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Advanced Screenwriting

Starts April 22

In-person. 8 sessions: Tuesdays, January 30-March 19, 6:30-9:30 pm CT

It’s been said, “Scripts aren’t written… they’re rewritten.” A quality rewrite can lift a script from pretty good to very good… maybe even great. But how to get there?

You’ve rewritten your script, and now you’ve got the killer opening you envisaged when you started… but somewhere in the middle, the power and the energy of your story noticeably sag, and the Big Finish toward which you were groping your way never quite materialized as planned. Or worse yet, it’s as if some forbidding stretch of act two seems to have turned out to be quicksand, and your story has gotten lost in there, never to be seen again. Not only does this scenario continually undermine potentially great rewrites – it’s what keeps many initially promising scripts from ever being completed at all!

As with Elements of Screenwriting, this course is built on master-teacher Frank Daniel’s system of eight story sequences, spending each weekly session on deep analysis of a scene sequence from a film that offers something useful to learn about structure and cinematic storytelling, in addition to writing exercises and the weekly sharing out loud of new pages. This latter part of our core process is the “secret sauce” that helps you get to the most important part of the rewriting process: a full and satisfying exploration of whatever it is that lies at your story’s emotional center – its heart.

Though stories are ultimately about problem solving—we sit in darkened theaters to watch compelling characters solve whatever fix they’re in—the value and the power of stories is all about how they make us feel. Roll up your sleeves and come complete that first draft or that rewrite you’ve been meaning to finish!

David Grant answers questions indicative that he heard me and put his mind into what I asked (i.e. he understood and gave me real, practical advice, especially when this can be more abstract than concrete). David develops his ways of screenwriting over time and is generous with that knowledge. He is a 99th level wizard living in a place high on a hilltop, but he is thoughtful and considerate and has put an escalator in, for everyone. I am grateful the universe revealed David’s existence to me. This is 100% genuine. He is a beautiful human being. Highly recommended. —Winter 2022 student

NOTE: this in-person course is held at FilmNorth, 550 Vandalia Street, Suite 120, Saint Paul, MN 55114. FilmNorth is following CDC’s current COVID-19 variant guidance for Ramsey County:

  • People may choose to mask at any time. Masks are recommended for those who are unvaccinated, immunocompromised, or at high-risk for complications associated with COVID-19 variants.
  • People with any COVID-19 symptoms, a positive test, or exposure to someone with COVID-19 should stay home.

Tuition: $365 regular | $290 member | $230 low-income


David Grant is a Twin Cities-based screenwriter and playwright. As a playwright, he has been commissioned to write new work for the Minnesota Science Museum, the Minnesota Historical Society, Mixed Blood Theater, VocalEssence, The Playwrights’ Center, and Great American History Theatre. As a screenwriter, he has written drama for Twin Cities Public Television, Russell Simmons’ Def Pictures, HBO New York, Davis Entertainment, and the Showtime Network. David has been a recipient of screenwriting fellowships from the Minnesota State Arts Board and the McKnight Foundation, and was a finalist for the 1999 Gordon Parks Award and the Heathcote Arts Foundation Fellowship at the Independent Feature Film Market in New York for his screenplay Trouble. He has taught screenwriting at The Loft, Playwrights’ Center, and S.A.S.E., as well as basic writing skills for The Center for Non-Profit Management at the University of St. Thomas.

David is a graduate of Antioch College and president emeritus of Screenwriters’ Workshop, member of The Loft board of directors, a core alumnus member of The Playwrights’ Center, and a member of the Writers’ Guild of America, West.

Class Registration Guidelines & Cancellation Policy

  • Space is assigned on a first-come basis. Registrations must include payment in full. Registrations are accepted after registration deadlines if space is available.
  • If minimum enrollment has not been reached by 7 days prior to the start date of a class, FilmNorth may cancel it, in which case registrants will immediately be notified and receive a full refund within 2 business days. A check will be issued for registrations that were paid in cash. In lieu of a refund, students have the option of applying their tuition to another class scheduled in the same calendar year.
  • For those needing to cancel a registration at least 7 days prior to the first class session, 100% of the tuition will be refunded minus a $25 administrative fee. For registration cancellations received less than 7 days prior to the first class session, 50% of the tuition will be refunded minus a $25 administrative fee. As of 5:00 pm the day prior to the first class session, no refunds or credits/exchanges will be given (Friday at 5:00 pm for Sunday classes). 
  • Tuition is not prorated for missed class sessions.
  • By registering for this FilmNorth class you are agreeing to our Community Values Statement.




April 22, 2020 @ 6:30 pm
June 10, 2020 @ 9:30 pm
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David Grant
Registration Deadline
Maximum Enrollment
Class count or Info
Wednesdays, April 22-June 10, 6:30–9:30pm