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Workshop FAQ

Is it right for me?
If you're interested in screenwriting, yes. It's perfect for the complete novice, the intermediate writer, the dedicated screenwriter, and anyone who wants to understand movie stories better. See some of the testimonials for an idea of who attends.

What are the hours?
11am - 5pm, both Saturday and Sunday.

How many participants
Small sizes allow personal attention. There is a limit of 10 - 20 participants, depending on venue. Workshops will run with a minimum of 6 participants.

Where is it held?
For upcoming dates and venue information, see the Calendar page.

What do I need to bring?
A pen, an idea for a movie (just one central character with a goal -- that's all! -- more details are sent when you confirm your seat), and your enthusiasm! No prior knowledge is necessary.

Do I need to prepare?
We ask that you watch The Shawshank Redemption prior to the workshop, as we use several examples from that film.

What does it cost?
Your investment is just $350, which includes a free Shawshank Redemption screenplay ($30 value) and the new FASTscreenwriting Workshop Workbook ($49 value). Due to limited seating, we require a non-refundable $150 deposit to book a seat.

Who is it run by?
The workshop presenter is Jeff Bollow, an independent American film producer and author of Writing FAST: How to Write Anything with Lightning Speed, who created the workshop when he couldn't find any screenplays worth developing.

I know nothing about screenplays. I'm scared.
Don't worry. We've had plenty of novices, and Jeff is a natural facilitator. He'll make you feel comfortable. To date, 100% of novices recommend this workshop. And, for the record, that wasn't really a question.

I know a lot about screenwriting. Is it going to be too basic?
Time and again, we hear comments like "I've studied screenwriting for 3 years, and learned more here in one weekend". We've had working professionals attend and rave about it, as well. Despite accessibility to newcomers, this workshop goes into tremendous detail, and includes content that is simply unavailable anywhere else. We guarantee you'll learn something new.

You guarantee it?
Yes. If, in good faith, you honestly believe the workshop was of no value, or was not what we claimed it was, we will refund your money.

How do I enrol?
The first step is always the enrolment form. If no dates are listed, you'll be notified of the next available workshop. If dates are listed and seating is available, the next step is to book your seat as early as possible. If workshop dates are SOLD OUT, complete the enrolment form to be notified of future dates (people on the list are always notified prior to the dates being posted on the website).

Will you steal my idea?
One thing you'll discover in the workshop is that ideas are everywhere. We have no interest in stealing ideas -- we'd rather YOU write the screenplay from your idea and sell the script to us later. But if you're concerned about it, we suggest bringing a "dummy idea" to the workshop, and then applying what you learn to your "real idea" later.

Are you gonna try to sell me something else?
No. We offer Movie Magic Screenwriter at a discount to workshop participants, and if anyone is interested, we usually run a demo after the end of the first day (5-5:30ish), but there's no obligation, no hard sell, and we really don't mind if you don't want it. We're happy to discuss any of the other products and services if you want to know, but the weekend is about the workshop, and time before and after is usually spent answering individual questions or story issues.

Will Jeff talk about himself the whole weekend?
No. He'll introduce himself and his background at the start of the workshop, but he's much more passionate about the subject at hand. You don't want to listen to some self-absorbed teacher; you want to learn screenwriting. The weekend is jam-packed as it is.

Do you cover short films, television, theatre, etc.?
No. This workshop is about feature (movie-length) screenwriting. Much of the material applies to any form of writing or storytelling (novelists love this workshop), but we do not go into the specific requirements of TV or short films during the course. Ask Jeff on the break if you need to.

It sounds pretty full-on. Can I handle it?
Yes. We agree that this page might seem overwhelming. But don't worry. The workshop is simple, fluid, easy-to-understand and easy-to-follow. The weekend builds naturally and organically. And most importantly, it's fun! You'll learn as you're building your story. Try it. You'll love it. We hope to see you there!

Have another question?
Let us know! We hope to see you there.

Upcoming dates >
Enrol now >
Book your seat now >



It's not just a workshop...
it's an experience.™

(UPDATE: The FAST Screenwriting Workshop has now been superseded by FAST Screenplay. There are currently no further plans to offer the live FAST Screenwriting Workshop. This workshop was conducted more than 80 times in 9 cities in 5 countries over an 8-year period, to nearly 1,200 adult participants, and had an impressive 100% "recommend" response from participants. For a substantially expanded and completely overhauled version of this workshop, we encourage you to participate in FAST Sceenplay.)


