Screenwriting

1, 2 & 3 week
Tuition:
  • 1wk....$995
  • 2wk....$1,995
  • 3wk....$2,995
Campuses:
  • New York City
  • Los Angeles
Ages:
  • 13-19

Overview:

SOCAPA offers one, two and three week intensives in screenwriting at our New York City and Los Angeles campuses. Students will have the option of developing two short screenplays (4-8 pages each), one longer screenplay (10-12 pages), or the first act of a feature-length screenplay. The course is designed to serve as a precursor to our filmmaking workshops with the idea that students will go on to produce and direct the screenplays that they write in this course during a SOCAPA filmmaking session later in the summer or the following year.

The two week screenwriting intensive provides students with the time, structure, feedback, and theory to hone their writing skills with a particular focus on story and character development.  Students spend time workshopping and critiquing their own and each others’ work, as well as analyzing films to discover what works and what doesn’t. In addition, students create a project as a group which they produce as a learning experience to understand what happens to a script when it is taken into the hands of directors and actors.

In the three week intensive, students are able to work on polishing more than one short piece, or to strongly develop the first act of a longer story idea. Students will also have the opportunity to work on story pitches, learning how to summarize and present their ideas to a group or individual. 

earn college credit
Get a headstart on college and earn three college credits in this three week program!  U.S. Citizens currently enrolled as High School Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors are eligible. Learn more about college credit
Teen Screenwriters Writing Curriculum -

CURRICULUM & SCHEDULE

In the mornings, students have their main writing theory class. Through a close analysis of award-winning shorts and clips from feature films, students break down the key ingredients of a successful screenplay. A strong emphasis is placed on the classic Hollywood three-act structure and the rules of visual storytelling which, once mastered, are of course meant to be broken. Topics include idea and theme generation, character development/analysis, producibility, proper formatting, screenwriting software, genre study and marketing strategies.

Teen Screenplay Writing for Screenwriters

SHORT vs. FEATURE SCREENPLAY

There is a tendency among many of our students to want to write a feature-length script right out of the gate. This is only natural because feature-length films are what they know. Movie theaters and film channels show feature-length movies (generally considered any film over eighty minutes in length) almost exclusively. But in the film industry, the short film remains an essential career-building tool. Short films serve as calling cards, showcasing the talent of their writer/directors and garnering them the attention necessary to break into the business. Feature films cost, on average, in the multi-millions to make, whereas a short film can be done on a shoestring budget.

SOCAPA encourages our screenwriting students to set realistic goals by not putting the cart in front of the horse. All the great novelists and feature film directors started out by working in the short story format. SOCAPA strongly believes that our students should first experiment with and master the short film before moving on to feature-length screenplays. That said, if a student is dead set on developing an idea for a feature, the course will help them develop a full-length story treatment and the first act of a screenplay.

Screenwriting Lab for Young Screenwriters in NYC

WRITING LAB

After lunch, students have supervised writing lab time and one-on-one writing advisements. Successful screenwriting is a matter of rewriting and writing lab is the time for that. Afternoon writing labs are when SOCAPA screenwriting students buckle down and make their ideas come to life on the page. At the end of each lab, students come together again for their "writers colony workshop." They pitch their ideas, do script readings, critique each other's work and solve narrative problems with the help of their instructor and their classmates. This creative workshop is invaluable in that students learn from one another's successes and failures, and form a community of young artists who continue to support each other and nurturing collaborative friendships long after the summer comes to an end.

Screenwriting - Student Interviews

Hear from SOCAPA students on what they learned from a Screenwriting program.

Watch Screenwriting Student Interviews

Screenwriting Group Project (2 or 3wk Only)

In the three week intensive, students are able to work on polishing more than one short piece, or to strongly develop the first act of a longer story idea.  In addition, students create a project as a group which they produce as a learning experience to understand what happens to a script when it is taken into the hands of directors and actors.

