Stage 32 Screenwriting Class: Master the Art of the Screenplay with Doug Atchison (AKEELAH AND THE BEE, BRIAN BANKS)

Payment plans available - contact Harrison at h.glaser@stage32.com for details
Taught by Doug Atchison

$599

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Stage 32 Next Level Education has a 97% user satisfaction rate.

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Class hosted by: Doug Atchison

Award-winning Feature Filmmaker at AKEELAH AND THE BEE, BRIAN BANKS

Doug Atchison has taken the very journey that you're embarking on -- and he's now a veteran filmmaker and much sought after screenwriter known for, amongst many other projects, writing and directing the award-winning feature film, AKEELAH AND THE BEE. AKEELAH (starring Laurence Fishburne, Angela Bassett, and Keke Palmer) was a commercial and critical success for which Doug was awarded the NAACP Image Award for Best Screenplay. More recently Doug wrote the screenplay for BRIAN BANKS (starring Aldis Hodge, Greg Kinnear, and Morgan Freeman) for which he won the Humanitas Prize and was nominated for the NAACP Image Award for Best Screenplay. Throughout his career, Doug has written screenplays and TV projects for most major studios and production companies including Dreamworks, Lionsgate, ABC, Disney, HBO, Miramax, Blumhouse, Relativity, Dimension, Walden Media, and many more. Doug’s storied and impressive background has allowed him to develop and master the art of screenwriting, a skill set he’s ready to share with the Stage 32 community. Full Bio »

Summary

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Work one-on-one with award-winning and sought after screenwriter Doug Atchison (AKEELAH AND THE BEE, BRIAN BANKS) over six weeks, as he goes deep into his own writing process from planning through rewriting and gives you the tools to become a better writer yourself.

You will also have the ability to ask questions and communicate with Doug via email throughout the class. 

Plus, Doug will be sharing private and exclusive documents along the way, including his own drafts and planning documents for his past films.

 

Get the screenwriting mentorship you've been looking for and take part in one of Stage 32's highest rated classes ever.

 

 

Praise for Doug's Previous Stage 32 Screenwriting Class

 

"I absolutely loved Doug’s class. Of the many classes I have taken, his was exceptional. The format was great. The homework was spot on in complementing the class. Doug has a great way of presenting the information so it is readily understandable. He is the “real deal.”"

-Diane D.

 

"I really enjoyed this class; Doug was an excellent instructor. Besides his in-depth knowledge, I very much appreciated his openness and vulnerability with the group about his process, writing and experience. He was engaging and the assignments he gave helped with writing process. I would definitely recommend his class."

-Lolade L.

 

I enjoyed every minute of each class and loved Doug’s teaching style. Some people have a natural talent for teaching and Doug is one of those rare individuals. The examples he used to help us understand the process of screenwriting were well thought out and easy to follow. I am so thankful that I was smart enough to sign up for Doug’s class – I learned so much in such a short period of time

-Susan S.

 

"I'm thinking about my process in a completely new way. This was the best tuition for writing insight that I've ever spent in my life."

-Lisa N.

 

 

What You'll Learn

In this six session class, Doug will guide you through the full process of screenwriting, the mastery of which has allowed him to sustain a 20-plus year career in Hollywood. Each session will delve into a different phase of the writing process, including pre-planning, structuring, writing your first draft, and rewriting. Along the way, Doug will share exclusive handouts and scripts that can help you in your own writing.

Session 1: Overview

  • What is a Screenplay?
  • The Transcendent Nature of Story-telling
  • The Screenwriter as an Emotional Journalist
  • What Makes a Good Story?
  • The Tools of the Screenwriter: Experience, empathy, imagination
  • Keeping the Audience in Mind
  • Choosing the Story You’re Going to Tell
  • The Importance of Theme
  • A Look at Character: Goals vs Moral Needs
  • Why Character and Structure Are Two Sides of the Same Coin
  • Is It Important to Know Your Ending Before You Begin Writing?
  • Q&A with Doug

There will be an assignment after this session

 

Session 2: Before you Write

  • Who is Your Main Character?
  • Inner Life versus External Life
  • What is Your Central Conflict?
  • What Makes a Good Antagonist?
  • What is the Central Relationship?
  • What is your Genre?
  • What Is your Tone?
  • Tone Vs Structure
  • What is Point of View?
  • Traditional Screenplay Structure
  • Other Story Structures
  • What is the Right Structure for your Story?
  • Q&A with Doug

There will be an assignment after this session

 