  • A hands-on, two-day workshop to educate, entertain, and launch you into your feature film screenplay.
  • You bring a very simple idea (nothing more), and leave with a complete, step-by-step plan for your story, and a method for consistently turning any idea into a compelling screenplay
  • Perfect for absolute beginners and serious professionals alike; it assumes no prior knowledge but goes into incredible detail you won't find anywhere else

You will:

  • Learn screenwriting from the producer's perspective
  • Get direct, personal feedback on your idea
  • Enjoy an immersive experience you'll never forget
  • Meet other writers and forge lasting relationships
  • Discover a step-by-step process for writing
  • Tap an unlimited supply of movie ideas
  • Start with nothing, and finish with a clear, practical guide to creating screenplays producers want!

Presented by Jeff Bollow, an independent American film producer and the dynamic author of Writing FAST, this workshop has been continuously refined and expanded since it was launched in mid-2000 as the "Weekend Screenwriting Workshop" (and later the Essential Screenwriting Workshop).

It has been attended by over 700 participants (novice and professional alike), aged 15 to 72 in six cities across Australia and New Zealand. Nearly 100% "enthusiastically recommend" it.

Now incorporating the FAST System™ approach to writing and interactive participation, it's more dynamic and practical than ever before.

Scroll down for much more detail... or click here to enrol now!

Upcoming dates >
Enrol now >

A Weekend Screenwriting Launch Pad

Specially-designed for first-time and intermediate writers, this workshop experience combines enough practical information and hands-on writing and story development exercises to launch you into your screenplay.

We’ll spend two full days getting right into the thick of it. We’ll go into the technical aspects of screenwriting, the business itself, and then we do it, building your story over the weekend, as we go.

It’s designed to be a launchpad to propel you into your screenplay, and actually make it happen.


Here's just some of what you'll learn:

  • The Eight Layers of every screenplay (ignore just one of them, and you'll never make a sale)
  • Screenplay formatting -- not just "how", but "why" (most people teaching this stuff don't even know!)
  • What production companies look for (and how to nail it every single time)
  • How to develop an irresistible concept (get producers begging to read your script)
  • Structuring your story for maximum impact (most writers lose it in the middle -- but not you!)
  • How the business works, and how writers fit in (you'll be spinning your wheels if you don't understand this)
  • What "character" is really all about (and why dud characters make producers pull their hair out)
  • Simple ways to create characters worth watching (they'll come to life before your very eyes)
  • Writing dialogue the audience will quote for years (you'll grab the reader instantly with this approach)
  • How to Design Your Own Structure (don't get trapped by formula -- create your own instead!)
  • Why You Need to Know Your Audience (grasp this simple nugget, and you'll be worth your weight in gold)
  • The trick to creating powerful subplots (a great one can make the sale even if the central plot doesn't!)
  • Why your odds are better than you think (ignore the doom and gloom -- screenwriters are the future stars)
  • How make a dull scene spectacular (you'll keep your reader glued to every single one of them)
  • Exactly how to unleash your dynamic writing style (powerful tips and techniques for commanding attention)
  • Blasting through with the FAST System™ (write with lightning speed, and never get stuck again!)
  • BONUS:
    Your secret weapon: Creating a Two-Level Screenplay (a breakthrough concept that will rocket your script above all the rest)

And that's just the start of it.

Look, we don't want this to sound like hype. It's not.

It's just the best, most focused two-day screenwriting workshop in Australia, bar none. Powerful, compelling information that will lift you head and shoulders above the crowd. This isn't some theory talking -- this information comes from hard-earned experience.

We've had many participants tell us they learned more from this workshop than from three years at university! And that's no surprise to us. Teachers teach what they're taught to teach. But a producer tells you want he needs. This workshop shows you how to write a script worth developing -- in the real world.

Need even more detail? Have a look at the workshop outline below... or:

Click here to check upcoming dates >
Click here to enrol >

Workshop Outline

The F.A.S.T. Screenwriting™ Workshop takes you through the process of building your story, layer upon layer. It's a fluid weekend, loosely divided into 12 "sections", spread out over two days.

