Mastering Story Momentum: How to Jump Start Dramatic Tension & Pacing

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. She has worked 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. Studios she has worked with include Hollywood Pictures, Touchstone Pictures, Walt Disney Pictures, Universal Pictures, Tri-Star Pictures, Columbia Pictures, and Sony Pictures. Max’s students and workshoppers have been featured on The Black List, have won three Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting, three First Place Austin Film Festival Screenwriting Awards, a Stage 32 Happy Writers Win, and most recently a Tracking Board 2015 Launch Pad Feature Award and Best Screenplay at the California Women’s Film Festival. Many of Max’s students are working professionally in the industry. Full Bio »

One of the weakest elements in screenwriting is story momentum. Without story momentum, pacing drags, plots lose focus, second acts die, and story climaxes are – anticlimactic. Achieving story momentum is not addressed often enough in screenwriting classes. Nor is the direct correlation between dramatic tension and the cause and effect elements needed to link scenes and scene sequences. This relationship is the cornerstone of achieving dramatic tension and mastering story momentum.

In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, Max Adams, a 20-year working screenwriter and acclaimed author who has worked with Columbia Pictures, Touchstone Pictures, Universal Pictures, Walt Disney Studios, and Tri-Star Pictures, will explain why linear plotting fails and will give you practical tools and techniques you can immediately apply to you writing. You will leave this webinar knowing how to fix story holes, correct pacing, create driving story engines and achieve rising story momentum to maintain a feature film script straight through to a riveting story climax!


What You'll Learn:

  • Story versus Plot. Every story has a distinct linear time line, but choosing how to successfully plot story events does not always mean following a linear time line.
  • Connect the dots story plotting and scene sequencing and why these approaches fail.
  • Scene linking parlor tricks that will betray story momentum.
  • Scene linking techniques and practical pacing tools that successfully achieve story momentum and focus story plot.
  • Using cause and effect for stronger scene sequencing, story focus, and pacing.
  • Using plot obstacles with cause & effect scene mechanisms to achieve stronger pacing and a more focused story engine.
  • The “South Park” Model.
  • The “Good News, Bad News” Model.
  • Boy on a Skateboard: A practical plotting study and example that illustrates story momentum and pacing using cause and effect scene sequencing and plot obstacles.
  • How using cause and effect to create story momentum applies to three acts:
  • Setting Up Story b. Launching Story c. Maintaining Story d. Climaxing Story
  • Juno: Last thoughts: A practical example of cause & effect in action in the film Juno.

Plus, a live Q&A with Max so bring all of your questions!


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. She has worked 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. Studios she has worked with include Hollywood Pictures, Touchstone Pictures, Walt Disney Pictures, Universal Pictures, Tri-Star Pictures, Columbia Pictures, and Sony Pictures. Max’s students and workshoppers have been featured on The Black List, have won three Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting, three First Place Austin Film Festival Screenwriting Awards, a Stage 32 Happy Writers Win, and most recently a Tracking Board 2015 Launch Pad Feature Award and Best Screenplay at the California Women’s Film Festival. Many of Max’s students are working professionally in the industry.


Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: What is the format of a webinar?
A: Stage 32 Next Level Webinars 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 webinar.

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 webinar. Upgrade your Windows computer / Upgrade your Mac computer

Q: What if I cannot attend the live webinar?
A: If you attend a live online webinar, you will be able to communicate directly with your instructor during the webinar. If you cannot attend a live webinar and purchase an On-Demand webinar, 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 webinar, 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! For a live webinar, you will be given the link within 2 business days after the live session.


Testimonials:

“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

“If you want someone to challenge you to dive deep and pull the BEST out of yourself, Max is that whip-smart coach, teacher, and mentor.” ~ Ana Maria Montoya, Winner Sundance Latino Screenwriting Project

“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, Winner, Best Director, Independent Television & Film Festival

“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, writer - Machete, From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series

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

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