Frequently Asked Questions
Because this is a truly complex process that takes a long time to master. Not only am I training you in seven sophisticated tools, but there are multiple layers to how they’re used, including the underlying principles that make the tools work. Plus it takes time for you to make all this second nature, so that the process is deep in your bones. I am firmly committed to training people fully, so they have genuine craft as a dramatist.
Apprenticeship is how we learn most naturally. By spending real time with a master of a craft, you not only acquire the required skills for a trade, but the accompanying subtle thought processes that underly expertise.
In the first three months you participate in the creation, development, structuring, and writing of a complete original script from scratch. This begins your training. Seeing the entire process orients you as to how each tool fits into the overall technique, which is crucial for an apprentice. You do this virtually in the tightly structured video course where you apprentice as I’m building an original thriller. We have specific teaching techniques where you handle every scrap of information that goes into the story, giving you deep experience with each tool.
Course 2: Techniques & Principles (18 months) is continuously ongoing, with the focus on building real scripts as the central instructional process. So you may well join us while we’re right in the middle of solving the ending for a romantic comedy script. Because you’ve been through the entire process in Course 1: Tools & Fundamentals (3 months), you can join right in and know what you’re doing.
Not at all. Any level of writer can join the program. We have professional writers who want more technique, and we have absolute raw beginners with only the desire to write. The course is designed to be challenging for an experienced writer and demanding for a novice, but anyone can absolutely do it.
The main focus is on the core of dramatic writing which covers all three disciplines, but it does not focus explicitly on any one of them. You’ll be so well-trained in the craft of the dramatist that you’ll be able to tackle any genre in any medium when you’re done.
No, but you do work on building and writing scripts constantly, and to graduate you write an entire script yourself. But the idea comes from the “idea bin” within the program. It’s easier to master the tools and thought processes if you’re not intensely attached to a script. It keeps the process focused on pure craft, which makes it considerably easier to teach and to learn.
Because it’s a complex, subtle art with a lot of moving parts, all of which take time to master. Dramatic writing is considered the most elusive of all the literary disciplines and it’s common knowledge that 95-98% of all scripts submitted are deeply flawed and are rejected. To do it right consistently you need a mastery of story, plot construction, character development, dialog, dramatic tension, theme, dilemma, conflict, entertainment value, structural unity, powerful endings, and so much more.
Yes, it’s considerably more aggressive in terms of training you how to use the tools and think as a dramatist. It makes you a much more active learner and is a rigorous, high-intensity, demanding program that will turn you into a seasoned dramatist. We use the book extensively in the course but go well beyond it in many ways.
Aside from coming in with a good working knowledge of the movie Training Day, which I use as a teaching example, the best thing you can do is prepare yourself to work hard, but with limited stress for two years. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
Yes, separate from this program. You can find information on my consulting services on the About page.
You can pause the program. Please contact us and we will work with you.
A dramatist is someone who knows how to adapt stories for theatrical production, whether that’s for the movies, TV, or the stage. It’s about dramatizing stories so they’re actable and grip an audience. The skills learned here apply to all types of writing.
Yes, as long as you complete the entire training. You might be able to do it a few months quicker, or even stay longer if you feel the need, but we think this is the proper amount of training.
Yes, once you’ve gone through the program you’re part of the script.kitchen community and have access to the library.