Scriptwriting Workshop Offered


Do you want to create or recognize a blockbuster, then join us for the SO YOU WANT TO BE IN PICTURES Scriptwriting class dates:  April 15-16-17 

Here is the schedule:

04/15/09 Wednesday                   9:30 AM -12:30 PM Script writing class begins at the MG® office

04/16/09 Thursday                      9:30 AM – 12:30 PM Script writing class

04/17/09 Friday                            9:30 AM – 12:30 PM Script writing class    

Lunch on your own  

This class is taught around the world and at UC Berkeley where I chair the Advisory Board of the Christian Institute for the Study of Media, at the Center for the Arts, Religion and Education (CARE), at the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) at the University of California at Berkeley. 

It is based on classic dramatic principles of Aristotle, Egri and the other greats as well as 17 years of script analysis by MOVIEGUIDE’s Report to the Entertainment Industry that reveal how to make blockbuster movies. Our analysis is based on years of film criticism experience.  

We have found that after we analyze a script, and it is revised according to our suggestions, then it becomes very saleable and often quite successful. Several scripts were bought within a week after being revised to meet our suggestions. Here is one testimony:

“By the way, we are making good progress on this next film, “Tennison Hopps.” You’re analysis was key to my rewrite which is being well received. We have a distribution offer now for worldwide release. We also have interest from John Schneider to be attached. I’m working with a casting director to have more talent read and attach so we can get 500-750K. That’s what we need to bring to the table, distributor will bring the same. I have it budgeted at 1.3 million. I want to make a real movie with real talent and make a splash with this film. Thanks Ted.”   Cole Claassen, Agape Productions

Also, our Report to the Entertainment Industry is a great help to producers raising financing. In fact, Tony Eldridge, producer, says that our Report to the Entertainment Industry helped him raise $85 million for his next movie.

Part of the script course is based on the stories of the most successful people of faith in Hollywood as related in the book SO YOU WANT TO BE IN PICTURES? SO YOU WANT TO BE IN PICTURES? contains stories of Christians in the television and movie industry and the trials and tribulations encountered while seeking to stay true to Christ. Some of the renowned contributors include:

  • Stephen Collins star of many movies and television programs, including 7TH HEAVEN, STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE and ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN;
  • Richard Cook, chairman of Walt Disney Pictures; 
  • Peter Engel, producer of LAST COMIC STANDING, ALL ABOUT US, MALIBU, CA, CITY GUYS, USA HIGH, HANG TIME, and the famous SAVED BY THE BELL;
  • Bill Ewing, former Executive Vice President of Columbia Pictures;
  • Bill Fay, executive producer of many movies including INDEPENDENCE DAY and THE PATRIOT;
  • Penelope Foster, co-producer of many movies, including OPERATION DUMBO DROP, FREE WILLY and ROSEWOOD;
  • Don Hahn, producer of many movies including THE LION KING, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, and THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME;
  • Brenda Hampton, writer of many television programs, including  LOVE BOAT, SAFE HARBOR and 7TH HEAVEN (creator and executive producer); 
  • Dave, Gary and Joan Johnson, writers and producers of many television programs including AGAINST THE GRAIN, DOC and SUE THOMAS: F.B.EYE;
  • Ron Maxwell, writer and director of many movies including PARENT TRAP II, LITTLE DARLINGS, GETTYSBURG and GODS AND GENERALS;
  • Brad Moore, president of Hallmark Hall of Fame;
  • Dan Nichols, producer of many movies, including RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK and ALWAYS; 
  • Bud Paxson, owner of PaxTV;
  • John Ratzenberger, voiced every Pixar movie, star of hit TV show Cheers, and producer of Made in America;
  • Barry Reardon, former president of Distribution for Warner Bros.;
  • Phil Roman, executive producer of GARFIELD, TOM AND JERRY, and THE SIMPSONS;
  • Jane Russell, movie star;      
  • Linda Seger, script doctor and author of many books, including MAKING A GOOD SCRIPT GREAT, CREATING UNFORGETTABLE CHARACTERS, THE ART OF ADAPTATION, FROM SCRIPT TO SCREEN, and ADVANCED SCREENWRITING;
  • Andrew Stanton, the scriptwriter for TOY STORY, TOY STORY II, BUGS LIFE, MONSTER’S INC., and FINDING NEMO (which he also directed and produced);
  • Chuck Viane, president of Walt Disney Company’s Buena Vista Film Distribution Group;      
  • Randall Wallace, the writer of many movies including BRAVEHEART, PEARL HARBOR, and WE WERE SOLDIERS (which he also directed and produced);
  • Frank Yablans, former president of Paramount Pictures.

In this regard, Adam Smith, the father of free market economics, broke with the tradition of his peers by not studying failure but by studying success. In the process, he came up with the most successful economic model ever! 

To understand the economic viability of a movie, we look at its entertainment value and then beyond that at its: content, worldview, philosophy, genre, themes, theology, characters, actors, and much, much more. Through its analysis, MOVIEGUIDE® has constantly chosen one-third to one-fourth of the winners at the box office, whereas other groups and critics have consistently chosen zero to eight percent of the winners. 

