$389 - 6 WEEKS SEPT 6TH - OCT 11TH

Wednesdays at 7:00PM

Instructor: David Garrett and Stacey Miller and Special Industry Guests.

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Join us for an intensive six-week seminar in the fundamentals of writing for the stage and screen. You will learn how to develop a marketable story idea, structure it into the appropriate Hollywood format, and flesh out characters and plot. At the end of the course, you will leave with an outline, completed scenes, and a pragmatic business plan to help you fully realize your project. Taught by working screenwriters who have not only written films for James Franco, 20th Century Fox, Disney, New Line, Dreamworks and Sony, but have also worked professionally writing for both television and the stage, this course dispenses with the lofty philosophies so often found in confusing screenwriting books and offers practical, hands-on advice from the trenches to help you create a compelling, marketable script!

Students with ALL levels of experience will undoubtedly find information to benefit their writing; those who have never written before will learn how to translate general ideas into commercial screenplays, pilots, or stage plays, while those with prior experience can expect to hone their craft and benefit from personal feedback from the instructors.


The comprehensive course curriculum includes instruction on how to translate an idea into a stage play, screenplay or television pilot. Some of the specific topics covered include:

- Creating a marketable high-concept for stage, screen or television.

- Introduction to the 3-Act Structure & Plot Points
- Fundamentals of Character
- Inciting Incidents, Plants and Payoffs and the Hero
s Journey

- Explanation of The Mythic Structure

- Plot twists
- Elements of a scene
- Developing non-clichéd dialogue

- Creating compelling villains
- Writing visually
- Drawing on your own life for story ideas
- Going from the blank page to a completed script
- Choosing the appropriate format: play, pilot or screenplay

- Adaptation
- Setting deadlines
- Fighting fear and writers block

Marketing the script:

- Using a short film or trailer to sell your script - Creating hype for your script
- Using your true-life story to sell a pitch
- Optioning articles and books to adapt

- Acquiring life and story rights
- How to pitch your script to studios and networks
- Repackaging an unsold feature film as a television series

- What to avoid when making a deal

Students will be provided with exercises, handouts, copies of book options, studio deals and marketing materials that were actually used to successfully sell projects. 

David Garrett has written feature films for Dreamworks, Universal and Paramount Studios, among others. He co-wrote “Foreign Exchange” for MTV Films and the musical comedy “Do That To Me One More Time” (with Jack Black) for Touchstone Pictures. Garrett co-wrote “Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo” for Happy Madison as well as “First Pet” and “Corky Romano” for Disney. In 2010, Garrett directed and produced the award-winning political documentary “Who is Alvin Greene?”. While Vice President of Development at Intrigue Entertainment from 2011-2013, Garrett specialized in bringing foreign formats to the American television market.

Between 2011 and 2013, he set up half a dozen formats and scripted series at CBS, NBC, ABC Family and Universal, with two going to pilot (including "Former Fat Girl" at NBC). Also, Garrett is Executive Producer of the Jamie Lee Curtis one-hour drama "Quartet" now in production at CBS.

Previously, Garrett wrote and produced pilots, series & specials for ABC, NBC, CBS, UPN, MTV, USA, Comedy Central, Showtime and Fox. These include 100+ episodes of scripted and reality television. In 2010, he sold the half-hour comedy “The Ugly Floor” to USA and the reality show “I've Never” to MTV. WB's “Living with Fran”, whichGarrett co-created and Executive Produced, was based on his life. Garrett sold the half-hour comedy “Model Family” to Fox with Jamie Kennedy in 2007 and co-wrote “The Hatfields & McCoys”, a dramatic mini-series for the USA Network. He also had development deals with Fox Television, Paramount TV, and Touchstone.

David has lectured on screenwriting at New York Film Academy, UCLA, USC, Columbia College and film festivals throughout the world, from Iceland to Australia. He is also an entertainment attorney and graduate of UCLA Law School. Check out David's monthly column in Script Magazine at

Originally from Texas, Stacey Miller began her career in Los Angeles as an actress, but after completing USC’s Master of Professional Writing program, her focus shifted almost exclusively to writing for film, television and the stage. She has performed in numerous productions in many LA theaters including Playhouse West Repertory, A Noise Within, and Moving Arts, where she had the pleasure of acting in the premiere of her own original play, Meeting.

In addition to her work on stage, Stacey has worked extensively in film and television, co-starring in several Rabbit Bandini productions such as The Ape, Good Time Max, Fool’s Gold, The Broken Tower, and Sal, for which she also wrote the screenplay. Sal (starring Val Lauren, James Franco, and Jim Parrack) premiered at The Venice Film Festival in 2011 and was released theatrically in 2013.  Stacey co-wrote and co-directed (with her favorite co-instructor, David Garrett) Rabbit Bandini’s original series, Acting Class. Stacey co-wrote I Am Michael, executive produced by Gus Van Sandt, starring James Franco, Zachary Quinto, and Emma Roberts, currently showing on Netflix.  Stacey is excited to be part of the Studio 4 teaching staff, and is currently at work on several upcoming projects.