Posted by Terry on March 22, 2012

Los Angeles filmmaker and screenwriting consultant Michelle Steffes will teach 2 screenwriting workshops during the festival – a 2-day feature screenwriting workshop called Clubbing Inspiration ($125)  on Thursday and Friday, May 3-4 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, and a 2-hour workshop called Writing Your Short Film ($25) at 2:00 pm on Saturday, May 5th.  Both workshops will take place at  Muskoseepi Pavilion – contact Grande Prairie Live Theatre’s Box Office at Second Street Theatre to register.

The Clubbing Inspiration workshop was developed as a stepping stone for artists who want to try coming up with a screenplay idea, aspiring writers who have a kernel of an idea that needs to be fleshed out, and writers with a draft who want to bring their script to the next level, this workshop will cover finding the themes that speak to you, the components of a strong premise, developing interesting and compelling characters, and using your characters’ wants and needs to establish your dramatic structure. Come ready to discover new ideas or work on ideas you already have during class discussion and in-class assignments. No screenwriting experience necessary.

Making a short film can be a great way to showcase your writing, directing, or acting skills, transform a sketch or one-act play into a permanent piece of art, or create a touchstone to build support for a feature film, but where many short films fail is in the original concept. The Writing Your Short Film workshop will cover what makes a great short film script great, focusing on character point of view, theme, the importance of twists or reveals, and writing a satisfying ending. Examples of concepts will be taken from the films in the Love Notes film package which can be seen at 7:00 pm on Wednesday, May 2nd or at 10:30 am on Saturday, May 5th. No filmmaking experience necessary.

Michelle Steffes was Director of Development at Universal’s Larger than Life Productions, the production company of Gary Ross, where she worked on the development of several films, including Seabiscuit and The Tale of Despereaux. After leaving the company to pursue her writing and directing goals, she was selected to participate in AFI’s Directing Workshop for Women, where she wrote and directed the short film Driftwood. Since then, short films she directed or produced have won awards at festivals such as Sundance, Seattle, Savannah, Rhode Island, Vail, and LA Comedy Shorts. She has served as a screenwriting mentor for non-profits such as Cinestory, Act One, and WriteGirl, and works as a freelance consultant for screenwriters undergoing the Writers Guild’s credits determination procedure.

Michelle was shortlisted for the 2009 Academy Awards for producing the short film Short Term 12 which was an Official Selection of the 2010 Reel Shorts Film Festival, and her short film The Interview won the Grand Prize for Best Fiction at USA Film Festival, qualifying it for 2011 Academy Award consideration. It screened as part of the Reel Shorts Sneak Preview on Oct 1, 2011 and is an Official Selection of the 2012 Reel Shorts Film Festival. Michelle will participate in Q&As after the screenings of The Interview at 12:30 pm on Wed, May 2 and at 8:00 pm on Sat, May 5. As well as teaching screenwriting workshops, she will also visit junior high and high school classrooms where she’ll screen The Interview and participate in a Q&A session with the class about her experiences making the film and as a filmmaker in Los Angeles.

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