins Tuesday.

There are open seats.

:::HIT THAT:::

 

 

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A friend told me she was talking to other people we know mutually, and one of them was confiding in her they just didn’t know how to get their writing to that next level. What should she do? And then another person we knew mutually chimed in, Yes, me too.

And my friend said, Well take Max’s classes.

And they both looked at her blankly and said, Really?

I think this comes down to the contempt of familiarity. We’re friends. We hang out. We have a good time. And I don’t stomp around saying, Hey look at me.

This tends on some level to make people think, because we’re on the same social tier being friends and all, that means we’re on the same professional tier.

Not to be a bitch, but that ain’t so.

Unless someone else has worked professionally for five motion picture studios, has five produced films they worked on under their belt and has consulted on two others, has mentored three Nicholl winners in workshops and classes, and has twenty plus working writers they have mentored on their slate of “people I worked with who made it” AND has a film degree and miscellaneous other writing credits and awards — we’re not on the same professional tier.

Doesn’t mean I don’t love you. But knock it off.

 


:::MAX CLASSES:::

 


 


Two January classes, The Art of the Pitch and Visual Writing, start January 10th.

There are a couple seats left if you act fast:

 


VISUAL WRITING

Begins January 10, 2012

Visual Writing | Putting Vision Back Into Viewing | Online 6 Week Master Course | Start Date : 01.10.12 |

MAKE YOUR READERS “SEE” YOUR MOVIE: You will learn how to use the visual elements space, light, and texture to create locations and scenes readers can “see”; how to establish and utilize perspective in scenes and sequences to make a script visually dynamic; how to create and utilize perspective; techniques to make characters visually dynamic and “real” for readers; techniques to juxtapose exterior and interior visuals to create visually dynamic motion and space on the film screen; and more….

Instructor | Max Adams

Reading Material | supplied in class forum & library. Some outside material is linked to.

Viewing Materials | posted or available via Netflix, iTunes, YouTube or your friendly neighborhood video rental.

Weekly Chats | Thursday nights | 8 PM EST.

class seating limit : 12 | a writing sample may be requested prior to acceptance | a course deposit is required for this class
course fee : $375 |

REGISTER TODAY – SEATING IS LIMITED

more info : CLASSES

 


THE ART OF THE PITCH

Begins January 10, 2012

The Art of the Pitch | Pitching Stripped of the Nonsense | Online 6 Week Master Course | Start Date: 01.10.12 |

GET READ AND SELL: You will learn the five essential elements your pitch must contain to sell to producers and studios; the two pitch models; action driven vs. character driven pitching; the six points an elevator pitch must contain to interest a potential buyer — and what an elevator pitch is; how to open; how to close; how to use your story’s turning points to make your story compelling; when film comparisons work — and when they don’t; how to address the specific concerns of different members of the entertainment industry; and how to condense and expand your pitch to take advantage of new pitching opportunities and mediums.

Instructor | Max Adams

Reading Material | supplied in class forum & library. Some outside material is linked to.

Viewing Materials | posted or available via Netflix, iTunes, YouTube or your friendly neighborhood video rental.

Weekly Chats | Thursday nights | 9 PM EST.

class seating limit : 12 | a writing sample may be requested prior to acceptance | a course deposit is required for this class
course fee : $375 |

REGISTER TODAY – SEATING IS LIMITED

more info : CLASSES

 


MARCH CLASSES

Two classes are coming in March 2012, High Concept Writing and Character Writing.

March classes begin March 13th.

•For more info on upcoming classes visit CLASSES.

 

 

january classes

December 7, 2011

 

JANUARY CLASSES

Two January classes The Art of the Pitch and Visual Writing start January 10th. There is a preview of things to come in Art of the Pitch on the Austin Film Festival blog.

 


VISUAL WRITING
Begins January 10, 2012

MAKE YOUR READERS “SEE” YOUR MOVIE: You will learn how to use the visual elements space, light, and texture to create locations and scenes readers can “see”; how to establish and utilize perspective in scenes and sequences to make a script visually dynamic; how to create and utilize perspective; techniques to make characters visually dynamic and “real” for readers; techniques to juxtapose exterior and interior visuals to create visually dynamic motion and space on the film screen; and more….

