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Writing for a Screenplay versus a Novel: The Power of Transformation with Ross Grayson Bell

9:15 AM, Friday 17 Aug 2018 (7 hours 15 minutes)
Morning tea   10:30 AM to 11:00 AM (30 minutes)
Afternoon tea   03:00 PM to 03:30 PM (30 minutes)

While many of the storytelling principles remain the same, writing for the screen, whether you are adapting an existing book or starting with an original idea, requires a different set of tools.

Film is a visual medium, where characters reveal themselves through action rather than thought, and needs to be approached from a different perspective. The old adage of ‘show, don’t tell’ applies even more so to screenplays.

In this practical workshop, using examples from films and published works, as well as looking at premise, concept and genre, we will explore a character’s two journeys: an outer journey of achievement, looking at goals, stakes and obstacles; and an inner journey of transformation, where the character overcomes an inner flaw and old beliefs to succeed (or not).

We will then examine how film’s three-act structure, as defined in the 12 stages of the Hero’s Journey, compels a character to embark on the outward journey and how this, in turn, triggers the inner journey to occur.

Using clips from the two case study films, Out of Africa and Fight Club (both required viewing), we will identify the turning points in the films’ structures and examine the impact they have on the characters’ development. In terms of adaptation, we will apply the same techniques to Susan Duncan’s memoir, Salvation Creek (required reading), to see if we can nd the movie in this Australian bestseller.