Story & Script Fundamentals
Part-time, Certificate (24 weeks)
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Start Date: Thursday, September 12
Recurrence: Thursdays (6:30PM – 9:30PM)
Duration: 6 months (24 sessions)
Cost: 6 x $249.00 ($199 after the SI Kindness Scholarship – ask for details)
Instructor: Paul Donnett
Bringing imaginary worlds and characters to life, and transforming hearts and minds in the process, is the stuff of gods…and writers!
Yet every writer know too well the myriad distractions, fears, excuses, and life demands that can get in the way.
We meet aspiring and professional writers all the time who have a story to tell. A pet project they want to start or finish. An idea they hope will change or at least entertain the world. But they’re stuck on making the next move.
Sometimes that’s about needing to build a schedule that holds them accountable. For others, it’s about not knowing where to go next with characters, plot, or dialogue. For some, it’s just about getting started.
In most cases, all they need is a little training, coaching, and support.
Paul Donnett’s Story & Script Fundamentals unlocks and fast-tracks the writing process by navigating students through the critical stages of story development and script creation, including:
- Goal-setting and scheduling
- Theme and genre
- Narrative design and development
- Unique characters, environments, and arcs
- Plot and scene structure
- Outlines, one-sheets, beat sheets, and storyboards
- Hollywood-standard script formatting
- Pitching to producers
- Submitting to networks, competitions, and festivals
Through a series of interactive lectures, hands-on exercises, film screenings, script readings, and one-on-one workshop of your original script, this once-a-week evening program takes writers of all backgrounds to new levels of skill and confidence in a safe, supportive, and professional space.
- Lifetime access to the downloadable SI Digital Script Vault
- Lifetime access to the SI Writer’s Community
- Dozens of industry tools including one-sheets, sample contracts, NDAs, Writer’s Guild of Canada rate sheets, financial planners, and more
- Student discounts on industry-standard Final Draft™ software and products
- Special alumni pricing for follow-up coaching and mentoring
What Our Students Say:
“Paul is not only a human library of writing intelligence, but also a walking rolodex of film and television knowledge. My time in his class was more fulfilling than I could have anticipated. I really enjoyed being there, because Paul creates such a fun classroom experience, and is, plain and simply, just a great human being. I certainly, hands down, feel like a more capable writer for having been there. Ten out of ten, would highly recommend.” Jeff Evans Todd, actor, writer, director
“I’d certainly take this class again (and I just might!). It combines screenwriting theory with a refreshingly realistic approach to getting your scripts on the page, delivered in a friendly atmosphere that cultivates creativity. The whole approach is grounded in the reality of what it’s actually like to work on a script, with plenty of examples, templates, and tables to help steer you. 10 out of 10!” Sarah Tolle, Editor, Black & White Zebra Industries
“Taking the writing program was a supremely enjoyable and eye-opening experience. It offers a wealth of information and helps foster a fun, informative and safe learning environment. I could share my work with confidence and found Paul’s feedback insightful, on the mark, and helpful in making my work stronger.” Rachelle Lachland, Manager of Vancouver TheatreSports
“I have nothing but positive things to say about learning from Paul. We connected on both a professional & personal level. His experience as a former school teacher and pastor made him engaging in a fun classroom environment. He has an undeniable passion for film and television and incredible knowledge in story and structure.” Scott Patey, actor, comedian
“I found Paul’s course to be an enjoyable and rewarding experience. He’s very energetic and motivated as he takes the class step by step through the professional storytelling and scriptwriting process. A good and respectful listener, he took an interest in each student’s goals and ambitions, giving sound professional advice tailored to each person’s abilities and skill level.” Andy Bartlett, veteran animator
“Paul’s blend of professionalism, clarity, humour, obvious knowledge of the subject matter and sincere interest in his students made the course a highlight in my journey as a writer. I came away with the tools to write my first professional screenplay.” Satya Redekop, writer
“Paul’s lectures are informative and enjoyable whilst providing writers the tools required to develop theme, character, and plot as well as the structure and formatting needed to create a professional script. Taking Paul’s class was one of the best decisions I’ve made regarding my writing career and any writer serious about their craft should contact Paul immediately.” Michael Feeney, screenwriter
“I grew more as a writer from this program than from any other class I’ve taken before.” Maren Vakomies, writer, graduate of Earl Marriott Secondary
“This program offers incredible insight into the structure behind the craft of storytelling, in a concise, easy manner that should benefit both beginner and experienced screenwriters alike. I really appreciated the business insights as well.” Maheshinder Singh, filmmaker and graduate of LA Matheson Secondary
“Learning how to write professionally was incredibly fun, engaging and helpful for me! Paul’s approach makes you feel comfortable to share all your ideas without fear of judgement. I brought many ideas to the table that he was able to fine tune, helping to make them more interesting by adding depth and originality. I’m so glad I was able to find this program and improve my screenwriting skills in a positive and fun environment. I’ve recommended it to friends and will continue to do so for anyone looking to improve their writing and storytelling skills.” Ruth-Ann Reich, writer
“Being in my 50’s and never having written prior to this class, I wasn’t sure I would be able to keep up. But with Paul’s positive and detailed teaching style, I was able to formulate an idea and finish a complete draft screenplay by the end of the sessions. I appreciated his openness to everyone’s individuality and his encouragement to write in the style that most resonated with them, be it slapstick comedy, sci-fi, animation, horror, or intense drama. I thoroughly enjoyed this class and highly recommend it to anyone, regardless of age, experience or knowledge! Monica Schimmer, writer
“The writing program was something I looked forward to attending every week. There was an infectious energy that made learning about storytelling and analyzing screenplays fun. Paul created a great group environment where it was easy for everyone to discuss and share ideas.” Nikita Zhang, filmmaker, graduate of Burnaby North Secondary
“Paul is an excellent communicator and passionate teacher. His screenwriting class was essential to help me articulate my stories and translate them into a formula that works for film. The way he helps you break down you story and develop your characters helps him stand apart from other teachers I’ve had.“ Angela Convery, animator