You learn by doing, and the sections are all hands-on. Each "section" builds on top of the previous one. You are asked to bring an idea to the workshop -- one central character with a goal (e.g., "Bob wants to rob a bank"), and we'll build that over the weekend, as we explore every facet of feature film screenwriting.

Each "section" consists of:

* An information component
* Hands-on exercises to demonstrate the ideas
* Discussion/feedback to make sure it's clear

Plus, you get a detailed FASTscreenwriting Workshop Workbook (a $49 value) covering all of the key content, with plenty of room for additional notes and exercises, to keep for future reference.

Let's take a look at each of the two days.

This is the "overview" day.  On Day One, we look at the big picture. What you're writing and why. What screenwriting is all about, and how to make sure you do it right. Here's a small sampling of what you'll learn in each of Day One's Sections:

Section 1: The Setup

  • How the business of screenwriting really works
  • What a screenplay is, and what it's not
  • How to stay true to your vision and business-friendly
  • Why Australia is a golden opportunity
  • Why 99% of screenplays fail, and how to put yours in the other 1%

    Your story: You'll see it in a professional context

Section 2: Screenplay Formatting

  • A detailed explanation of screenplay formatting
  • Differences between Australian & international formats
  • Little-known mistakes that mark you as an amateur
  • What you must never include in your screenplay
  • "Shooting script" versus "reading script"

    Your story: You'll understand how to present it

Section 3: Layer 1: Your Audience

  • The secret most screenwriters never understand
  • How to write for a mass-market medium
  • The single reason audiences go to the movies
  • What "genre" is, and why it's important
  • Why Layer 1 is the foundation of everything else

    Your story: You'll determine who it's for

Section 4: Layer 2: Your Concept

  • Why nothing else matters if the concept's weak
  • Creating a hook that draws a crowd
  • Three things your Theme must do
  • Unleashing an unlimited supply of great ideas
  • How to tell if your concept is strong enough

    Your story: You'll uncover its hidden marketability

Section 5: The FAST System™ Overview

  • Writing is a four-part process
  • The reasons you get stuck, and how to avoid them
  • What the FAST System is really all about
  • Using each phase to its fullest potential
  • Speed-writing techniques that help you tap into the real magic of your writing

    Your story: You'll see how you're going to get it done

Section 6: Layer 3: Your Story

  • Using the Power Grid to map out your story
  • Understanding the formula, so you can go one better
  • Three words you should tattoo on your forehead
  • The five most important pages of your screenplay
  • Making your story flow organically

    Your story: You'll take your idea to the next level

At the end of Day One, you'll have a rough map of your idea, and a solid overview of how your project fits into the real world of professional screenwriting. Then tomorrow, we fill in all the details that make it fly.

Click here to check upcoming dates >
Click here to enrol >

This is the "details" day.  Now that you've got the overview of your story, we zoom in on the specific elements that will make it or break it.

Section 7: Layer 4: Your Characters

  • What characters are, and what they're NOT
  • How to create characters that attract name actors
  • What comes first: the Character or the Story?
  • Developing people worth watching
  • How to avoid re-hashing the same old Joes

    Your story: You'll get to know your characters

Section 8: Layer 5: Your Dialogue

  • Creating dialogue that looks as good as it sounds
  • The only smart way to approach dialogue
  • Why dialogue kills most screenplays
  • The three levels of dialogue, and why each is vital
  • Avoiding the dialogue mistakes that kill your story

    Your story: You'll create dialogue that works

Section 9: Layer 6: Your Texture

  • How to keep the elements of your story glued
  • Creating subplots that fire up your tale
  • Using setting and pace to control the ride
  • Eliminating your reader's top ten rejection excuses
  • Easy methods for keeping the strands in check

    Your story: You'll design the flow of your story

Section 10: Layer 7: Your Scenes

  • The single biggest mistake when writing scenes
  • How to turn your scenes into dazzling moments
  • When (and when NOT) to add twists and turns
  • Why most writers consistently create boring scenes
  • The component, the moment, and the spin

    Your story: You'll learn to create powerful scenes

Section 11: Layer 8: Your Style

  • What's "required style", and what's adjustable
  • Tricks for maintaining your reader's interest
  • Two things that get noticed every time
  • What you must never include
  • How to write when you hate writing

    Your story: You'll discover your writing style

Section 12: The Payoff

  • How all these Layers fold together
  • Creating the Two-Level story
  • Snapping the story pieces into place
  • Using the FAST System to blast through to the end
  • The secret to successful screenwriting
  • Recap and Overview of what we've covered
  • The final magic ingredient

    Your story: You'll watch it all come together -- and prepare to start writing on Monday.

