Screenwriting School at the New York Film Academy
Discovering Your Voice at the Screenwriting SchoolIn the film industry, screenwriters are now recognized as being just as important as directors in making films. The cliché still holds true. You can make a bad movie with a good screenplay, but you can't make a good movie with a bad screenplay.
Since no one is born with screenwriting talent the question is how exactly does one go about creating a script that will become a move or television program? Successful screenwriting requires discipline, perseverance, and training. One of the most difficult aspects of screenwriting is simply getting started. It’s one thing to have a great idea for a story, but acquiring the discipline to develop an idea into a treatment, an outline, a rough draft and finally a shooting script is just not something that comes naturally to most aspiring screenwriters. After years of stopping and starting, many writers find that by dedicating themselves to an intensive, top-notch screenwriting school, surrounded by other new writers, screenwriting can take on a life of its own and become second nature.
The New York Film Academy’s Screenwriting School’s Workshops and Programs are the most comprehensive screenwriting courses of all top film schools. Students can develop an idea into a feature-length screenplay in as little as eight or twelve weeks or hone their skills in our One-Year Screenwriting, Associate of Fine Arts*, Bachelor in Fine Arts*, and Masters in Fine Arts* programs and walk away with a body of work to begin their professional screenwriting journey. At each step of the way, the student is nurtured in a workshop environment.
There is no better screenwriting resource than superior training. Instructors at NYFA are award-winning, working screenwriters, most with a Master's Degrees from some of the country's finest university film schools. In addition, depending on the program or workshop one enrolls in, students have the option of studying at our screenwriting school in Los Angeles, New York City, or Australia.
Regardless of the workshop or program that one chooses, with strict adherence to the daily rituals of writing and learning, students will make potentially tremendous strides.
What Makes Our Screenwriting School’s Programs and Workshops Unique?At NYFA, we understand the essential position that screenwriters play in the creation of film and television shows. But one cannot rely on writing talent alone to achieve success in the realm of cinema and television. Screenwriting is a unique art form, which students must learn if they want to not only complete a screenplay successfully, but also if they’re interested in creating a script that is entertaining and viable in the commercial marketplace. Over the course of their chosen workshop or program, students are educated in the conventions of the writing craft while being supported by experienced faculty. In addition, students can expect to be writing constantly with their work receiving feedback by both instructors and classmates.
Workshops and ProgramsWhether students decide to pursue screenwriting through a degree program at our Los Angeles campus, our One-Year Screenwriting Program, or one of our intensive Eight-Week and Twelve-Week Evening Workshops, they can be sure that they will undergo extensive training in the many facets of screenwriting and be challenged at every turn by NYFA’s Screenwriting School.
- Master of Fine Arts in Screenwriting*: The Screenwriting School’s two-year MFA program is a full-blown immersion into every aspect of screenwriting, from writing for television and film to the study of film craft, acting, pitching, and film studies, as they relate to screenwriting. In addition, students also write, direct, and edit a digital short film or scene from a script, preparing them to enter the film business with completed scripts to pitch, produce, and sell. After a first year spent working on smaller projects to best familiarize them with the varied formats of screenwriting, the second year will have students focus on creating a fully realized feature-length script or television series.
- Bachelor of Arts in Screenwriting*: The three-year BFA program at NYFA’s Screenwriting School in Los Angeles not only immerses students in the art of screenwriting, but also provides them with a full liberal arts education in order to make them well-rounded screenwriters with a strong foundation. In addition, students write non-stop over the course of their eight semesters, creating an initial draft of an original 80-120 page screenplay in their first semester and continuing to write in different formats over the next three years, in mediums such as television, graphic novels, comic books, and manga. The program ends with a pitch event where industry executives are invited to hear students’ thesis projects to help them to cultivate their professional skills.
- Associate of Arts in Screenwriting*: Like the Screenwriting School’s MFA program, the Los-Angeles-based AFA program provides a stand-alone degree in preparation for students to pursue a career in the film industry, allowing students to focus solely on the topic of screenwriting. Over the course of two years, students are able to hone their craft as writers with distribution requirements, giving them the chance to write intensively, completing multiple full-length movie and television scripts with the assistance of a dedicated faculty. Furthermore, each of the four semesters will include a Business of Screenwriting class that trains students to enter the film industry.
- One-Year Screenwriting Conservatory: Offered at both our New York and Los Angeles campuses, students are taught in the conventions of writing while learning the skill of meeting deadlines. Throughout the course of the Screenwriting School’s One-Year Screenwriting Conservatory, students research film craft, acting, pitching, and film studies while also writing two feature-length screenplays and one television script.
