Wendall Thomas Screenwriting Masterclasses

We are delighted to announce the return of celebrated film lecturer, casting director, UCLA screenwriting professor and writer Wendall Thomas. Wendall will be bringing her 25 years of Los Angeles-based industry experience to two day-long screenwriting master-classes in Newcastle on 19 and 20 March: the first focusing on writing for television and the second on writing for film.                   

Writing a Great One-Hour Pilot: A practical guide (Wed 19 March)

So much of the best American and international writing in the past ten years has been in television, producing both popular and critical hits like The Wire, The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, Justified, Downton Abbey, CSI, Sherlock, Lost, The Killing, Borgen, and so many more. And now that both Netflix and Amazon are producing their own television content, the demand for material and writers has never been greater.

This workshop will lay out the kind of structure, characters, and worlds which create a memorable series with “legs,” drawing examples from American network and cable pilots, as well as international shows which have travelled well worldwide.

When: Wed 19 March, 10am – 5pm. (Registration will be from 9.40am for a prompt start at 10am. Please note that we reserve the right to refuse entry to those who arrive late.) 

Where: Tyneside Cinema (Roxy, 3rd floor), 10 Pilgrim Street, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE1 6QG


Classic Three Act Structure: FATAL ATTRACTION (Thurs 20 March)

This classic thriller offers not only a great introduction to perfect three act structure, but also to the kind of plot dynamics, characterizations, scene structure, dialogue, tone, pacing and unforgettable antagonist which can improve any script. We will break the film down scene by scene, exploring every aspect of this enduring international hit and putting it into the context of more recent thrillers like Drive and Side Effects.

When: Thursday 20 March, 10am – 5pm. (Registration will be from 9.40am for a prompt start at 10am. Please note that we reserve the right to refuse entry to those who arrive late.) 

Where: Toffee Factory, Lower Steenbergs Yard, Ouseburn, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, NE1 2DF. (For a map and travel info please click here.)



Tickets are priced £30 for a single day or £50 for both. Dual ticket discount is offered subject to availability. Registration closes at the end of Tuesday 18 March for 'Writing a Great One-Hour Pilot' and the dual ticket offer; regstration for 'Classic Three Act Structure' closes at the end of Wendnesday 19 March. Ticket price covers the cost of classes, printed handouts and teas/coffees during breaks but please note that lunch is not included. 

Thanks to the support of our funders, delegates working professionally as freelancers or employees/owners of smaller companies in the creative industries in the North East of England will have this fee treated as a deposit to be refunded after the event. To check your eligibility please click here. This deposit will be refunded the day following the event to eligible delegates who have attended the whole of the class (or classes) and should clear back into delegates' bank accounts within four working days at most. Please note that we reserve the right to refuse entry or the return of deposits to those who arrive late. 

To book please click here. Payments are processed via PayPal and may be made either with a PayPal account or with credit/debit card. We regret that we are unable to invoice or take payment by cheque. Please note that cancellation refunds cannot be made within a week of the events (i.e. after 10am on Wed 12 March).

You may register for more than one person at a time but are asked to provide individual registration information for each guest. This is required by our funders as a condition of the support which is subsiding these events. If we receive multiple registrations in the same name we will contact you for the missing information and admission is contingent on our having received this information.


About Wendall

Wendall Thomas has worked in Los Angeles for over 25 years as a casting director, director’s assistant, script reader, story editor, development executive, entertainment reporter, script consultant and screenwriter, writing and developing projects for companies including Disney, Warner Brothers, Paramount, Universal, Showtime, PBS, RKO, A&E, and NBC.

In addition to writing and consulting, she is in her sixteenth year as Adjunct Professor of Screenwriting in the Graduate Film School at UCLA, has been a Star Speaker for the annual Los Angeles Screenwriting Expo, and runs the Living Room Lecture series. She has consulted for the Atelier du Cinéma Européen Producing Program in Paris, served as Writer’s Mentor for Screen South’s Good Foundations program 2005-2007, and directed the LA FEATURES writer’s mentorship program in the UK for 2007-2009. She also consults for Australia’s Film Victoria and The New Zealand Film Commission.

She has worked as a lecturer throughout Europe and in New Zealand, and was opening speaker for the Santa Fe Screenwriting Conference in 2009. She has presented her “Wendall Thomas Talks Scripts” series at the Melbourne International Film Festival since 2011 and will return for the festival in 2014.


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