Friday workshop: Ross Grayson Bell – Writing for a Screenplay versus a Novel (pt 1)

Ross Grayson Bell is a screenwriter, producer and story consultant with over twenty-five years of international experience in story development and film production. Having started as a creative executive for legendary, Hollywood producer Ray Stark, Ross developed and produced Fight Club for Twentieth Century Fox and executive produced Under Suspicion with Gene Hackman and Morgan Freeman for TF1…

In 2009 Ross became of Head of Screenwriting at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School where, for the first time in the school’s history, he shepherded five students to Australian Writers’ Guild Award nominations during his four-year tenure.

Workshop preparation: We had to watch Fight Club and Out of Africa before the workshop. Both films will be referenced throughout the workshop.

Paul Zak – The Trust Factor

  • Stories must sustain attention 
  • By developing tension during the narrative 
  • Create a bond with the audience 

Plato – Those who tell the stories rule society 

So our job is to make an emotional connection with our audience 


What is a story? 

  • A character 
  • And a sequence of events 
  • Arranged in a particular order (to build tension) 
  • To elicit an emotional response 
  • In an audience 

This is one definition of a story, thich we will use going forward for this workshop.

2 key aspects:

  1. Must capture and hold our attention by building tension 
  2. Must transport us into the character’s world 

How do we do that? See 7 ways to engage an audience.

Your thoughts and stuff

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