How do you select the appropriate medium for your idea? Is it best realized as a short or feature-length screenplay, a series for the web or television, or a documentary? Where does your project fit in the marketplace? Is your concept sufficiently compelling to attract a producer and financing? This unit will explore the dynamics of developing and positioning a project, pitching it to producers and studios, and writing a treatment. The creative and legal aspects of adapting a book will also be discussed. Additionally, students will learn how to develop aids that can communicate their vision to collaborators, studios, and financiers.

In the second week, we will focus on incubating and developing the project to be realized in the third term.  Students will write a treatment and revise it. The projects will be workshopped and discussed from creative and practical perspectives. Students will have an opportunity to change their project concepts before the third term but this week will serve as an embryonic phase of development that will help them to test the strengths and weaknesses of their initial ideas. Regardless of whether a student subsequently elects to change their concept, the process will be instructive as to what criteria should be applied in order to fully appraise a project in terms of its creative and practical viability.

Winter/Spring lodging and meal package available for $475 per week. Includes breakfast and lunch Monday - Friday. Dinner services are not available during our Winter/Spring session. Meal plan (mandatory) without lodging is $125


Wayne Beach

Wayne Beach has written screenplays for Warner Bros., Twentieth Century Fox, Disney, Sony, TNT, Fox 2000 Pictures, and Village Roadshow Pictures. He has developed projects for the makers of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN, THE GREAT GATSBY, LAW & ORDER, SEVEN, OCEAN’S ELEVEN, PLATOON, THE MATRIX and THE PERFECT STORM.

Recently he developed an original television pilot, AMERICAN DREAM, for Sony. The pitch inspired a bidding war between Showtime, FX, and WGN America. He also recently finished an assignment adapting THE GARDEN OF BETRAYAL, a new novel by Lee Vance published by Knopf.

His screenplay credits include MURDER AT 1600 (Warner Bros.) starring Wesley Snipes and Diane Lane; and THE ART OF WAR (Warner Bros.) starring Wesley Snipes. He wrote and directed SLOW BURN (Lionsgate) starring Ray Liotta, LL Cool J, Mekhi Phifer, Jolene Blalock, Taye Diggs and Chiwetel Ejiofor. The film was released in 1100 theaters in the U.S.

Beach has also taught screenwriting at Northwestern University and Bates College. Many of his former students have become successful writers, directors, and producers working at the highest levels of film and television. They have written hit TV shows and number one box office hits. Their credits include FRIENDS, BLINDSPOT, ARROW, REVENGE, THE VOW, SUPERGIRL, LIFE AS WE KNOW IT, MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE, BROTHERS & SISTERS, HE’S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU, NEVER BEEN KISSED, VALENTINE’S DAY, DAWSON’S CREEK, GREEN LANTERN, BEVERLY HILLS 90210, and others.



Course Dates

May 20 to Jun 2



Class Size