7 Best Screenwriting Courses

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Are you looking for the best screenwriting classes and tutorials online? We’ve put together a list of the best ones on the web, below. We’ve included both free and paid courses to give you a variety of options.

But first, lets answers an important question – what is screenwriting?

Screenwriting, or sometimes called ‘scriptwriting’ is the art and craft of writing scripts for mass media, such as feature films, television productions, plays or video games. In general, screenwriting involves researching the story, developing a narrative, writing the script and then delivering it. Arguably, screenwriting is one of the most important parts of any production, as screenwriters can influence the creative direction and emotional impact of the production.

To understand how to master screenwriting you don’t need to spend hours at a college or university. Although screenwriting can come with a lot of responsibility, there are still plenty of online classes and courses that cover everything you need to know. Suitable for those of all levels, I have spent the time researching the best screenwriting tutorials out there. If you’re looking to progress your screenwriting skills, either for a writing career, or to just to enhance your skill set, there will be an online course for you.

 

1. Inspirational Screenwriting. The #1 Screenwriting Course! (Udemy)

  • Level: Beginner
  • Completion time: 2h 52m
  • Cost: $69.99
  • Certification: No
  • Number of people who have completed the course: 12,604
  • Course rating: 4.6/5 (out of 2,226 ratings)

This Udemy class is instructed by Paul Castro, an award-winning screenwriter who has collaborated with major studies, A-list producers, Oscar winning movie stars and huge production companies in LA, New York and London. With all this experience and expertise, you are definitely in safe hands with this course!

In this course, Paul will cover everything you need to know about screenwriting in 20 segments. These segments include professional screenwriting techniques, how to create compelling characters, scene construction to evoke suspense, good movie and script ideas, and so much more! By the end of this two hour course, y0u should be able to confidently write stories, bring characters to life and be able to make money from your screenplay!

 

2. Write Your Screenplay: The Craft of Story, Structure and Script (Skillshare)

  • Level: All levels
  • Completion time: 58m
  • Cost: 14-day free trial
  • Certification: No
  • Number of people who have completed the course: 2,845
  • Course rating: N/A

Joshua Dickinson takes this short, but sweet, course. As a professional sceenwriter, actor and director, Joshua has experience it from all angles… and he shares this experience with you in this concise, yet detailed, course.

To begin with, you will get to grips with the language of screenwriting – including phrases like three act structure, conflict and character arc. Next, you’ll learn how to develop original ideas and craft it into a complete (and creative) story! You will also complete class projects that are designed to give you lots to write about. In this class project, you will cover: 1) loglines (how to pitch your story in a sentance); 2) Structure (how to outline the major events of your screenplay according to story theory); and 3) showcase scene (how to write your first draft and get feedback).

 

3. Inspirational Screenwriting. The #1 Screenwriting Course! (Udemy)

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Completion time: 6h 46m
  • Cost: $79.99
  • Certification: No
  • Number of people who have completed the course: 11,872
  • Course rating: 4.7/5 (out of 1,811 ratings)

Michael Hauge has been one of Hollywood’s top script consultants, story experts and authors for more than 30 years. In this Udemy video, Michael shares his years of experience to get you up to scratch with everything you need to know about screenwriting.

To begin with, you will learn how to master the essential elements of a story for film, television and fiction. You will then go on to unite the outer journey of PLOT with the inner journey of TRANSFORMATION to achieve a single goal. You will also learn how to employ key principles, identify 5 essential turning points for any screenplay or novel and much more.

After completing this course, you will have the essential skills you need to guarantee both commercial and artistic success!

 

4. Aaron Sorkin Teaches Screenwriting (MasterClass)

  • Level: All levels
  • Completion time: 3.5 hours
  • Cost: $15/month
  • Certification: No
  • Number of people who have completed the course: N/A
  • Course rating: 4.7/5

Aaron Sorkin is an Oscar-Winning American Screenwriter who will teach you the art of crafting television and film screenwriting in his first-ever Masterclass. He believes that everyone has a story to tell, which can become an engaging novel for people to read.

In this course, you will learn to write attention-grabbing screenplays and how to craft scripts that sell. Aaron shared his secrets of storytelling and developing character and dialogues. Aaron will cover all sorts of topics, from intention and obstacles, story ideas, developing characters, writing captivating dialogue, how to rewrite first drafts and much more!

 

5. Screenwriting – Level 1 (Gotham Writers)

  • Level: Beginner
  • Completion time: 10 weeks
  • Cost: $409
  • Certification: Yes
  • Number of people who have completed the course: N/A
  • Course rating: N/A

This course is the most expensive on the list… but don’t be put off by the price, as the content is priceless!

Suitable for beginners or anyone wanting to brush up on the fundamentals of screenwriting, this course is designed to get you up to scratch with all the screenwriting knowledge you could possibly need! Through a series of lectures, writing exercises and workshops, you will obtain a firm grounding on the basics of screenwriting craft.

By the end of this course, you’ll be able to write screenplays that light up the screen, whether you’re going for Hollywood glamor or indie grit!

 

6. Scriptreading Certificate Program (Script University)

  • Level: Beginner
  • Completion time: 8 lessons
  • Cost: $399.99
  • Certification: Yes
  • Number of people who have completed the course: N/A
  • Course rating: 5/5

With fantastics reviews, this course is at the pricier end of the screenwriting online courses on my list. However, it is taught by Brian O’Malley who has years of experience making legendary movies, and his advice will set you up for a fantastic screenwriting career!

In this course, you will learn step-by-step all the key elements of screenwriting. You will begin by taking a look at writing script coverage, which include hierarchy of film studios and what to look for in screenplay. You will then take a look at how to write a synopsis, analyzing a script, writing an evaluation, script formatting and how to find work as in script writing.

 

7. Online Screenwriting Courses (New York Film Academy)

  • Level: All levels
  • Completion time: N/A
  • Cost: Varying
  • Certification: Yes
  • Number of people who have completed the course: N/A
  • Course rating: N/A

The New York Academy has a variety of different online classes available for aspiring screenwriters – from 25 week screenplay and story structure workshops to 4 week television pilot screenwriting. Take a look at them and find one that suits you!

 

Conclusion

So, there you have it… the 7 best screenwriting tutorials online that are suited to those wanting to improve their screenwriting skills.

There are lots of online options available for you to advance your screenwriting skills! There are free courses that take less than an hour, and there are more expensive courses that take longer to complete! Some courses are suitable for those who have never really written properly before. Whereas other courses are best suited for those with excellent screenwriting skills, but are looking to take their learning one step further.

The online classes on this list are the best of the best. Each is taught by an experienced and dedicated teacher and they all have lots of satisfied and happy customers.

So, which course you decide take depends on your experience, funds and spare time. Are you a complete screenwriting newbie? Or have you got years of experience creating fascinating plays and just want to refresh your knowledge? Do you have a huge amount of money to spend on your skill development? Do you have a lot of spare time, or are you just looking for a quick, but effective, skill top up?

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