Screenwriter and author Skip Press began teaching at UCLA Extension Writers Program in 1992 with
How To Write What You Want & Sell What You Write, which became his first published writing book.
The electronic version of this book was a finalist in the first Epic Awards
for ebooks in the United States. Three editions of Skip's Writer's Guide to Hollywood Producers, Directors and
Screenwriters' Agents became Hollywood how-to bibles for aspiring screenwriters
and put him in touch with hundreds of aspiring writers all over the world.
Giving Hollywood advice led to Skip being asked to create an e-course on
Your Screenwriting Career. He taught the course online for eight years and it
was offered through an extension program at 1,500 colleges around the country. Thousands
of aspiring writers are graduates of this popular course.
Skip, a single dad, lives in beautiful almost downtown Burbank, California with his teenagers. He says, "I try
to write something brilliant every single day, because I'm too dumb to quit and no one will hire
me at a real job, anyway. I'm not complaining..."
This very thorough course will give aspiring screenwriters an insider view of the
business of screenwriting, as well as an overview of industry trends, historical perspectives,
and a first-hand knowledge of the structure of a screenplay. Participants will learn how to
successfully write for this glamorous and lucractive market. Veteran screenwriter and multi-title
author Skip Press has been teaching this popular course to thousands of writers over the
past twenty years. Topics covered in the course include:
The History of Storytelling - Too many aspiring screenwriters don't know the
influences from which many feature films are drawn—some of those influences are ages old! After
this lesson, you'll understand the full arc of Western storytelling, from the ancients to the
beginning of film.
The Life of Hollywood - Great scenes in today's Hollywood movies are often reworked
from classic earlier films. Starting with the early screenwriters known as scenarists you'll
learn how the classic Hollywood movie formula came to be. In this lesson, we'll take a close
look at filmmaking's beginnings, not only in the United States, but in France and Russia as
The Evolution of Screenwriting - When television became prominent, people thought the
film business would die. The same was said about the Internet's impact on film and TV. In this
lesson, you'll learn about the changes that new media have brought to screenwriting over the
years, and we'll discuss how to use it all to your advantage as a screenwriter today.
Mining the World to Find Your Heart - Ultimately, great filmmakers create the films
they truly want to see on screen. Since you'll write your best screenplays from the ideas you're
passionate about, today we'll cover how to find the best ideas to help you create a marketable
screenplay that could jumpstart your career.
Superstar Screenplay Structure - The greatest buildings are born from a detailed
blueprint. The same is true of great films, so today you'll create your screenplay blueprint. A
screenplay is very different from some forms of writing—a workable screenplay structure is a
must! From a premise to an outline to the mechanics of successful screenplays, this lesson will
provide you with an array of tools to help you build your dream.
Inside the Hero's Heart - People who love movies often love them because of great
protagonists, but the best heroes and heroines don't appear by accident. In this lesson, you'll
discover proven methods of developing main characters that will thrill everyone, from script
readers to movie audiences.
Inside the Villain's Brain - Every great bad guy is the hero of his own movie. That's
just one example of the tips you'll gain from this lesson, which will help you create a
wonderfully terrible villain that will help your story conflict seem built-in and logical.
Organizing Your World with 3x5 Cards - Successful screenwriters use a logical method
to organize both their movies and their lives so they can write in peace. You'll learn how to do
just that in this lesson. You'll also discover the secrets of the all-important first 10 pages,
and how to keep working your script toward perfection.
Structure Outside the Lines - There are many theories about screenplay construction,
but some of them are worn-out or a waste of time. In this step-by-step screenplay creation
lesson, you'll discover the Shaping Force, an aspect of all successful movies. This knowledge
will allow you to be as creative as possible without restricting your imagination like some
methods inevitably do.
Making the Perfect Screenplay Better - In this lesson, I'll show you how to read your
screenplay with a Hollywood reader's eye so that you can see your screenplay as it will be
viewed by a Hollywood production company. Thus equipped, you'll be able to rewrite your
screenplay to greatly enhance your chances of a sale.
Reading, Polishing and Reality - Once you've written your screenplay, it's like a new
baby and you'll likely be overly protective of it. That's only natural, so in this lesson I'll
show you how to get past such emotions and keep yourself progressing toward a potential
Getting Your Script Out to People Who Matter - Just as there exists a step-by-step formula for
creating a saleable screenplay, there is an easily followed method for marketing your work for
maximum results. After this lesson, you'll feel much closer to your dream than you might have
thought possible when you began!
When you have completed this course, you should be able to:
Understand the basic principles of
storytelling that have evolved in the Western world over the ages as
well as the basic screenplay structure.
Have an understanding of the evolution of Hollywood screenwriting.
Know how screenwriting has changed through the development of television and the Internet.
Learn how to develop the best possible screenplay for you to personally write.
Possess a comprehension of basic screenplay structure.
Develop a compelling protagonist for your first screenplay.
Create a memorable villain that any actor would love to play.
Get your screenwriting life organized, so that you can get your screenplay written.
Discover a formula for building a great screenplay.
Gain a grasp of tools to use as much as necessary to improve a screenplay.
Complete a self-paced assessment of your screenplay that sheds even more light on improving it.
Gain an understanding of screenplay marketing that will allow you to approach Hollywood with confidence.