Are there any online affordable courses about screenwriting?

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  • cvolante
    replied
    Re: Are there any online affordable courses about screenwriting?

    I have taken 2-3 classes at UCLA Extension online over the years. I can't remember how much it cost, but I certainly didn't feel ripped off. They do an online/conference thing so if you can't "be there" during the class, you can still get all the info.

    Leave a comment:


  • castilleja32
    replied
    Re: Are there any online affordable courses about screenwriting?

    Originally posted by finalact4 View Post
    I agree with Comicbent, what do you feel are your deficiencies? Yes, you can take a course, BUT you can also learn everything you need to know on line. It's here for the taking.

    Online courses can be a distraction from writing.
    Very good advice in this thread, and great list of resources from fa4 for learning about screenwriting.

    But learning about it isn't the same thing as putting yourself on the line and being pushed in a class to write, rewrite, revise, make things clearer, bring out character arcs, tighten your story, and so much more.

    To learn how to write a screenplay, there are plentiful resources online (and good tips in this thread on avoiding some of the things that could waste your time and money).

    But there's no substitute for a screenwriting class where you write, get feedback, rewrite, and go deeper into the process. Plus there's so much clarity to be gained on what's working and what's not through a spectrum of feedback from both the teacher and other writers.

    It doesn't have to be a pricey college or university class; there are many online classes and extension courses that are very good and affordable. I'd say trust your instincts, if you feel drawn to the stimulation of a class then there are probably lots of choices in your price range, do some research on the instructors and course ratings.

    Also, classes can be a lot of fun, it's enjoyable to be immersed in writing and learn from the creative ideas and feedback of others in the class. It's just a different experience from gathering lots of stuff online to read.

    Has anyone mentioned go into the story? That site is loaded with resources and also offers classes.

    Leave a comment:


  • ComicBent
    replied
    Re: Are there any online affordable courses about screenwriting?

    Thanks!

    Leave a comment:


  • LateNightWriter
    replied
    Re: Are there any online affordable courses about screenwriting?

    It looks good to me, Comic Bent. And let me add that, as a techno idiot, I REALLY appreciate your being here and being so generous in offering your expertise!

    Late Night Writer

    Leave a comment:


  • ComicBent
    replied
    Re: Are there any online affordable courses about screenwriting?

    Again, the guide is just a Quick Start — how to get the program, install it, install the fonts, install the templates, and set some preferences.

    The feel of the program is a little different from what you have in a more typical Windows program, and I wanted everyone to benefit from this great scriptwriting software without being put off by the unfamiliarity of it.

    In the longer version, which I am still trying to work on, I will have a lot more details about features of the program, and I will include some basic things about screenwriting — some principles for newbies who are not sure how to go about writing a script.

    Let me know if I have any errors. I think that the current Quick Start is in good shape.

    Leave a comment:


  • LateNightWriter
    replied
    Re: Are there any online affordable courses about screenwriting?

    Thanks, Comic Bent! I will use your guides.

    Late Night writer

    Leave a comment:


  • Centos
    replied
    Re: Are there any online affordable courses about screenwriting?

    Originally posted by ComicBent View Post
    Thoughts on Trelby
    When I posted my comments on Trelby, I swear that I thought of Centos, because I knew that he was a user of the program.
    I've become that predictable?

    Originally posted by ComicBent View Post
    I opened Trelby just now to recheck some things.

    My two big complaints about Trelby are:

    (1) It is not Unicode-compliant. You are not able to make an em-dash, which is a — kind of dash, the dash that you see in most printed material. Frankly, I hate the old typewriter method of using -- for an em-dash in screenplays. By the way, depending on the program, these hyphen -- dashes sometime split apart at the end of a line. But back to Trelby. You cannot create an em-dash with the usual Windows code of 0151 for the character, nor can you create the Unicode version of it and paste it into Trelby. You are stuck in Typewriter Land.
    That one's not a big deal to me. I still have fond memories of typewriters and, if Trelby's output looks "typewriter-ish" that's almost a plus for me -- if I was writing stuff with foreign language quotes that might be a different deal, but an em-dash vs "--" just makes it look more "authentic."

