Does anyone know anything about UCLA online screenwritng courses?

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  • pstudios
    replied
    Re: Does anyone know anything about UCLA online screenwritng courses?

    Originally posted by Le Femme Joyeux
    well, I've done the classes at UCLA I've mentioned, I've done a 2 year program at the WBC and I've written endless scripts and short stories so it worked out beautifully in that I internalized the learning and kept writing. One of the short stories I worked on in the online "Writing the Short Story" got published a few months later so that was cool. Directly as a result of the class? I'm not sure. But the teacher was great and my writing partner, Jake gave me great feedback and encouragement which also helped.
    Thanx 4 your input. I haven't heard of WBC, what is it and what does WBC stand for. Do you have any info on it?

    Jennifer

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  • La Femme Joyeuse
    Member

  • La Femme Joyeuse
    replied
    Re: Does anyone know anything about UCLA online screenwritng courses?

    well, I've done the classes at UCLA I've mentioned, I've done a 2 year program at the WBC and I've written endless scripts and short stories so it worked out beautifully in that I internalized the learning and kept writing. One of the short stories I worked on in the online "Writing the Short Story" got published a few months later so that was cool. Directly as a result of the class? I'm not sure. But the teacher was great and my writing partner, Jake gave me great feedback and encouragement which also helped.

    I had more luck meeting and making good friends and colleagues at the WBC program because it is week in and week out for such a long time. The UCLA classes can be a little take-out but I still recommend them.

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  • pstudios
    replied
    Re: Does anyone know anything about UCLA online screenwritng courses?

    Originally posted by Le Femme Joyeux
    pstudios - I took writing the romantic comedy, writing characters from the inside out, writing the comedy, conquering the second act and writing the short story. Do you live in LA? Oh - you're thinking online, yes? (sorry it took me so long to reply, I didn't check this thread! lol)
    Oh and PS How did they work out 4 U????

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  • pstudios
    replied
    Re: Does anyone know anything about UCLA online screenwritng courses?

    Originally posted by Le Femme Joyeux
    pstudios - I took writing the romantic comedy, writing characters from the inside out, writing the comedy, conquering the second act and writing the short story. Do you live in LA? Oh - you're thinking online, yes? (sorry it took me so long to reply, I didn't check this thread! lol)
    Yes I'm in the middle of nowhere, in peace, so on-line is it. Still I would think there would be similarities between the two.

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  • La Femme Joyeuse
    Member

  • La Femme Joyeuse
    replied
    Re: Does anyone know anything about UCLA online screenwritng courses?

    pstudios - I took writing the romantic comedy, writing characters from the inside out, writing the comedy, conquering the second act and writing the short story. Do you live in LA? Oh - you're thinking online, yes? (sorry it took me so long to reply, I didn't check this thread! lol)

    Leave a comment:


  • pstudios
    replied
    Re: Does anyone know anything about UCLA online screenwritng courses?

    I don't plan to and can't start till the summer class. So Hamletta and Alveraz, I'd really like to hear more on how you progress with these course in the upcoming weeks. My current class, with Gotham, doesn't end till may.

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  • Hamletta
    replied
    Re: Does anyone know anything about UCLA online screenwritng courses?

    Alveraz -- I'm doing the online version. I'd much rather do it in person but I'm way too far. I'll check with you later to see what the differences between the two programs are.

    Leave a comment:

  • Guest
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  • alveraz
    Guest replied
    Re: Does anyone know anything about UCLA online screenwritng courses?

    Guess I got in on this thread late, but I made it in the advanced screenwriting class at UCLA, in fact I start tomorrow night. If you're in I'll see you guys there

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  • Cyfress
    replied
    Re: Does anyone know anything about UCLA online screenwritng courses?

    See, everyone thinks I'm bashing books and classes, and I'm not. I said if you need to still be educated in what's going on in stories and how they work, then read and attend away. But there's is a point where you're hearing nothing new and you should have a good grasp on why stories work and don't work. There's a lot of writers at this stage, a lot of people have a lot of knowledge about the goings on of story structure, plot, character, or whatever. But they can't write a good script or they would. So there has to be something else to it. So, the deciding factor of if you do ever write that great story or not, is not the books and classes. I know that just from paying attention.

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  • Jake Schuster
    Member

  • Jake Schuster
    replied
    Re: Does anyone know anything about UCLA online screenwritng courses?

