Screenwriting Workshop

Saturday, June 23, 8:30-4:00 p.m., Hyatt Regency.

Writing for and Working with the Film Industry:
An Introduction for Scientists and Engineers

Schedule for Workshop

The purpose of this workshop is to provide an introduction for scientists and engineers to motion picture projects, including writing and other aspects of the process. The short course will be taught by two Hollywood insiders who have experience in virtually all aspects of motion pictures — and are gifted teachers.

The motivation for conducting this workshop is to foster education in science and engineering, and to communicate the value of scientific endeavor to the public through film and television. This motivation is stimulated by the current projected shortfall in graduates in science and engineering, and the impact of this on national defense, and on other areas of national technology, engineering and science, which forms the basis for innovation in the United States.

The workshop follows the methodology of similar workshops that have been conducted during the past three years in collaboration with the American Film Institute (AFI). This program teaches scriptwriting skills, and other aspects of selling scripts to Hollywood, to scientists and engineers who have interests in this activity.

Successful professionals in the scientific community often have excellent writing skills. They frequently juggle projects, just as writers do — often working on several widely different projects simultaneously. They manage time well, and accomplish complex, creative goals. They are often interested in ‘movies’ and what it takes to make them; however, they characteristically are reticent about going into something as divergent from science as entertainment — the organizer has personal experience with this. The project will thus be a catalyst — that will stimulate participation in creative issues by scientists and engineers.

Workshop Speakers:

Syd Field, Author and Screenwriter

Syd Field is the author of 8 books on the craft of Screenwriting, published in some 22 languages and used in more than 400 colleges and universities around the country. His book, “Screenplay” is considered to be “the Bible of the film industry.” He is on faculty at USC in the Masters of Professional Writing Program.

Alex Singer, Director
Alex Singer has directed over 280 television shows and five features. His credits include Profiles in Courage, The Fugitive, The Bold Ones, Police Story, Lou Grant, Cagney and Lacy, Hill Street Blues, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine and Voyager. Singer has received numerous awards, including an Emmy and a Humanitas Prize. Singer is also on the Board of Advisors for the Institute for Creative Technologies, a joint U.S. Army and USC effort to explore and meld the creative resources of the cinema arts and communication technologies towards improving training and planning for the military, and has recently produced and directed a film for DARPA.

Workshop Organizer: Dr. Martin Gundersen Professor of Electrical Engineering and Physics University of Southern California

The Pentagon goes Hollywood:
A Program to Turn Scientists into Screenwriters