10 Essential Elements to Incorporate Into Writing Your Rom Com

It's Introduce Yourself Weekend at Stage 32! Head over to the Introduce Yourself section of the Stage 32 Lounge and let everyone know who you are, what you're working on, your dreams and aspirations. And be sure to peruse other member's threads. You never know when you're going to make a connection that changes your life!

Taught by Amanda Johnson-Zetterstrom

$129

On Demand Class - For immediate download. Unlimited access for 1 year.

Rating   | Read reviews

Start Learning

Please make sure you use the same email address as the one you use to sign in to Stage 32
apply

- or -

$129.00
TOTAL PRICE:
Overlay Icon

Who Should Attend:

  • Screenwriters
  • Authors
  • Playwrights
  • Producers looking to understand the elements of a successful rom com
  • Directors understanding how to shoot rom coms
  • Executives who want to make sure that their scripts fall in line to be successful
  • Actors looking to understand what it takes to provide a successful rom com performance
  • Rom com lovers

This Next Level Education class has a 91% user satisfaction rate.

Class hosted by: Amanda Johnson-Zetterstrom

Executive at Full Fathom Five

Amanda is an writer based in Brooklyn. She most recently re-wrote Daniel Arsham’s directorial debut FUTURE RELIC. This indie sci-fi film imagines a world where tides have risen so high that cities are drowning, forcing the powers at be to take drastic measures to save mankind. The movie stars Juliette Lewis, James Franco, and Mahershala Ali. James Frey at Full Fathom Five has also hired Amanda to work on film and television treatments. Before venturing out to work on her own projects, the bulk of her career was spent working in development and production. She helped to found Animal Kingdom – and there, she co-produced Destin Daniel Cretton’s SHORT TERM 12, which won both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award at SXSW 2013. She was also an incremental part of seeing films like David Robert Mitchell's IT FOLLOWS, Justin Tipping's KICKS, and Joachim Trier's LOUDER THAN BOMBS move into production - and optioned David Carr’s THE NIGHT OF THE GUN. Full Bio »

Learn directly from Amanda Johnson-Zetterstrom (Short Term 12, It Follows, Friends With Kids)!

We’ve all been there… scrolling on Netflix and HBO Go (and heck, even Hulu Plus) searching madly for a great rom com that we haven’t seen before, because let’s face it: what else do you want to watch when you’re on your couch eating cheese doodles and artisanal ice cream (thank god it’s organic) and wishing to god you weren’t single, or that your husband, well… maybe wasn’t your husband. And, realizing that nothing good has been made in the past ten years (other than About Time), you settle on watching The Wedding Planner or Runaway Bride for the umpteenth time.

I kid, I kid. But, seriously! There aren’t enough good rom coms. You should be writing them!

In this 2 week intensive Stage 32 online course, your host Amanda Johnson-Zetterstrom will outline the 10 essential elements no rom com can survive without, helping you realize how to turn that bad date into legendary Hollywood fodder! (Because everyone knows that Pretty Woman is totally plausible and actually really happened!)

Under the direct guidance of Amanda, during the 2 weeks you will learn:

  • What makes existing romantic comedies work – and how to steal from them.
  • How to make your script stand out from the pack. (Hint: the simplest solution is often the best one.)
  • The crucial elements to write a good rom com!
  • What differentiates a good rom com from a bad one
  • How to hone your own voice
  • How to originate a great idea/hook

The objective of this course is:

  • To give you the tools you need to write a funny, heartfelt, PRODUCIBLE romantic comedy – so that you can see your name in lights (and let’s be real… get paid!)
  • To learn how to identify your voice and perspective as a writer – and realize what differentiates you (in a good way). And to have a succinct answer to the ever-elusive question of: what is your brand?
  • Learning how to write a great script that turns into a great movie – and what the pitfalls are along the way.

Summary:

Part 1 – THE SET UP ELEMENTS

  • A strong lead
    • Our girl!
    • Creating a compelling, three-dimensional character we want to spend two hours with.
  • The love interest.
    • Someone adorable and smart and hot – and perfect (but only for our leading lady – or lass).
  • The best friend.
    • A cooky, quirky, amazing foil (for an amazing character actress).
  • A great hook.
    • Coming up with an amazing logline, title, and concept
  • Inherent conflict
    • What’s the driving force of the story?
    • How to come up with conflict so good that scenes write themselves?

