workshop seat

February 28, 2015

 

There is a March seat open in the AFW online screenwriting workshop: AFW: 5150: An Online International Screenwriting Workshop http://ow.ly/JsaiZ

5150_bunny

 

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when workshop shirts attack

November 18, 2013

 

Probably this is only hilarious to me. It is actually kind of a catastrophe but still hilarious to me.

[This may be because “catastrophes” historically for me involve brushes with death but I consider the “brushes with death” catastrophes mostly comedic too so my “catastrophe” meter is skewed.]

[Wait, back up, catastrophe therapy kickstarter project yay!]

Here is the new workshop shirt close up:

 

struc_shirt_yaz_mispell

 

I wore that shirt at AFF. Other workshoppers wore that shirt at AFF.

Tell me if you see the problem.

Nobody did until today.


I am so cracked up.


*I’m sending out new shirts to everyone who bought the wrong shirt. Also I’m framing the wrong shirt.

 

the emergency pitch

December 21, 2011

 

It’s October, 2011. I’m in Austin attending the Austin Film Festival. There is a huge barbeque at this French Legionnaire place that I have not figured out yet, but it is in with the film crowd, I have been there before to see an outside open air screening. The Legionnaire yard is a big open space. The sun is high. The grass is green and prickly. There are white canvas tents parked over picnic type tables. The meal of the day is barbeque – allegedly authentic Texas barbeque. [I’m sure we are in Texas. I’m not so sure about the food.] I’d rather be admiring David Boreanaz from afar than eating questionable barbeque or talking shop but one of my workshoppers grabs me by the arm and says, There’s someone here who’d like Jane’s story. [Her name isn’t really Jane, but it works for this story.] Can she pitch?

“Jane” is another workshopper. She can write. We both know that. We’ve read her pages in workshop. I have no idea whether she can pitch though. I say, I don’t know, let’s find out. I turn to Jane. What’s your story about?

Jane can’t pitch. I’m getting a jumble of information none of which is telling me what the story is about. Uh oh.

What follows is fifteen minutes of intense “No, that’s not a pitch. Okay, not that, who’s doing this? Okay, what does he want? Okay, what must he do? No, not that, what must he do to not end up dead at the end of this story? Going back and forth with Jane, and then with my other workshopper — who seriously can pitch which is one reason she has the contact in the first place — till we have a simple one sentence description of the story that tells someone what the story is about. And then my other workshopper hauls Jane off to meet the important someone who would like Jane’s story and the important someone hears the short pitch and says, Send me the script.

Tragically, by the time this is all over, I am wrung out and David Boreanaz has moved on. [TRAGEDY!] But. My workshopper has a new contact and a submission and hasn’t embarrassed my other workshopper out of the business.

There are a few things you should be paying attention to there.

One, even though both of us knew Jane could write, my other workshopper was not going to introduce Jane to an important contact unless she knew Jane could pitch — because if Jane couldn’t pitch, that introduction would hurt my other workshopper. “Guilt by association.” That is not just for breakfast. You make a bad intro, your credibility just went down a notch too.

Two, my other workshopper came to me because she knew I would know or could find out real fast whether Jane could pitch. She didn’t go to Jane because she couldn’t trust Jane to know. Lots of writers don’t know they can’t pitch, they think they can pitch just fine – and can’t. So Jane would just say, Sure. But that might not be an accurate answer.

Three, if we hadn’t been able to slam a short pitch together in those fifteen minutes, Jane would never have met that contact or gotten that submission request. We could pull that off because there were two of us who seriously knew how to pitch right there hammering the right information out of Jane and stringing the pitch together for her. But. On her own? Never would have happened.

Think you can pitch?

Think or know?

In this business you have to know.

 


*The Art of the Pitch begins January 10th.

