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Screenwriting Jump Start Seminar Session 3: Punching Up the Scene

Here by popular demand! This hands-on screenwriting seminar, taught by professors from Vanderbilt’s cinema and media arts program, is ideal for those just hatching an idea and those who have a script in progress. Each of the seminar’s three interactive sessions will stress writing fundamentals and reinvigorate your imagination.

Each seminar session is held in the Belcourt’s 2nd floor Jackson Education and Engagement Space.


Full Seminar Pass*: SOLD OUT
*Tickets for single sessions are not available. Capacity is limited to 20 people.


Session 1: Beyond the Hero’s Journey
Thu, Feb 1, 6-8:30pm | SOLD OUT

For the past 40 years, Joseph Campbell and George Lucas have loomed large in the minds of aspiring screenwriters. But what if the film you want to write doesn’t resemble STAR WARS? This hands-on workshop will examine two recent screenplays—Jordan Peele’s GET OUT and Nancy Oliver’s LARS AND THE REAL GIRL—to advocate for a more fluid poetics. (Yes, that was a reference to Aristotle.)


Session 2: Crafting the Logline
Thu, Feb 8, 6-8:30pm | SOLD OUT

Your screenplay may be 100 pages plus, but your premise should fit into a single sentence. How can you capture an audience’s imagination in a few short words? How can you entice a producer without boiling your story down to nothing? Most importantly, how can you use this one sentence to sharpen your own writing? This workshop will focus on your screenplay ideas – so bring your best!


Session 3: Punching Up the Scene
Thu, Feb 15, 6-8:30pm | SOLD OUT

They say not to sweat the small stuff, but if you’re a writer, you kind of have to. The scene, the line, the verb—a screenplay is made up of a million decisions, and it’s your job to make every single one. This session will focus on all the little things you can do to make your pages more dynamic, more muscular, and more cinematic.


This seminar is led by Diana Grisanti and Steve Moulds, writers-in-residence in Vanderbilt University’s cinema and media arts program, where they co-teach courses in screenwriting and playwriting.

Diana Grisanti (B.A., Theatre Arts, University of Iowa, 2006; M.F.A., Writing, Michener Center for Writers, University of Texas at Austin, 2012): Primarily a playwright, Grisanti’s work has been developed or produced at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Kentucky Shakespeare, Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte, Actors Bridge Ensemble (Nashville), the Phoenix Theatre (Indianapolis), Borderlands Theater (Tucson), Voices of the South (Memphis), The Lark (NYC), The Alliance Theatre (Atlanta), and more. She has also written multiple plays and television pilots with her spouse and collaborator, Steve Moulds. Currently, she’s working on The Class of ’94, a play about a scandal at an all-girls’ Catholic high school.

Steve Moulds (B.A., English and Theatre, Vanderbilt University, 2000; M.F.A., Writing, Michener Center for Writers, the University of Texas at Austin, 2011): Moulds’s work has been produced by Actors Theatre of Louisville, the Humana Festival of New American Plays, The Hypocrites, the Illusion Theater, the Kentucky Shakespeare festival, Walden Theatre, Walking Shadow Theatre Company, Santa Fe Playhouse, Dominican University, Middle Tennessee State University, the University of Texas at Austin, and Theatre [502]. In addition to his individual work, Steve has written three plays and multiple television specs with his collaborator and spouse, Diana Grisanti.

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