An Introduction to Screenwriting
Want to learn how to write movie screenplays? This 2-day course is the ideal starting point.
Led by AFTRS Screenwriting Lecturer and Cracking Yarns founder, Allen Palmer, you’ll build the foundation of your craft by covering concept, character, story structure, scenes and dialogue. (Visit: www.crackingyarns.com.au)
You’ll be introduced to the 12 steps of the Hero’s Journey illustrated with inspiring clips from films as diverse as Dead Poets Society and Groundhog Day, Schindler’s List and Little Miss Sunshine, Brokeback Mountain and 40 Year Old Virgin.
You will have an opportunity to get feedback on your movie ideas and 4-5 students will get feedback on scenes they’ve submitted prior to the class (and from which you can all learn).
However, there are no writing exercises in the program. This is an introductory class that prepares you for more intensive programs like the AFTRS Graduate Certificate of Story Development & Screenwriting Fundamentals – of which Allen is the Lead Lecturer.
Your screenwriter’s journey starts here!
“Allen was awesome. Created a good energy in class. Very giving. Very positive. Knows structure inside out. Fantastic.”
“I’ve been to a few screenwriting seminars with overseas teachers and Allen’s was much better”
“Perfect course. Great introduction to screenwriting.”
Chris Vogler 'The Writer’s Journey'
Joseph Campbell 'The Power of Myth'
Cracking Yarns screenwriting blog – www.crackingyarns.com.au
Dead Poets Society
The King’s Speech
Day 1 – Saturday
Session 1. Introduction
Why do people watch movies? The four fundamentals of storytelling. Three Act Structure. Syd Field & Robert McKee. What Joseph Campbell discovered. Chris Vogler. Overview of the Hero’s Journey. The Hero’s Inner Journey.
Session 2. The Hero’s Journey – Act I
1. Ordinary World. 2. Call to Adventure (Inciting incident). 3. Refusal of the Call. 4. Meeting with the Mentor. 5. Crossing the First Threshold (First Act Turning Point).
Session 3. The Hero’s Journey – Act II
6. Tests, Allies & Enemies. 7. The Approach. 8. The Ordeal (Midpoint). The key moment of the second act your film MUST have. 9. The Reward.
Session 4. The Hero’s Journey – Act III
10. The Road Back (or Act II Turning Point). 11. The Resurrection or Climax. 12. Return with the Elixir (or Denouement).
Day 2 – Sunday
Session 5. Concept
Why concept matters. Loglines. A chance to share your story ideas.
Session 6. Character
Plot or character more important? How to build great characters. Traits. Contradictions. Details. Connection. Flaw. Character arcs.
Session 7. Scene writing & dialogue.
Elements of a great scene. What is “on the nose” dialogue? What is subtext? Mise en Scene. Collaborative scene writing exercise.
Session 8. From concept to first draft
Logline. Three Sentences. Six tent poles. Sequences. Beat sheets. Scene cards. Outlines. Treatments. Screenwriting software. Routine. Agents and funding. Q&A.Share your scenes.
*DISCLAIMER* AFTRS reserves the right to cancel any course for any reason at any time. In the event of a course being cancelled a full refund of course fees will be provided. If an enrollee wishes to withdraw from a course, they may do so up to 14 days before the course commences and get a full refund. Cancellations within 14 days of course commencement will incur a penalty. For more information on AFTRS Open’s policies, including refund policies, please see
our policies page.