Script Reader Pro’s Script Hackr is a downloadable screenwriting course designed to teach new and aspiring writers the basic principals of screenwriting and claims it can do so in only 3 months! The modules come in an array of formats; video, audio and written form, so writers can choose whatever learning device works best for them.
There are 7 modules in total. Modules 1-4 primarily cover development. That’s looking at concept, theme, creating characters and structuring beats and sequences. Modules 5-7 finally ask you to do some actual screenwriting with scene structure, dialogue and scene description being discussed. Along side each module, there’s a fantastic comprehensive toolkit of information, links, examples, readable screenplays, breakdowns and reviews to assist your learning.
Unlike online courses, there’s no one holding you to a deadline and there are no tutors to assess your work. This downloadable course leaves it very much up to the writer to set themselves goals, complete tasks and self-assess meaning that the writer has to be all the more dedicated and be able to push themselves without prompt. And don’t be under any impression that you’ll be able to just sit back and watch 2 hours of video and then magically be a better writer. This course demands the writers to put in a lot of hard work and effort, something it is very upfront about at the start.
Just like university or college courses, the writer is expected to already be familiar with screenwriting basics such as formatting and layout as there isn’t a module covering this. And what you don’t get with this course, although this one very much encourages the writer to go out and do so, is that face-to-face time you’d get with fellow students and tutors if doing a practical accredited course. That networking and relationship building experience is vital when starting your career. But while that’s something to do once you’ve perhaps already honed your craft, it looks like the good people at Script Reader Pro are planning to make this something you can do while still going through the learning process too! They’re currently developing a course member page allowing students to comment, interact and ask staff questions, helping to initiate that all important networking part of the business.
Where the Script Hackr course comes into its own is that it’s like a whole ton of screenwriting books condensed into one easily digestible form. The content is so compact, that you’re really getting told the absolute essentials without all the extra fluff. Tutorials are broken down into simple steps making both theory and practical exercises less daunting to tackle and easier to absorb. The principal is that you’ll become a better writer not just through solid practice but also by reading, studying and analyzing other screenplays. Something I whole-heartedly agree on. All too often it’s clear that a writer simply hasn’t read enough and this is greatly advocated in this course.
Overall, what I really liked about this course is its efficiency. Although most writers will likely start this course with a screenplay idea already in mind or already have a written script, getting a writer to do a lot of development work before committing to writing can save a great deal of time. This course asks a writer to initially questioning whether their idea is even good enough right at the beginning and then helps the writer to build effective content on that solid foundation in small manageable and understandable steps. It almost makes screenwriting sound easy!
Written by Lee Hamilton, Script Analyst at Shore Scripts.
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