Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Those Otherly-Minded Undergrad Creative Writers -- What to do?

Anyone teaching undergrad creative writing, I'd love to talk to you about the students who shows up in your classes, bent on veering the conversation to WALKING DEAD or SNL or Oscar picks, the student who might be interested in writing for film/tv. This is a different kind of student than you might normally send onto MFA programs in fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction. In fact, this might be the student who drives you a little crazy. The student might be hyper-visual, but not language-driven. They might want to write comedic dialogue and have little interest in setting or the tone of exposition. They might keep asking permission to write a zombie story even though you've given the elegant warnings against it. This is the beginning of my third year teaching at Florida State's Film School, and I'm getting a feel for the screenwriting students we're looking for. Seriously, I'm happy to talk to you about our program or the interested students themselves. 

The program is intense, year-round for two years. They spend a semester in London, studying film and theater. They do one semester of production with the production students. They create a lot of work, screenplays, pilots, spec scripts, one-acts, stories. Last year, we had a pilot program for the graduating class that took them to LA for a week of meetings with pros in the industry -- producers, directors, writers, agents... -- a program we hope continues. 

Here's the link: