Screenwriting is an art, and there are countless possibilities in every form of creativity.
Screenwriting is the process of creating the plot structure for a movie or television program. It encompasses all the specifics, such as character dialogue and actions, essentially establishing the blueprints for anything to be shown on the screen.
Learning how to create a screenplay correctly might be difficult. There are many online learning tools available for screenwriting, but not all of them are comparable.
To provide you the best of the best, we sorted through hundreds of online screenwriting courses. Some of these courses are geared toward beginning writers, while others are for intermediate and experienced writers.
While some of these courses are free screenwriting workshops, some are fee-based. The greatest screenwriting courses available online will help you hone your skills and learn the business.
So this article will cover top online screenwriting courses that focus on character development, different mediums, screenwriting basics, and trends that are essential to understand the demand in the entertainment industry.
Also, I have covered the other essential outlooks like price, skill level, and the ratings of the course. So without wasting time, let’s get started.
Top 11 Online Screenwriting Classes: In A Nutshell (2023)
If you are in a bit of a hurry, you can refer to the table below that will help you to choose the best option that is suitable for you.
1. Shonda Rhimes “Teaches Writing for Television” (MasterClass)
The fact that this class is expressly designed for writing for television keeps it in the first place.
Even while there are classes specifically designed for creating feature-length movies, if you know how to separate material across the two mediums, you will still find a lot of useful guidance in this course.
It is a complete guide to core techniques to screenwriting which is specially designed for beginner to intermediate-level writers.
The course has many case studies to learn from that, including Grey’s Anatomy Pilot and techniques for editing your script. We have also covered a detailed review of Shonda Rhimes Masterclass here.
|Price||$8 – Individual$12 – Duo (2 access)$23 – Family (6 access)|
- Get training from a successful TV writer.
- Learn to create compelling characters.
- Covers pitch notes, pilot scripts, and series bibles.
- Get new classes every month.
- Audio lessons only.
- Case study based.
2. Screenwriting Masterclass: A Complete Guide to Screenwriting (Udemy)
The screenwriting masterclass is a complete guide through essential steps of finding unique plot ideas, creating characters, formatting your screenwriting using both paid and free tools, editing your script, and steps you can take after you create a great script.
This course goes over the fundamentals before going into a little depth. Aside from the strict formatting and structural instructions provided in the prior entries, this class places a greater emphasis on storytelling and theory than any other course.
With this course, beginner and intermediate writers can aim to improve their storytelling abilities. You will get all the knowledge and abilities required to create your unique screenplay by the end of this course.
The course’s sections build on one another by bringing new knowledge and useful exercises. You will actually be writing your script as you take this course by performing and completing these activities.
By reviewing all of the course activities, you’ll not only absorb the information and develop the necessary abilities, but you’ll also finish the course with a screenplay of your own.
|Instructor||Phil Ebinner, Brian Birmingham.|
|Level||Basic to intermediate|
- Learn how to find great screenwriting ideas.
- Create perfect characters for stories.
- Get free screenwriting tools to write your script with the final draft.
- Training from masters.
- Less focus on current trends.
- Contains lots of assignments.
3. Screenwriting for Beginners (Udemy)
As the name suggests, Screenwriting for beginners is the basic level course that clears each and every basic concept of screenwriting.
This course teaches you how to prepare and create a screenplay in accordance with industry guidelines using two “hands-on” training films that cover the fundamentals of screenwriting.
You will be able to write a screenplay after taking this fast course. You’ve come to the correct place if you’ve ever wanted to write a screenplay but are confused about where to begin.
It covers how to structure and write your initial screenplay properly in only a few short hours. Furthermore, you will understand what is needed and expected while creating a screenplay. And finally, you will be able to apply the industry-level standard formats in your screenwriting.
- Learn to craft a feature-length screenplay.
- Understand and practice industry-level formats.
- Get insight from a pro screenwriter on the creation of a screenplay.
- Learn with perfect examples.
- Very short course.
- You may lack engagement and interaction.
4. Script Writing: Write a Pilot Episode for a TV or Web Series (Coursera)
This course teaches you how to develop a comprehensive pilot episode script for a television program or web series. Whether it’s humor, melodrama, or a mix of the two, you’ll learn how to deconstruct scripts from beginning to end.
Within a few weeks of enrolling, you will learn how to polish your scripts to a high standard and find ways to make them more interesting to viewers.
The instructor David Wheeler aims to engage your individual creativity through active learning. This straightforward course enables participants to give feedback to other students who are enrolled in it.
This course takes about 25 hours to complete. There are over 30 hours of active project work, and because there is no set end date, students can tailor the course to fit their schedules.
|Price||Free, a printable certificate for $49.|
- Learn basic concepts of TV series.
- Learn how to create unique ideas and how to convert them into scripts.
- Flexible and active learning.
- No practical guidance.
- Self-directed course.
5. Inspirational Screenwriting (Udemy)
Inspirational Screenwriting is a quick advanced-level course that covers various aspects of screenwriting. It is also one of the best Udemy courses.
In the world of writing scripts for movies and television, you will discover the screenwriting techniques behind popular cinematic storylines.
The course content includes creating great characters and images to bring the movie to life. It also covers the differentiation between the screenplay that sells and the one that does not.
You also get the free bonus podcast that covers the 5 lectures on screenwriting. It’s also instructive for anyone who wants advice on how to enhance their idea-generation process.
Finally, you will be able to create a feature-length script by the end of this course.
- Create images and characters to bring your movie to reality.
- Sculpt a full-length feature film screenplay.
- Get a special podcast complementary.
- Get training from an industry insider
- Lack of technical terms.
6. Building Your Screenplay (edX)
In this course, you’ll discover practical techniques that might improve your screenwriting abilities while also introducing you to the latest global developments in the film industry.
You’ll learn how to create a strong visual script idea and how to give your screenplay a stronger structural foundation.
Also, you will get covered with how to improve your writing abilities in this course. It aims to raise your level of comprehension of screenwriting so that you can successfully launch a career as a paid screenwriter.
Moreover, you will deeply understand traditional screenwriting techniques that upskill your performance. And also, you will be covered with advanced self-management skills that will improve your screenwriting skills.
By the end of this course, you will have a proper understanding of relevant markets and trends, and demand in the entertainment industry.
|Price||Verified Track – $199Audit track – Free|
|Duration||4 weeks, 8 to 10 hours per week|
- Learn various script editing methods.
- Get traditional writing techniques to upskill performance.
- Create effective characters and compelling structure.
- Get a complete understanding of the relevant market and demand for the entertainment industry.
- No feedback on your performance.
- More focus on the traditional writing approach.
7. Micro-Budget Filmmaking: Screenwriting (Skillshare)
This short course focuses majorly on the character’s compelling and creative. It is perfect for those who want to work within a limited budget.
Anyone who has the desire to work as a screenwriter or maker but finds it difficult to take the first step will benefit greatly from this course.
It’s also fantastic for those who have produced a movie or written a screenplay but struggled to get the finished product to reflect their original intentions.
The course will cover you from developing realistic characters and guide you on how to opt for a project that is best suitable for your budget. You will also get various writing strategies and tools along with tips on screenwriting formatting.
|Instructor||Dustin Curtis Murphy|
- Training from industry experts.
- Complete guide to screenwriting for beginners.
- Learn screenplay, writing strategies, and techniques.
- Project-based learning.
- Very short length course.
- Very basic.
8. Beginning Screenwriting Made Easy (Udemy)
Beginning Screenwriting Made Easy is a step-by-step guide to screenwriting by Udemy.
Firstly you will go through all the basics that you need for building your scripts. You will get the proper idea of planning realistic characters, structure writing, and script writing and formatting your draft.
This is a time-saving and practical course that covers the overall idea of screenwriting and how to think like a scriptwriter.
Once you complete the course, you also get the bonus section that includes a guide on performing characters and how to write likable characters for your movie or script.
|Level||Beginner to intermediate|
- Learn how to resonate your ideas with the audience.
- Covers the ways of generating screenwriting story ideas.
- Learn formatting in screenwriting.
- Build the characters while screenwriting.
