You will get input from instructors Rona Edwards and Monika Skerbelis on how to improve and raise the bar for your ideas – making them real tangible projects by creating a pitch page using the Idea Form which then can be further developed into a treatment, outline, and script.
By the end of the course, you’ll have something solid to work from with at least one project in your arsenal (possibly more) and then be able to move to the next step – writing a screenplay, teleplay or pilot. Valuable tips and resources will help you begin looking beyond your surroundings for ideas. This course will help get your juices flowing!
The textbook for this class is called “I Liked It, Didn’t Love It: Screenplay Development from the Inside Out” and it is written by Rona Edwards and Monika Skerbelis. Please make sure you order the 3rd Edition. Each week there will be a lecture, which corresponds to one of the chapters in the book, along with any pertinent articles, handouts and assignments. Supplemental lectures may also be offered in audio and video files alongside the written lecture.
Week One: Structuring Ideas and Where to Find Them
- How do you recognize a Good Idea
- Some History of Storytelling
- Elements of a Good Story
- 3-Act structure (Beginning, Middle and End)
- Inciting incident
- Obstacles and Conflict
- 1st Act and 2nd Act turning points
- Climax and resolution
- The Idea Form and its use
- How and where to find ideas
Week Two: Developing Characters
- Creating Characters
- Protagonist & Antagonist
Week Three: Identifying Essential Elements of Your Story
- 8-step outline which includes the essential elements of a screenplay outlined in the 3-Act Structure
- Set Up & Opening
- Inciting Incident
- 1st Act Turning Point
- Fork in the Road - Your hero commits to a goal
- 2nd Act Turning Point - All is lost
- The confrontation - Climax
- Denouement or Resolution
Week Four: What to Do with Those Ideas Once You've Found Them
- Starting an Idea Folder
- Original ideas – Using what’s around you to come up with something original
- Writing a treatment
- If you’re just the idea person - to attach a writer or not – that is the question!
Week Five: Pitching
- Pitchfests or other form of speed pitching
- Developing and organizing your pitch
- Things to think about before pitching
- The Phone Pitch
- The Zoom (online) Pitch
- The Pitch Deck
Week Six: It's a Wrap!
- Underlying rights
- Protecting your ideas
- Targeting companies
- It’s A Wrap
Learn from expert instructors!
A graduate of California Institute of the Arts, RONA EDWARDS was VP of Creative Affairs for Emmy-winner John Larroquette, Academy Award-winner Michael Phillips, & Emmy-winning Producer Fern Field before becoming an indie producer. Producing Credits & Experience include Killer Hair, Hostile Makeover, Blind Trust (Lifetime), One Special Victory (NBC), The Companion (USA/SCI FI CHANNEL), I Know What You Did (ABC), Out Of Sync (VH1) Der Morder Meiner Mutter (Sat.1), Selling Sex in Heaven (CBC), which won the Beyond Borders Award for Best Documentary. She produced another award-winning documentary, Unforgettable, the story of a man who can remember every day of his life. Edwards has served as a film consultant for numerous film commissions and production companies worldwide including Film Victoria, Screen Queensland, Stewart-Hall Productions, Enjoy Entertainment in Australia and Pilgrim Pictures in Singapore.
Edwards has had feature and TV projects made and/or in development with many of the major networks and studios including a script deal at ABC, USA, movies at CBS, ABC, NBC, Hearst Entertainment, VH1, HBO, Phoenix Pictures, Edward R. Pressman, Lifetime, Warner Bros. Dreamworks, Incendo Media, All Girl Productions and Wilshire Court, to name a few.
With Monika Skerbelis, a former VP at Universal Pictures, she wrote the critically acclaimed, bestselling books, I Liked It, Didn’t Love It (Screenplay Development From The Inside Out!), the quintessential book on the development process now in its 3rd edition, and The Complete Filmmakers Guide to Film Festivals (Your All Access Pass to Launching Your Film on the Festival Circuit), both are used as textbooks at various universities around the world. Together, they co-founded ESE Film Workshops Online and ES Entertainment.
In addition, Edwards was Assistant Professor at Chapman University Singapore’s Dodge College of Film & Media Arts for four years where she helped build the producing program there. Currently, she teaches at Chapman in California, Hussian College Studio School, Riverside City College and Columbia College Chicago’s Semester in LA, teaching classes that include Creative Producing & Development, Screenwriting, Producing for Television, Transmedia Producing, Finance in Media, Senior Thesis, Maneuvering Film Festivals, The Business of Media and more. She has also served as a journalist for numerous publications including Produced By magazine, Los Feliz Ledger and NeoWorld Review.
Edwards is currently developing several books, true-life stories, animation and fictional tales for feature film and television. She is a proud active member of the Producers Guild of America, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, International Documentary Association, SAG-AFTRA, and Film Independent.
Monika Skerbelis is the programming director for the American Pavilion's Emerging Filmmaker Showcase at the Cannes Film Festival since 2008, and was the artistic & programming director for the Big Bear Lake International Film Festival for fourteen years. She is a co-author of the book, I Liked It, Didn’t Love It: Screenplay Development from the Inside Out and The Complete Filmmaker's Guide to Film Festivals (Your All Access Pass to Launching Your Film on the Festival Circuit), from Michael Wiese Publishing (MWP).
Ms. Skerbelis was Vice President of Creative and Executive Story Editor for Universal Pictures story department where she spent ten years overseeing the story department and developing a number of screenplays including Black Dog starring Patrick Swayze. Prior to Universal, she was story editor for 20th Century Fox and began her career as an assistant in the Story Department for Paramount Pictures.
With Rona Edwards, she teaches “Story Development Process in the Entertainment Industry” online for Riverside City College and also teaches
"Introduction to Feature Film Development" at UCLA Extension. In addition, Ms. Skerbelis taught “Basic Screenwriting Fundamentals” at Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film & Media Arts. She serves on the juries for numerous film and screenwriting competitions and has guest lectured at film schools, film commissions, film festivals and film organizations across the country.
Ms. Skerbelis was associate producer on two movies Killer Hair and Hostile Makeover based on the “Crimes of Fashion” novels by Ellen Byerrum for the Lifetime Movie Network. She co-produced the feature-length mockumentary, Quest for the Yeti, directed by Victoria Arch. She directed the short film, Reel Footage: The Secret Lives of Shoes that was in the Short Film Corner during the Cannes Film Festival. More recently, she is working on a number of projects targeting the family and kids’ market.
She is a member of the Producers Guild of America.
ENROLL TODAY Course Runs: Aug 25th, 2022 – Oct 6th, 2022
Use the code IDEA50 to take $50 off your registration fee for this course!