Writing Compelling Movie Scenes
Learn how screenwriters write for maximum impact by analyzing powerful scenes from movies, taking them apart, and learning what makes them tick.
What you can learn.
- Create a checklist of elements that go into building powerful scenes
- Discover the significant role character plays in driving action and conflict
- Analyze scenes from great films to unpack what makes them successful
- Understand how set pieces exploit conventions of genre for surprising effect
About this course:At their core, movies are about characters, stories and themes. But to bring those big ideas to life, you need to be able to dig down and write compelling scenes. In this course, we’ll analyze great movie scenes and create a checklist of elements that go into building them. We’ll look at how the characters drive the action, ways to generate conflict and drama, balancing emotions with plot, transitional devices, and making sure scenes fit into the bigger puzzle of your movie. On top of all that, we’ll discuss the idea of “set pieces” that exploit genre and make for memorable moments. Students will walk away with an inside look into how great movie scenes are forged and how to use these tools to make their own writing more compelling.
Fall 2020 Schedule
These courses have regular meeting times and are fully online, via remote instruction. Click “See Details” below for more information.
Enrollment opens two weeks prior to course date. Limited to 50 students. Early enrollment required; no admittance on the day.
This course uses remote instruction. As such, instructors use Zoom to offer live class meetings at the designated class meeting time. Students must be present at course meeting times as each student’s final grade may include scores for participation. Please inform your instructor if you will miss a class meeting. You are responsible for any class information you missed. We suggest you arrange with a fellow classmate to share their notes when feasible.