- No assignment to write practically.
- It May sound basis for advanced writers.
9. Learn to Write Movies: Screenwriting (Skillshare)
In Learn to Write Movies by Udemy, you will be guided with the step-by-step craft of screenwriting. Everything you need to know is covered, including coming up with ideas and developing characters as well as using structure, themes, and writing approaches.
It will give you the confidence to create a terrific script the first time with a combination of theory, examples from contemporary films, and worksheets to complete as you proceed through the course.
There are worksheets connected with “Learn to Write Movies.” Therefore, be sure to take notes and complete these worksheets in addition to following along with the video courses.
If you follow the instructions in the letter, you’ll end the course with a fully developed script for your movie.
Simply put, “Learn to Write Movies” is a fantastic course for those who desire a condensed yet really useful screenwriting course. It is perfect for new writers who already have tale ideas but struggle to put them on paper.
|Price||Free with the subscription|
- Covers how to keep your readers enthralled.
- Learn the key to the great description.
- A step-by-step approach to learning screenwriting.
- The course focuses on a particular facet of your screenplay.
- Get 3-dimensional and memorable character creation techniques.
- No feedback is available.
- Beginners may find it difficult to understand.
10. Aaron Sorkin “Teaches Screenwriting” (MasterClass)
Aaron Sorkin wrote a play called “A Few Good Men” in a cocktail napkin, and later on, a movie adoption of the play became really famous. After that, Aaron Sorkin became a famous name in the film industry, and he is known for his screenwriting skills.
With the help of MasterClass, Aaron Sorking created a course in which he teaches everyone about screenwriting and walks you through his thought process. This class teaches you about writing dialogues, developing characters, and creating a script that will actually sell.
The teaching style of Aaron Sorkin is very straightforward, where he teaches everything to the point without adding any unnecessary stories. He also teaches all the rules of drama in a way that his students can easily understand it.
This MasterClass also has case studies from his own films and others. He identifies the patterns from different stories and teaches you to understand the different story arcs within a film. You will also learn to develop a character completely after learning the “Character Development” lesson in this MasterClass.
|Price||$180 for All-Access Pass|
- Learn about screenwriting from the famous screenwriter of the industry.
- Learn the rules of drama.
- Amazing case studies included in this MasterClass.
- You will get practical advice in this course.
- Workshops are lengthy.
- Course can be boring sometimes, and students can lose interest.
11. Creative Writing: The Craft Of Plot
This course is part of the Creative Writing Specialization of Coursera, and Wesleyan University offers this specialization. Through this course, aspiring writers will learn the most important part of a story which is the plot.
The instructor explains how a good plot can make a story really good and affect the audience’s emotions, feelings, and desires. Students will learn how to use their imaginations to create a really good fictional world.
The course also covers how to keep the suspense in a good story and how you create it more surprising for the audience. The instructor, Brando Skyhorse, is an assistant professor of creative writing at Wesleyan University.
The course is divided into four weeks and covers a total of 14 videos that you can complete within 5 hours. In the first week, you will learn about plotting a course. In the second week, you will learn about the power of structure. In the third week, you will learn about how to create scenes. In the last week, you will learn how to edit the scenes.
|Price||Free To Enroll, $49 for Professional Certificate|
- You will gain four different skills after completing the course.
- Get a professional certificate after completing the course.
- You can reset deadlines according to your schedule.
- Subtitles are available in many languages.
- You won’t get a certificate while auditing the course.
Final Verdict: Best Online Screenwriting Classes (2023)
After taking your first screenwriting course, you’ll be prepared to work on that script idea that’s been gnawing at your head.
So I have covered you with all the top online screenwriting classes. Still, if you are in doubt, then here is my suggestion,
- Shonda Rhimes “Teaches Writing for Television” (MasterClass) – Best overall
- Screenwriting for beginners (Udemy) – Best for beginners.
- Script Writing: Write a Pilot Episode for a TV or Web Series (Coursera) – Best for TV script writing.
So maybe reading this article has given you a better idea of which screenwriting course would be perfect for you.
Get the most suitable course that perfectly fits your expectations and be a master in screenwriting.
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