Crash Course: Writing Dynamic Scenes

Hosted by Max Adams

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Max Adams

Webinar hosted by: Max Adams

Screenwriter, Author and Founder of The Academy of Film Writing

Max Adams is a screenwriter, author, mentor, and teacher. Recipient early in her career of an Academy Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting, an Austin Film Festival Screenwriting Award, and an America’s Best Screenwriting Award, Max was dubbed “Red Hot Adams” by Daily Variety for selling three pitches over a Christmas holiday. Max’s produced feature films include Excess Baggage, The Ladykillers, One For the Money and she recently appeared in Tony Tarantino’sUnderbelly Blues. She has worked on concepts and pitches with industry luminaries including pitch king Bob Kosberg, producers Robert Evans (The Godfather), Gale Anne Hurd (The Terminator), David Valdes (The Green Mile) and Wendy Finerman (Forest Gump, The Devil Wears Prada). She is the author of The New Screenwriter’s Survival Guide, is a former WGA online mentor, is the founder of two international online screenwriting workshops and the founder of The Academy of Film Writing. Max’s students and workshoppers have been featured on The Black List, have won three Academy Nicholl Fellowships, two Austin Film Festival Screenwriting Awards, a Stage 32 Happy Writers award, and most recently a Tracking Board 2015 Launch Pad Feature Award. Many of Max’s students are working professionally in the industry today. You can read more about Max on her websites http://seemaxrun.com and http://theafw.com. Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

Back by popular demand, Stage 32 Next Level Education brings you Max Adams, 20-year working screenwriter and acclaimed author who has worked with Columbia Pictures, Touchstone Pictures, Universal Pictures, Walt Disney Studios, and Tri-Star Pictures!

 You will also learn about static locations vs. clear, wider, more open locations and how they can work for and against you in your writing. You will also have a clear understanding on how to use motion and action to move your screenplay forward.

You will walk away having all the tools and techniques necessary to apply to fiction, nonfiction, screenplays, teleplays, and stage plays to make visuals and action “real” on the page - an art unto itself and something that can separate your work from the pack. You will learn how to create compelling visuals on the page that will catapult your writing into an unforgettable — and visual — experience for your readers on the page, and your audience on the screen.

The immediacy of motion on a film screen, and its necessity, sets film writing apart from every other written medium on the planet. And is the difference on the script page — and film screen — between selling — or that script dying in a drawer, and that film never being made.

 

What You'll Learn

  • How to differentiate between static (small and/or enclosed) locations and dynamic locations (wide open spaces and spaces in which characters’ motion is augmented).
  • What the strengths and weaknesses of both static and dynamic locations are and how both can work for — or against — a scene’s intensity and strength.
  • Recognizing the difference between using an event and using a location.
  • How events and locations can work together to up a scene’s intensity and interest levels, or cancel each other out.
  • Identifying the danger signs of “talking heads” scenes.
  • How to use motion and action to offset dialogue heavy scenes.
  • How action can replace dialogue to up the intensity level of emotions expressed on the screen.
  • Recognizing the importance and benefits of putting characters in rooms together when important tension elements are in play in a scene.
  • How character separation on the screen removes scene intensity and immediacy.
  • How to use filters (telephones, computer screens, cameras) to augment tension — and when to remove them because they are tension killers.
  • How to utilize space on the screen and in scenes to intensify dramatic and dynamic scene and story tension.
  • When and how car chases and fist fights are your friend — and when and why they are not.
  • How to use the parameters and dimensions of a screen and how these can help or hinder the intensity of characters and action in a scene.
  • How to use perspective to augment the emotional impact of screen events.
  • How to use intercuts to increase motion during static scene events.
  • Recorded Q&A with Max!

About Your Instructor

Max Adams is a screenwriter, author, mentor, and teacher. Recipient early in her career of an Academy Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting, an Austin Film Festival Screenwriting Award, and an America’s Best Screenwriting Award, Max was dubbed “Red Hot Adams” by Daily Variety for selling three pitches over a Christmas holiday.

Max’s produced feature films include Excess Baggage, The Ladykillers, One For the Money and she recently appeared in Tony Tarantino’sUnderbelly Blues. She has worked on concepts and pitches with industry luminaries including pitch king Bob Kosberg, producers Robert Evans (The Godfather), Gale Anne Hurd (The Terminator), David Valdes (The Green Mile) and Wendy Finerman (Forest Gump, The Devil Wears Prada). She is the author of The New Screenwriter’s Survival Guide, is a former WGA online mentor, is the founder of two international online screenwriting workshops and the founder of The Academy of Film Writing.

Max’s students and workshoppers have been featured on The Black List, have won three Academy Nicholl Fellowships, two Austin Film Festival Screenwriting Awards, a Stage 32 Happy Writers award, and most recently a Tracking Board 2015 Launch Pad Feature Award. Many of Max’s students are working professionally in the industry today.

You can read more about Max on her websites http://seemaxrun.com and http://theafw.com.

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Testimonials

Max Adams is the kind of smart, engaging teacher that made me want to be a better writer — and she helped me do it.” – Alvaro Rodriguez, Machete, From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series

Max Adams is the real deal. I’ve taken three of her classes so far and they’ve upped my game as an author and a screenwriter. I still refer to her class lectures as I work on new projects. Max offers real tools you will continue to use over and over again in your career.” – Doug Solter, Skid, My Girlfriend Bites, Legends

You laid the foundation, Max. Best teacher ever.” - Debi Yazbeck, 2015 Tracking Board Launchpad Feature Winner

Max Adams is one of the most knowledgeable and talented people in screenwriting that I know, all writers need to hear what Max Adams has to say.” – Kerry Valderrama, Garrison, Sanitarium

The brilliance of taking Max Adams’ classes is that you start seeing improvement in your writing almost immediately. She has that indescribable knack for finding methods and exercises and examples that break open your understanding of how to be the best writer you can be, how to improve on your voice without mimicry, and how to get your story on the page in such a way that you start getting those “wow” responses… and sales. Not long after Max’s classes, I sold a three book deal to St. Martin’s Press on a pre-empt, hit the USA Today Bestseller list, and am now considering offers on my fourth book.” – Toni McGee Causey,Charmed and Dangerous, Girls Just Wanna Have Guns, When A Man Loves A Weapon

I’ve taken all of Max’s classes and quite simply, her focused methods and attention to detail blow every other screenwriting class out of the water.” – Jules Howe, Best Comedy Screenplay Austin Film Festival, Best Family Film Screenplay

The input I got from Max Adams lifted my script, “Redemption,” from a SemiFinalist to a Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting award winner. She is smart, savvy, experienced, and generous. She is a fabulous teacher. If you’ve got what it takes, she will pull it out of you. ” – Patricia Burroughs, Winner Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting

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Reviews Average Rating: 4.5 out of 5

  • Excellent resource. Thanks for making it available to listen again.

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