See An Example Group Film
SAMPLE SCREENWRITING SCHEDULE
WEEK ONE
SUNDAY DAY ONE
11a-3p: Airport Arrivals
1-4p: Dormitory Check-in
5-6p: Welcome Dinner
6-7p Screenwriting Program Orientation - Meet & Greet with Teachers
7-8:30p: All Programs Orientation
9:30p: Dormitory Floor Meetings & Orientation
10-10:30p: Floor Check-in
MONDAY DAY TWO
7:30 – 8:30a: Breakfast
8:45a: Meet for Attendance in Lobby
9a-12p: Into to Short Films
12-1p: Lunch
1-5p: Intro to Screenplay Format and Structure
5-6p: Get ready for dinner
7-9p: Dinner on the Town
10-10:30p: Floor Check-in
TUESDAY DAY THREE
7:30a – 8:30a: Breakfast
8:45a: Meet for Attendance in Lobby
9a-12p: Structure, cont. and Story Pitching
12-1p: Lunch
1p-3p: Treatment Writing
5:30 – 6:30p: Dinner
7-9:30p: Walking Tour of Downtown/Group Photo
10-10:30p: Floor Check-in
WEDNESDAY DAY FOUR
7:30a – 8:30a: Breakfast
8:45a: Meet for Attendance in Lobby
9a-12p: Feature Film Structure
12-1p: Lunch
1-5p: Writing Session, One on One Meetings
5:30 – 6:30p: Dinner
7-9:30p: Guest Filmmaker - Film Screening / Q&A
10-10:30p: Floor Check-in
THURSDAY DAY FIVE
7:30 – 8:30a: Breakfast
8:45a: Meet for Attendance in Lobby
9a-12p: Intro to Group Exercise, Brainstorm
12-1p: Lunch
1-5p: Write Group Exercise
5:30 – 6:30: Dinner
7-9:30: Live Concert in Park
10-10:30p: Floor Check-in
FRIDAY DAY SIX
7:30 – 8:30a: Breakfast
8:45a: Meet for Attendance in Lobby
9a-12p: Workshop First Drafts/ Read Through Group Ex.
12-1p: Lunch
1-3:30p: Workshop First Drafts/ Revise Group Script
5:30 – 6:30p: Dinner
7-9p: Week One Showcase
  Karaoke Fest
10-10:30p: Floor Check-in
SATURDAY DAY SEVEN
8:30 – 9:30a: Breakfast
10a: Leave for day’s outings
(NY-Washington Square/Village/Soho)
(CA-Universal Studios/Venice Beach)
(VT-Farmer’s market/Church Street/Stowe Mt./Ben&Jerry’s)
Lunch and Dinner – Student’s Choice
7-10p: Evening Show on the Town
10-10:30p: Floor Check-in
WEEK TWO
SUNDAY DAY ONE
8:30-9:30a Breakfast
10-1p: Writing/Rehearsal/Prep for Talent Show
1-4p: Afternoon Activity (Park, Beach, Museum, Shopping)
6–9:30p: SOCAPA Talent Show
10-10:30p: Floor Check-in

New York City Campus

3WK SCREENWRITING, MANHATTAN
Jun 24 - Jul 14, 2018 (Session 2)
Tuition:
$2995.00
Room & Board:
$2385.00
Ages:
15 - 19
3WK SCREENWRITING, NEW YORK CITY
Jun 24 - Jul 14, 2018 (Session 2)
Tuition:
$2995.00
Room & Board:
$2355.00
Ages:
13 - 16
2WK SCREENWRITING, NEW YORK CITY
Jun 24 - Jul 07, 2018 (Session 2)
Tuition:
$1995.00
Room & Board:
$1570.00
Ages:
13 - 18
1WK SCREENWRITING, NEW YORK CITY
Jul 08 - Jul 14, 2018 (Session 2)
Tuition:
$995.00
Room & Board:
$785.00
Ages:
13 - 18

Burlington, VT

1WK SCREENWRITING, VERMONT
Jun 24 - Jun 30, 2018 (Session 1)
Tuition:
$995.00
Room & Board:
$595.00
Ages:
13 - 18
1WK SCREENWRITING, VERMONT
Jul 22 - Jul 28, 2018 (Session 3)
Tuition:
$995.00
Room & Board:
$595.00
Ages:
13 - 18