Classes and Workshops

Josh pic

Clark has not been teaching much lately, but has been VERY busy pitching his own projects in LA.

Yes, that’s Josh Duhamel 

 

US time zonesClark will be teaching a workshop, Tuesday, February 5th 2019 at new location of Willamette Writers PDX chapter: The First Congregational United Church of Christ in downtown Portland (1126 SW Park Ave, Portland, OR 97205).

VISUAL STORYTELLING
Writers employ story structures, plot designs and character arcs to explore, examine and reveal their creations. Directors, Art Directors and Cinematographers use similar tools that parallel these structures, designs and arcs, to express their vision. We’ll examine aspects of their craft as it pertains to writing and explore the psychological dimensions of symbol, analogy and metaphor in relation to visual subtext, in context, to content.

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Clark in front of Bruce Willis – FOX Studio

PAST events:  December 6th I will be teaching TWO Workshops at Willamette Writersat the Cynthia Whitcom House

AND – This just in!

Two professional actors Stephen Butchko and Deirdre Lyons from Los Angeles will join us on Sunday, December 7th, to read scenes from Clark’s December 6th workshop participants. Stephen and Deirdre starred in Clark’s award winning short, Good Behavior.  See below to sign up.

The Edmond’s Write on the Sound conference in October 2014 is over, but below is a clip from the class,

Fear is Good – Horror Storytelling Techniques

From fairy tale monsters to chain saw wielding cannibals, zombie kings to vampire cults, HORROR has never been more popular. HORROR, as a genre, helps society navigate an unrelenting real world of terror, fear and uncertainty, by placing our fears and anxieties between the pages of a book, theater or TV screen. FEAR IS GOOD, explores Horror storytelling techniques and monster making devices, utilizing psychology, symbolism and myth to enrich your horror and thriller writing skill set.

Saturday, December 6th 2014

at the Cynthia S. Whitcomb Writer’s House in West Linn 

Session I – 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Premise: The Writer’s Power Tool

A premise is a declaration of belief.  It says, or at least implies, that one specific thing leads to or causes another specific thing:

  • With love, anything is possible
  • Faith can work miracles
  • Trust in yourself and you’re sure to succeed.

In story, this belief is expressed through a THEME – love, innocence, revenge, pride, war, etc.  However, for premise to work as a writing tool, a DRAMATIC ISSUE must juxtapose the theme creating CONFLICT, and thus a story question is born.

To get at the premise, all you need is to ask yourself about the specific message attached to the theme (gratitude, independence, love) in each case.  What kind of gratitude are we talking about?  What kind of love?  What value judgment do people make about theme?  What do your characters do about the theme in your story?

Session II – 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. 

The Emotional Beat Sheet

The Emotional Beat Sheet is based on the premise of the story, juxtaposed with the character’s journey, and guided by the comment the writer is trying to make about the human experience.

The Emotional Beat Sheet is a wonderful investigative and story-driving tool for writing screenplays or novels.  The Emotional Beat Sheet helps accomplish this through a series of emotional transitions, reflections and turning points that tease out hidden conditions and constructs altering awareness of issues in the process that compels the character forward.

The Emotional Beat sheet tracks and manages the story by clearly defining emotional set-ups and pay-offs, reversals, betrayals, achievements.

$55/session; $95 for both.  Lunch is on your own.

To register:  www.willamettewriters.com/1/Willamette_Writers_Workshops.php

This just in!

Steve & Deirdre

Steve & Deirdre

Two professional actors Stephen Butchko and Deirdre Lyons from Los Angeles will join us on Sunday, December 7th, to read scenes from Clark’s December 6th workshop participants. Stephen and Deirdre starred in Clark’s award winning short, Good Behavior.  See below.

If you have a 2 – 5 page scene with critical beats or transitions that are unclear or just plain not working, submit it by 5:00 pm on Saturday, December 6th so our actors have a chance to make notes.

These scenes would be from works in progress, as we won’t have time to turn material around the same day as the Saturday workshop.

We’ll run 20 minute slots on Sunday, the 7th, giving an opportunity for the writer to debrief the actors, to answer questions they might have, and to let it rip.

Then we’ll have time after the scene to discuss.  Ask questions.  The actors may have questions, and offer feedback. Depending on the number of participants, we may go from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

If you want to participate in the Sunday scene reading, we ask a contribution of $20 per scene (if you’re in the Saturday workshop), or $35/scene if you’re participating only on Sunday (max. two scenes per writer). We’ll have video equipment set up and recording these readings for posterity (and your own personal enlightenment). If you haven’t signed up yet for Dec 6th, click here.

