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10 Reasons to Write Your Script Now!

Happy New Year! ShanghaiTech-USC School of Cinematic Arts Spring 2019 Screenwriting Workshop is now calling for applicants! We are now accepting applications from writers of excellent English proficiency through Jan 28th. Here are the tenreasons why you should stop thinking and start writing your script NOW!

1. Hands-on instruction from working professional in Hollywood

Your instructor for Spring 2019 will be Peter Gamble Robinson. Peter began his career as the creative consultant on the Oscar-winning film House of Sand and Fog and then worked for 12 years in the writers’ room of A-List screenwriter Ed Solomon on films including Now You See Me and Now You See Me 2. Peter also has hands-down experiences in developing TV series for big studios, such as Sony and ReelFX.  

2. The madly popular writing professor that you would have little chance to take a class with if you were at USC SCA!

Peter has been teaching at USC SCA since 2008. His knowledge, passion and dedication has made him USC SCA’s one of the top rated writing professors. Here’s what his students say:

3. Absolutely worthy of every second and every penny of yours!

It might be the most cost-effective world-class writing workshop you could ever take! The total class hours exceed 110 hours over 11 weeks, which is equivalent to SIX CREDITS’ worth of courses at USC SCA. (Now you may do your maths to see how much you have saved by taking our version :P ) Our program is recipient of Shanghai Film Development Fund, and that’s why we’re able to offer such an affordable price.

4.  No translation = more class hours

It is the first time ShanghaiTech has offered the entire workshop in English without translation. It easily means that the class hours are doubled! It will be the authentic Writer’s Room you’re participating in, right in Shanghai.

5.  Meet your Writing Buddies!

Aside from your instructor, you’ll also benefit from the environment of a real workshop where you get to brainstorm with 9 other talented writers. You will learn how to respect and critique, how to spot story problems and solve them. This is where you can find your writing partners and you will continue to grow along the journey of screenwriting and filmmaking.

6.  Simply the best place to live & write at an incredibly super low rate! 

ShanghaiTech campus #nofilter

On-campus accommodation is available for non-locals.

Are you reluctant to travel to SH? No pains, no gains! Our 2015 writer Cao Jinling, who took the trouble to fly between Shanghai and Beijing every weekend throughout the workshop, is now directing the feature developed in our course!

Moerdaoga (developed in 2015 ShanghaiTech-USC Screenwriting Workshop) now in production

7. Practical Pedagogy

Here you will have the ability to dissect professionally written scripts and to “see” stories from your own materials. The instructor will not only analyse films of different genres, but also point out the patterns and techniques in common that make the stories effective, all leading you to develop your own toolkit. Stay tuned for our list of films for the script analysis class!

8.  A strong alumni network with filmmakers across China

Since 2015, ShanghaiTech-USC Film-making Program has developed an alumni network across China. In this dynamic and engaging community, you’ll meet experienced producers, writers and directors from some of the biggest film production companies in China, and a group of passionate, hard-working and talented young filmmakers as well.

9.  Script development support available!

Outstanding works may receive further development support. Go Write!

10.  Film students, Recharge! 

A lot of former film students who studied filmmaking abroad are now active in the industry. This workshop has been a recharging station for them to develop their own feature project and get new perspectives and insights from in-class discussion, as well as their own experiences. Here's what they say:

ZHANG Chi, 2015 Screenwriting / 2016 Directing

Theatre Arts, University of Massachusetts, Boston

Cities in Love (Executing Director); Breakup Buddies (Assistant Director); Once Upon a Time in Forbidden City (Co-director/Producer)

His feature project Breaking the Waves developed in the workshop was selected as 2016 SIFF Project at Shanghai International Film Festival

"The workshop offered me an opportunity to review the ideas and techniques of screenwriting. I had a more practical screenwriting toolkit, and learned how to build a character, how to develop the structure for a film, and how to create a scene. I had had the idea for Breaking the Waves for a very long time, and I made the decision to write it down during the course. It all began with a logline, then step-outline, then first, second, and third drafts…I have grown with this story. There might be the fourth and fifth drafts. Some parts may also need complete rewrites, just like what the USC professors told us, the most important part of the job of a screenwriter, was to rewrite."


Molly MA 2016 Screenwriting

Filmmaking, London Film School

"The most important thing I learned during the course was structure. I gradually got to understand how to create a clear structure where not a single second is wasted to tell the story effectively. Also, how to develop an idea, how to dig your own memories and create engaging characters... It was animportant step for me to become a professional writer."


Ellen XIE, 2017 Screenwriting

Film & TV, Boston University

Working Screenwriter for Animation, Comedy, TV series

"The screenwriting method that I took away from this intensive two-month program has been my most practical tool in developing scripts for feature films and series. It not only helps filmmakers fix and hone stories but also gives a screenwriter the confidence and strength to just keep writing. Thanks to the Professor, my scattered knowledge about storytelling has become more systematic and concrete."


Holmes DENG, 2018 Screenwriting

Film and Media Arts (Directing track), Temple University

Women in Shanghai (Assistant Director/Post-production Director), Final Cassette(Director, Best Short Film in London Short Pole Film Festival)

"It was a joyful experience taking the screenwriting class. It's provided a utopian environment for students to sit down and write down something. The professor has got tons of experience in genre screenwriting, the staff are professional, and more importantly, you can meet like-minded friends who will help each other along the journey. It's a lovely family, welcome!"


Leah SHEN, 2018 Screenwriting

TV and Motion Pictures, Academy of Art University

Production Manager for Vice China

"It was an honour to be part of the program. Since I got back to China, I haven't worked in a field related to films. And I just realized screenwriting plays a crucial role to a movie. I did lots of research before I signed up - and even asked my close friends who were USC graduates. They all highly recommended the class! The course helped me recap the skills and principles of screenwriting. What's more, I met a lot of cool and professional writers, who would inspire me to perfect my work and share the insights into the industry."

Come on join us NOW! During the 11 weeks of intensive training, your status quo will be shaken up, your obstacles will be overcome and the tension will be resolved. After your goal is accomplished, you will find yourself grown emotionally together with your character and enter the new film world!

Click for more information.