How to Write a Sci-Fi Screenplay?
Join pro screenwriter Conor Kyle for a four-week intensive crash course on how to write a science-fiction screenplay. We will dive into how to develop a compelling sci-fi story world with a killer premise that meets genre expectations.
Bring your Sci-Fi ideas and loglines! You will workshop your concepts during this bootcamp, as you move from idea to outline, through lessons on screenwriting craft, character, conflict, world-building, and the components of speculative fiction, futurist storytelling and sci-fi sub-genres.
By the end of the 4-week bootcamp, you will have completed a detailed outline, and you’ll be ready to begin writing your sci-fi feature screenplay or TV pilot.
This course is ideal for:
- beginning screenwriters who would like to understand the core concepts of sci-fi screenwriting and how to move their project forward.
- experienced screenwriters who want to participate in a more formal setting with the guidance of an experienced sci-fi writer.
About the Instructor:
Conor Kyle has written for Shudder’s Creepshow (2019) and placed twice in the Nicholl Fellowship with his scripts “Peter and the Wolves” (quarterfinals, also Launchpad top 10) and The Tube (semifinals). His screenplays have also been featured on special sections of the annual Hit List, Young & Hungry List, Spec Book, and on Tracking Board’s “Best Writers of the Year” booklet. He writes everything from stage musicals to Westerns to horror movies. Follow Conor on Twitter, YouTube and Twitch
Week 1: What If…? (July 16)
During this week’s intensive two-hour workshop, you will gain a deeper understanding of the categories and styles of Science Fiction (hard versus soft science, utopian, dystopian, science-fantasy and others) and the quirks of writing this genre for film and television. We will continue to develop your speculative science-related questions into sharp dramatic arguments, carried by unforgettable characters. Your finalized logline will help you begin to transmute this world from your imagination to the page.
- Finalize your logline
- Begin filling out your sketchbook
Week 2: Building the World (July 23)
Now that you’ve nailed down your movie or TV pilot idea, it’s time to build a complex science fiction story world imbued with humanity and imagination. In this genre, our storytelling choices are often limited by (and also inspired by!) the limitations of technical logistics. How might we design a functioning colony on a distant planet? What interesting stories result from different social class systems? Most importantly, we will focus on delivering the full potential of these ideas without leaning too hard on information dumps and clumsy exposition.
- Develop your protagonist and antagonist
- Flesh out your sci-fi story world and its rules
Week 3: Blockbuster Moments (July 30)
This week, we’ll look at the key building blocks of your science fiction story. Chiefly: how to identify your character arcs, structure and place key scenes, and begin to establish connective tissue between them. You’ll need to carefully structure and pace your outline to deliver on the promise of your sci-fi premise.
- Come up with a “Blockbuster Moment” – one awesome moment from the middle of the movie or pilot that will leave the audience breathless or cheering.
- Complete your Story Beats outline
Week 4: Genre & Structure (August 6)
Time to start getting concrete. This class focuses on nailing down every scene from your sci-fi movie or pilot as a “scene card,” which is a synopsis for every key moment in your story. ScriptCamp heavily emphasizes this part of the process, and we will make an exhaustive page-by-page roadmap through your entire screenplay.
- Manage the genre expectations and tone of your story.
- Complete your scene cards
- Write you opening scene
- Ready to start writing pages by Aug 13!