...and we've only scraped the tip of the iceberg!

New expanded sections on:

  • Killing writer's block
    (Jeff had some very powerful firsthand experience with this one, and he's here to share his solutions)
  • The digital revolution
    (Why the digital revolution is a BOON for writers, and why you need to get writing NOW)
  • The writer's action plan
    (A step-by-step plan to help you get your screenplay written over the next six months, guaranteed)

Whether you’ve never seen a screenplay before, or have been struggling at it for years, you’ll leave the F.A.S.T. Screenwriting™ Workshop with a solid grasp of the craft, and enough information and story development to get writing.

By the end of the workshop, you'll be ready to write your screenplay, and confident that you can do it.

But be prepared. Because on Monday, you will start turning that dream into a reality.

Check upcoming dates, pricing and venues >
Click here to enrol >
Click here to book your seat >


Frankly, I'm staggered in retrospect that I was able to get into this workshop without waiting several years. It is, simply, dazzling. What I was expecting -- times five!
- Jack Robertson
Sydney NSW

Positive, crisp, succinct -- no waffle and honest feedback. The best learning experience on writing ever. You'll learn more than you expect.
- Rob Aalders
Sydney NSW

Essential information if you want to be taken seriously as a screen writer. I thoroughly enjoyed this course, and recommend it to anyone interested in writing.
- Jennifer Fallon
(author, "The Demon Child Trilogy")
Melbourne VIC

The workshop was fantastic! Jeff, you're a great communicator, you've made it all easy to understand. It covered everything I wanted to know, and more!
- Mark Hine
(Mark & Jo in the Morning on 96.1 FM)
Sydney NSW

Even better than what I expected. Jeff is a very empowering person, and this information is invaluable. If you want to be a writer, this workshop is a must attend!
- Angela Faria
Wagtail Productions
Brisbane QLD

"I found the workshop to be incredibly practical and empowering in a short space of time. It wasn't a sacrifice to give up my weekend to do this -- it was a pleasure! I've learned a new approach to writing. I enjoyed it thoroughly."
- Amanda Marginson
Brisbane QLD

"I've read books, done a filmmaking degree at uni, and still didn't have a clue about how to write a script. Now, not only am I inspired to write, but I have the building blocks at my disposal. [The Essential Screenwriting Workshop™] is brilliant! You've filled my every expectation and pushed me to get writing. That's a hell of a task."
- David Hawkins
Sydney NSW

"I was really blown away when I saw the website. Unique marriage of art/creativity and marketability. I haven't seen this philosophy in the industry before to this extent. I was expecting it to be good, and it was better than I thought. Jeff is a wealth of knowledge -- really knew film inside out. This course will whip you into shape. If you need help to get off your arse and write that screenplay, this course will give you the tools and motivation."
- KC
Sydney NSW

"I loved it. It was better than expected as the information is practical, and will be able to be used in the future. [Jeff,] you are a great teacher who comes off as a peer trying to help. I trust you and your information, which I was not expecting. The workshop rocked! Thank-you."
- Alison Wehl
Adelaide SA

This is a hell of a lot better than the $750 I paid for a screenwriting course that last a whole semester! I cannot recommend it highly enough.
- Susan Cake
Brisbane QLD

I really enjoyed it -- it surpassed my expectations. And that's honest! It covers an enormous amount...
- Sally Rippin
Melbourne VIC


Participants of the F.A.S.T. Screenwriting Workshop™ also receive the Academy Award-nominated screenplay The Shawshank Redemption (a $30 value) FREE with your enrolment.  Participants are asked to view the film prior to attending the Workshop.


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