Writers Boot Camp Basic Training in Los Angeles & New York

Seven weeks of fundamentals and support while you write your feature, television pilot script or web series.

Writers Boot Camp's Basic Training teaches comprehensive fundamentals while you write a first draft of your feature-length, TV pilot or web series. Class meetings are held one night a week for five weeks from 7:30–10:00pm. Each agenda assigns you in-class exercises and 10 hours of weekly writing tasks to expedite the development of your script.

Basic Training also includes weekly Office Hours via phone and email with your instructor for individual support outside of class for questions and creative reinforcement.

Week 1: Basic Training Introduction establishes a professional writing approach with an intensive syllabus, clear screenwriting definitions, work strategies and strict deadlines. Starting with as little as a single sentence, you'll start shaping your script idea, answer your questions about the film and television business, and begin defining the entertainment conceits and parameters of your project.

Week 2: Obstacle Course defines a main-character driven, four segment (three-act) screenplay structure, as well as strategies for character development. Unique tools empower expression of your ideas in accessible, professional terms to create a more dynamic, layered adventure. Structure is also broken down for half-hour and hour-long television, and articulates tools for short-form and how tools apply to any scene.

Week 3: Conflict Escalation helps you to write with a new understanding of the script page and format. You'll use a practical outlining approach to get past the opening of your script to develop the parts of the entire story, allowing you greater mobility between big picture story points and smaller scene choices. You'll learn distinctions of movies and TV and an accelerated writing technique to quickly build the pages of your script.

Week 4: Trench Warfare pushes you through the middle pages of your screenplay to discover new possibilities while you write. An advanced scene work checklist helps you evaluate your own style to get you writing more visually - leaving unnecessary material behind and making every part of your script entertaining. You'll compare your story to the character voices and parameters you've designed or are required by your show.

Week 5: Character Crossfire tests the motivations of your principal characters and connects the supporting roles to your main character's journey. A comprehensive evaluation checklist helps you review the tools you've learned, refine your project goals and reflect deeper thematic stakes in your scene choices.

Script D-Day (Deadline):  Seven weeks from your first class session, you'll send your script (pdf format), along with a couple of renowned conceptual tools (Project Unity Page and 3-6-3), for evaluation by the Writers Boot Camp staff.  You'll prepare for an individual conference (30-45 minutes via phone) using the Evaluation Checklist learned in class to create a set of notes for your ongoing rewrite objectives.

Basic Training is primarily a first-draft course and is not a prerequisite for our full development process.  In Basic Training you complete a first draft quickly; while our full development and empowered rewriting coursework takes you through 10 drafts every six months--without quitting your day job!

For additional information, call 800/800-1733.  If your goal for now is to complete a first draft, call us today and enlist in Basic Training.  If you understand the necessity to get beyond first draft and the challenges of sustaining a commitment to your project over a longer arc of time, please inquire about Professional Membership.


One-on-One Basic Training

One-on-One Basic Training (OBT) is an adaptation of our renowned first-draft course taught live in Los Angeles and New York City.

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