Screenwriting in the Age of Trump
Taught by Timothy Cooper
Timothy Michael Cooper is an award-winning writer, director, and improvisor based in Brooklyn.
He wrote and directed the Writers Guild Award-nominated CONCIERGE: THE SERIES, starring Kate McKinnon. His short comedy LEMON, starring Jennifer Westfeldt, Noah Bean, and Jenn Lyon, premiered at Tribeca, played at dozens of festivals throughout the world as well as on United Airlines and Amazon Prime, and is currently being developed as a sitcom.
At Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in NYC, he created and directed the improvised shows SUNNY-SIDE UP and FAREBEATER: IMPROV IN A CAB, starring cast members like Pete Holmes and Thomas Middleditch.
Timothy also wrote the feature AWAY FROM HERE, starring Nick Stahl, Alicia Witt, and Ray Wise, now available on Amazon Prime.
He’s been part of the writers’ room for the Writers Guild Awards for the past six years, writing monologue jokes and sketches for comedians like Lewis Black, Colin Quinn, Larry Wilmore, Amber Ruffin, Michael Ian Black, Roy Wood Jr., and many more.
Through his company, Blueprint Screenwriting Group (blueprintscreenwritinggroup.com), he’s taught hundreds of writers, helping them sell their scripts to major studios; staff on multiple network and cable TV shows; find representation; screen and win at SXSW, Sundance, Tribeca, Cannes, and many more; and get their movies and shows made across the globe.
Timothy is a proud member of the WGAE, the Brooklyn Filmmakers Collective, and the Hollywood Radio & Television Society.
Q: What do these films and television series from the past year have in common?
Get Out, Will & Grace, Black-ish, Girls Trip, Wonder Woman, Black Mirror, Atlanta, One Mississippi, The Orville Star Trek: Discovery, Transparent, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Blade Runner 2049, The Big Sick, Dunkirk, It Comes at Night...
A: They all address the sociopolitical concerns of life today, here, now, in this distinctive moment in history—but obliquely, creatively, and artistically. No matter what the genre—comedy, sci-fi, horror, superhero, etc.—all deal with the most pressing concerns of our time in probing, intelligent, unique ways.
Learn how you can use the power of storytelling on the big or small screen to bring your message to audiences worldwide, bridging divides and challenging assumptions.
This class definitely isn't limited to overtly political, dystopic, or “message” TV shows and films—although we'll certainly cover those. Some of the timely societal elements your projects may address include:
• Political corruption
• Gender identity and discrimination
• Race relations
• Abuse of power
• Ethics and technology
• Police brutality
• And much more.
No screenwriting experience is necessary to take this class! We'll quickly cover some of the basics of screenwriting, including reviewing some legendary scripts and what made them powerful and relevant to their time. We'll also touch base on film and TV story structure, script formatting, loglines, genre, marketable subjects, and more. Then we'll discuss how to further develop your idea, the filmmaking process, and what to do once you've finished your script.
Please bring at least one key idea that you'd like to address through a feature movie, short film, TV pilot, web series, or video, and be ready to present it—then we'll workshop it until it works! This one-of-a-kind class gives you the essential tools to bring your story to life.