The Rochester Association for Film Arts & Sciences, Inc. (RAFAS) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational corporation dedicated to independent film makers, high school students and college students that wish to improve their skills in all aspects of filmmaking and to create a sense of community and a platform for learning through special events. www.rafasny.org
ABOUT THE ROCHESTER WRITERS WORKSHOP
Since 2008, the Writers Workshop has met every other week as a forum for table reads, discussion, suggestions, constructive critique and education. www.rwwny.org
ABOUT SCRIPT STUDIO
Script Studio® is creative writing software for screenwriters, playwrights and novelists that helps you plan your story outline, develop characters, structure your narrative and professionally format your movie script, stage play, TV show or manuscript. Find out more at www.scriptstudio.com
See if you’ve got what it takes to write a TV Pilot! We’re turning the Rochester Writers Workshop into a writers’ room for several upcoming meetings. We plan to dedicate the first segment of our online get-togethers to a reboot challenge.
So far, we’ve decided on a show: GILLIGAN’S ISLAND. It can take place on the ocean, on an alien planet, whatever you like. It can be sitcom or drama, 22 minutes, 44 minutes, or other.
PREMISE: A disparate group of people – a microcosm – are stranded and must find ways to work together to survive. Their goal is to get home.
STORY FOR THE PILOT EPISODE:
Set up who the characters are, and how they got stranded, and what is the nature of their new world. They must first struggle for food and shelter. What are th obstacles othat stand in the way of their goal? Ultimately, by the end of the first episode, they must move (perhaps in a small way) from being individuals to working as a team.
MESSAGE OF THE SHOW: Live together, die alone.
WHAT’S THE NEXT STEP? Write a one-page treatment in paragraph form, general thoughts on what will happen in the pilot script.
NEXT? Outline that first episode. What happens in each scene? Write it out in paragraph or bullet-point format.
We’ll be going over outlines in the next few weeks. It’s not too late to jump in!
I often search the #screenwriting hashtag on twitter for articles and discussion, and this tweet from Jeanne Veillette Bowerman rang true for me. Hearing actors read and perform your words is so important to becoming a better writer!
Here’s a good article from ISA Insider, a site I just discovered that has plenty of great screenwriting content. What are some things that will turn off a potential reader of your work? Writer Lee Jessup talks about passive protagonists, lacking character descriptions, over-written action, dialogue that becomes monologue, and other wrong moves.
Sign up for a free Stage 32 account and you’ll have access to the latest in a series of webinars on writing, sponsored by Netflix. The latest on writing Sci-Fi scripts for streaming television is from Mickey Fisher, creator and showrunner (CBS’s EXTANT, NBC’s REVERIE, National Geographic’s MARS).
A recent episode of Scriptnotes featured special guests Leigh Whannell (Saw, Upgrade, Invisible Man) and astrophysicist/science consultant Dr. Erin Macdonald (Star Trek). They looked at cutting edge areas of science to see what the storytelling possibilities could be.
We’ve talked before about the excellent video lectures from screenwriter Michael Arndt. Well, it came to my attention that he now has a Youtube channel. The content there is much the same as was on his website, but some of his longer lectures are broken down into smaller chunks.
Also, there’s one I don’t remember seeing before, specifically about what he learned in writing Toy Story 3 with the Pixar staff. Arndt does a great job of explaining their process and how it can be applied to live action filmmaking too.