After finishing several books on screenwriting, I seemed to have more questions and doubts as to how to construct a screenplay than when I started. Perhaps it was naïve of me to think that I would come across the one book that would connect the dots and create a template to conquer the big screen, but one can dream right?
Next I thought it might be more beneficial to actually take part in a screen writing workshop. As there were none in my immediate area, I settled for the next best thing, a DVD from Syd Field’s Screenwriting Workshop learning series.
In How to Write A Screenplay That Sells To Hollywood, Field manages to condense the somewhat unwieldy subject of screenwriting into a comprehensive yet systematic two hour instructional video. Here the viewer can experience the same course Field has taught to professionals all over the world and benefit from his more than 25 years experience. Ideally this course takes the
writer from the inception of the idea to the completed screenplay.
First off, the format of the DVD appealed to me. Once you enter the main menu, you are given four options plus a general introduction. From here I could choose from part one- Getting Started, part two-Creating Character, Part three-Writing the Screenplay, or Part four- Rewriting the Screenplay. The format not only breaks it down step-by-step to create more manageable pieces, but I like that it also develops in such a manner so as to allow busy writers to work screenwriting into already tight schedules.
According to Field it is best to view the course in it’s entirety to be familiar with the concepts, and then go back to its respective segments to complete the class exercises. In part one, for example, Field discusses the Idea, Action & Character, and also Structure. This segment’s exercise will allow you to develop a four page narrative treatment of the story
Part two allows ...