Introduction to Screenwriting for Short Films

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0/10 stars
based on  42 reviews
Provided by:
Cost $8/mo
Start Date On demand
Introduction to Screenwriting for Short Films

Course Details

Cost

$8/mo

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Upcoming Schedule

  • On demand

Course Provider

Skillshare online courses
In Skillshare’s unique philosophy, everyone is a teacher, and everyone is a learner. Rather than a traditional lecture format, courses are offered within a global online learning community in which learners collaborate and learn by doing. Instructors are industry leaders who share their skills with anyone who wants to learn. No credits are offered. Founded by online entrepreneurs Michael Karnjanaprakorn and Malcolm Ong, Skillshare’s online “campus” was launched in April 2011. Its catalog h...
In Skillshare’s unique philosophy, everyone is a teacher, and everyone is a learner. Rather than a traditional lecture format, courses are offered within a global online learning community in which learners collaborate and learn by doing. Instructors are industry leaders who share their skills with anyone who wants to learn. No credits are offered. Founded by online entrepreneurs Michael Karnjanaprakorn and Malcolm Ong, Skillshare’s online “campus” was launched in April 2011. Its catalog has grown from 15 to more than 250 online courses that cover creative arts, entrepreneurship, branding and marketing, lifestyle and technology. The School of MakeOurMark, with courses in photography, illustration and tattooing, was launched in October 2013, and the School of Design went live the following month. Among the instructors who have taught courses are Seth Godin, founder of online marketing firm Yoyodyne, who teaches a class on entrepreneurship; DJ Young Guru, who leads a course on mixing and recording; and actor, writer and director James Franco, whose course focuses on screenwriting for short films. You can begin a Skillshare collaboration by taking an introductory course in a particular area to learn, for example, the fundamentals of Photoshop and expand your knowledge with a five-part, in-depth Photoshop series.

Provider Subject Specialization
Arts & Design
Business & Management
34 reviews

Course Description

I’ve been involved in the world of film since 2007 - acting, directing, producing, writing and teaching. In 2005 I started Rabbit Bandini Productions with my former acting school classmate, Vince Jolivette. Together we’ve produced upwards of 40 films, running the gamut from dramas to comedies; feature-length films to shorts.

Education has played an increasingly important part in my life, having had the opportunity to teach at USC, UCLA, CalArts and NYU. With this Skillshare class, Vince and I will make the lessons we’ve learned in the industry over the last decade accessible to students of any age, anywhere in the world.

This class is definitely geared towards beginners but designed for students of any skill level to find value. Never written for film before? Not a problem, we’ll walk you through our process for getting started. 

Project. Write a screenplay for an 8-minute short film adapted from one of the source texts listed below...

I’ve been involved in the world of film since 2007 - acting, directing, producing, writing and teaching. In 2005 I started Rabbit Bandini Productions with my former acting school classmate, Vince Jolivette. Together we’ve produced upwards of 40 films, running the gamut from dramas to comedies; feature-length films to shorts.

Education has played an increasingly important part in my life, having had the opportunity to teach at USC, UCLA, CalArts and NYU. With this Skillshare class, Vince and I will make the lessons we’ve learned in the industry over the last decade accessible to students of any age, anywhere in the world.

This class is definitely geared towards beginners but designed for students of any skill level to find value. Never written for film before? Not a problem, we’ll walk you through our process for getting started. 

Project. Write a screenplay for an 8-minute short film adapted from one of the source texts listed below. As is the case with screenwriting generally, the most valuable part of this process will be giving and getting feedback on your work from your peers. 

Project Reward. Vince and I will review the top 10 most-liked projects and announce our favorite 3 writers, one of whom will receive 1-on-1 feedback on their work from us. Projects need to be submitted by July 24th, 2014 to qualify. 

Source Texts. I’ve chosen these texts specifically because they’re all written as vivid portraits or character studies which make for great short film fodder. 

  1. The Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters (Free download available)
  2. Winesburg, Ohio: A Group of Tales of Ohio Small-Town Life by Sherwood Anderson
  3. Pastures of Heaven by John Steinbeck

What You'll Learn. 

This class will cover a variety of topics spanning the creative to the technical. Some of what we'll touch on includes: 

  • Concept Development & Adaptation. Articulating your screenplay vision when adapting from written works.
  • Budgeting for short films. The costs you'll need to keep in mind as you set out to write your screenplay. 
  • Screenplay formatting. The intricacies of proper screenplay formatting. 
  • Generating loglines and treatments. Pitching your screenplay to resonate with potential investors. 
Introduction to Screenwriting for Short Films  course image
Reviews 0/10 stars
42 Reviews for Introduction to Screenwriting for Short Films

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Nicole Nelch profile image
Nicole Nelch profile image

Nicole Nelch

None/10 starsCompleted
7 years, 2 months ago
great refresher course/overview and project exercise.
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Antonio Bunt profile image
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Antonio Bunt

None/10 starsCompleted
7 years, 2 months ago
Indeed it is a very straightforward course. It gets the student the basic tools to start a screenplay.
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Marie Incoll profile image
Marie Incoll profile image

Marie Incoll

None/10 starsCompleted
7 years, 2 months ago
Great class! Learnt a lot that I did not know.. Great introduction and the short lessons made it easy to watch and stay interested.
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Deb Jansen profile image
Deb Jansen profile image

