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Robert McKee’s GENRE Seminar

“A culture cannot evolve without honest, powerful storytelling”
Seminario con Robert McKee
Seminario con Robert McKee

Meetings with international experts

Robert McKee’s GENRE Seminar

All writers are genre writers. Every story, no matter who creates it, flows from a tradition of core events, core characters, and core values with roots running through human time. The writer’s first task is to identify the genre, or combination of genres that will inspire his or her creativity. The second task is to master its possibilities. The third task is to satisfy its audience’s expectations while you take them into unanticipated pleasures.

At McKee’s GENRE Seminar, you will learn three essential genres: HORROR, ACTION and COMEDY, and how they merge to create hybrids. The final GENRE Day is TV SERIES Day, which focuses on the grand long form that draws from all major genres.

FIND OUT WHAT KIND OF STORY YOU’RE WRITING.

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CONTINUING EDUCATION

ROBERT MCKEE’S GENRE SEMINAR

    • Limited places
    • Duration: 8 hours and 30 minutes each day + Q&A
    • Date: 27th-30th November
    • Venue: Kinepolis
    • Discounts for ECAM Community (students, teachers and alumni with alumni card), associates and students
    • Taught in English with simultaneous translation into Spanish
More Info
PROGRAMM

November 27th - Day 1: COMEDY DAY

The Angry Art

 “I’ve worn dresses with a higher IQ than you.

— Wanda to Otto in A FISH CALLED WANDA

You know you’ve written a true Comedy when you sit an innocent victim down and pitch your story. Just tell them what happens, without quoting witty dialogue or sight gags, and see if they laugh. If every time you turn the scene they laugh, until by the end of the pitch you have them collapsed on the floor, you’ve written a Comedy. If not, you’ve probably written something else!

A Comedy is a funny story, an elaborate rolling joke of twist-filled events. While wit lightens a telling, it alone will not make a true comedy. Rather, wit often creates hybrids such as a Dramedy (BRIDESMAIDS) or the Crimedy (BEVERLY HILLS COP).

As Jack London once noted, comedy is the toughest, but also the most rewarding story form. This single day, deep dive into the form’s nature and potential will equip you to tackle almost half of the film world’s projected properties. Comedy Day is a rare opportunity to understand this core genre from the inside out.

Contents:

  1. INTRODUCTION

The Love of Comedy

  1. IN PRAISE OF THE COMIC MIND

The Purity of Comedy

  1. COMEDY CONVENTIONS

Mood, Clarity, Endings and The Attack

  1. STYLISTIC SUBGENRES

High Comedy vs Low Comedy

Anger

Farce

  1. JOKE STRUCTURE

Design in Two Parts

Comic Techniques

  1. ANALYSIS

Looking at the principles discussed and how they work in an analysis of A FISH CALLED WANDA

November 28th - Day 2: ACTION DAY

The Art of Excitement

“There’s not enough time…””

— Agent Brandt to Agent Hunt in GHOST PROTOCOL

Drama itself is action, as per the Greek origin of the word, but the highly kinetic Action genre is a specialized and coded story form requiring deep awareness and discipline. But the Action Story is so hard to write well because it has been done so often. Audiences know their action stories, and clichés or missed moments of excitement will only disappoint.

Stories are about principles, not rules. This idea is no more obvious than in the Action genre. Thousands of years of storytelling tradition dating back to Gilgamesh have moulded and shaped the genres key conventions. You must understand these principles, whether you would use or break them, and the expectations of your audience in order to create great Action stories.

In this intensive session, Robert McKee will share the goals, tools and secrets of Action so you can capture and sustain the audience’s excitement.

Contents:

  1. INTRODUCTION

The Love of Action

  1. THE SIX MEGA GENRES

Questions and Expectations of Content

  1. CORES OF ACTION

Value

Emotion

Event

Cast

  1. THE ACTION SET-PIECE

Turning the Story

Expressing Character

Use of Setting

Movement

  1. ACTION SUBGENRES

Action Adventure

Epic

Duel

Thriller

High Adventure

  1. ANALYSIS

Looking at the principles discussed and how they work in an analysis of MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL.

November 29th - Day 3: HORROR DAY

The Art of Fear

“I don’t believe in God. But I do believe in Evil.”

– Dr. Arthur Arden in AMERICAN HORROR STORY: ASYLUM

Ours is an age of compound nightmares. The recent wave of successful of Horror films speaks to a society suffering tremulous feelings of vulnerability, constant fear and dread, helplessness, paralysis, frustration, and rage.

The aim of modern Horror is to expiate these emotions with a vicarious experience of damnation, of the fate worse than death. To do so, it uses both horror and terror. To horrify means to cause extreme repulsion; to terrify, to cause extreme fear. Or in the words of a renowned horror producer, “Not a dry seat in the house.”

This in-depth seminar delves into the darkness of this fascinating genre, providing the tools you need to create your own masterpiece that will terrify audiences for years to come.

