Topics covered:

Basic to intermediate screenplay formatting techniques
Screenwriting exercises for beginners
Best hardware/software for the job
Screenwriting “rules of thumb”
Pros & Cons of writing for specific genres/markets
Overviews of writing for TV, documentaries and reality shows (yes, they have writers)
Advice on adapting a work of prose to a screenplay
Writers groups
Outlining and plot organization
Crafting a rich story mythology
Creating effective characters
Common mistakes made by emerging screenwriters
What makes a good/bad writer
Professional tips and tricks known only to insiders
Rudimentary pitching strategies and techniques
What to do when you think your script is ready
Basic legal issues
Additional freebies and services

By the end of this seminar, students will be able to:

Apply basic screenwriting techniques
Identify and apply proper screenplay format
Use screenwriting software efficiently
Organize and facilitate an effective “writers group”
Outline and visually organize a story idea
Apply knowledge to create the building blocks (characters, plot, etc.) of an effective story
Write the first draft of an original screenplay
Have access to professional tools employed by top screenwriters

Free perks to seminar attendees (all on a CD-ROM disk):

FREE SCREENWRITING SOFTWARE (fully-loaded with robust features)!
Additional screenwriting demo software (high-end professional programs)
Visual mapping/outlining software (free & trial demos)
Electronic versions of all handouts
Sample scripts (PDF format on disk)
Screenwriting Exercise Booklet (on disk)
BONUS: “How To Write a Movie Review” lesson plan (for teachers)
Coop Cooper, AKA “The Small Town Critic,” has the
versatility of a Swiss Army knife when it comes to writing in
the motion picture industry. After earning his BFA in Cinema
at Southern Methodist University and an MFA in
Screenwriting at the American Film Institute in Hollywood,
he collaborated with Academy Award-winning director Seth
Winston on a Civil War-themed screenwriting project. He
then applied his newly acquired skills to writing script
coverage, movie reviews, entertainment-related articles and
various screenwriting projects. After the events of 9/11, he
decided to earn his Secondary Teaching Certificate and
taught English, writing and screenwriting at North Hollywood
High School for five years. Coop now lives in his native
hometown of Clarksdale, Mississippi where he writes movie
reviews for the Clarksdale Blues-Star, operates his movie-
related website,
aids/promotes film crews seeking to shoot feature films in in
the Mississippi Delta, teaches seminars, does location
scouting, works on about a dozen screenwriting/film projects
at a time and still manages to watch an average of 2 movies
per day.