Summer Screenwriting Students Have Something to Say

Students reading at summer screenwriting workshop

Posted on May 19, 2017 by Matt Geske

Why do screenwriter’s write? Screenwriting Workshop instructor Gabrielle Mitchell believes it’s because they have something to say, something important that has to get out; moments and memories that are screaming to be heard. Screenwriting students will not only learn the foundations of writing for film, but also techniques to improve their scriptwriting skills and the art of embracing the creative process.

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” ― Maya Angelou, from I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

While writing for short film will be the primary focus of the Summer Screenwriting Workshop, June 26-30, all of the tools and engaging elements also apply to professional feature film scriptwriting. Fundamentals such as three act structure, log-line development, script outlining, and table reads will be covered at length. The program is open to ages 11-18, with participants grouped appropriately.

Gabrielle Mitchell, Film and Video camp instructor“There is essentially a void that needs to be filled when it comes to a writer’s heart,” explained Ms. Mitchell.  “But how do you write a screenplay? And how do you do it well? To become a scriptwriter, one needs only to sit down and begin, then begin again and again, until you are well into rewriting and on your way to completion. The magic of screenwriting is that it has the ability to transport you to impossible places and yet ground you in authenticity. As a screenwriter, you hold a great responsibility. Your words can lift hearts, shed light, be a catalyst for change and unmask cultural divides; there are no limits to the creative worlds that you can construct and deconstruct. Like any creator, a writer must foremost understand their tools.”

Hailing from Atlanta, Georgia, Gabrielle Mithcell is a screenwriter and director of both narrative and documentary films. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Art Institute of Atlanta, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude for her outstanding academic achievements in film. She is in her final semester of the Master’s in Interdisciplinary Studies Film and Video Studies program at George Mason University. Along with her two Teaching Assistants, Mason Film & Video Studies students Robert De Cecco and Tiana Young, Ms. Mitchell is excited to share her knowledge and talents with the participants.


Students discussing creative writing ideas


“One of the most important tools that a scriptwriter can invest in is solid, industry-standard screenwriting software,” said Ms. Mitchell. “The medium should never hinder the creative writing process, and therefore, students will work within Writer’s Duet, a free online scriptwriting software that is reliable and straightforward to use. Watching films for their storytelling technique and listening to how dialogue is spoken on screen is part of the observation and learning process for scriptwriters. We’ll watch short films and examine how stories are told through dialogue, cinematography and even silence. Students will develop their own stories, pitch their projects in front of ‘executive producers’ [Ms. Mitchell and her Assistants], and we’ll have fun with feedback, so that the students are comfortable with pitching. My hope is that by the end of the workshop, students are eager to go out and write more and more screenplays and are well-equipped with the knowledge to do so!”

Young creative writers will thrive in this vibrant, interactive setting. Space is limited – sign up now!