    Especially if you're coming from, say, writing novels, learning the craft of screenwriting is also learning a new way to think. When I first began writing novels I also, because I was moving to London, began to work on teleplays for a market that was then, in the UK at least, a writer's paradise. Most novelists working in England were also writing for TV or the theatre.

    But writing in the dramatic form, whether for TV or film, there is a very different thing. British TV and films tends to be very dialogue-based, where aggressions can be enacted through words; while here in the States (where I'm based now) action is far more important.

    So that back then screenwriting for me wasn't much different from writing novels, and when my first novel was commissioned to be adapted as a feature, my script was very much in the tradition.

    Now, though, writing here, I find learning the craft is vital. My partner is well-schooled in this and she provides a welcome corrective to when I become too literary. I read books on screenwriting, and especially liked, most recently, Paul Gulino's book on sequences. But, yes, if you find courses that can expose you to the structures and tool of screenwriting, you can only gain from them.

    Novel-writing is a very intuitive affair; screenwriting is a very calculated business. It's to your benefit to know the "numbers".

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  • pstudios
    replied
    Re: Does anyone know anything about UCLA online screenwritng courses?

    He was right. For screenwriting, though, I know that the best courses can both expose you to the greatest films and give you direction towards finding a way to deal with the structures and nuances of writing for cinema. Screenwriting is a thing of rules; novel-writing is a great deal more free in how one approaches and practices it.

    But practice is all. John Coltrane would come home from a gig, pick up his sax and practice. He would take the horn and lie down and practice until he fell asleep, and then when he woke he would pick up where he left off. I think the same bullheadedness applies to writing when one wants to become a professional.[/quote]

    That's the kind of thing I hope to get in a class, I think maybe like shaping loose talent into form. To broaden my limited scope to the deeper posibilities of craft. And yup, lot's of practice and feedback, to open my baby eyes to what I haven't yet discovered.
    Jennifer

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  • Hamletta
    replied
    Re: Does anyone know anything about UCLA online screenwritng courses?

    Jake,

    I can only say -- AMEN, BROTHER!

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  • Jake Schuster
    Member

  • Jake Schuster
    replied
    Re: Does anyone know anything about UCLA online screenwritng courses?

    Screenwriting is 90% craft, and thus the elements of it can be taught. Novel-writing is a whole other type of process, and thus an MFA in fiction often counts for nothing. Writing programs for novelists really didn't start appearing until around 1950, and only really caught on the early 70s.

    When I began writing I took the advice of my mentor (who was a much-published writer, both of short-stories and novels), who said, "Well, you've got two degrees in English, so you've read all the great works. Read them again to learn what makes a work of literature stay timeless. And write every day, for hours on end. You'll be published while the MFA students are still trying to shake off the influence of Hemingway and Kerouac."

    He was right. For screenwriting, though, I know that the best courses can both expose you to the greatest films and give you direction towards finding a way to deal with the structures and nuances of writing for cinema. Screenwriting is a thing of rules; novel-writing is a great deal more free in how one approaches and practices it.

    But practice is all. John Coltrane would come home from a gig, pick up his sax and practice. He would take the horn and lie down and practice until he fell asleep, and then when he woke he would pick up where he left off. I think the same bullheadedness applies to writing when one wants to become a professional.
    Jake Schuster
    Member
    Last edited by Jake Schuster; 04-08-2006, 03:08 PM.

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  • Kwvillen
    Member

  • Kwvillen
    replied
    Re: Does anyone know anything about UCLA online screenwritng courses?

    I hear what you're saying, Cyfress, but I think it would look good on a resume, no?

    KWV

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  • Cyfress
    replied
    Re: Does anyone know anything about UCLA online screenwritng courses?

    If you sat down and wote hundreds of pages and made the same mistakes over and over again, there's nothing a book or class would do for you, because if you 'had it' there would be some kind of progression in your writing, you'd naturally do some things that writers do when composing scripts.

    Look, there's nothing wrong with an education in this craft if you feel you do not have a good grasp on what it's all about. When I first got into screenwring I read all the books, I also have taken two writing classes at NYU, my teacher of the class was a former NYU film Grad who had maybe one Soap Opera credit to his name, in five/six years out of school.

    Bottom line is, there's a lot of people out there who 'know' what's been done and what works, but can't get it to work for them. They can write you thousand page doctorite thesis on the 3 act structure, but they can't write what's considered a 'great' script. The deciding factor never will be how many books or how many classes anyone has taken. You have to love to write and be a good writer.

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