Part 2 – THE PLOT ELEMENTS and THE CRUCIAL ELEMENT

  • The cute "meet".
    • How to craft a perfect moment.
  • The “Benny and the Jets” Moment.
    • Stolen from 27 DRESSES, that moment when we see our leads bond.
    • The moment after which there’s no turning back.
  • The break apart
    • Anxiety, tears, snot. Will they end up together or won’t they? How to make this moment feel real and earned?
  • The epic moment
    • The big kiss. The wedding. The perfect moment.
  • A FRESH VOICE
    • The crucial element. How to discover your own voice – and then use it!

About Your Instructor:

Amanda is an writer based in Brooklyn. She most recently re-wrote Daniel Arsham’s directorial debut FUTURE RELIC. This indie sci-fi film imagines a world where tides have risen so high that cities are drowning, forcing the powers at be to take drastic measures to save mankind. The movie stars Juliette Lewis, James Franco, and Mahershala Ali. James Frey at Full Fathom Five has also hired Amanda to work on film and television treatments.

Before venturing out to work on her own projects, the bulk of her career was spent working in development and production. She helped to found Animal Kingdom – and there, she co-produced Destin Daniel Cretton’s SHORT TERM 12, which won both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award at SXSW 2013. She was also an incremental part of seeing films like David Robert Mitchell's IT FOLLOWS, Justin Tipping's KICKS, and Joachim Trier's LOUDER THAN BOMBS move into production - and optioned David Carr’s THE NIGHT OF THE GUN.


Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: What is the format of a class?
A: Stage 32 Next Level Classes are typically 2 to 4 week ongoing broadcasts that take place online using a designated software program from Stage 32.

Q: Do I have to have to be located in a specific location?
A: No, you can participate from the comfort of your own home using your personal computer! If you attend a live online class, you will be able to communicate directly with your instructor during the class.

Q: What are the system requirements?
A: You will need to meet the following system requirements in order to run the class software: Windows 7 or later Mac OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) or later.
If you have Windows XP, Windows Vista and Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion): The class software does not support these operating systems. If you are running one of those operating systems, please upgrade now in order to be able to view a live class. Upgrade your Windows computer / Upgrade your Mac computer 

Q: What if I cannot attend the live class?
A: If you cannot attend a live class and purchase an On-Demand class, you will have access to the entire recorded broadcast, including the Q&A.

Q: Will I have access to the class afterward to rewatch?
A: Yes! After the purchase of a live or On-Demand class, you will have on-demand access to the audio recording, which you can view as many times as you'd like for a whole year!

Questions?

If you have a generic question about Stage 32 education you can take a look at our frequently asked questions section on our help page, or feel free to contact support with any other inquiries you might have.
 

Reviews Average Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Other education that may be of interest to you:

How To Get A Paying Job In The Film Industry

Learn directly from Amanda Johnson-Zetterstrom, Producer and Independent Filmmaker (Short Term 12, Friends With Kids, It Follows)! In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar you will learn the answer to one of the most asked questions there is in regards to film: how to get a paying job. Whether you’re new to the industry, trying a different line of work, or getting back into the industry after a hiatus, it can feel like walking on to a minefield – it’s tough to know where to begin, how to get your foot in the door and how to get away from unpaid positions. Your host Amanda Johnson-Zetterstrom is here to explain how she got her start in the business, how she worked her way up to a Development Executive position, and give you detailed advice about how to navigate getting a paying job in the industry. You will leave the webinar knowing: If it makes sense for you to get an internship or not. What different jobs exist in the industry - and if they'll still be around in 5 years. How to get a paying job in the film industry rather than unpaid positions. How to write a great resume and cover letter. How much money you can expect to realistically make in different jobs - so you know how much to ask for. What makes the most sense for you, your interests, and your lifestyle when pursuing paid work in the film industry. Your host Amanda Johnson-Zetterstrom has spent the past 7 years working in the independent film industry in New York. She’s headed up development and production at Animal Kingdom, where she co-produced the multi-award winning Short Term 12 – and worked closely on projects like It Follows. She understands how to get a job – and is working exclusively with Stage 32 to share her know-how with you.

Navigating Your Film Into a Major Film Festival

Learn directly from Amanda Johnson-Zetterstrom (Short Term 12, Louder Than Bombs, It Follows, Friends With Kids)! Film festivals. They are one of the best ways to network, market your film, get feedback from judges and audiences, and most importantly, get your work seen. Even better, winning awards at festivals can help you gain major recognition and momentum as a filmmaker. But, if you haven’t submitted a film or attended a festival before, it can be a daunting task to try to get your film into a major festival such as Sundance or South by Southwest. What festival do you choose? How do you submit your film? What happens once you make it into the festival? How soon should you be booking accommodation? Questions like these often prohibit filmmakers from entering the ever-important film festivals. But fear not – we’re here to give you a breakdown of the process of getting your film into a major festival, what to expect once you’re there, and how to give yourself the best chance of making a good impression. In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, Amanda Johnson-Zetterstrom will guide you through the navigation of getting your film into a major festival. Amanda spent years heading up production and development at NYC production shingle Animal Kingdom. Having co-produced Destin Daniel Cretton’s film Short Term 12, which won both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award at SXSW 2013, as well as shepherding over 7 films into major festivals, Amanda knows the ins and outs of what it takes to get into a major film festival and what to do once you’re there.

