BLOG: Living the Dream through Continuing Education

February 26, 2014 - 11:34
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UNLV Ed Outreach

Mix one dream with an Emmy-award-winning instructor, attend a six-week class, and end up one step closer to turning the dream into reality. That was my recent experience with UNLV Continuing Education. After living through and witnessing some amazing events and interesting displays of humanity, I had a vision of writing a television pilot. I figured the time was right, presuming that I wasn’t the only one growing tired of the never-ending supply of reality television. Surely people would want more storytelling and less lie living!

I went online to take the easy route–download a screenwriting app, get a template for a spec script, and start writing. Could it really be that easy? Perhaps it could, but I personally didn’t get very far without feedback.

I decided to jumpstart the writing process with a Continuing Education class, How to Plot (Novels, Plays or Scripts) taught by John Hill, a former professional Hollywood TV and movie screenwriter (do you remember Quigley Down Under?) and Emmy award winner (I’m sure you’ve heard of L.A. Law). The first class enticed me to take another with John, How to Write a Screenplay.

I gained the beginning skills and knowledge to move forward with a little more confidence. I now knew how to set up a scene and write conversational dialogue. John also shared resources for finding an agent and selling a script, and informed us of the reality of working as a screenwriter. He even told us what it would take to write the next Hollywood blockbuster. His honesty will probably lead more people to write novels rather than screenplays, but at least they will make a well-informed decision. As for me, I am even more convinced my TV show needs to be seen weekly, and the show’s lead character absolutely needs to be explored more deeply in a made-for-TV movie.

So what’s your dream? Perhaps UNLV Continuing Education can help bring it to life.
Here are John Hill's upcoming courses:

How to Write a Short Story

How To Make A (Cheap) Feature Film In Two Weekends

Posted by LaNelda Rolley