    Originally posted by ComicBent View Post
    (2) It is just plain clunky. I opened it a few minutes ago to recheck the em-dash issue, just to make sure, and I could not quickly figure out how to designate a line to be a Scene Heading or Action. Yes, I figured it out, but nothing is intuitive in the interface. I remember that when I tried to use it a few years ago, the Copy/Paste method was just crazy. Yes, I learned how to do it, but it was contrary to the usual way of doing things. I noticed that the Scene Heading is bold (which I do not want), and I vaguely remember that you can change that, but with Trelby you have to take time to figure out everything. It tends to be obscure, and the interface is pretty bleak-looking.
    It's different, but I wouldn't say it's "clunky" -- at least not when you get used to it. Changing elements is easy, TAB key or Right-Click. I haven't done any copying an pasting in quite awhile -- so I'll have to take your word for that. The bold Scene Heading is easy to change (and even if you don't change it, it isn't passed on to the final PDF document). As for "bleak looking" -- I call that "clean." The first thing I did when I tried out the FADE IN: Demo was tried to make it looks as much like Trelby as I could. I like "simple."

    Originally posted by ComicBent View Post
    Anyway, Fade In at $50 is great.
    Agreed. It's a good deal, if you need it. For as little as I use a screenplay formatter "free" is even better. Also, for someone who is just trying out screenplay writing, Trelby is free for learning screenplay formatting. I think the combination of YouMeScript and Trelby (for me) is about ideal. I can write anywhere I have an Internet connection and -- as long as I have one computer that will run Trelby -- I can import that script and make a PDF document or save in formatted text.

    If I still used Windows machines I would probably still be using my old Move Magic Screenwriter. I still think for ease of use that was the best screenwriting program ever designed. Unfortunately it looks like MMS development has ended. (Development for MMS never really advanced much after the original developer of ScriptThing stopped working on it.)

    Sorry to ramble. I agree that FADE IN: Pro is good -- but I feel duty bound to defend Trelby's "honor."

    Leave a comment:


  • ComicBent
    replied
    Re: Are there any online affordable courses about screenwriting?

    Sorry to be so late in getting back to this, folks. Yesterday was a busy and tiring day.

    PDF Versions
    Here are some links to the PDF version of the Quick Start for Fade In. Various sizes are available. The smaller sizes will display pretty well on handheld devices without getting scrunched too much.

    Ebook Versions
    I love ebooks and the concept behind them. I had epub/Kindle versions, but I ran into problems because the various devices and software programs do things the way that they want to instead of following a standard. So I am still tweaking the ebook versions.

    A Future Version
    Also, for the future, I have a much longer version of this manual (not just a Quick Start) that discusses screenwriting in addition to being a manual to help you set up Fade In. To confess fully, I have been working on the longer version, off and on, for a couple of years, but one thing always leads to another in the discussions, and then I realize that it has all become boring. Right now I am in a lull in the work on it, but I will resume soon, I think.

    Links to the PDF Versions

    STANDARD US PAPER
    (8.5 x 11")
    http://www.rolandstroud.com/FadeIn/F...k-USLetter.pdf

    A4 PAPER
    Standard typing paper for most of the world.
    (8.27 x 11.7" ... 210 x 297mm)
    http://www.rolandstroud.com/FadeIn/FadeIn-Quick-A4.pdf

    A5 PAPER/DISPLAY
    Good for a large tablet.
    (5.83 x 8.27" ... 148 x 210mm)
    http://www.rolandstroud.com/FadeIn/FadeIn-Quick-A5.pdf

    C6 PAPER/DISPLAY
    Good for a small/medium-sized tablet; I use this size for my Galaxy Tab 7"
    (4.49 x 6.38" ... 114 x 162mm)
    http://www.rolandstroud.com/FadeIn/FadeIn-Quick-C6.pdf

    A6 PAPER/DISPLAY
    Good for a smartphone. I use this on my Android smartphone.
    (4.13 x 5.83" ... 105 x 148mm)
    http://www.rolandstroud.com/FadeIn/FadeIn-Quick-A6.pdf


    I have not checked these for about three months. I think that they are all in good shape. However, if you find an error or something that I really messed up, let me know by Private Message or email. Of course, let me know if you cannot download these. I need to get an index up. Unfortunately I have been too busy to take the time. I will try to do better.


    Thoughts on Trelby
    When I posted my comments on Trelby, I swear that I thought of Centos, because I knew that he was a user of the program.

    I opened Trelby just now to recheck some things.

