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Screenwriting for Beginners

How to write a Screenplay - Introduction short course

Do you wonder where to start and how to write a screenplay? Do you have a great idea for film or television but don’t know how to develop it into a script? Here is your opportunity to discover how.

The old adage is that you don’t run before you can walk. This six week short course will teach you the key building blocks of constructing a great screenplay.

Crucial to this and where many writers falter is that they fail to understand how to construct a great scene, create a fascinating character and understand the over-arching three act structure.

As a beginners course, our focus will be on the following fundamentals:

  • Studying some great movie/TV scenes and talk about and why they work for us as drama.
  • Write our own scenes and analyse them as a group to see how they could be made more dramatic and effective.
  • Look at how to create a great protagonist and how to give him a journey we want to see them go on.
  • Spend a lesson on examining how the bigger picture is planned using the three-act structure.
  • Discuss writing as a team and the culture of the writers’ room. And together we will work on a scene as a team.

Each week the course tutor will set a quick and easily achievable homework writing task, such as a short scene or a character description. The following week the group will read the scenes and discuss them and how to improve them using the techniques and guidelines you will be taught such as turnarounds, power shifts, the use of information and when to reveal it, character arcs, and the building blocks to make a great character.

As we near the end of the course, we will create a short sequence of scenes with our characters and finally professional actors will come in to bring the scenes to life and we will get their feedback on the final scenes.

The course is fun, non-judgmental and the homework is optional. Most of all, it will give you a bedrock of support to help you write, enjoy the process and boost your creativity.

Course duration

There are 6 taught sessions (6 weeks) held at Brighton Film School, one evening class each week. There may be instances when the group agrees to extend the course to 8 weeks to allow for reading breaks, work breaks and independent creative study. This is at no extra cost.

'How to Write a Screenplay' timetable

This course is taught on a Tuesday evening 18.45-20.45pm. Dependent on the group you may wish to work in addition outside these times using our studio space when not in use by other groups.

The 'How to Write a Screenplay' course has three start dates:

  • Tuesday 26th September 2017
  • January 2018 (date TBC)
  • April 2018 (date TBC)

About the tutor... MARTIN SADOFSKI

Born in Bradford from a Russian Jewish background. He painted sets for Bradford Playhouse, and developed an interest in theatre. He studied English and Theatre at Manchester University for three years.

'Outside Of Heaven' his first play was winner of the 1995 Yorkshire Playwrights competition. It received a full sell out production at the Royal Court in London.

"This is fine, pulsating writing which ... is likely to be hailed as one of the debuts of the year. - Lyn Gardner, The Independent

Following this he spent two years as the ITV sponsored writer in residence at the National Theatre in London.

Martin then progressed to writing films and Television drama. “Walking On the moon” about a teenager who is bullied at school, directed by BAFTA winning director Peter Kosminsky.

Described by Time Out as "brilliant", Martin's two-part BBC television drama BLOOD AND PEACHES about Bradford youth was screened in 1996.

In the late nineties he worked on the New Labour Election campaign and wrote three party political Broadcasts.

He has written three acclaimed single films for BBC one.

“The Hitch” “Your Mother Should Know” “Come Fly With Me”

He has worked uncredited for Miramax films as a script fixer.

His last theatre play ‘Nevermind’ about Kurt Cobain played to full houses at the Old Red Lion Theatre in Islington in July 2009 .

“There's a reason the theatre exists, and it’s to see really terrific new plays like this. Grab it before it goes.” - The Evening Standard.

His feature film Seamonsters won best film at Nantes Film festival 2013, and was nominated for best feature at Raindance 2013 and Austin Film festival 2013.

His advertising and branded content films include “Celia & Chloe” a teen drama series in partnership with Disney. He recently wrote the short film for Prostate Cancer UK Charity “Fathers Day” A cinema short drama stariing Ray Winstone, John Simm, and Charles Dance which won an award at Cannes.

He is currently developing a three part series for American TV with producer/director Charles Beeson.

Course fees

Please see our course fees page.