Screenwriting – Summer Boot Camp

Eight-week workshop offered Tuesday and Thursday evenings, June 14-August 4 for young and older adults

Is there a movie you’ve always wanted to write? Have you started a screenplay only to get stuck halfway through and give up? Do you have a great character or story that would make a terrific film?

If you answered “Yes” to any or all of the above questions, now’s your chance to write that script.

This summer, Montclair State University’s Film Program is offering an eight-week intensive non-credit screenwriting workshop for adults (18 years of age and older). Classes will meet twice a week in Montclair State University’s state-of-the-art, air-conditioned classrooms.

This seminar/workshop is designed for the screenwriter at any level to fully realize the potential of his or her story and complete a draft of a screenplay. Participants may bring in script ideas, partially written scripts or even completed drafts that need re-writing. All are also welcome to work on short films, TV or Web series, adaptations or any other kind of screenplay. No experience is necessary to begin this program; however, all participants should come with an idea of what they would like to work on to class.

With seminars, lectures, screenings, exercises and readings, participants will get a solid introduction into the craft of screenwriting with an emphasis on developing compelling cinematic stories, understanding drama and conflict, the principles of story structure, use of visual imagery, character development, and scene construction. Participants should be prepared to spend substantial time outside of class to devote to writing and re-writing. Class size will be limited.

Montclair State University’s Film Program faculty member Susan Skoog will be the instructor. Skoog is a director, screenwriter and television producer who has worked in the entertainment industry for more than 20 years. In 1998, she wrote, produced and directed the feature film Whatever, which was released theatrically worldwide by Sony Pictures Classics. Whatever stars Liza Weil of TV’s Gilmore Girls and Frederic Forrest (Apocalypse Now, The Rose and The Conversation) and premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Garnering critical acclaim, Whatever went on to screen at festivals throughout the world.

In addition to her film work, Skoog has enjoyed a successful career as a writer, director and producer of numerous television documentary and magazine programs for such networks as VH1, Turner Network Television, Turner Classic Movies, AMC, FX, MTV, CBS, Fuse, Rave HD, TBS, Tru TV/Court TV and PBS.

Skoog has written dramatic screenplays for Warner Brothers, HBO and MTV Films, among others, working with such esteemed producers as John Wells (ER, The West Wing), and Ron Yerxa and Albert Berger (Cold Mountain, Election, Little Miss Sunshine). She is now in production on a documentary about public school teachers and tenure. She is a graduate of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in theatre and film, and is currently a faculty member at Montclair State University’s Film Program.

The eight-week summer screenwriting workshop will be held Tuesday and Thursday evenings, 6:30 to 10 p.m., from June 14 to August 4 in University Hall. The cost for the class is $795 and you must register by June 7. To register, click here.

For further information, e-mail Professor Susan Skoog at

This workshop is being sponsored by The Office of Education and Community Outreach (OECO), a service unit of Montclair State University’s College of the Arts. Dedicated to extending Montclair State University’s cultural resources to the broader educational community, OECO collaborates with community, regional and national partners to introduce programming and networking opportunities that address a range of educational needs. Through such partnerships, OECO explores, recommends, and develops programming that fosters research, creative work and individual achievement in arts education.