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Screenwriter Jeff Cohen talks about his Introduction to Screenwriting Workshop that will be taking place in February at Rutgers University!

Screenwriter Jeff Cohen talks about his Introduction to Screenwriting Workshop that will be taking place in February at Rutgers University!


In addition to showing great films the New Jersey Film Festival also provides a variety of inexpensive workshops via the New Jersey Media Arts Center (NJMAC) which are for beginning, intermediate and advanced filmmaking students. One of the most popular beginning workshops is Introduction to Screenwriting which has been taught by Highland Park, New Jersey resident Jeff Cohen for almost two decades. I did a brief interview with Jeff about his Screenwriting course to give Patch readers more information.

Nigrin: You will be teaching the Introduction to Screenwriting Workshop starting on February 3, 2013 as part of the New Jersey Film Festival. What can interested individuals expect to take away from your course?

Cohen: Aspiring screenwriters or those wanting to improve their work will find the building blocks for a good screenplay in the workshop. You'll hear about the three-act structure and how to build a story, the secrets of creating interesting characters, the truth about writing dialogue, and an overview of what to do after you type FADE OUT (in other words, the steps toward selling your work). Screenwriting isn't like any other kind of writing, so each aspect of a screenplay will be covered.

Nigrin: What got you into writing screenplays?

Cohen: I've loved movies since I was a small child, and once I realized that somebody WROTE everything that happens in a film or on TV, that was all I wanted to do. I love to tell stories, and I especially like doing so on a screen.

Nigrin: What is the biggest mistake novice screenwriters make?

Cohen: They don't pay attention to the rules, probably because they don't know the rules. Their characters are one-note, their dialogue all sounds like the same person (guess who?), and their stories are all so straightforward and obvious that the audience could have written it themselves. We address all these challenges in the workshop.

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NJMAC 2013 Workshop
Introduction to Screenwriting
Instructor: Jeff Cohen

Screenwriting is a combination of creativity, craft, and commerce. With a strong emphasis on structure, this class will introduce students to the nuts and bolts of screenwriting, as well as the reality of selling your work and getting it produced. Film clips will illustrate specific points, and students will be shown how to absorb the rules, in order to break them intelligently.
Day/Time/Place: 2 Sundays, February 3+10, 2013 - 12 Noon to 3:00 PM
Loree Hall #024, Douglass Campus, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
Fee: $200 = General Public; $190 = Rutgers Film Co-op/NJMAC Friends
About the Instructor: Jeff Cohen is a screenwriter, novelist, and freelance writer whose screenplays have been developed by Jim Henson Productions, CBS, Gross-Weston productions, and others. His Aaron Tucker mystery novels have been optioned for television or film, and his work has appeared in The New York Times, Premiere, The Star Ledger, USA Weekend, Writer's Digest, and Entertainment Weekly.

More info on this and other NJMAC filmmaking workshops is available at www.njfilmfest.com or 848-932-8482!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

John A Lester April 05, 2013 at 09:18 PM
Are you the Jeff Cohen who worked with Ron Lyons, Jack Haley, Jr., Les Gargan in the mid-80s. John Lester johnnieboy36@yahoo.com

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