- Twelve-Week Evening Screenwriting Workshop: Created for aspiring screenwriters possessing little to no screenwriting experience, the Twelve-Week Evening Screenwriting Workshop is designed for individuals who are eager and capable to work in a fast-paced, high-charged learning atmosphere, entering the workshop with an initial idea that they will develop into a feature-length screenplay. The workshop is offered at our Los Angeles, New York, and Australia campuses.
- Eight-Week Screenwriting Workshop: Covering similar ground to the Twelve-Week Evening Screenwriting Workshop, students in the Eight-Week Screenwriting Workshop will meet Monday through Friday during the day, learning the essentials of screenwriting. Students should enter the workshop with an idea that they will eventually develop into a full-length screenplay in addition to covering topics such as Classic Screenplay Structure, Character Arcs, Dialogue, Theme, Conflict, Flashbacks, Genre, Voice Over, Subtext, Visualization, and Dramaturgy. This workshop is available in Los Angeles and New York City.
Study Online at the School of ScreenwritingDo you want to receive training in screenwriting, but are unable to attend our locations in Los Angeles, New York City, or Australia? In response to increased demand, the Film Academy’s Screenwriting School has developed an extensive set of online courses available to students around the world from the comfort of their own computers.
The Film Academy’s Online Screenwriting School consists of a wide variety of general and specific courses that are modeled on the programs and workshops offered at the Film Academy and developed by faculty members who created the courses for our programs. The online Screenwriting School covers the principle genres and formats available to screenwriters, including writing for feature films, short films, television, and new media, such as webisodes. Varying in length from four weeks to nine months, students have a variety of options to find the ideal course for their specific needs. With the exception of our Online Screenwriting Revisions Class, which requires students to have completed a feature-length script, prospective students need only a genuine interest and passion for screenwriting to enroll in one of our Online Screenwriting School courses.
An Overview of Online Screenwriting CoursesUnlike our in-person workshops and programs, NYFA’s Screenwriting School allows aspiring screenwriters the flexibility to receive a general education in the fundamentals of screenwriting for film and television while also honing their skills in a particular discipline.
- Online Feature Screenwriting Course: Equal in scope and coursework as the Eight-Week Screenwriting Workshop, this nine-month course provides students with skilled training from a professional screenwriter who helps each student to conceive and complete an 80-120 page screenplay on his or her own time schedule that they can then pitch, produce, and attempt to sell. With thirty-eight lectures and screenings occurring weekly to download or stream in addition to online interaction between students and faculty, this is a demanding course in which students are expected to write daily.
- Online Screenwriting Revisions Class: Once a student has completed a feature-length screenplay of 80 pages or more, he or she might decide to enroll in the Screenwriting School’s revisions class in which students will learn how to revise their screenplays based on their instructor’s assessment of its strengths and weaknesses in addition to fellow classmates’ comments over the course’s sixteen weeks.
- Writing the Original TV Pilot and Series: With television becoming an increasingly fertile industry where groundbreaking shows like The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, or House of Cards are being held in similar esteem to cinematic classics, an increasing number of screenwriters are trying their hand at breaking into the market. The aspiring TV writer needs an original TV pilot script, which is the focus of this online course. Beyond creating a compelling pilot, students will learn how to create an ongoing show, one that can last over the course of several seasons. The sixteen-week class will feature taped lectures, weekly one-hour chats with the instructor, and feedback from fellow students.
- Online Television Writing – The Spec Script: Outside of writing an attention-grabbing pilot, another way for television writers to get their name out there is to write an outstanding spec script. A sample script of an existing television show, the spec script is a means to showcase a screenwriter’s understanding of the medium and during this sixteen-week course, students learn the ins and outs of television writing, ranging from coming up with a concept to outlining their story to ultimately finishing a fully realized spec script of an existing television program. In addition, all forms of television storytelling will be covered, ranging from the Half-Hour Sit-Com, Half-Hour Comedy, One-Hour Drama, Soap Operas/Telenovelas, Interstitials, and Webisode formats.
- Online Writing for New Media Shorts: As new media outlets such as the internet, mobile phones, and tablet devices have flourished, this four-week course will immerse students in these ever-evolving mediums and help them complete a brief audio-video presentation in their selected medium. In addition, students will also have the opportunity to compose a screenplay for a short film through the completion of four weekly live workshops with their online instructor.
- Online Writing for Drama and Comedy: An ideal series of courses for students looking to develop their craft in a particular format, Online Writing for Television enables students to zero in on either the One-Hour Drama or Half-Hour Comedy formats and learn the fundamentals of either format in as much detail as the student wishes to engage in, as each track offers three levels of courses.
The NYFA DifferenceRegardless of enrolling at one of our locations or online, students attending the New York Film Academy Screenwriting School will have access to some of the finest instructors in the industry while being challenged by their fellow students from around the world. Students simply require a passion for original storytelling and a commitment to seeing their ideas from inception to completion to take advantage of the Film Academy’s many resources.
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