Polish and refine your screenplay from a work-in-progress to a draft ready for option.

Filmmaking must begin with a solid screenplay. This intensive one-week workshop is for writers who have a screenplay in progress and are seeking guidance, direction and focus from an accomplished screenwriter. It is equally applicable for those who have a completed script and want to revise and polish it for the market or for production.

Class time is divided between lectures on the dynamics of screenwriting and discussion of student scripts. One-on-one sessions between the instructor and each student take place throughout the week. The workshop delves more deeply into concept, story structure, character development, plot and subplots, central theme, dialogue, and the process of revising a screenplay. Students discuss suggestions for rewrites, alternative approaches, and explore solutions to the problems posed by each script. Participants learn to look critically at their writing with special attention to the importance of economy in writing, visual storytelling, and how to heighten the emotional stakes of story and character. The class surveys the practical realities of the film industry in terms of getting material read and sold, finding an agent, deal-making options, and how Hollywood works. By the end of the week, each script has been reviewed and reconstructed with a 'battle plan' on how to take the script to the next level, including marketing strategies.

For admission to the workshop students must submit one of the following: a completed screenplay draft or the first 20 pages of a screenplay in progress.


Janet Roach

Janet Roach is an Academy Award Nominated screenwriter, teacher, lecturer and former documentary filmmaker for CBS and PBS. She has written over a dozen film scripts, of which five have been produced. Janet has also won the British Academy Award, and the Writers' Guild award for Outstanding Achievement in Screen writing. She was nominated for an Oscar for the screenplay of Prizzi's Honor. She also wrote the scripts for Mr. North and the ABC television movie The Three Stooges

She taught screenwriting at Columbia University's Graduate School of Arts and has taught both documentary filmmaking and master classes in screenwriting at the Maine Media Workshops for more than 20 years. She has also taught screenwriting master classes in Canada, Finland, Mexico, Poland and New Zealand.

A part-time resident of New Zealand, she is currently at work on a memoir, Swimming with Dinner, about the adventures she has shared with her husband in an isolated point of land on the North Island's Doubtless Bay.

Course Dates

Sep 21 to Sep 27




Class Size