My friend Pilar has been teaching screenwriting and getting paid to be a screenplay consultant for nearly a decade. I've been tempted in the past to take one of her classes, and recently Pilar made me an offer I couldn't refuse - help her out as an assistant (which mostly involves folding up tables after class) and I can take the class for free. Her company is called On The Page. And Pilar rocks. Fair disclosure - I helped write her publicity materials when she was first starting up. Doesn't mean I don't speak truth! I do, I do. I know that now for sure because I had my first class with Pilar this past Saturday.
This is the From Premise to Pages class, which pretty much guides you through exactly that. The first class was three hours, and it was jam-packed with brainstorming techniques, logline pointers, structural ideas, and so on. It is a workshop, so we all got to throw out our loglines and get feedback. We volunteered to hear comments on our ideas and so on. Very helpful. Whether you're starting out with a theme, a character, or an event, Pilar's class can help you flesh out your screenplay from there.
I'm really looking forward to the next class. Pilar is not only smart, you can tell she's having fun when she teaches. She used to do stand up and act, so she's comfortable speaking in front of groups, is very funny, and can handle anything you throw at her. I feel very motivated and supported. This is what a class should do.
Now I have to decide which idea to move forward with. I've got an idea that could be either a feature or the (expensive) pilot for a TV series. And then there's my book series idea. Pilar's techniques could be quite useful for that too! Oy. Must decide before next Saturday. Any way I go, should be fun.