Session 3: Writing Your Beat Sheet and Treatment

  • The Importance of the Logline
  • A Scene is Not an Island
  • Finding Causal Links
  • A Deeper Looking into Structure
  • Thinking in Terms of Acts, Sequences, Scenes, and Beats
  • Crafting a Beat Sheet
  • Analyzing the Beat Sheet for AKEELAH AND THE BEE
  • Writing a Treatment
  • Thinking Like an Actor
  • Why Should You Tell Your Story Out Loud?
  • When Do You Start Writing the First Draft?
  • Q&A with Doug

There will be an assignment after this session

 

Session 4: Writing Your First Draft

  • Following Your Map
  • The Creative State
  • Active vs Descriptive Story-telling
  • Following the Character’s Through Line
  • Maintaining Point of View
  • Writing in Sequences
  • How to Approach Dialogue
  • Analyzing a Scene/Sequence from AKEELAH AND THE BEE
  • The Importance of Re-Reading as you Write
  • Tips to Moving Forward and the Harm of Second Guessing
  • Why No One But You Should Read Your First Draft
  • Treating the First Draft Like the Starting Point
  • Q&A with Doug

There will be an assignment after this session

 

Session 5: Rewriting

  • Why Rewriting Is the "Real Writing"
  • How to Read Your Script With New Eyes
  • Writing in the Margins
  • Discovering the “Music” of Your Movie
  • Understanding Subtext
  • Thinking Like An Editor
  • Length vs Depth
  • Making Every Word Matter
  • How to Dig Deeper Into Your Characters
  • Deepening the Causal Connections
  • When to Question your Structure
  • Analyzing a sequence from BRIAN BANKS
  • Returning to Theme
  • Q&A with Doug

There will be an assignment after this session

 

Session 6: Feedback and Finishing Your Script

  • Reviewing the Fundamentals
  • Who Should Give You Feedback?
  • How to Listen to Feedback
  • Finding the “Note” within the Note
  • Rediscovering and Clarifying Your Theme
  • Returning to Your Beat Sheet
  • When to Reimagine Your Story and When Should You Resist
  • How Many Drafts Should You Write
  • When Is Your Screenplay Actually Finished?
  • When to Approach the Market
  • Submitting to Screenplay Contests
  • The Legacy of What You’ve Written
  • Q&A with Doug

 

WHAT TO EXPECT:

  • This class is designed for beginner and intermediate students to improve their screenwriting skills. This is an in-depth, practical, and detailed class with significantly more content than a standard 90-minute webinar.
  • This class will consist of six sessions spaced one week apart, each roughly 90 minutes of lecture and up to 30 minutes of Q&A and discussion. In addition to the presentation-style lessons
  • While this class will not feature direct notes or feedback on your own project, you will have the opportunity to ask Doug questions during each session.
  • Plus, to stay motivated and inspired, you will have access to a private, dedicated Stage 32 Lounge where you can communicate with your fellow classmates throughout the process.
  • Payment plans available - contact Harrison at h.glaser@stage32.com for details

 

About Your Instructor

Doug Atchison has taken the very journey that you're embarking on -- and he's now a veteran filmmaker and much sought after screenwriter known for, amongst many other projects, writing and directing the award-winning feature film, AKEELAH AND THE BEE. AKEELAH (starring Laurence Fishburne, Angela Bassett, and Keke Palmer) was a commercial and critical success for which Doug was awarded the NAACP Image Award for Best Screenplay. More recently Doug wrote the screenplay for BRIAN BANKS (starring Aldis Hodge, Greg Kinnear, and Morgan Freeman) for which he won the Humanitas Prize and was nominated for the NAACP Image Award for Best Screenplay. Throughout his career, Doug has written screenplays and TV projects for most major studios and production companies including Dreamworks, Lionsgate, ABC, Disney, HBO, Miramax, Blumhouse, Relativity, Dimension, Walden Media, and many more. Doug’s storied and impressive background has allowed him to develop and master the art of screenwriting, a skill set he’s ready to share with the Stage 32 community.

Schedule

Session 1: Overview - Thursday 7/15/21 4pm-6pm PDT

Session 2: Before You Write - Thursday 7/22/21 4pm-6pm PDT

Session 3: Writing Your Beat Sheet and Treatment - Thursday 7/29/21 4pm-6pm PDT

Session 4: Writing Your First Draft - Thursday 8/5/21 4pm-6pm PDT

Session 5: Rewriting - Thursday 8/12/21 4pm-6pm PDT

Session 6: Feedback and Finishing Your Script - Thursday 8/19/21 4pm-6pm PDT

FAQs

Q: What is the format of a class?
A: Stage 32 Next Level Classes are typically 90-minute broadcasts that take place online using a designated software program from Stage 32.

Q: Do I 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 webinar, 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 webinar 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 webinar 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 webinar 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 webinar afterward to rewatch?
A: Yes! After the purchase of a live or On-Demand class, you will have on-demand access to the 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.

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