 

2011 class schedule

January 3, 2011

 

Upcoming 2011 —

Online Master Classes in Screenwriting
Taught by yours truly Max Adams:

 

January:
The Art of the Pitch, 01.11.11 [*full]
Visual Writing, 01.11.11

March:
Character Writing, 03.15.11
High Concept Writing, 03.15.11

May:
Non-Static Writing, 05.17.11
Structural Writing, 05.17.11

July:
Character Writing, 07.19.11
Visual Writing, 07.19.11

September:
High Concept Writing, 09.13.11
The Art of the Pitch, 09.13.11

November:
Structural Writing, 11.15.11
Non-Static Writing, 11.15.11

 

•For more info on upcoming classes, visit :::afw courses:::
•For registration info contact Max via :::afw contact:::

 


•As of January 2011 AFW online courses are accepted accredited University of Utah courses. For info on course credit, contact Paula Lee in the Film & Media Arts Department via paula.lee @ utah.edu

 

on visual writing

December 26, 2010

 

Readers are entirely dependent on you. There is no movie unless you put it on the page. So, you have, absolutely have, to give readers a visual.

This does not mean a map of the furniture layout in the protagonist’s room. This means an impression of the location.

Is the furniture out of Salvation Army or out of a French showroom? Does this location scream cash? Or last dime? What does the location tell you?

The three most important elements of location are, space, light, texture.

Consider these two examples:

INT. KITCHEN – DAY

The kitchen is ugly, small, cramped beyond thought, one small bare bulb overhead tries to illuminate the dirty linoleum floor and old Formica table without any help from windows.

 

INT. KITCHEN – DAY

The kitchen is huge, spacious, whoever lives here has more money than God. More than modern refrigerators with glass doors going on forever line the wall, frosty interiors illuminated by harsh artificial light….

 

Those are examples from yours truly just making up two very different kitchen locations on the fly. Notice how different the locations are using just three elements: Space. Light. Texture.

 


•Excerpted from the lecture series “On Visual Writing” by Max Adams
Academy of Film Writing | Visual Writing

 

back to work

December 26, 2010

 

Upcoming 2011 —

Online Master Classes in Screenwriting
Taught by yours truly Max Adams:

 

January:
The Art of the Pitch, 01.11.11 [*full]
Visual Writing, 01.11.11

March:
Character Writing, 03.15.11
High Concept Writing, 03.15.11

May:
Non-Static Writing, 05.17.11
Structural Writing, 05.17.11

July:
Character Writing, 07.19.11
Visual Writing, 07.19.11

September:
High Concept Writing, 09.13.11
The Art of the Pitch, 09.13.11

November:
Structural Writing, 11.15.11
Non-Static Writing, 11.15.11

 

•For more info on upcoming classes, visit :::afw courses:::
•For registration info contact Max via :::afw contact:::

 


•As of January 2011 AFW online courses are accepted accredited University of Utah courses. For info on course credit, contact Paula Lee in the Film & Media Arts Department via paula.lee @ utah.edu

 

open seats 11.08.10

November 8, 2010

Okay festivities are over. Drat. Back to business. I have two seats open in the 5150 workshop, the January pitch class is full, there are four seats open in the November visual writing class. Also, the March high concept writing class is now open for registration and I will be appearing at Showbiz Expo giving a short pitch seminar on December 4.

*high concept writing is very popular please register early to reserve a seat in that class

*visual writing begins nobember 16th please contact me now if you wish to register for this class


:::class info:::

open seats 10.28.10

October 28, 2010

 

I have one seat open in the 5150 workshop, one seat left in the January pitch class, and four seats open in the Nov visual writing class. Also, the March high concept writing class is now open for registration.

*high concept writing is very popular please register early to reserve a seat in that class

 


:::class info:::

*update: the pitch class is full, the next pitch class will be 09.13.11

 

 

open seats

October 11, 2010

 

I have one seat open in the 5150 workshop, three seats left in the January pitch class, and seven seats still open in the visual writing class.

*irony, everyone wants to know how to sell, no one is worried enough about how to write, hmm

 


:::class info:::

 

 

photo day yay!

September 16, 2010

 

 

That is friends & 5150 crew at a get together post the pitch seminar at Neon Venus Art Theatre. It was very cool. Especially since Julie & Ben were there who both came down from the Bay Area to make the seminar and get together. Yay!

 

where that photo comes from :
that is from the new academy gallery

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