Crafting the Feature Film – Writing Workshop, Wgtn

13 Jul 2020 to 24 Aug 2020
6.30-8.30 Mondays (or Tuesdays)
This course is about exploring the idea you have, finding inspiration in old ideas that you may not have quite nailed, or creating a new idea and building on it over seven weeks.
Event type: 
$180 for all seven sessions
Innermost Gardens
31 Lawson Place, Mount Victoria, Wellington


Please note: this course, facilitated by Dr Gavin McGibbon is currently full. However if there is more demand, we will run a second course on Tuesdays 14/7 - 25/8.

Apply quickly please.

A feature film demands a lot from a writer - a story that holds our attention for at least ninety minutes to over two hours. A feature film has so many different moving parts that are an immense challenge for writers to take on, not to mention that each screenplay you write is an entirely different and new thing.
This course is about exploring the idea you have, finding inspiration in old ideas that you may not have quite nailed, or creating a new idea and building on it over seven weeks.

A writer needs to be flexible; a good screenwriter has achieved a yoga of the mind in a lot of ways - this course is about exploring what different positions there might be to help you with your current film idea and the ones to come after that.

Dr Gavin McGibbon

Dr Gavin McGibbon is currently the Programme Leader of the MA Screenwriting programme at Liverpool John Moores University. He has taught playwriting at Victoria University of Wellington for the International Institute of Modern Letters, where he also worked as an MA Supervisor for four years on Ken Duncum’s MA Scriptwriting Course. Gavin has also worked for the New Zealand Film Commission, the New Zealand Film School, Massey University, Victoria Continuing Education and he is a freelance script consultant.

Gavin has an MA and a PhD in scriptwriting. He has had the opportunity to learn in person from some of the best teachers in the business, Ken Duncum, Robert McKee, Christopher Vogler, Karl Iglesias, Scott Myers, Karol Griffiths and many others.

Emerging Artists Trust was delighted when Gavin established and led the EAT writing courses in 2010. Gavin has a very different take on scriptwriting and what it takes to build a story that connects with people. He doesn’t believe in formula - he believes in craft, and using that craft to create an emotional response for the audience.

Schedule and Outline

Monday 13th July

Growing the idea.

A session exploring what you need to take the idea you have and turn it into a fully-fledged script. Can you take your character further than you think? Do you have enough fuel in the narrative to get it where you want it to go? Are there exciting opportunities for your script that you might be overlooking?

Monday 20th July

Act Two Blues.
Breaking the beast down into something workable, manageable.

A session on ensuring your story has momentum from the beginning to the end. Finding that you get to a certain point and it gets hard to continue on with the script? This class will look at ways to avoid that. Where are the unexpected places you can take your story? What if there’s a different ending to your script than the one you’ve envisioned? How do you keep the conflict going? How do you build to a true “all is lost” moment?

Monday 27th July

The Scene Part One.

The next two sessions are all about the scene - how to approach one, what they need to do, where they can go wrong, how to write one. Tips. Tricks. The works.

The scene is the building block between each and every moment of your story. Are you writing your scenes as effectively as you can? Learn techniques to keep scenes humming along, to keep a reader hooked throughout your script. In this session we will explore masterful scenes from film and television, looking at how they work and how they might help you with your own writing.

Monday 3rd August

The Scene Part Two.

Building on the previous session. Tips. Tricks. The works.

In this session you will write a scene in class. You will be given new prompts that you will include in your scene. A fun, wild and challenging session as you take your writing to places you haven’t been before.

Monday 10th August

Using the page to your advantage, ensuring the reader feels and sees your world.

There’s story and then there’s craft. As great as your ideas and stories may be, it’s on the page where they come alive. This session is focused on the page - ways to ensure that your story is coming across as powerfully as possible. At the end of the day, no matter how much time and effort we put into our stories, it’s what there is on the page that determines everything.

We will look at how Oscar winning screenwriters set out their pages and why, and compare what we see on the screen with what there is on the page.

Monday 17th August

Staying open to the possibilities of your story now that you have a firm idea of what your script is about.

Something that is critical to being the best writer that you can be is learning how to step back from your script and look at it in different ways. This session is all about exploring the different possibilities of your idea and what would happen to your idea if you changed certain aspects of it, from shifting genres to different protagonists. This can be a way of injecting new energy into an old idea. As storytellers, we have to write many drafts of the same story and it’s important to keep our minds open to new possibilities.

Monday 24th August

Tips and tricks to keep writing, keep growing as writers.

As writers we need to keep growing and experimenting with our writing - we don’t want to keep telling the same story in the same way. Each script we write should be pushing us forward as writers. This session will be focused on how to keep our writing fresh and our minds open to different ways of telling stories.

How to apply


Deadline to apply

Spaces are limited. There is no deadline to apply however the course will be locked off as soon as suitable applicants have applied and been accepted. For this reason please register your interest as soon as possible.

More information Contact Sally Thorburn 027 4328935

Written by

Emerging Artists Trust (EAT)

15 Jun 2020

Emerging Artists Trust runs a Mentoring Programme for emerging artists in all areas of film, theatre and visual arts. EAT has an annual grant round for Wellington based practitioners. The 2020 round will be open for applications in April 2020.