Drama Writing Workshops in Quebec, April 3 and 5Complications Ensue
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Friday, March 06, 2009

The Writers Guild of Canada (WGC) and CBC proudly invite Quebec-based screenwriters to participate in In The Writers’ Room, a Drama workshop series, presented in partnership with the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema (Concordia University). This two-part pilot initiative will take place on April 3 and 5, 2009 in Montreal.

In The Writers’ Room kicks off on April 3 at CBC with the Drama Clinic: Analysing Heartland, led by series writers Leila Basen and David Preston. This 3-hour session will offer a screening of an episode of the hit CBC TV series Heartland, followed by an in-depth look at the creative process behind its success. This free event is open to all students, emerging and seasoned writers.

Drama Clinic: Analysing Heartland with Leila Basen and David Preston
Friday, April 3, 2009 at 6:00 pm
CBC (La Maison Radio-Canada), 1400 René-Lévesque Blvd East
RSVP : Anne-Marie Perrotta

For the second part of In the Writers’ Room, the WGC and CBC invites writers across Quebec to submit their projects for a chance to attend an exclusive Drama Writing Master Class on April 5 lead by award-winning screenwriters Laurie Finstad-Knizhnik (Durham County) and Bruce M. Smith (Prairie Giant: The Tommy Douglas Story, The Sleep Room). This call for submissions is open to up-and-coming screenwriters who have created and are working on one-hour TV drama series. This one-day intensive workshop will help selected participants develop their skills in drama series analysis. Master Class members will receive in-depth critiquing of their projects, bringing them one step closer to being pitch ready for producers and broadcasters. Interested candidates are asked to fill out the submission form and attach all requested documents. The Drama Writing Master Class will be held at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema at Concordia University and is free of charge.
Drama Writing Master Class with Laurie Finstad-Knizhnik and Bruce M. Smith

Sunday, April 5, 2009 at 10:00 am
Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema (Concordia University),1250 Guy Street, Room FB449
For more on eligibility details, proposal requirements, and submission form, please visit www.wgc.ca.
Only selected participants will be contacted by or before March 23, 2009.
This is a real opportunity for writers at any level, but if you're an aspiring writer, you really shouldn't miss these seminars.

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A three-hour seminar about the CBC series “Heartland” really, I love you to death Alex, but really.

Three-hours on “Heartland”? Why?

I hate posting on the net about anything…but, really?

They got a show on Canadian TV (an amazing feat and they should be praised for it) but three hours?

I attended a WGA (full disclosure…I am member of the WGA and not the WGC…and now I know why) seminar in LA about the “West Wing” in early 2005 and that was just two hours. Aaron Sorkin was present, praise be his name. He showed clips, talked and everyone left happy.

Three-hours for “Heartland”? How long would the seminar for “The Beachcombers” be? A four-year accredited degree.

You see why know I try not to comment about anything on the net.

I love Canada. The nation of my birth that I will never leave, but this is why I hate “being” Canadian …a three Hour seminar about a semi-successful one hour show. Not a groundbreaking, format changing, revolutionary TV series. It won’t even make it to syndication.

Once again I apologies…but really.

By Blogger DJ, at 12:49 PM  

Don't be such a snob. HEARTLAND may be about girls and horses, but it is a very well crafted, very watchable show about girls and horses. If I had created it, I would have something to be proud of.

But more importantly, it's three hours on HEARTLAND by the creators. You think you can only learn from the creators of ground-breaking shows? 90% of the lessons from HEARTLAND apply to BATTLESTAR GALACTICA or MAD MEN. All three shows no doubt struggled with hook, template, dynamic core cast relationships, network notes, demographics, etc.

And longer is better. In half an hour you're only going to hear anecdotes about how they got it made. In three hours you might learn about how they structured the show creatively so it could keep going year after year.

Don't be a snob about format changing. It's good to learn how to make a basic one hour drama and get it on TV. Picasso had to learn how to draw first. And David Chase started with THE ROCKFORD FILES.

By Blogger Alex Epstein, at 1:28 PM  

First, I am not no snob (LOL) and I loved “The Rockford files”.

Mentioning “Mad Men” and “BATTLESTAR GALACTICA” in the same sentence as “Heartland” might make us end this discussion right here. You cannot honestly believe the have equal relevance.

Heartland is fine. Horse and girls…I love them…and bet on both constantly.

What I am trying to say (very poorly) is really?

My first golf lesson was from a credited PGA pro. He was a pro because he took a 12-hour course. As a teenager he was impressive. Four years later when I beat him in a tournament not so much.

Learn from the mediocre and become so.

This is where you and I differ. I do not believe you can be taught to be a writer. You can teach the technique but not the talent. We all need to know structure, act breaks, etc…

I just think it is cruel to both of us to believe sitting in a room for three hours with the creators of “heartland” would teach us anything.

By the way the whole “Snob” comment was a low blow. I do not think ‘heartland” is beneath me. I just do not think it is that good. Sorry.

I commend the creators for getting a show on Canadian TV but do not believe that makes them immune to it actually being good.

“Picasso learned to draw first.” That’s my whole point. Fundamentals plus talent. I had to learn from my local PGA before I beat him.

“Heartland” is a success as ‘Little Mosque on the prairie” is funny. It is so Canadian to believe the idea is better than the execution.

“Mad Men” and “Heartland”…really? You need to drink more.

By Blogger DJ, at 2:45 PM  

Hey guy in the bourqua, "DJ" . What's your problem?, Too modest to reveal your blogger profile or name, golfing guy? You're a WGA member not WGC like these Heartland saps. Show us your colours so we can check out your ground breaking, format changing revolutionary creds on IMDb already.

By Blogger doreyme, at 3:55 AM  

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