A hero is only as good as his villain.
In this seminar, we will explore how to develop characters for the screen. Using a series of character development tools, you will learn how to define you character from the ground up: both by who they are on the surface and by their internal needs and external wants.
We will also talk about:
- visual ways to teach your audience about your character
- how to use character to get your audience instantly and fully invested in your story
- the crucial ways that conflict illustrates, builds, and changes a character over the course of a story
A well-drawn character will suck in your viewers and hold their investment and attention until the end. Join us for this high-powered seminar!
Nov. 6, 2019
7:00-9:00 p.m. EST
In screenwriting, a character is defined by their choices and actions. In this seminar, we will explore how to develop characters for the screen. Using a series of character development tools, you will learn how to define you character from the ground up: not just who they are on the surface, but their internal needs and external wants.
We will also talk about visual ways to teach your audience about your character and how to use character to get your audience fully invested in your story. We will look at examples of character introductions to understand how much can be learned in just a few frames. And finally, we will talk about the crucial ways that conflict illustrates, builds, and changes a character over the course of a story.
The online seminar is fully interactive and takes place via live video conference (which is recorded, so you can watch it on replay). During the seminar, you’ll have ample opportunity to share your work, talk through and practice craft issues, and ask questions about the genre.
Assignments, readings, and video clips will guide you on your screenplay writing journey.
Isn’t a screenplay just a story?
Not exactly. While a screenplay tells a story, it is actually a blueprint for the final visual product. It will be used by the producers, directors, casting agents, actors, location scouts, set designers, costume department, etc. to bring together all the elements that make a movie or TV series. It is a very collaborative document and the success of every department starts with the writer.
How is telling a story for the screen different from writing any other type of story?
Film and television are visual mediums. What is described in a book can range from the physical surroundings, to the smells, to the deepest thoughts and feelings of a character. We spend time in their internal world, getting to know them and bonding with them. In screenwriting, if it can’t be seen on the screen, it shouldn’t be in the script.
Screenwriting forces the writer to ask: “How do I SHOW what the character thinks and feels since I can’t TELL the audience directly?” This includes actions and dialogue that convey emotional subtext.
Do I have to buy special software?
Not at all! While screenwriting does use special software like Final Draft and Move Magic Screenwriter there are free online alternatives that will help you format your screenplay. Of course, once you fall in love with screenwriting, you may want to purchase the more comprehensive software.
What is the seminar format?
The class will meet in real time over interactive video conference to hear Rebecca’s lecture, and talk about the various craft, theory, and production elements in screenplay writing. All materials will be provided including assignment details.
How the online seminar works
- After enrolling, you will receive an email with information about the seminar.
- A few minutes prior to the video meeting, you will receive an email with a link to your class’ video meeting. Click on it, and you’ll be brought into the secure meeting where you can take part in the interactive conversation.
Rebecca Hales is a graduate of the Canadian Film Centre’s Bell Media Prime Time TV program and holds an MFA from University of British Columbia. In 2016 she was awarded the Telefilm New Voices award at the Toronto Screenwriting Conference and was one of the Corus Entertainment Writer’s Apprentice Program participants at the Banff World Media Festival. Her credits include script supervising the critically acclaimed and Canadian Screen Award winning CTV Series Cardinal – Blackfly season, a writing credit on Season 1 of Travelers, the Showcase/Netflix sci-fi series from showrunner Brad Wright (Stargate franchise), working in the development room of Solstice, another Brad Wright original series, interning on the CTV drama series Saving Hope, and the Women in Film and Television Toronto Showcase award winning short film “Dissecting Gwen.” In 2018 her political crime thriller Amazonas was short listed for the NSI Totally Television award. She is currently developing a number of projects with Rusty Halo Productions, has created a half-hour comedy series with creative partners Katherine Barrell (Wynonna Earp)and Ray Galletti with the support of producer JB Sugar(Bitten, Dark Matter), and multiple solo projects.