Deb Jansen

None/10 starsCompleted
7 years, 2 months ago
It is refreshing to listen to professionals, essentially those who actually work together on a daily basis, share their experiences in all aspects of producing a movie, from concept, pitch, development, budgeting, to the public screening; whether it is a short film or a feature. The lectures are concise, the material accessible, interesting, and costs very little for their value. The chance to collaborate with others using the same source materials, 3 choices for adaptations with a solid date for review, is also unique and challenging task. I look forward to more opportunities such as this one.
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Rosanna Paticchio profile image
Rosanna Paticchio profile image

Rosanna Paticchio

None/10 starsCompleted
7 years, 2 months ago
I think Mr. Franco and Mr. Joviette explained everything that needed to be said in what their experiences are/were and what is expected of us. OK they have thrown us a line, its up to us to grab it and DO something with it. Thanks to this great platform, it enables young talent (and maybe some old) to step up to the plate. What a great opportunity this is with the Skillshare/Franco/Bandini enterprise working at its best for the greater good. I loved the organized succinct plan of action. Everything is explained and accessible. I look forward to completing this Franco project. Merci beaucoup.
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Gustavo Melo profile image
Gustavo Melo profile image

Gustavo Melo

None/10 starsCompleted
7 years, 2 months ago
I really loved it. Both teachers are great and have basic stuff, but good and a lot to teach. I really think I am improving myself with this class, and the Project is great. The feedback from your colleagues is great.
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Emma Kim profile image
Emma Kim profile image

Emma Kim

None/10 starsCompleted
7 years, 2 months ago
As a beginner I found this class very helpful even through I was being taught by James through videos. Of course I wish I could of asked more questions, so with that being said I would love it if the videos were a bit longer :D I have no problem sitting through the extra 5 minutes. ~ the project is easy and straightforward and perfect if you're a fan of Franco's work style. While everyone has there preference of inspiration and style mine is Franco's so I got a lot of out this class. <3 thank you James! Cheers to many more years of a new found love of writing!
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Bianca Lira profile image
Bianca Lira profile image

Bianca Lira

None/10 starsCompleted
7 years, 2 months ago
to be honest, I thought it was too shalow on the subject and too focused on his achievements and personality.
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Manola Carter profile image
Manola Carter profile image

Manola Carter

None/10 starsCompleted
7 years, 2 months ago
The video presentation, ‘Introduction to Screenwriting for Short Films’ with Franco and Vince via Skillshare.com, is hyper informative and direct. It is chock full of industry pointers expounded upon, presented in a casual, hanging out together with your brilliant, focused, successful, yet easy going friends, format. - thx -
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Matt Rodgers profile image
Matt Rodgers profile image

Matt Rodgers

None/10 starsCompleted
7 years, 2 months ago
I have an MA in English Creative Writing and there were still things that I took from this "geared towards beginners" course. I highly recommend it.
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Bonnie Elliott profile image
Bonnie Elliott profile image

Bonnie Elliott

None/10 starsCompleted
7 years, 2 months ago
It was concise with great tips and examples. Great teaching style.
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William Holland profile image
William Holland profile image

William Holland

None/10 starsCompleted
7 years, 2 months ago
I would only recommend this class for someone who has no prior experience in screenwriting. It really is a beginners class and I'm disappointed because only after I paid I discovered the class was not what I expected. Having written a couple of screenplays I didn't like the exercise of adapting someone's else's material. Ordinarily I would not choose to adapt material for which I have no interest or passion but it just that an exercise. I felt the class project limited my creativity. The promotional email was misleading. Its said James Franco wanted to read my screenplay. Meaning the 8 page exercise. There was no syllabus or project assignment made available to actually know what I was signing up for. Also, there is an emphasis on "young talent". Not all undiscovered talent is young. There is too much emphasis on developing the talent of youth and not enough on undiscovered talent. I think the goal is short sighted and again for that... I would only recommend this class for someone who has no prior experience in screenwriting. It really is a beginners class and I'm disappointed because only after I paid I discovered the class was not what I expected. Having written a couple of screenplays I didn't like the exercise of adapting someone's else's material. Ordinarily I would not choose to adapt material for which I have no interest or passion but it just that an exercise. I felt the class project limited my creativity. The promotional email was misleading. Its said James Franco wanted to read my screenplay. Meaning the 8 page exercise. There was no syllabus or project assignment made available to actually know what I was signing up for. Also, there is an emphasis on "young talent". Not all undiscovered talent is young. There is too much emphasis on developing the talent of youth and not enough on undiscovered talent. I think the goal is short sighted and again for that I am disappointed. Nevertheless, you get what you pay for, and it's worth $20 but had I seen a syllabus or the single assignment I don't think I would have bothered. I think Skillshares should be more honest in its promotional materials and not engage in bait and switch tactics. I have the utmost respect for James Franco and feel let down. I don't think he really wants to read my screenplay.
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Rating Details


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  • 5 stars
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  • 3 stars
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  • 1 stars
  • 5 stars
  • 4 stars
  • 3 stars
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Rankings are based on a provider's overall CourseTalk score, which takes into account both average rating and number of ratings. Stars round to the nearest half.