The Story Structure of Motion Pictures

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February 16, 2013
Showtimes (change daily)
8 Saturdays, February 16 – April 6 10:30am – 12:30pm

Cinema Arts Centre proudly presents the return of its popular screenwriting seminar

8 Saturdays: February 16 – April 6
10:30am – 12:30pm

Buy Tickets$195 (8 Classes)
Tickets also available 800-838-3006,  or at CAC box office

If you’ve ever had an idea for a movie but didn’t know how to develop it into a screenplay, or if you just love movies and want to know more about them, this course is for you. Designed for beginners, it explores the techniques involved in writing and/or understanding movies.  For instance, did you know that virtually all good movies have a carefully defined structure?  They follow a three-act model called the “paradigm,” which is the backbone of good storytelling and is present in almost every movie you see. It takes only a few hours to learn the paradigm, but many weeks to master it. Through weekly movie screenings, screenplay readings and discussions, this course will teach students to recognize and understand restorative, three-act motion picture structure through the paradigm. The class will examine motion pictures from a writer’s perspective. Unlike most film studies courses, it will not concentrate upon historical or sociological perspectives; rather, it will focus upon the construction of the film story. The screenings and discussions will deal exclusively with narrative motion pictures rather than abstract or experimental films. The course will also explore the realities of the film industry: how and why certain movies get made; how to find an agent and break in as a screenwriter; dealing with producers; legally protecting your work; union affiliations; and many other facets of movie-making.

Stephen Martin Siegel is an award-winning screenwriter who resides on Long Island. He taught film & television writing for ten years at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, where he earned an M.F.A. in Dramatic Writing.  He has worked under contract to Touchstone Pictures, a division of Walt Disney Pictures, and has written screenplays for such diverse names as Sean Connery, Dawn Steel and Dick Clark   He has been a member of the Writer’s Guild of America since 1991. Many of Stephen’s students have enjoyed success in the film and television industries, including Jonathan Liebesman, who directed Battle for L.A. starring Aaron Eckhart and Michele Rodriguez; Dan Milano, who co-created and produced shows such as Greg the Bunny for Fox and Warren the Ape for MTV; and Susan DeMasi, who won the Tony Cox Award for Screenwriting at the Nantucket Film Festival.