Contents:

  1. INTRODUCTION
  2. HISTORY OF HORROR

Horror Through the Ages

Contemporary Horror Films

Demographics

Definition

  1. THE PLEASURES OF HORROR

Dual Reality

The Seen and the Other

Perception of Horror

  1. THE COMPONENTS OF HORROR

The Protagonist

Women in Horror

How to Make a Monster

The Key to Horror

Three Basic Story Patterns

  1. THE THREE SUB-GENRES
  2. HORROR STORY CONVENTIONS
  3. TWELVE POSSIBLE CLIMAXES
  4. ANALYSIS

Looking at the principles discussed and how they work in an analysis of AMERICAN HORROR STORY (Season 2, Episodes 4 & 5)

November 30th - Day 4: TV SERIES DAY

The Art of Long-Form Storytelling

“I’m in the empire business.”

– Walter White in BREAKING BAD

The long form TV Series is the evolution of the epic poem, begging for the character and plot complexity grand and complex enough to sustain 100 hours of story. TV has also progressed further than the big screen in recognizing the importance of writers, giving them creative power and financial reward. Indeed, long form storytelling is an art unto itself. This is why McKee says that if he were a young writer, he would work in television.

Storytelling on television has entered a new era—its Golden Age. Robert McKee’s all-new TV Series Day brings you the tools and the knowledge to master the television’s long form storytelling challenges.

NOTE: On TV Day, Mr. McKee will show and analyze BREAKING BAD’s Season 4 finale “FACE OFF”. If possible, he asks everyone to watch all 62 episodes prior to the seminar. If you don’t have time, make sure to watch at least the Season 4 finale and a couple of episodes leading up to it.

Contents:

  1. INTRODUCTION

The Golden Age of Television

  1. LONG FORM STORY DESIGN

Types of TV Series

Levels of Conflict

Series Variations

Involvement + Interest

  1. LONG FORM CHARACTER DESIGN

Character Arcs

Characterisation

True Character

Dimensions

Desire vs Need

  1. BREAKING DOWN BREAKING BAD

Scenes, Sequences, Acts

Character Dimensions

  1. ANALYSIS

Looking at the principles discussed and how they work in an analysis of BREAKING BAD: Season 4 Finale “Face Off”

Professional and Student Profile

  • Screenwriters
  • Writers and Playwrights
  • Directors
  • Creative producers
  • Students of film and audiovisual schools
  • Audiovisual and theater professionals
  • Passionate about movies and series
REGISTER

Discounts

Icono – Becas Descuento 3 – ECAM
40%
OFF
ECAM NETWORK

ECAM NETWORK Discount (ECAM students, Alumni, teachers and staff)

Icono – Becas Descuento 1 – ECAM
10%
OFF
UNION DISCOUNT

UNION Discount (anyone with a professional paid writing membership such as APPA, DAMA, Academia TV, DOCMA, Union de Cineastas, PNR, SGAE and Academia de las Artes y las Ciencias Cinematográficas de España)

Icono – Becas Descuento 2 – ECAM
20%
OFF
STUDENTS

STUDENT Discount (anyone who can verify they are a current high school or college student)

GROUP Discount Tier

10%

3-5 attendees

15%

6-10 attendees

20%

11 and up attendees

Enrollment

1 GENRE Day
260€
2 GENRE Days
520€
3 GENRE Days
702€
4 GENRE Days
936€

About the speaker

Robert McKee

Robert McKee

    Robert McKee, a Fulbright Scholar and member of the Hollywood Hall of Fame, is the most sought-after writing lecturer around the globe. He has dedicated the last 35 years to educating and mentoring screenwriters, novelists, playwrights, poets, documentary makers, producers, and directors internationally. Those who have learned from McKee have called him “the Aristotle of our time” (Quincy Jones, Ed Saxon, Steve Pressfield to name a few) because of his insight into the substance, structure, style, and principles of the grand art of story. Peter Jackson (writer/director THE LORD OF THE RINGS, THEY SHALL NOT GROW OLD) lauds him as “The Guru of Gurus.” For the creatives at Pixar (TOY STORY, FINDING NEMO, UP, INSIDE OUT). McKee’s former students include over 65 Academy Award Winners, 250 Academy Award Nominees, 250 Emmy Award Winners, over 1000 Emmy Award Nominees and 100 Writers Guild of America Award winners.
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    Responsable: ECAM, Escuela de Cinematografía y del Audiovisual de la Comunidad de Madrid,
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    Testimonios

    Profesores ECAM - Borja Cobeaga

    Supongo que enseño en la ECAM porque me gusta mucho el cine, verlo y hacerlo, aunque no hay tareas más dispares en el mundo. Esta pasión es contagiosa y es el gran motor para hacer películas. Intento trasmitir ese entusiasmo a mis alumnos, para que sean “inasequibles al desaliento”.

    Borja Cobeaga. Profesor Diplomatura en Guion.

    Profesores ECAM - Ivan del Rey de la Torre

    Lo más gratificante de ser profesor en la ECAM es ver la cara que se les queda a los alumnos cuando descubren a Fellini, a Dziga Vertov, a Martha Rosler, a Kiarostami, a William Wegman… Esa boca y esos ojos abiertos que vienen a decir: “¿es posible esto? ¡Quiero empezar a hacer cosas ya!

    Iván del Rey de la Torre. Profesor Curso en Diseño de Vestuario.

    Profesores ECAM - Ricardo Steinberg

    La escuela, un entorno para generar y compartir ideas, historias y proyectos.
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    El cine, una conjunción de imágenes y sonidos modulados por una narración.

    Ricardo Steinberg. Profesor Diplomatura en Sonido.

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