Business and craft: Insider to teach screenwriting workshop

TUPELO – If you can’t get to Hollywood, don’t worry because Hollywood’s coming to you.
The Tupelo Film Commission is bringing Kathie Fong Yoneda to town for a two-day workshop, titled “Knowing the Business and Craft of Screenwriting.”
“I usually charge $150 to $200 an hour to listen to people pitch their project and give them feedback,” Yoneda said. “You’ll get professional feedback from someone in the industry.”
The workshop will be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 17, at the BancorpSouth Conference Center. The cost is $75/adults and $65/seniors and students.
Yoneda has more than 30 years of television and film experience. She’s worked with Walt Disney Pictures, Touchstone Pictures, Paramount, 20th Century Fox, Columbia, Island Pictures and Disney TV Animation.
She’s the author of “The Script-Selling Game: A Hollywood Insider’s Look at Getting Your Script Sold and Produced,” which has earned five stars on Amazon.com. A second edition will come out in May.
“We’ll look at film clips to look at structure,” she said. “A lot of people have read books on story structure, but it won’t quite click for them until they see it on screen.”
She’ll discuss the three-act structure, which she translates to “beginning, middle and end.” The weekend will cover effective dialogue, as well as how to create characters that jump off the page.
“To me, one of the most important things is, do the characters resonate for me?” she said. Yoneda will go beyond craft to the business of
pitching and selling your work. One tool is the log line, a couple of sentences that sum up our story for a potential agent, editor or producer.
“I’m actually going to have people write log lines for their own projects,” she said. Each attendee will get a chance to pitch their work to Yoneda, who will provide feedback about the experience.
“I think most people know about the process and craft of writing, but what do you do when you reach the last fade out or write ‘The End?’” Yoneda said. “How do you sell your project?” She said her goal is to provide a “nuts and bolts” approach to the creative and business sides of telling stories.
“It will make a difference for anybody writing in any genre,” she said. “A lot of people who are writing don’t know there is a business part of it, but it is a business.”
Contact M. Scott Morris at (662) 678-1589 or
scott.morris@djournal.com.

M. SCOTT MORRIS / NEMS Daily Journal