LOS ANGELES, CA – JULY 26, 2017: The American Film Market® (AFM®) announced today the launch of its new ‘Writers Workshops’ series, which will have its inauguration at this year’s market. These immersive workshops, with instructors from top Universities including USC and UCLA, will take place on Sunday, November 5 and Monday, November 6.
With the AFM continuing to create new programs that amplify the education component for different segments of the industry, the ‘Writers Workshops’ will serve as a platform and learning haven for screenwriters from around the world. The 38th edition of AFM will take place from November 1-8 in Santa Monica.
The following Writers Workshop sessions have been confirmed:
Sunday, November 5 | Writers Workshop I | 2:30pm – 5:30pm
“You Had Me at Page One”
Make the reader love you on the first page! Learn writing techniques that help your script hit the ground running. Through examples from your favorite scripts, we take a hard look at word choice, scene direction, dialogue approach, and the nuances of the page.
Instructor: Pilar Alessandra, Instructor/Consultant, On the Page
“The Art of Cinematic Storytelling: Transforming Your Premise into an Engaging Screenplay”
The greatest challenge facing all screenwriters, whether novice or professional, is the process of transforming a premise into a compelling, sustainable story. This workshop focuses solely on the art of the story, with an emphasis on such fundamentals as character development, super-objective, rising conflict, scene work, and three-act structure. Participants learn how to spot critical mistakes often made in the initial development of a screenplay’s narrative. The final goal of the workshop is a greater understanding of what makes a story work and a series of tools that participants can immediately apply to their current screenplay.
Instructor: Steven Wolfson, UCLA
Monday, November 6 | Writers Workshop II | 2:30pm – 5:30pm
“ReVision: Seeing Your Script with New Eyes”
If writing is rewriting, how can you best approach the task? This workshop lays out a pragmatic rewrite strategy, as well as identifying the larger questions a writer should ask when revising a script. It concludes with a hands-on exercise, in which participants examine a scene from a film script which has been intentionally sullied, and then attempt to rewrite it into sterling condition.
Instructor: Ken LaZebnik, Instructor, USC; Director, Stephens College MFA in Screenwriting
“Writing Compelling Characters”
No matter what genre you’re working in, getting your reader to empathize with and root for your story’s protagonist is one of the most important goals – if not THE most important goal – for a screenwriter to achieve. Using film clips, screenplay pages, and brief exercises, this workshop explores how to create powerful, memorable characters, and the most effective techniques for bringing them to life on the page.
Instructor: Billy Mernit, UCLA Instructor & Universal Studio Story Analyst
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About the American Film Market
The American Film Market is the world’s largest motion picture business event. Over 7,000 industry leaders converge in Santa Monica for eight days of deal-making, screenings, conferences, networking and parties. Participants come from more than 80 countries and include acquisition and development executives, agents, attorneys, directors, distributors, festival directors, financiers, film commissioners, producers, writers, the world’s press all those who provide services to the motion picture industry.
Unlike a film festival, the AFM is a marketplace – with over 200,000 square feet of exhibition space – where production and distribution deals are closed. In just eight days, more than US$1 billion in deals will be sealed — on both completed films and those in every stage of development and production.
Participants may view more than 500 screenings of 300+ films – 29 new films every two hours – the majority world or U.S. premieres. Titles range from big budget blockbusters that will be released by the major studios to lower budget art and genre films recognized at international film festivals.
With 7,000 attendees, 500 screenings, 300 exhibiting distributors, and the industry’s largest Conference series, AFM is the pivotal destination for independent filmmakers and business people from all over the world.
About The Independent Film & Television Alliance®
The Independent Film & Television Alliance (IFTA®) is the global trade association of the independent motion picture and television programming industry. Headquartered in Los Angeles, IFTA represents and provides significant entertainment industry services to more than 125 member companies from 20+ countries, consisting of independent production and distribution companies, sales agents, television companies, studio-affiliated companies, and financial institutions engaged in content finance. Collectively, IFTA Members produce more than 400 independent films and countless hours of television programming each year and generate more than $4.5 billion in distribution revenues annually.
As the voice and advocate for the independent film and television industry worldwide, the Alliance speaks out on matters of critical importance and, where appropriate, actively lobbies governments around the world in regard to measures directly affecting the independent industry. For more information on IFTA, please visit www.ifta-online.org.
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