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Advanced Screenwriting

Starts October 7

8 sessions: Wednesdays, October 7-December 2 (no class Nov. 25), 7-9pm

It’s been said, “Scripts aren’t written… they’re rewritten.” A quality rewrite can lift a script from pretty good to verygood… maybe even great. But how to get there?

You’ve rewritten your script, and now you’ve got the killer opening you envisaged when you started… but somewhere in the middle, the power and the energy of your story noticeably sag, and the Big Finish toward which you were groping your way never quite materialized as planned. Or worse yet, it’s as if some forbidding stretch of act two seems to have turned out to be quicksand, and your story has gotten lost in there, never to be seen again. Not only does this scenario continually undermine potentially great rewrites – it’s what keeps many initially promising scripts from ever being completed at all!

This course is built on master-teacher Frank Daniel’s system of eight story sequences, spending each weekly session on deep analysis of a scene sequence from a film that offers something useful to learn about structure and cinematic storytelling, in addition to writing exercises and the weekly sharing out loud of new pages. This latter part of our core process is the “secret sauce” that helps you get to the most important part of the rewriting process: a full and satisfying exploration of whatever it is that lies at your story’s emotional center – its heart.

During the pandemic quarantine, you will be assigned sequences of films to watch at home. The Zoom app that enables our online class experience allows us to share pages with each other in real-time, so that we can read them aloud, just as we’d do if we were gathered around the table. The notes that I would normally scrawl on my copy of your pages, I will send to you via email instead.

Roll up your sleeves and come complete that first draft or the rewrite you’ve been meaning to finish!

NOTE: Participation in this online course requires that you use the free Zoom cloud-based video conferencing service. For optimal performance it is highly recommended that you install Zoom on your computer rather than running it from a web browser. A few days prior to the class start date we’ll e-mail you the link and ID code needed to access this class on Zoom. Your instructor will be provided a student roster to take attendance. Click here for a tutorial on how to join a Zoom meeting and much more.

Tuition: $165 / $125 low-income

davidgrant1David Grant is a Twin Cities-based screenwriter and playwright. As a playwright, he has been commissioned to write new work for the Minnesota Science Museum, the Minnesota Historical Society, Mixed Blood Theater, VocalEssence, The Playwrights’ Center, and Great American History Theatre. As a screenwriter, he has written drama for Twin Cities Public Television, Russell Simmons’ Def Pictures, HBO New York, Davis Entertainment, and the Showtime Network. Grant has been a recipient of screenwriting fellowships from the Minnesota State Arts Board and the McKnight Foundation, and was a finalist for the 1999 Gordon Parks Award and the Heathcote Arts Foundation Fellowship at the Independent Feature Film Market in New York for his screenplay Trouble. He has taught screenwriting at The Loft, Playwrights’ Center, and S.A.S.E., as well as basic writing skills for The Center for Non-Profit Management at the University of St. Thomas. Grant is a graduate of Antioch College and president emeritus of Screenwriters’ Workshop, member of The Loft board of directors, a core alumnus member of The Playwrights’ Center, and a member of the Writers’ Guild of America, West.

Class Registration Guidelines & Cancellation Policy

  • Space is assigned on a first-come basis. Registrations must include payment in full. Registrations are accepted after registration deadlines if space is available.
  • If minimum enrollment has not been reached by 7 days prior to the start date of a class, FilmNorth may cancel it, in which case registrants will immediately be notified and receive a full refund within 2 business days. A check will be issued for registrations that were paid in cash. In lieu of a refund, students have the option of applying their tuition to another class scheduled in the same calendar year.
  • For those wishing to cancel a registration prior to the class registration deadline, 100% of the tuition will be refunded minus a $25 administrative fee. For registration cancellations received after the registration deadline but prior to the first class session, 50% of the tuition will be refunded minus a $25 administrative fee. As of 5:00 pm the day prior to a class start date, no refunds or credits/exchanges will be given (Friday at 5:00 pm for Sunday classes). 
  • Tuition is not prorated for missed class sessions.




October 7 @ 7:00 pm
December 2 @ 9:00 pm
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David Grant
Registration Deadline
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Class count or Info
8 sessions: Wednesdays, October 7-December 2 (no class Nov. 25), 7-9pm