HipCinema Labs 2019 @ Mt. Airy Nexus Presents: Writing 4Film Workshop (Postponed)

Nadine, Farah, and Alan in an acting workshop. Photo by Vera J.

Days and Times: Saturday March 30th, April 6th and 13th. Sessions are 10:30am to 1:30pm at Mt. Airy Nexus.
Location: Mt. Airy Nexus, 520 Carpenter Lane, Philadelphia Nearest Public Transportation: Septa H Bus and Chestnut Hill West Rail Line to Carpenter Lane Station

Overview: A three-week workshop with independent feature filmmaker Nadine Patterson that explores the process of writing for film. Various methods for writing screenplays, treatments and outlines will be explored. Recommended for writers, poets, directors and producers who have been working on a screenplay, whether it be documentary, experimental or narrative. Space is limited to 8 participants. Qualifications– you must have a draft of a script, detailed outline, or treatment. This is an intermediate session where you develop your script and deal with issues that may be blocking you from completing it and/or refining it. You must attend all three sessions, do assignments, and provide feedback on other peoples scripts. Click here for the Submission Release form wording. Two signed copies along with payment must be presented at the start of the workshop or prior to the first session.

Cost: $140 per person paypal.me/hipcinema/140

Special discount for people collaborating on a screenplay– half off for second screenwriting partner. paypal.me/hipcinema/70

Payment via PayPal. Email hipcinema@gmail.com about paying via check or money order. If you are part of a writing team, please submit name of project and team members to hipcinema@gmail.com.

Preparations and Workshop Process:

1) Have a journal/notebook that you can use for in-class notes and notes in the field.

2) Avoid cliches in your script. Read Roberta Munroe’s book (see below).

3) Your script, treatment, or outline has to be in a format that other people can read and comprehend. Please be prepared to submit weekly assignments in one of the following formats: Adobe Story, Microsoft Word, Final Draft or Movie Magic Screenwriter. My Screenplays is an excellent program for writing on a tablet.

4) If you want to write for film you should understand the process of making films. A film is “written” three times by three people: the writer, the director, and the editor. Here are books on the creative process from those points of view.

Recommended Reading:

Poetics of Cinema by Raul Ruiz

Screenwriting by Ray Frensham (a Teach Yourself Publication)

The Screenwriter’s Bible by David Trottier

Letters to A Young Artist by Anna Deavere Smith

Catching The Big Fish by David Lynch

The Conversations: Walter Murch and the Art of Film Editing by Michael Ondaatje

Making Movies by Sidney Lumet

On Directing Film by David Mamet

Essential DEREN, Collected Writings on Film by Maya Deren

How Not To Make A Short Film: Secrets From A Sundance Programmer by Roberta Munroe

5) Read scripts, good ones and bad ones. Read scripts of films you have seen or haven’t seen. Click here, start with this one, written by a writer. And then you can try this one, written by a famous director/writer click here 🙂 What is the fundamental difference between these two scripts?

6) See films, shorts, documentaries, online, on tv, on the big screen. Each format is a different experience. Become a critical viewer. Become aware of what you like or don’t like, and figure out why.

7) Write your story, your script, your dreams, your thoughts. Write your blog, your report, something. Write everyday. Use your hands and write with pen & paper whenever possible.

8) For Fiction Film: Go out and film a scene from your script. Follow the script to the letter. Then improvise. Edit. Select another scene and repeat the process.

9) For Documentary Film: Film a segment of your script by following the action, vary your shots and think of the edit while you shoot. Then edit. Repeat.

About the Instructor:

NADINE PATTERSON, M.S., M.A., is an award winning writer/producer/director and educator who works at the crossroads of narrative and documentary cinema. She earned a Master of Science in Instructional Media at West Chester University and her Master of Arts in Filmmaking at the prestigious London Film School. She operates the production and consulting company Harmony Image Productions with her mother, producer Marlene G. Patterson. Their films, including Moving with the Dreaming, Anna Russell Jones, and Tango Macbeth, have screened on public television and at film festivals around the world. In 2016 she founded the Abierto Media Fund of Bread & Roses to support socially conscious independent filmmakers in Pennsylvania. She was the Visiting Documentary Filmmaker at Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh, PA Fall 2016 and she now serves as the Documentary Film Strategist for Center for Documentary Production and Study at Robert Morris University. BLACK BALLERINA, on which she served as Outreach Producer, is currently on rotation via American Public Television on over 200 PBS stations around the country.