So you have an idea for a film script…but don’t know how to get it on the page?
Or maybe you’ve started one but you’ve got lost in procrastination, doubt or uncertainty in the process?
In this course, I will simplify the information you need, hold you accountable, and get you over the finish line in two months with a completed first draft you’ll be proud of.
In this course you will be guided from concept through to completing a first draft in just 8 weeks.
You’ll not only learn everything you need to successfully complete your first draft, you’ll also be held accountable with deadlines and community support.
Whether you’re absolutely new to screenwriting or have experience but want support and inspiration through the first draft process, this program will help you achieve your goal.
When you sign up, you will receive access to your first pre-recorded video lesson, a downloadable worksheet summarizing the main points of the lesson, and clear assignments for the coming week.
After that, there are 7 more weekly pre-recorded lessons (plus one bonus week). You choose when to watch the lesson and when to do the work. If you want to do one per week at that rate, you can. If you prefer to take longer to do the course, you are welcome to. This goes at your pace.
In every weekly lesson, you will receive clear instructions on what you need to accomplish before you move onto the next lesson. You will feel guided, supported and encouraged – and this will get you to the finish line.
You are also invited to join me for 4 group zoom calls over the two months that you are writing your script.
Hi, I’m Diane Bell, and I’m a Sundance award-winning screenwriter and director.
I’ve written a dozen screenplays, half of them specs, the other half commissioned (or writer for hire). These include two with the legendary John McTiernan (director of Die Hard, Predator, The Hunt for Red October, etc).
My first movie as writer/director premiered at Sundance and won two awards. It went on to be nominated for two Independent Spirit Awards, including one for best first screenplay.
I’ve attended the Sundance Screenwriter’s Lab and I’ve been teaching screenwriting since 2016. I’ve also written a book about indie filmmaking, Shoot From the Heart.
The very first screenplay I wrote took me 8 weeks to write….over 3 years. It was optioned and it jumpstarted my career – but three years to write a script?!
That experience is the inspiration behind this course.
I want to help you write your first draft in 8 weeks, over 8 weeks!
The method I share is how I approach EVERY script I now write. It’s been used by hundreds of my students and worked for them.
If you don’t want to wait years to finish your script and want to jumpstart your own career, sign up and let’s do this!
You’ll learn the fundamental underlying structure of all screenplays and start thinking about the style, genre and structure of your own movie.
Without great characters, you don’t have a movie. This week you’ll learn how to create unforgettable characters as well as how to outline your movie and why you should do it.
We’ll delve into screenwriting formatting as well as take a look at the building block of any screenplay, the scene and how to write a great one. You’ll also discover what is essential in the first ten pages of your script- and then you’ll write those!
Below you will find answers to a number of FAQs… but seriously if you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to email@example.com.
Absolutely! You will be guided through the basics and gain the knowledge and confidence to complete your first draft.
Of course the lessons will cover some material that you are already familiar with. However, if you’re looking to be guided through an efficient, creative approach to writing a first draft, plus crave accountability, deadlines and actually finishing, you’ll love it.
This will partly depend on you and how efficient you are!
Allow one hour per week for viewing the video lesson and reading the pdf. Beyond that, on average I’d say once you get into writing your screenplay, ideally you want to commit one hour/day, five days a week (the target after week 3 will be 4 pages of screenplay per day/five days a week, so 20 pages per week)
Of course it’s up to you. If you can write more, faster, good for you! If you take longer, you might need longer.
The most important thing to know is that you do this on your own schedule. If you want to do the first lesson then take a break, you can do that. You can take a year to write your screenplay or more, it’s your life and there are no rules! Some students like to do the first few lessons and then pause for a few weeks to really dig deep before going on. It’s all up to you. There’s no right or wrong.
Absolutely! I was living in Barcelona, Spain when I wrote and sold my first screenplay! Georgraphy is not a block – you can do this wherever you are.
I will encourage you to do this, as it makes your work SO MUCH EASIER (otherwise you’re going to be creating a multitude of tabs in Word like in the olden days ;-). In the first lesson, I will discuss the options with you. There are free options but I haven’t tested these and can’t vouch for them.
Only in the first 14 days after purchasing. This gives you time to try the first two lessons, but after that there are no refunds.
This course is designed for writing a feature film script. That being said, I have written two pilots (one was sold but sadly never made) so although I’m not an expert, I can offer some guidance. The principles are largely the same, but the structure of a pilot is obviously different. Currently, there are many writers in the course who are working on pilots and I created a masterclass on writing TV pilots successfully and how to use the course to do it. This class is available to everyone who joins. I recommend you watch it BEFORE proceeding with the other classes in the course.
No, I don’t – and this is by design. The goal of the course is to empower you to write a first draft of a screenplay. To do that well, I think it’s essential to tune out the critic in our heads, to become a clear channel for the story that is coming through you. There is time when you finish it for polishing it and getting feedback – but getting feedback on something that isn’t finished isn’t helpful. My job is to give you the practical tools that you need, the guidance, and the confidence to trust your own instincts.
You will have the opportunity to ask questions at our monthly zoom calls.
As the lessons are pre-recorded it starts when you want it to. It’s entirely self-paced, so it works with your schedule.
I’m so excited for you to write your screenplay!