Wendall Thomas


Presented by MIFF 37ºSouth Market & Accelerator, celebrated LA-based developer, writer and lecturer Wendall Thomas, who has written and developed projects for companies including Disney, Warner Brothers, Paramount, Universal, Showtime, PBS, A&E and NBC, returns exclusively to Melbourne for more of her hugely-popular series unlocking the secrets of film writing with a series of four stand-alone all-day seminars. Thomas’ recent client films include Any Day Now (Winner Audience Award Tribeca 2012), The Truth Below (2011), The Space Between (2011) and the Republic of Two (2013).

All tickets $80 per seminar (MIFF passes are not valid).



Monday 29 July, 9.30am-4.30pm; Village Roadshow Theatrette at the State Library

Using voice over and flashback for lazy exposition can be disastrous. But mastering these advanced techniques can result in classic filmmaking, such as Sunset Boulevard, Apocalypse Now, and Annie Hall to Election, Adaptation, La Vie En Rose and Beasts of the Southern Wild. This seminar explores various approaches to these screenwriting devices and offers advice on when and how to use them most effectively.


CHARACTER:  EVIL GENIUS – How to Write a Great Villain

Tuesday 30 July, 9.30am-4.30pm; Village Roadshow Theatrette at the State Library

From the Wicked Witch of the West and Hannibal Lecter to The Joker, and Jackie Weaver’s calculating matriarch in Animal Kingdom, great villains make a film forever memorable. Creating a strong antagonist is a vital part of the equation in any genre, and this seminar explores what great screen villains have in common and offers suggestions on how to create one of your own.


SCENE BY SCENE: FATAL ATTRACTION – The Classic Three Act Structure

Wednesday 31 July, 9.30am-4.30pm; The Cube at ACMI

This classic thriller offers not only a great introduction to perfect three act structure, but also to the kind of  plot dynamics, characterizations, scene structure, dialogue, tone, pacing and antagonist which can improve any script. The seminar breaks the film down scene-by-scene, exploring every aspect of this enduring international hit, including how it functions as a genre piece.



Thursday 01 August, 9.30am-4.30pm; Village Roadshow Theatrette at the State Library

Whether writing comedy, horror, drama, or thriller, the second act is always a challenge. This seminar offers practical advice on getting through the “desert” of the second act in any genre, focusing on what happens in between the major plot points. It examines how to interweave subplots to advantage, how to maintain a steady movement from dramatic “pluses” to “minuses,” and how to move your protagonist realistically through the bulk of their arc.