    My two big complaints about Trelby are:

    (1) It is not Unicode-compliant. You are not able to make an em-dash, which is a - kind of dash, the dash that you see in most printed material. Frankly, I hate the old typewriter method of using -- for an em-dash in screenplays. By the way, depending on the program, these hyphen -- dashes sometime split apart at the end of a line. But back to Trelby. You cannot create an em-dash with the usual Windows code of 0151 for the character, nor can you create the Unicode version of it and paste it into Trelby. You are stuck in Typewriter Land.

    (2) It is just plain clunky. I opened it a few minutes ago to recheck the em-dash issue, just to make sure, and I could not quickly figure out how to designate a line to be a Scene Heading or Action. Yes, I figured it out, but nothing is intuitive in the interface. I remember that when I tried to use it a few years ago, the Copy/Paste method was just crazy. Yes, I learned how to do it, but it was contrary to the usual way of doing things. I noticed that the Scene Heading is bold (which I do not want), and I vaguely remember that you can change that, but with Trelby you have to take time to figure out everything. It tends to be obscure, and the interface is pretty bleak-looking.

    Anyway, Fade In at $50 is great. You can add the mobile version for your tablet/phone for $5. You have to keep the scripts, for the mobile version, in Dropbox. I have seen some people complain about this, but I am not sympathetic with those complaints when you can get a Dropbox account of 2 gigabytes for free.

    Let me know if encounter any problems with the Quick Start. Again, sorry to be so late getting back to this.

    [email protected]

    Leave a comment:


  • finalact4
    replied
    Re: Are there any online affordable courses about screenwriting?

    I agree with Comicbent, what do you feel are your deficiencies? Yes, you can take a course, BUT you can also learn everything you need to know on line. It's here for the taking.

    Online courses can be a distraction from writing.

    If you want to increase your knowledge about story structure and character motivation including flaws, weaknesses and arc, I would suggest this youtube series that will cost you nothing.

    This guy is amazing. The information he gives is really grounded. It may seem simplistic at first, but he breaks down how to write a story really, really fast. That covers the first 5 webisodes, I think. Then he breaks it down with his own novel that he's writing as he's doing the webisodes.

    Everything he says applies to screenwriting. I download his story structure guide and use it along with STC beat sheet for a quick visual check on my stories.

    I've taken classes, I've worked with consultants, I've read and referred to countless books and these webisodes will save you time.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54l835una7A watch them all straight through. It's worth it. This guy is really talented.

    Then, the single biggest book that had impact on my writing was Karl Iglesias' "Writing for Emotional Impact." I have all of his DVDs from the Creative Writing expo. It will change you and your writing. Again-- amazing.

    Truby has a terrific series of audio MP3 CDs that are very insightful. I listen to them in the car whenever I'm prepping a new spec. I have the entire series. I used his insights for both blockbusters and sci-fi epics with my last two specs. I listen to them over and over. I never get tired of them.

    The Writer's Journey by Christopher Vogler -- a must have, imo.

    The Hero's 2 JourneysThe 2-dvd version of both Christopher Vogler and Michael Hague on a film's inside and outside journey. You can play the video or rip it to an MP3 format and listen away.

    Bill Martell's Little Blue Books and cds on the action and thriller genre-- amazing insightful. Good listening over and over. Also, his book on action that is out of print but available online. I think Terry Russio made a great comment about this book.

    A series of three books: Positive Traits Thesaurus, Negative Traits Thesaurus, and The Emotion Thesaurus. In order to write great characters you must understand human nature. These three books are invaluable when crafting complex, three dimensional characters.

    Save The Cat Invaluable resource.

    Dave Mamet's memo to staff. If you don't have it, I can email it to you, just PM me.

    Scirptnotes with John August and Craig Mazin. Listen to it religiously every week.

    There are a sh!t ton of of videos on youtbe-- get watching.

    You might not be able to get all this for $500, but if it's more, it's worth it. Every penny, imo.

    I am currently reading Aristotle's Poetics for Screenwriting because Aaron Sorkin says so, and I happen to be taking his new online class in like, 37 days.


    Those are my recommends...

    Leave a comment:


  • Centos
    replied
    Re: Are there any online affordable courses about screenwriting?

    Originally posted by ComicBent View Post
    ‹Trelby› is now abandonware with some distinct shortcomings.
    Actually, it's not. Supposedly "soon" a new version will be released. Maybe it should be called "HibernationWare." I guess I just don't know what its shortcomings are -- in Linux (at least) it saves well to Formatted Text and to PDF formats. It's what I use to post "snippets" to Done Deal.

