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Masters in screenwriting - Advice

  • 17-06-2017 10:33pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 222 ✭✭ MelBri


    Hi, So I just got accepted into the screenwriting masters in IADT and was wondering if anyone whos done it could give me any advice on what its like? wondering if its a good masters worth doing and if you think it helped you get a job when you left. Or if anyone could give me some general advice on working in the screenwriting business in Ireland? I've started to look for places I could work after the masters and I'm finding it pretty tough I have to say. I'm feeling pretty lost and any help at all would be great.


Comments

  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 1 terrytroubles


    Most new Irish directors write their own scripts.


  • Registered Users Posts: 222 ✭✭ MelBri


    hmmm, yeah I'm starting to realize that myself. Hopefully I can start getting some experience in the industry and go from there, thank you for the reply!


  • Registered Users Posts: 124 ✭✭ kweeveen86


    MelBri wrote: »
    hmmm, yeah I'm starting to realize that myself. Hopefully I can start getting some experience in the industry and go from there, thank you for the reply!

    Hi. Just wondering if you got on the course? Thinking of applying myself....


  • Registered Users Posts: 222 ✭✭ MelBri


    kweeveen86 wrote: »
    Hi. Just wondering if you got on the course? Thinking of applying myself....

    Hey there, yep I sure did and I'm really enjoying it :) Do you want some info on what it's like?


  • Registered Users Posts: 124 ✭✭ kweeveen86


    MelBri wrote: »
    Hey there, yep I sure did and I'm really enjoying it :) Do you want some info on what it's like?

    Hi! That would be great if you could, please! :-)

    Very new to the world of screenwriting, etc (have only done a couple of short courses in the last year and read up on it myself), so probably won't be accepted but thinking of applying anyway. Will know what I'll need for next year if this year is too early!

    Any info would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!


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  • Registered Users Posts: 222 ✭✭ MelBri


    kweeveen86 wrote: »
    Hi! That would be great if you could, please! :-)

    Very new to the world of screenwriting, etc (have only done a couple of short courses in the last year and read up on it myself), so probably won't be accepted but thinking of applying anyway. Will know what I'll need for next year if this year is too early!

    Any info would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!

    First thing I would say it don't worry at all about not being experienced. I didn't have any experience before this but just really liked writing and have learned heaps on the course (that's what it's for after all). Also, in my class of 14 at least half were new to screenwriting so it's all good :)

    So in terms of the course I started last October and I really like it! The days are Monday and Tuesday from 10 - 5. There are also tutorials on a Wednesday (but only every 2-3 weeks) which are used to discuss your script idea with a lecturer but I scheduled mine for Lunch on a Tuesday because I have work so there's flexibilty there.

    Both days involve 2 lectures each, both 3 hours with a short break in the middle to get coffee and an hour lunch break. In semester one we had a craft of screenwriting lecture on Monday morning, this one focuses on the importance of plot in a screenplay and we are given weekly assignments to complete. They've have been around writing short, 6 page scripts on a topic outlined by the lecturer (I found these really useful because I had very little experience of writing scripts). Monday afternoon we had a lecture on the history of cinema, basically we watch a film each week and discuss it in class.

    Tuesday morning we had a lecture on Greek tragedy, this focuses on the teachings of Aristotle and the poetics in relation to plot and narrative. This is another really useful one because Aristotle's ideas are always used by screenwriters so it's important to know them.
    On Tuesday afternoon we had another lecture on the craft of screenwriting with a different lecturer. This was my favourite class and I found it incredibly useful and helpful. Basically we would discuss what you need to include in your script to make it good, this includes things such as plant and payoff, tension between characters, obstacles for the protagonist and how to divide your screenplay into 3 acts. We also watch movies in this class with the lecturer explaining how these techniques can be seen. This really helps to highlight how these ideas are used.

    In semester two we had a tv drama module on Monday and Tuesday mornings which involved coming up with an idea for a tv show. We then had to write the first 10 pages of the pilot episode and outline further episodes/characters/themes. Really interesting and a nice break from talking about our film scripts :) Afternoons were film theory which was another history of film genres and on a Tuesday we had a comedy lecturer which dates back to greek comedy and plays. Interesting again and more opportunity for short writing exercises. A good laugh too.

    In terms of workload, I find it pretty good. There's no continual assesment. The main assignment is to write a screenplay, something which you are really helped with. There are also frequent panels where we met with 3 experienced proffesionals for feedback. The first draft must be submitted at the end of January, I'll be submitting my second draft on Tuesday and the final draft next September (so summer to work on it). We also had an essay due in January and another 2 in April.

    The class size is pretty small, 14 people including me but everyone is really lovely and we all help each other. Most of the class are in their 20s with a few older students as well.

    Overall, I've really enjoyed the masters, I like having class on mon and tues because it gives me the rest of the week to get stuff done.

    Just a couple other things to note while I think of them:
    -Don't put too much time into the "portfolio" it's really more about showing that you have a few ideas but honestly I haven't used any of the ones I had back then so don't worry too much.
    -In terms of the interview, just relax about it. I remember feeling nervous but honestly it's grand and you're probably taking it more serious then they are.
    -It's great if you have a couple of ideas you might like to write, or even a theme or particular topic you'd like to write on/are interested in
    -Prepare for your idea to change A LOT, so don't get too attached to it lol
    -You'll get some really interesting talks and workshops from tv and film writers.

    If you do decide to go for it I'm sure you'll have a blast and it'll fly in (it has for me)

    Sorry for the long post lol. I think that's everything but feel free to ask me any other questions you like! :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 124 ✭✭ kweeveen86


    God, it sounds great! I'd love to do it, so will get application in this week. Don't want to get my hopes up too much though!

    Thanks for taking the time to write such a lengthy reply as well. I really appreciate it! :-)


  • Registered Users Posts: 222 ✭✭ MelBri


    kweeveen86 wrote: »
    God, it sounds great! I'd love to do it, so will get application in this week. Don't want to get my hopes up too much though!

    Thanks for taking the time to write such a lengthy reply as well. I really appreciate it! :-)

    You're welcome! Glad you like the sound of it! Fingers crossed for ya and let me know how you get on :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 124 ✭✭ kweeveen86


    MelBri wrote: »
    You're welcome! Glad you like the sound of it! Fingers crossed for ya and let me know how you get on :D

    Cheers. Yeah, will keep you posted :-)


  • Registered Users Posts: 124 ✭✭ kweeveen86


    Hi MelBri,

    found out a few weeks ago that my application was rejected without me even being called for an interview. Very disappointing but not the end of the world - it just knocked my creative momentum a bit and has left me worried about not being accepted when I apply again next summer.

    Course director said he'd arrange to chat with me when he's back from his annual leave but just said that they had a "very large number of applicants and a large number of experienced writers"...

    So, there you have it!


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  • Registered Users Posts: 222 ✭✭ MelBri


    I'm sorry to hear that, and I know it could definitely knock your confidence but don't let it! Plenty of non experienced writers which is kind of the point of doing the course imo. Just unlucky with how it turned out.

    There's a lot of good screenwriting material online so it may be worth looking at that and getting some practice in with your own writing. There's a great book on screenwriting called Save the Cat which I have a pdf of and can send you if you like?

    Hopefully this won't put you off and you'll still apply next year.


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