Avoid Theft: How To Legally Protect Your Script, Idea or Project

Learn directly from Jaia Thomas, Entertainment Attorney who specializes in federal copyright registration and licensing as well as film financing, production and distribution! Do you have an idea for a television show but worried about the legal ramifications of sharing the idea with others? Do you have a film script but don’t know how to properly protect it from copyright or infringement? From Avatar to Empire, hundreds of films and television shows have been faced with infringement and idea theft lawsuits over the years. What is idea theft? And what are the best ways screenwriters, television writers and content creators can protect their ideas and scripts? In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, host Jaia Thomas will provide you with all the legal tools necessary to protect any and every type of script and screenplay. Drawing from her 9+ years of legal experience successfully assisting filmmakers with transactional and intellectual property matters, Jaia will navigate you through the copyright registration process, going step-by-step through the process of registering a script with the United States Copyright Office. Ms. Thomas will also outline some of the key distinctions and misconceptions between registration with the US Copyright Office and the Writers Guild of America. The webinar will also outline some of the key legal precautions writers can take to protect their ideas and scripts during the collaboration and pitching process, as well as provide attendees with a list of technologies available to assist with script protection. You will leave this webinar knowing exactly how to protect your current and future ideas, scripts and projects!

Deconstructing the Script: Her

Learn directly from Danny Manus, an in-demand script consultant and CEO of No BullScript Consulting. He will cover the 10 lessons you can learn from one of the best films of 2014. Everyone wants to write that Academy Award-winning original screenplay, right? The best ways to learn how to write great scripts of that caliber is to READ great scripts of that caliber, study those movies, and learn the lessons these projects can teach. Nominated for 5 Oscars, one of the most acclaimed films of 2013 is HER, written and directed by Spike Jonze, who has already won the Golden Globe and WGA Award for Best Original Screenplay, and is a frontrunner for the Academy Award. In this Webinar, we will go deeper into many different aspects of the film and I will break down the script and go through 10 lessons you can learn from one of the best, most original films of the year that will help you improve your own writing and scripts, no matter what genre you write. Note: If you haven’t seen the movie already, there will be spoilers throughout the class.

Deconstructing the Oscar-Winning Script: Manchester by The Sea

When people think of Manchester By the Sea, they think of an independent film drama that finds comfort in its misery. There is a stoic color palate that highlights the depressing grey of New England and its melancholy protagonist. The script (and film) are also filled with a certain quirkiness and comedy typical of the American working class city by the sea. Through its incredible pain, there are rays of sunshine and humanity that are delicately written and incredibly effective. We've brought in the Development Executive for Mandalay Pictures, Patrick Raymond, to deconstruct this Oscar-winning script. What we will discuss and uncover is the process and elements required that enabled a film as seemingly small and intimate, like Manchester, to become a commercial and critical success. We also will address the elements of writing that attract A-level talent and help create characters that support great performances. Patrick looks forward to the discussion. All attendees will receive the Manchester by the Sea script and we highly recommend you read it in advance of the webinar. 

The Keys to Writing True Stories, Biopics, and Adaptations

Learn directly from Tyler Ruggeri, a screenwriter and former manager with a decade of experience on both sides of the film industry! Since its inception, Hollywood has made films about or inspired by real people and events. In recent years, the "biopic" has become one of the most prestigious and in-demand genres, and six of the nine 2014 Best Picture nominees are based in reality. Compelling true stories are constantly sought after and frequently top The Black List. From CAPOTE to MILK to THE SOCIAL NETWORK to LINCOLN to THE WOLF OF WALL STREET to 12 YEARS A SLAVE, we'll discuss what makes fact-based films viable today, and more importantly how to separate yours from the rest of the pack. This involves shaping the facts of your story into a fictional narrative that supports your unique point of view. We'll also explore the specific steps involved, such as research, story structure, legal issues, and the best way to position your project in a competitive market. While parts of certain films will be mentioned in detail, only a familiarity with the genre is necessary - we won't be studying examples from beginning to end. This overview will serve as an in-depth primer not just for biopic writers, but for all writers to discover stories that can excite and move today's audiences.

register for stage 32 Register / Log In