    At any rate, for someone who wants to learn basic screenplay formatting, it still works fine. (Although I don't know if there are any issues using it on Windows 8.x or 10.)

    EDIT: I'm test driving Linux Mint 18 (based on Ubuntu 16.04) and Trelby won't install due to lack of support for python-wxgtk2.8 -- so, I guess, I should withdraw the Trelby suggestion -- at least until (if) they get this dependency issue solved. (I can still use it on my wife's Windows 7 machine and on Linux Mint 17.x -- based on Ubuntu 14.04). I have no way of knowing if Trelby will work on Windows 8.x and 10.

    EDIT 2: Fade In Pro is impressive. I just installed the Demo version on this test of Linux Mint Mate 18 (running from thumb drive) and it's even slicker than it was when I tried it last -- a couple years ago.
    Last edited by Centos; 07-06-2016, 03:06 PM.

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  • MPrince
    replied
    Re: Are there any online affordable courses about screenwriting?

    Thank you for your responses to my thread, they are very helpful!

    Leave a comment:


  • LateNightWriter
    replied
    Re: Are there any online affordable courses about screenwriting?

    Hey ComicBent--

    I would LOVE to get your quick start PDF guide to <Fade In>! I have Final Draft 7.1 but I'm considering a new computer with Windows 10 and I do not want to buy another license for FD (already had the current license on 2 computers).

    I loaded the free trial of Fade In, but I'm a complete techno idiot and got overwhelmed. An easy tutorial would sure help. Thanks!

    Late Night Writer

    Leave a comment:


  • ComicBent
    replied
    Re: Are there any online affordable courses about screenwriting?

    So I guess I will be the skeptical inquisitor here.

    What exactly is so difficult? What do you not understand? If you can identify for us what your obstacles or uncertainties are, we might be able to help.

    You really do not have to take a class to learn how to write a screenplay. I would agree fully that being part of a group would be helpful. But that kind of thing takes a lot of commitment from its members, and a group like that may be difficult to find. Writing is truly a solitary task. You can ask for feedback and for some specific technical advice, but then the burden is on you to look at a blank computer screen and begin sketching in some dialogue and action.

    You just type in what the characters say and what they do. And you have some very general guidelines about how to do that — things like being efficient in the dialogue and action. You try to keep the dialogue and action lean and on point, so that the readers and viewers do not get bored. Those are just guidelines. The actual application takes practice — but it really is something that you can learn.

    All of that relates to the how of writing.

    Or is the problem really just that you do not know what to write? The what is a much more difficult problem to solve. But if you know what you want to write, the how is something that you can learn just by doing it. Feedback helps, and you can get that here by posting some pages.

    You can post questions in the Basics forum about things that you do not know how to do. You can post some script pages in the forum dedicated to that.

    Some people made software recommendations above. I only recommend ‹Fade In› these days, because it is a phenomenal program that only costs $50 US. And you can export text that you can post into the Script Pages forum with no formatting hassles; you only have to use [code] and [/code] tags around your posted text (at start and finish).

    ‹Final Draft› is too expensive and does not compare favorably overall with ‹Fade In›. ‹Celtx› is not worth the effort, and ‹Trelby› is now abandonware with some distinct shortcomings. ‹Movie Magic Screenwriter› has apparently conceded the field in terms of updating its scriptwriting program, though the company still sells it along with some other software that has a special market in the film industry.

    ‹Fade In› updates are free.

    I wrote a Quick Start guide (a PDF) for ‹Fade In› which I will send to you if you want it. I have it available for free on my website, but I cannot go to my website at the moment to find the precise address (it is not indexed on the site).

    EDIT: And, by the way, if you have any specific questions or some issues with which you would like some help, but you do not want to post publicly, you may write to me directly.

    [email protected]

    Leave a comment:


  • Grandmaster
    replied
    Re: Are there any online affordable courses about screenwriting?

    I really, really, really like the idea behind Stage 32, but unfortunately, it seems to exist solely to sell sh*t to wannabe writers.

    I'd say avoid crap like that (and as pointed out above, instead read FREE articles/information posted by professionals).

    Leave a comment:


  • JoeBanks
    replied
    Re: Are there any online affordable courses about screenwriting?

    our Girl in Gray (Max)

    http://theafw.com/

    Leave a comment:

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