Presented by MIFF 37ºSouth Market & Accelerator, this series of Australian seminars is exclusive to Melbourne. Tickets for these all-day seminars (at $80 each) can be booked at www.miff.com.au (MIFF passes are not valid). All sessions will be held at the Village Roadshow Theatre at the State Library (La Trobe Street, near corner of Swanston Street). For more details on each workshop, go to www.miff37degreesSouth.com
Monday 06 August, 10am-5pm. Book tickets here
Drawing on the masters of character and dialogue, from Billy Wilder to James L. Brooks and Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor, through clips and practical exercises, this seminar examines a variety of tools and approaches to developing unique, memorable main and secondary character's voices, specific tools for writing speeches, monologues, fights, etc. as well as new ways of thinking about character conflicts and power dynamics within any script, through the use of dialogue and subtext alone.
Tuesday 07 August, 10am-5pm. Book tickets here
Best Screenplay Oscar-winner The King's Speech demonstrates how powerful and memorable truly great screen relationships can be. Think of Ilsa and Rick, Butch and Sundance, Hannibal and Clarice, Harry and Sally, or more recently Rooster Cogburn and Mattie Ross in True Grit, and warring brothers Micky Ward and Dicky Eklund of The Fighter. What is the special screenwriting alchemy that makes these relationships unforgettable? This workshop breaks down a series of memorable screen relationships scene by scene to give you practical advice on how to combine dialogue, action, back-story, conflict and emotion to create vivid, timeless relationships in your own work.
Wednesday 08 August, 10am-5pm. Book tickets here
The seminar looks at this 2011 phenomenon scene-by-scene, examining the special alchemy of plot dynamics, characterizations, scene structure, dialogue, tone and pacing which made this a genuine $300 million global hit. In the course of breaking the film down scene-by-scene, we discuss dealing with multiple characters, structuring comic set pieces that build, developing satisfying comic character arcs, handling subplot romances and writing “chick flicks” that defy gender lines.
Thursday 09 August, 10am-5pm. Book tickets here
Oscar wins for Crash, The Hours and Little Miss Sunshine highlight a long tradition of multi-story/multi-protagonist films. Often seeming to operate as part of a cultural zeitgeist, exploring or exposing a particular cultural moment in time, the multi-story/multi-protagonist film and form moves easily from independent gem to Oscar nominee, applies across a variety of genres and approaches and, when it works, can be both powerful and irresistible. Think classics like The Best Years of Our Lives and How to Marry a Millionaire, through The Big Chill, Diner, Hannah and Her Sisters, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Pulp Fiction, Go, Traffic, Babel, The English Patient and Love Actually. Think Altman and P.T. Anderson, masters of this approach, in films like Nashville, Shortcuts, Gosford Park, Boogie Nights and Magnolia. This complex structure works equally well in mainstream comedies like St. Elmo’s Fire, The Breakfast Club, or Animal House, war films like Kelly’s Heroes, The Great Escape and Saving Private Ryan, mockumentaries like Spinal Tap or Waiting For Guffman and Best in Show, horror films like Scream or Blair Witch and independent films like Lantana, 21 Grams, Happiness, Personal Velocity and Friends with Money.
This seminar aims to de-mystify this approach to film writing and make it less intimidating. What elements do all multi-story/multi-protagonist stories share, if any? What are the different demands in terms of characterization, structure and transitions? Is the theme, in fact, the protagonist? If not, how important is it? Is three-act structure irrelevant, or still applicable in a recognizable way? What kind of stories/themes are best served by this approach?