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Adapting for the Screen

April 12, 2018 — June 14, 2018

Thursdays / 6:30-9:30 p.m. / 10 Sessions


Want to turn a book or real-life story into a screenplay? Novels, short stories, comics, plays, and non-fiction all present unique challenges to screenwriters. Can a script be both entertaining and factually accurate? How can a work of literature be translated into a visual medium? Must the screenwriter be loyal to the originator? This class focuses on effective methods for navigating these tricky waters so the adaptation process is productive and rewarding. Class members will develop their own projects for discussion, review and instructor feedback. The takeaway is a solid start and a roadmap to finishing an adapted screenplay.


Topics will include:

Discerning Cinematic Elements

Fact vs. Fiction

What to Include and What to Leave Out

Biopics and Period Dramas

Poetic License and Embellishing

Public Domain and Public Figures

Optioning Source Material

Rights and Clearances


Story Parameters


Prerequisites:  None (though Screenwriting Fundamentals or knowledge of screenwriting  will be helpful).