Frederick Michael Strype

on leave yearlong

BA, Fairfield University. MFA, Columbia University School of the Arts. Postgraduate study: American Film Institute, New York University Tisch School of the Arts. Screenwriter, producer, director. Recent awards, grants, festivals: Grand Prize, Nantucket Film Festival, Tony Cox Award in Screenwriting; Nantucket Screenwriters Colony; World Jewish Film Festival, Askelon, Israel; Tehran International Film Festival; Berlin Film Festival Shorts; Uppsala Sweden Film Festival; USA Film Festival; Washington (DC) Jewish Film Festival; Los Angeles International Children’s Film Festival; Temecula Valley International Film Festival “Best of the Fest”; Portugal Film Festival Press Award; Fade In Magazine Award/Best Short Screenplay; Angelus Film Festival Triumph Award; Austin Film Festival Screenwriting Award; Heartland Film Festival Crystal Heart Award; New Line Cinema Filmmaker Development Award; Hamptons International Film Festival; Schomburg Cultural Grants. Raindance Pictures: projects developed for Columbia/Tristar/Sony, Lifetime, MTM Productions, Family Channel, FX, Alliance/ Atlantis, Capella Films, Turman-Foster Productions, James Manos Productions, FX, Avenue Pictures. SLC, 2003–

Previous Courses

Filmmaking and Moving Image Arts

Advanced Projects in Writing for the Screen

Advanced, Seminar—Year

This class is for the serious, advanced screenwriter. Consideration requires a writer’s statement about the project(s) you wish to pursue, a list of courses taken and screenwriting experience, as well as a five-page screenwriting sample. The fall semester will be devoted to conceptualizing/reconceptualizing, developing/redeveloping, and structuring/restructuring your project, naturally depending upon your starting point. By semester’s end, you will be expected to have your project ready to type (there being a distinction in this course between writing and typing—writing is all the work done before typing up the first-draft pages). You will also be expected in the fall to complete a short screenplay of five-to-15 pages that either is representative of the longer piece that you aim to complete in the spring or can be the aim of your fall semester: i.e., to have a production-ready draft of a short-form film piece to be initiated at the end of the fall semester or early in the spring semester in another production class. The spring will be devoted to completing a first draft and polishing the project developed in the fall. For those choosing to focus exclusively on a short-form piece during the fall, the spring will be dedicated to the development and writing of another short-form piece or the initiation of a long-form project from the ground up. The seminar, workshop, and conference structure will be devoted to this overall process.

Faculty

Advanced Projects In Writing for the Screen

Advanced, Seminar—Fall

This one-semester class is for the serious, advanced screenwriter. Consideration for the course requires a writer’s statement about the project you wish to pursue, a list of courses taken, and screenwriting experience, as well as a five-page screenwriting sample that must be emailed in advance of any fall interview to fstrype@sarahlawrence.edu. Once the materials are received, an interview will be scheduled between instructor and student. The seminar will be devoted to reconceptualizing, redeveloping, and restructuring your project-in-process, naturally depending upon your starting point. We will then pursue a rigorous schedule of weekly workshops and diagnostic trouble-shooting critiques. By semester’s end, you will be expected to have a polished draft.

Faculty

BulletProof Screenwriting

Open, Seminar—Fall

Pursuing the fundamentals of developing and writing narrative fiction, motion-picture screenplays, the course starts with a focus on the atomic element of a screenplay: the scene. We’ll explore the nature of writing screen stories for film, television (and its many iterations these days), and the Web. The approach views screenwriting as having less of a connection to literature and playwriting and more of a connection to the oral tradition of storytelling. We will dissect the nature and construct of the screenplay to reveal that the document—the script—is actually the manifestation of the process of “telling your film” (or movie, or Web series, or TV show, et al). In BulletProof Screenwriting, the emerging screenwriter will be encouraged to think of and approach the work as a director; because until someone else appears to take the reins (if it is not the screenwriter), the writer is the director, albeit (for now) on the page. Indeed, the course will explore filmmaking from a director’s point of view, yet in the hands of a screenwriter. With the class structured as a combination of seminar and workshop-style exchanges, students will read selected texts and produced screenplays, write detailed script analyses, view films and clips, and, naturally, write short narrative fiction screenplays. While students will be writing scenes and scripts starting in the first class, they will also be introduced to the concept of “talking their stories,” as well, in order to explore character and plot while gaining a solid foundation in screen storytelling, visual writing, and screenplay evolution. We will migrate from initial ideas through research techniques, character development, story generation, outlining, the rough draft, and rewrites. Students will be immersed in the fundamentals of character, story, universe and setting, dramatic action, tension, conflict, sequence structure, acts, and style. In-class analysis of peer work within the context of a safe and productive environment will help students have a critical eye and develop skills to apply to the troubleshooting of one’s own work. Overall, the student builds a screenwriter’s toolkit to use as various projects emerge in the future. The aim of the class is for students to complete a series of short-form screenplays and a final written project. In conference, students may research and develop a long-form screenplay or teleplay, develop a TV series concept and “bible,” initiate and develop a Web-series concept, craft a series of short screenplays for production courses or independent production, rewrite a previously written script, adapt original material from another form, and so forth. Research and screen storytelling skills developed through the course may be applied to other writing forms.