Instructor | Max Adams

Reading Material | supplied in class forum & library | some outside material is linked to

Viewing Materials | posted or available via Netflix, iTunes, YouTube or your friendly neighborhood video rental

Weekly Chats | Thursday nights | 8 PM EST

Class Seating Limit : 12 |

Course Fee : $375 |

:::register:::

:::more info:::

 


THE ART OF THE PITCH
Begins January 10, 2012

GET READ AND SELL: You will learn the five essential elements your pitch must contain to sell to producers and studios; the two pitch models; action driven vs. character driven pitching; the six points an elevator pitch must contain to interest a potential buyer — and what an elevator pitch is; how to open; how to close; how to use your story’s turning points to make your story compelling; when film comparisons work — and when they don’t; how to address the specific concerns of different members of the entertainment industry; and how to condense and expand your pitch to take advantage of new pitching opportunities and mediums.

Instructor | Max Adams

Reading Material | supplied in class forum & library. Some outside material is linked to.

Viewing Materials | posted or available via Netflix, iTunes, YouTube or your friendly neighborhood video rental.

Weekly Chats | Thursday nights | 9 PM EST.

Class Seating Limit : 12 |

Course Fee : $375 |

:::register:::

:::more info:::

 


FUTURE CLASSES:

Two March classes High Concept Writing and Character Writing start March 13th, 2012. For a full list of upcoming classes visit :::classes:::

:::register:::

:::more info:::

 

 


“Most aspiring screenwriters simply don’t spend enough time choosing their concept. It’s by far the most common mistake I see in spec scripts. The writer has lost the race right from the gate. Months — sometimes years — are lost trying to elevate a film idea that by its nature probably had no hope of ever becoming a movie.” ~Terry Rossio [Shrek, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Mask of Zorro]


The first week of —

Screenwriting 101, students turn in their story ideas. Ironically, students with the most mundane ideas tend to be the ones most worried about ideas being stolen. “I have this great idea about a woman going home for Thanksgiving, what if other students steal it?”

Hmm. Okay. Three things:

•One, other students in a screenwriting 101 class don’t have the connections or chops to steal an idea.

•Two, the only person who could steal an idea in a screenwriting 101 class is probably me the teacher — I do have the connections and chops to walk a concept into a studio.

•Three, there is no way I would do that –– first because it is unethical, but more importantly? The concept sucks and no one at a studio is going to get excited about it.

Yeah, I know, you’re laughing at the poor bastard who thought a story about Thanksgiving dinner is an exciting and novel concept. But ––

Take a hard look at your concept. I’m willing to bet 90% of the concepts out there would make the Jeopardy category “Most Done Screenplay Concepts.” [That’s a safe bet, I read a few hundred scripts a year so have a pretty good idea of what is out there.] Think yours wouldn’t make that list? Consider some of its components. How expected is the setting? How expected is the genre? How expected is the character in the lead role? How expected is the opposition? How many other scripts have the exact same villains — in a damn similar scenario? [Hint, Middle Eastern terrorists with bombs are not new and exotic bad guys.]

Also, before you sass me about scripts about characters going home for Thanksgiving getting made and working –– take a look at the screenwriters’ names attached to those films. Those names are usually not “beginner” names. And when they are? Not beginners who sold to a studio. Beginners who had to go indy and are probably still working the bookstore job because indies rarely pay rent. Even the A listers usually have a damn hard time convincing suits “Going home for Thanksgiving” is a project to throw millions of dollars at.

If you’re new? If you’re breaking in? If you’re somewhere in the middle just trying to make that next sale and nothing is sticking? Maybe what you’ve got there is a Thanksgiving script.

Studios might be more inclined to take a look at a Thanksgiving script if something about the story concept stood out. Like, location and genre. Maybe it’s not just Thanksgiving dinner. Maybe it’s Thanksgiving dinner on Mars. That is a start. Or maybe there is some mental real estate thrown in there –– maybe it’s the president having Thanksgiving dinner on Mars. Or the creator of the biggest social networking site on the planet. Maybe the stakes could be higher. Maybe it’s the president AND the creator of the biggest social networking site on the planet having Thanksgiving dinner on Mars and the fate of Planet Earth hangs in the balance ––

I am making that up on the fly and it’s not a story I would recommend you write. But it is a mindset I would recommend you adopt. How do you make the concept bigger? Think genre. Think location. Think mental real estate. [If you are on Facebook or just recognize the name, maybe you get why studio peeps were willing to throw millions of dollars into making a film about a computer nerd facing a lawsuit — that would not have flown if the computer nerd hadn’t created the most recognized social platform on the planet. “Facebook” is the definition of mental real estate.] Think stakes –– how could they be raised?

There’s something you can up — always — in a simple story concept. And if you are trying to break in, trying to get read and sold, trying to get attention ahead of the A list writers already in every studio rolodex? You had better be thinking about ways to “more up” in the concept department.


•More up in High Concept Writing. Seating is limited. Register today.

 

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