Begins Monday, May 31st, 2021
Any questions about this class? Use the Chat Button (lower left) to talk with us.
Taught by award-winning novelist and screenwriter Ryan David Jahn, who currently has a project in development at a major streaming network and his first film, a one-location thriller, is in post-production (you can also read his story "All This Distant Beauty" in The Best American Mystery Stories 2020).
Low-Budget Screenwriting is a class meant to facilitate the ground-up development of a feature-length screenplay while simultaneously keeping common production and budget constraints in mind.
Each week we will approach different aspects of story development by watching films and considering their approach to character, location, plot, and more. Production screenplays will also be provided and can be used either in lieu of the films or in addition to them.
Through our examination of these films and screenplays we will also consider the differences between situation and plot, and why those differences matter in low-budget filmmaking; learn how to develop gripping characters; learn how to increase tension without increasing our budget, and more.
By the end of the four-week class, you should have developed a solid outline for a feature-length screenplay, with feedback from Ryan throughout the process.
This class also includes a Zoom Q&A with a guest speaker, writer-producer Andrew Pagana, who wrote the upcoming film Surrounded, starring Letitia Wright and Jamie Bell, and whose credits as a producer include Raze (starring Zoe Bell and Rachel Nichols), Anarchy Parlor (starring Robert LeSardo), and Ryan’s upcoming first feature, which is currently in post-production.
Although subject to change, the films we currently plan to examine are Buried (2010, written by Chris Sparling), Free Fire (2016, written by Amy Jump and Ben Wheatley), Insidious (2010, written by Leigh Whannell), and Locke (2013, written by Steven Knight).
NOTE: If you want to brainstorm ideas prior to the class, that would be fine, but it isn't necessary. During the first week we will be brainstorming ideas and, with luck, each student will land on a concept they want to grow into a full outline.STUDENTS LOVE WORKING WITH RYAN:
"I just finished the Art of Suspense class taught by Ryan David Jahn. Before class began, I was a little skeptical about the online format because I had not done that before. I need not have worried. Reading my classmates' work and exchanging critiques was so much fun, and I don't think anything was lost because it was online. After all, we're writers! Ryan's lessons were insightful and inspiring, as were the texts we read for the class. All in all, I feel I took away much more than I was able to contribute, and that's a bargain in anyone's book. The platform we use, Wet Ink, was excellent. Thank you, Writing Workshops and Ryan David Jahn for an excellent course experience." -Lisa S.
ONLINE COURSE STRUCTURE:
This class is entirely asynchronous which means you complete the weekly assignments on your own schedule. There are no set meeting times in order to allow for greater participation; your cohort will consist of writers from across different time zones, which allows for a wonderful diversity of voices.
Along with your weekly deadlines there is plenty of interaction with Ryan and your peers within Wet Ink, our dedicated online classroom. Craft materials, lectures, reading assignments, and writing prompts are all available through the online classroom. Students also post work and provide and receive feedback within the online classroom environment.
You can get the work done as you see fit week-to-week, so it is perfect for any schedule. There are discussion questions each week inspired by the assigned readings and topics in the lecture notes. Students are encouraged to take these wherever is most compelling and/or useful for them. Ryan engages with these discussions throughout the week and you will receive feedback from all assigned writing activities.
HOW DOES WET INK WORK?
Wet Ink was built and designed specifically for online writing classes. Wet Ink is private, easy to use, and very interactive. You can learn more about the Wet Ink platform by Watching a Class Demo.
Instructor: Ryan David Jahn
Class size limited to 10 writers
Starts May 31st, 2021
Course is fully ONLINE; students can work according to their own schedule within weekly deadlines. Once you have enrolled the instructor will send you a link to our online classroom, provided via Wet Ink.
Instructor Ryan David Jahn grew up in Arizona, Texas, and California. He published his first novel, Acts of Violence, which went on to win the prestigious Crime Writers' Association John Creasey Dagger, in 2009. He has since published six others, including The Dispatcher, which was named by the Financial Times as one of the top ten crime novels of the year, The Last Tomorrow, and The Breakout. His story "All This Distant Beauty" was recently selected for inclusion in The Best American Mystery Stories for 2020. In addition to his published work, he currently has a project in development at a major streaming network and his first film, a one-location thriller, is in post-production. He lives in Louisville, Kentucky, with his wife, Jessica, and two daughters, Francine and Matilda.