To top the day off, at 4:00, or whatever time we wrap up, we’re going to screen Clark’s film, “Good Behavior”, the BEST SHORT award-winner of the 2014 Temecula Valley International Film Festival.

 

MARCH 8th, 2014

Yep, I'm teaching again. Come join me.

The Emotional Beat Sheet  with Clark Kohanek

Willamette Writers’ Cynthia Whitcomb House, to register call 503-305-6729, or by paying with a credit card. The workshop is held at the Willamette Writers’ Cynthia Whitcomb House is at 2108 Buck St, West Linn, OR 97068.

Class Instructor

Clark Kohanek

Most people are familiar with the beat sheet for scene, character and movement, but many miss the emotional beats that help take their characters through their emotional arc.  Part of the battle is knowing where to start a character’s journey – emotionally speaking – and chart it through the story consciously.

The Emotional Beat Sheet is based on the premise of the story, juxtaposed with the character’s journey, and guided by the comment the writer is trying to make about the human experience.

The Emotional Beat Sheet is a wonderful investigative and story-driving tool for writing screenplays or novels. The Emotional Beat Sheet helps accomplish this through a series of emotional transitions, reflections and turning points that tease out hidden conditions and constructs altering awareness of issues in the process that compels the character forward.

Example: Premise – poverty leads to crime.

The arc of the main character may start in a place where they’re emotionally naive but have power and wealth. Then something happens, fair or unfair, causing them to lose their wealth and power and turn to a life of crime to regain their position. During this process, their previous naivete is wiped away and replaced with A: an awareness and possible compassion for the poor/victims, B: they become broken by the process and cynical, they withdraw, C: Embrace this new role and become ruthless, D: fill in the blank. It all depends on what the writer hopes to achieve by the comment.

The Emotional Beat sheet tracks and manages the story by clearly defining emotional set-ups and pay-offs, reversals, betrayals, achievements.

9 – 4 (one hour lunch on your own)

WW members – $95

You can register for this class by mailing a check to Willamette Writers’ Cynthia Whitcomb House, calling 503-305-6729 and registering over the phone, or by paying with a credit card. The workshop is held at the Willamette Writers’ Cynthia Whitcomb House is at 2108 Buck St, West Linn, OR 97068.

————————–

 

 

This year August 2013 I’ll be teaching three workshops at the

Willamette Writer’s Conference in August.

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“Some thing’s are best left unsaid.”

Visual Storytelling is the first in a three part workshop addressing subtext represented in objects, images and symbols that surround your characters. Visual subtext saves time by condensing exposition through the subtlety of form, expressing the spirit of theme in story through a world of metaphor. (Example: like the symbol of the moth in SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, or mirrors in BLACK SWAN.) This workshop explores concepts and tools that utilize imagery to create a visual frame of reference between form and idea, where the subtext of a – thing – gives way to mood, tone and meaning.

SUBTEXT – THE STORY WITHIN (PART TWO) Theme, Story and Dialogue.

Emotions and logic drives story, adding depth and motivation to your characters. The reason for their actions and behaviors are best left for the audience to decide. However it’s up to the author to suggest and infer the meaning behind the words they create through the use of theme and metaphor. This workshop explores writing techniques and styles that do more with less, as well as add dimension, heart and insight into the lives of your characters and the worlds in which they live.

SUBTEXT – THE STORY WITHIN (PART THREE) Putting it into words.

The concepts and tools garnered from the first two classes are applied in a hands-on 90 minute course that explores visual and literary subtext in YOUR story. Authors will be encouraged to share their work in an open forum. (Note: this is a standalone class and participation is not dependent on the auditing of the prior two SUBTEXT courses, though they will be helpful.)

CLASS NOTES to be posted at the end of August.

It’s been said that PLOT DEALS WITH THE KINGDOM OF THE MIND – STORY –
THE REALM OF THE HEART. 

clarkclasses

Last year’s class at Willamette Writer’s Conference was Realm of the Heart

clarks class

REALM OF THE HEART (Beginners to Advanced; Novelist and Screenwriters.

“Fearful hearts hide behind walls of twisted logic.”

It’s been said that PLOT DEALS WITH THE KINGDOM OF THE MIND – STORY –
THE REALM OF THE HEART. 

REALM OF THE HEART examines the poetics of human frailty found in characters who draw us into their emotional worlds. The workshop addresses techniques and tools that will help authors express passion, need and hope, creating memorable moments
and unique perspectives for all audiences willing to take the journey. 

Last year Clark also taught his popular class, TRANSITIONS in a two part workshop on Sunday.
Check out Clark’s three workshops (Friday & Sunday) at the
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