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Screenwriting Intensive Seminar

What makes the difference between film and television productions that are phenomenal successes and those that vanish without a trace? The answer lies in a unique combination of artistic vision, exceptional story structure, and original theme.

Offered by the American University School of Communication for the first time in the Spring of 2019, this one-day intensive seminar taught by seasoned film and television writer John Weiskopf, will present the critical skills and knowledge to make your scripts stand out. 

In this seminar you will learn how to:

  • Transform a rough idea into a treatment that lays out the essential story components
  • Craft an engaging and strategically paced narrative structure
  • Create compelling characters, settings, and scenes
  • Write crisp, realistic dialogue

During the six-hour seminar, Weiskopf will use clips and provide handouts as you deep dive into two current benchmarks in film and television entertainment: the Academy Award winner for Best Original Screenplay Get Out and the Emmy Award winner for Best Television series Breaking Bad.

Besides the lecture component, the seminar offers an active discussion of the most successful films and episodic TV shows with a particular emphasis on understanding their script structures. You will explore contemporary themes, character design, protagonist and antagonist internal and external conflicts, plot complications, key plot points, and a script’s turning points.

Class date:  

Saturday, March 23, 2019 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  

(Morning coffee and lunch are provided with registration.) 


American University School of Communication, McKinley Building (MCK 113) 
4400 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20016  

 Course  cost:  

$350, includes morning coffee and lunch (NOTE: Current AU/SOC students are welcome to take this seminar, but it is not for credit nor included on official transcripts. The fee is the same as that paid by the general public.)

Register and pay for the course.


Please plan to arrive on campus early so you have plenty of time to find the appropriate building.

Parking is free on all campus lots during the weekends and after 5:00PM M-F. (For events taking place during the weekdays before 5PM, paid parking is available in the Katzen Arts Center or School of International Service underground garages).

There is also a free shuttle to AU from the Tenleytown-AU Metro Station that runs every 10 minutes.

Before traveling to the university, please visit the AU homepage. In the event of an emergency or severe weather, the university operating status will be posted there. Should the university be forced to close, all classes will be canceled.

If you have questions about the course, please contact:

John Weiskopf, Adjunct Professorial Lecturer
 Film & Media Arts Division 
School of Communication

  • Individuals can register for the seminar up to 1 day prior to the start date (March 22, 2019)
  • Individuals will receive a 100% refund if they update their Eventbrite registration 7 days prior to the start date. After that no refunds will be issued.
  • Individuals can withdraw from the seminar at any time and will be refunded according to the policy above.

You may print your ticket OR show your ticket via your cell phone.

No, the name on the ticket must be the person who attends the seminar.

Yes, morning coffee and lunch will be provided. Gluten-free and vegetarian options will be available. If you have other dietary restrictions, please email


Contact John Weiskopf, Adjunct Professorial Lecturer  
Film & Media Arts Division 
School of Communication