MOVIEGUIDE® has found that movies which cohere to Christian values and Christian morality consistently outperform all other categories. 

Through our plot and script analysis tools, we will look at the various elements of a project to determine its probability for success. 

Box office figures are the truest measure of what the public chooses to see in movies. Our comprehensive analysis of the box office in 2008 shows that positive, entertaining movies with very strong Christian, biblical and moral worldviews do best, but what about previous years?

Every year since 1996, our analysis of the box office of more than 100 different moral, theological and political categories has clearly shown that moviegoers prefer movies with pro-Christian, moral, family-friendly content. These movies usually do best at the box office.

Five and 10-year comparisons of very strong dominant worldviews proves that movies with very strong dominant worldviews that fit MOVIEGUIDE®’s high moral and biblical Christian standards consistently make more money than those movies that violate those standards.

In fact, movies with very strong Christian, biblical and/or moral worldviews (CCC and/or BBB) make about three times or more as much money as movies with anti-Christian, unbiblical, immoral, or false worldviews.

A 12-year comparison of Christian, biblical and moral movies with movies containing very strong foul language, sex, violence, and nudity (LLL, SSS, VVV, NNN) shows that movies with dominant Christian, moral and/or biblical worldviews or content also usually do much better than movies with extreme sex, violence, nudity, profanity, or vulgarity. This is true 94.3% of the time, according to our statistics.

Furthermore, movies with very strong Christian and moral values and worldviews not only made the most money in 2008; they’ve also been making the most money ever since we began comparing dominant worldviews in 1999!

Overall, seven of the MOVIEGUIDE® top picks in 2001 for Best Family Movies and Best Movies for Mature Audiences, including THE PRINCESS DIARIES, MONSTERS, INC., SPY KIDS, SHREK, THE LORD OF THE RINGS, JURASSIC PARK III, and PEARL HARBOR, made it into the Top 25 Movies at the Box Office for North America. Also, 50 percent of the Top 10 Grossing Movies in 2001 were in the MOVIEGUIDE® picks for Best Movies for Families and Best Movies for Mature Audiences!

In contrast to this, none of Roger Ebert’s top choices, and none of his fellow critic Richard Roeper’s, top picks made it into the Top 25, much less the Top 10, movies at the box office.

Furthermore, only one of USA Today critic Mike Clark’s top choices and only one of New York Times critics Elvis Mitchell’s, Stephen Holden’s or A.O. Scott’s made it into the Top 25 Grossing Movies. Finally, only two of Associated Press critic David Germain’s top choices and two of national movie critic Dave Kehr’s picks made it into the Top 25.

The MOVIEGUIDE® critics and judges also beat out such renowned critic associations as the American Film Institute, the National Board of Review and the Broadcast Film Critics, each of whose top movies only contained two from the Top 25 Movies at the Box Office in 2001.

Clearly, MOVIEGUIDE® understands what audiences want by analyzing movies in a comprehensive way. We try to look at each movie in the following ways:

  • Aesthetically:      by looking at the artistic value of the movie and by looking at how well the movie is made just as other  reviewers do.
  • Emotively:        by looking at how it captures and amuses the audience as entertainment and amusement.
  • Semantically:         by looking at the individual elements, such as words, nudity and incidents of violence, and their meanings just as many parents do.
  • Syntactically:        by looking at how the elements of the film come together and how the pieces and characters relate to each other just as many teenagers and single adults do.
  • Propositionally:      by looking at what the movie is communicating as summarized in the premise of the movie.
  • Generically:  by comparing it to other movies in its genre.
  • Thematically:         by looking at the themes that are present in the movie.
  • Morally:      by looking at its moral perspective and content.
  • Biblically:   by looking at the biblical perspective and biblical principles in the movie.
  • Systematically:       by looking at how the movie relates to other movies.
  • Economically:         by looking at how it does at the box office and how its box office gross compares to other movies. 
  • Intellectually:       by looking at how the movie fulfills its goals and premise.
  • Sociologically:       by looking at how the movie relates to culture and society.
  • Politically:  by looking at the political perspective of the movie.
  • Cognitively:  by looking at the age group to whom the movie is marketed, the age group for whom it is suitable, and how it will impact a particular age group.
  • Psychologically:      by looking at how the movie deals with the mind and soul.
  • Historically:         by looking at how accurate the movie is in presenting history.
  • Sexually:     by looking at how the movie deals with sex and sexual relationships.
  • Philosophically:      by looking at the philosophical perspective and the worldview of the movie.
  • Ontologically:        by looking at how the movie deals with the nature of being.
  • Epistemologically:    by looking at how the movie deals with the nature of knowing.
  • Spiritually:  by looking at how the movie deals with God, faith and religion.

The course costs $750 and will help you write or recognize a great script. 

Please call my appt. sec. Sandra Bell at 770-886-8598 or email her at sandra@movieguide.org to reserve your space in the small scriptwriting class (no more than seven people) to be held at our offices in Camarillo, CA. 

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