Screen Writing

Class No 916 – fee $420

Foundations OF SCREEN WRITING

Tutor: STEVE BARR

Before the rest of a film making team comes together, the screenwriter must think like a producer, director, actor, cinematographer, casting agent, costume designer, art director, and editor to imagine an excellent cinematic experience … and then be able to convey that experience into the minds of other people using only words on pages.

This workshop will explore and develop both sets of skills — imagining a good movie, and writing that movie down — over the course of five days. Participants will move from the general to the specific, going from why we tell stories in the first place all the way to tiny choices like whether to transition to a new scene with a smash cut or a fade out.

The class will be a combination of lectures and workshopping, so please bring a laptop or a pad of paper. By the end of the course, everyone should have a completed second draft of either a short film or the first sequence of a feature film.

Steve moved to New Zealand in 2010 after working for 16 years in the Hollywood industry. He has been a “suit” for Universal Studios, a feature screenwriter for Walt Disney Pictures, and the vice president of development for the indie production company SMASHfilms. Steve has been hired to write over a dozen screenplays in the New Zealand, American, and Chinese industries, has produced nearly 20 short films and two features – Chronesthesia and Hang Time. He co-wrote New Zealand’s first hip hop dance movie Born To Dance, which is one of the top 25 most successful New Zealand movies in history. 

Steve has a BFA in Theatre from the University of Southern California, and teaches screenwriting for the New Zealand Film and Television School, the New Zealand Writers Guild, Massey University, and Victoria University. He is a member of the WGA, WIFT, and SPADA and is the vice president of the New Zealand Writers Guild.