Advanced Studies Program: The Screenwriter as an author

Advanced Studies

Campus: Santo Domingo

“CHAVÓN’s Script Writing Program is conceived as a writer’s lab, offering follow-ups to scripts in their idea, synopsis, plot, or first draft phases. Through classes and one-on-one sessions with both foreign and Dominican professionals of the trade, you’ll dive deep into your stories, enhancing them and bringing them to life. You will go through the basics of what it means to write a script, and find what is unique in each of your projects. The balance between group classes and tailor-made individual sessions provides a dynamic circle of creativuty, in which you will not only dive into your stories, but also learn to read and discuss others’ stories effectively.

Writing a script is one of the loneliest processes on the road to making a movie. That is why we want to create alongside you during the course of six months. Once the program is over, you will have not only a new draft of your script, but also the tools to continue working on it – as well as a group of teachers and colleagues with whom to continue collaborating. After all, it doesn’t matter if a story has been told a thousand times — as long as you need to tell it, it will always be unique.

“I don’t think plot as plot means much nowadays. I’d say we’ve all seen all the plots millions of times. What we have not seen are the characters and their relationships between them.” This quote by Howard Hawks, is the foundation of what it means to create a story today. In a creative context in which everything seems to have been told countless times, we have to find our singularities, our own syntax. The best way to create something unique is sincerity – a communion between the author, the story, the characters, and the way that story needs to be told. For that, a screenwriter needs all the tools at their disposal, and a whole lot of feeling.

Application window: July 15th – October 15th 2021
Admissions decision: October 30, 2021

CONTACT

Cristina Álvarez & Jipsy Pimentel
Admissions Advisors

Phone: + 1 (809) 563.2802
Email:admissions@chavon.edu.do

For more information Download

Calle Paseo de los Aviadores,
No. 5. Ens. Miraflores
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Audience and Objectives

The Program is aimed at students or professionals who have an idea for a feature film script and seek to:

  • Strengthen a draft of their script with the necessary tools for future drafts.
  • Establish or reinforce, in a useful way, the tools for script writing.
  • Enhance the creative process through a dialogue with the other students and teachers.
  • Enhance the voice of each author to find originality within each story.
  • Offer an environment that encourages future collaborations.

Format

  • Online classes
  • 3-hour sessions, twice a week
  • 6:00 pm. to 9:00 p.m.
  • Duration of 20 weeks
  • 350 hours

Each phase of the course includes group and individual counseling, directly related to the state in which each story is found and to the contents of the ongoing workshop.

Group and individual tutoring will be held outside class hours, and will be arranged between students and teachers. In the first two phases, these tutoring sessions will be held every two weeks. In the last phase, where the students will be writing their scripts, the tutoring sessions will be held weekly.

The Program includes 2 (optional) in-person workshops of 1 week at the School grounds, for intensive writing retreats and group counseling. (Lodging and food costs are not included.) These classes will also be available on a virtual platform for those who cannot participate in person.

Methodology

The Program is built as a theoretical-practical project lab, offering tools to be used in each of the projects, as well as individual or collective tutoring sessions with teachers.

The course is divided into three phases:

  • The first phase invites students to dive into the heart of their story and find the most suitable structure, ending with the rewriting of the plot.
  • The second phase will mainly focus on the character and its environment (other characters, their context, their past) in order to define their dramatic arc throughout the story.
  • The third will focus on rewriting the script, analyzing the new draft and giving time for a third rewrite. In this phase, students will also finalize their project dossier.

Each phase includes short seminars to support other areas of writing: semiotics classes that allow them to expand their reflection process, a seminar on new narratives, to explore other creative platforms and other ways of storytelling, and a third on Show Runners and their fundamental role in the creation of a TV Series.

In addition to this, each phase will include a master class on narratology, the hero’s journey, and narrative structures. Likewise, every week, students will be able to attend, in person, the screenings organized by the Film department, in which a selection of films are screened and are then followed by a cinema forum to analyze/discuss said works with the professors or invited filmmakers.

Our Faculty and advisers are made up of prominent international scriptwriters and script doctors.

Admissions

Applications for admissions to the Advanced Studies Program in Screen-writing at CHAVÓN may be submitted during the application window.

Application Window:
July 15th – October 15th

Admitted applicants will be notified of the admissions decision:
October 30th

Requirements

• Participants must be at least 21 years old and speak Spanish

• Participants can be graduates of any discipline, but their prior knowledge and/or experience in writing will be taken into account.

• Participants must have at least one idea for a script for a feature film or fiction series or documentary, either original or adapted.

• Participants must send a brief synopsis of said idea, a motivation letter about why they want to tell that story, and a resume where they talk about their training, experience, and their relationship with film.

• Participants must have notions of writing a film script, especially in terms of format.

• Participants must have access to a specialized application for writing a film script, such as Final Draft or Celtx.

Study Program

First Module: Heart and Skeleton of History

  • The questions of the story + First approach to the ideas
  • Seminar I: Semiotics
  • Rediscover our character
  • Workshop I: Structural paradigms I
  • Adaptation: Finding ourselves in someone else’s work
  • Writing the plot
  • Master class I: Narratology

Second Module: The Voice of The Story

  • Seminar II: New Narratives
  • Face-to-face Workshop II: Write with and for the character: The character and his environment
  • Write with and for the character II: Questioning our character
  • Master class II: The Hero’s Journey
  • The structural paradigms II: Journey of the character
  • Putting our character to the test
  • Project development

Third Module: Rewriting and Diagnosis

  • Seminar III: The work of the Show runner
  • Face-to-face Workshop III: Script writing I
  • Writing analysis
  • Completion of the texts in the folder
  • Script writing II
  • Master class: Narrative Structures, from classic to postmodern
  • Pitch projects (scripts and folders) to producers and investors of the Industry and evaluation.