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Award-Winning Screenwriter Opens New Slate of Classes

      Have you ever fantasized about writing a screenplay? One that could knock the socks off of viewers and critics alike? In award-winning screenwriter Gary Weinberg’s latest round of classes, you might be able to do just that. Experiencing the “Hollywood” dream in Sacramento has rarely been so attainable since Weinberg has expanded his popular two-class screenwriting series into a three-course comprehensive curriculum. And he’s done so on the heels of winning one of Hollywood’s most prestigious screenwriting competitions.

      Continuing the tradition he began at the Tangent Art Gallery back in May, Weinberg will again offer Screenwriting 101: A Four-Hour Introduction to the Art and Business of Screenwriting on November 20th from 1 to 5pm. The class is an overview of the screenwriting process, teaching students the basics of screenplay format and structure, plot and character development, how to write great dialogue, and tips on getting a script seen. As Aaron Cheeseman of Curtis Park says, “I really enjoyed Gary’s workshop. And I’m looking forward to the more in-depth series!” Screenwriting 101 is designed to give students an overview of the screenwriting process that is covered more thoroughly in Weinberg’s second class.

      Write Your Screenplay: An Eight-Week Program is that second class. Now in its third installment, Write Your Screenplay begins Tuesday, November 30th from 7:00 to 9:30pm. The goal of this class is for each student to end the course having completed the first draft of his screenplay or teleplay. The class will expand in great detail on the concepts presented in Screenwriting 101. The unique format divides the course in half. The first four classes run consecutively, while the following four classes run every other week. This intentional week off allows students the time in between classes to finish writing their scripts. According to Tonya Nash of Folsom, “Gary's screenwriting class has been a wonderful experience, opening up a whole creative outlet for me that I never really knew existed. I would definitely recommend the class to both novice and seasoned writers… Wow! Now I can say that I actually consider myself a writer!”

      Advanced Screenwriting: The Next Step is Weinberg’s newest offering. Part workshop, part critical analysis, Advanced Screenwriting offers the more experienced writer a platform for perfecting his or her screenplay. The class is open to any students who have taken Weinberg’s eight-week course and need some additional, ongoing help or guidance, or who would like to hear some of their scenes read out loud. Students will bring short excerpts from their screenplays for just this purpose, and, as a group, will read aloud, analyze and critique what has been read–all under the careful guidance of Weinberg. 

      “It’s a drop-in workshop,” explains Weinberg. “People can just come by whenever they’re stuck on an important scene, or want to hear how their dialogue sounds at a pivotal moment. At the very least, it offers an ongoing, supportive environment you can work your craft in. A lot of us, especially with our busy lives, need that extra motivation.”

       Advanced Screenwriting: The Next Step begins Saturday, December 4th, and will continue on a weekly basis from that date. In addition to Weinberg’s former students, those who can demonstrate that they are facile in the screenwriting form and have completed a screenplay are also welcome to join in.

       As far as Weinberg knows, there is nothing like his slate of classes offered in the Sacramento area. “These classes are really like three separate rungs on a ladder. Each step moves aspiring screenwriters from the early stages of the learning process to the completion of the first draft of their screenplay or teleplay and beyond, as they begin to hone and perfect their work. That’s an ongoing process, and I’m there to help and guide my students all the way through it.”

      His students certainly appreciate his mentorship. As John M. of Land Park states, “Gary has been an incredible resource to help turn a concept into a real screenplay. We’re lucky to have someone with his experience.”

      In addition to helping shape the work of others, Weinberg has also received recent attention for his own. He recently won the fall 2010 Scriptapalooza International Television Writing Competition for his original television pilot entitled The Asylum. The Asylum is an edgy comedy about a group of misfit salesmen–“closers”–in breakneck pursuit of the American Dream, one phone call at a time.
Winners of the Scriptapalooza competition receive not only cash awards but the chance to have their scripts considered by top Los Angeles and New York literary agents, managers, producers and directors. Scriptapalooza is one of the few Hollywood screenwriting competitions that have catapulted many a writer to fame, including the creator of Rugrats, Scott Gray.

     In addition to his Scriptapalooza score, Weinberg has also written scripts for other production companies, including Ninja Nun for Cimero Productions and Magical Planet for Bloom From Within Productions. Weinberg, also an accomplished musician and songwriter, is currently finishing work on a musical entitled Whispers Over Persia for the Fairmount Performing Arts Center in Cleveland, Ohio, as well as a one-man show entitled Free-Falling in America

     Screenwriting 101, A Four-Hour Introduction to the Art and Business of Screenwriting; Write Your Screenplay: An Eight-Week Program; and Advanced Screenwriting: The Next Step are all taught at Tangent Gallery, located at 2900 Franklin Boulevard in Sacramento, on the corner of Franklin and 4th Avenue in Curtis Park.

      For more information, including fees, costs and materials required please contact Gary Weinberg via e-mail at [email protected], or call him at (818) 458-6637.

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