Write your own Hollywood blockbuster at new screenwriting class

Budding screenwriters who'll watch the upcoming Academy Awards with dreams of one day winning a gold-plated statuette of their own can take that first step toward the red carpet courtesy of a new class at Harper College.

Beginning this month, the College will offer its first Screenwriting course through the Continuing Education department. Each student will work to create his or her own original screenplay and learn the difference between writing a script for the stage versus writing for the screen.

Instructor Paul Barile, a playwright and filmmaker, said the course is geared toward new writers who might have ideas for movies simmering but not the skills to commit them to paper.

"You can walk in with an empty notebook and walk out with a screenplay," Barile said.

The focus of the class will be on writing, Barile said, but it will also touch on properly structuring, submitting and selling screenplays once they are finished, as well as social networking within the industry.

"Would-be screenwriters are only restricted by the limits they impose on themselves. You do not have to live in Hollywood to write and sell a screenplay. You do not have to be related to a Coppola. You have to have passion and vision and you have to want it," he said.

Barile, who is currently finishing up a short film and a feature, believes that if nothing else, the class will give students a new appreciation for the art of filmmaking.

"When students have completed this class, they will watch movies differently."

Screenwriting runs 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays beginning Feb. 11 through March 4 at the College's main campus, 1200 W. Algonquin Road in Palatine.

For more information, contact 847.925.6300 or visit harpercollege.edu/ce.