Screenwriter, WGA member who wrote Meet the Robinsons, which won a Heartland Film Award. Mr. Bernstein also wrote the screenplays Ringmaster and Beautiful, starring Minnie Driver, and is a contributing writer to Universal's The Little Engine That Could (2011). His plays include Blunders and Showcase! (LA Weekly Pick of the Week).
Instructor Statement: My students are encouraged to read produced screenplays, to see movies, and to attend class. Just sitting there with a group of kindred souls can impart, by sheer osmosis, a love of movies and a deeper understanding of their creation. I confess to a bias in favor of the novel, of the musicality of language and its boundless landscape. But I suspect the art of the novel is, in large part, unteachable. Screenwriting, on the other hand, melding a strong concept to a visual format, the union of art and craft, is teachable. Could I distill 20 years' experience into a phrase, it would be that "the emperor wears no clothes." The mystery that has evolved around the word "structure," for example, is just so much bunk. All art has form and lends order to chaos, but if you can dance, you already know about pacing and rhythm. My classes strive to master the "rules" only so that we may creatively break them. We seek to create dangerous, magical, intimate moments for actors, stories rich in human behavior that deliver a satisfying emotional experience. We do it in a supportive workshop atmosphere and through short weekly assignments. We usually have a lot of laughs and make some good friends in the process.