Faculty

Bulletproof Screenwriting

Open, Seminar—Fall

Pursuing the fundamentals of developing and writing narrative, fiction, motion-picture screenplays, the course starts with a focus on the atomic element of a screenplay: the scene. We’ll explore the nature of writing screen stories for film, television (and its many iterations these days), and the Web. The approach views screenwriting as having less of a connection to literature and playwriting and more of a connection to the oral tradition of storytelling. We will dissect the nature and construct of the screenplay to reveal that the document—the script—is actually the manifestation of the process of “telling your film” (or movie, or Web series, or TV show, et al). In Bulletproof Screenwriting, the emerging screenwriter will be encouraged to think of and approach the work as a director—because, until someone else appears to take the reins (if it is not the screenwriter), the writer is the director, albeit (for now) on the page. Indeed, the course will explore filmmaking from a director’s point of view—yet in the hands of a screenwriter. With the class structured as a combination of seminar and workshop-style exchanges, students will read selected texts and produced screenplays, write detailed script analyses, view films and clips, and, naturally, write short narrative fiction screenplays. While students will be writing scenes and scripts starting in the first class, they will also be introduced to the concept of “talking their stories,” as well, in order to explore character and plot while gaining a solid foundation in screen storytelling, visual writing, and screenplay evolution. We will migrate from initial ideas through research techniques, character development, story generation, outlining, the rough draft, and rewrites. Students will be immersed in the fundamentals of character, story, universe and setting, dramatic action, tension, conflict, sequence structure, acts, and style. In-class analysis of peer work within the context of a safe and productive environment will help students have a critical eye and develop skills to apply to the troubleshooting of one’s own work. Overall, the student builds a screenwriter’s toolkit to use as various projects emerge in the future. The aim of the class is for students to complete a series of short-form screenplays and a final written project. In conference, students may research and develop a long-form screenplay or teleplay, develop a TV series concept and “bible,” initiate and develop a Web-series concept, craft a series of short screenplays for production courses or independent production, rewrite a previously written script, adapt original material from another form, and so forth. Research and screen storytelling skills developed through the course may be applied to other writing forms.

Faculty

Screenwriting: Telling the Truth Through Fiction

Intermediate, Seminar—Spring

The landscape for the screenwriter has dramatically changed during the past several years, with new opportunities to write producible short films, YouTube® sketches, and Web series seen by millions of viewers, as well as long-form “films” or “movies” initially conceived for, and destined for, the “silver screen”—a screen that is seemingly changing in color, size, and setting on a daily basis. The disarray of the current film industry has created confusion and opportunity. Nevertheless, the baseline expectation in the contemporary narrative “film form” still remains: It is the expression of a character or characters progressing through a structured journey or series thereof. Elemental to this process is having your audience believe your characters, believe the universe that they inhabit, and find “truth” in the screen story that you’ve created. In life and in film, we laugh, we cry, we cringe, we shield our eyes, and we stare in wonder when we see and feel the truth. It’s ironic that in our quest to create dramatic fiction, we must actually “tell the truth.” There is a writer’s saying, “A writer must lie her way to the truth.” The audience engages with material when they realize: I’ve been there. I know that feeling. I know that person. I am that person. This course supports the process of finding and expressing truth in fiction. Designed for the emerging contemporary screenwriter, the course includes opportunities for those creating a new idea, adapting original material into the screenplay form, rewriting a screenplay or Web to series, or finishing a screenplay-in-progress destined for whatever screen or screens s/he aims to assail. A review of screenwriting fundamentals during the first few weeks, as well as a discussion of the state of each project, will be followed by an intense screenwriting workshop experience. Published screenplays, several useful texts, and clips of films and Web series will form a body of examples to help concretize aspects of the art and craft.

Faculty

MFA Writing

Fiction Craft: Writing for the Screen—The Bullet-Proof Screenplay

Craft—Fall

Screenwriting is not so much a writing discipline as it is one allied with the tenants of the oral tradition of storytelling. In the best scripts, you are telling us your film. —Screenwriter/Director, Paul Schrader, Telluride, CO, 1989

In screenwriting, you show. You don’t tell. —Classic screenwriting adage (attributed to just about every screenwriting guru)

I wrote a beautiful script, and ‘they’ shot it—shot it full of holes—and made a terrible film. —Classic screenwriter lament (attributed to just about every screenwriter unhappy with his/her produced work)

In this graduate craft class, we will explore writing for the screen, be it silver, flat, computer-based, for iPad or smart-phone, et al. The aim is to understand how to create a “bullet-proof screenplay” in which a writer “tells” a film through prose that effectively “shows” what we see and what we hear moment-to-moment, articulating the action (“the doing”) of the characters and thereby revealing the emotional moments of recognition in the characters’ journey. Structured as a combination of seminar craft class along with some workshop-style exchanges, writers will journey through the nature and construct of the screenplay form. The fundamentals of character, story, world building, universe and setting, formatting, visual writing, dramatic action, tension, conflict, sequence structure, acts, and screenplay style will be explored. Analysis of published screenplays and peer work within the context of a productive environment will help writers hone a critical eye and develop skills to apply to troubleshooting one’s own work. Overall, the writer builds a screenwriter’s tool kit for use as future opportunities may emerge in writing for the screen. Skills learned in this craft class can be effectively applied to other threads of writing.  
Faculty

Writing For The Screen -- The Bullet-Proof Screenplay

Craft—Fall

“Screenwriting is not so much a writing discipline as it is one allied with the tenants of the oral tradition of storytelling. In the best scripts, you are literally telling us your film, moment to moment.”
-- Screenwriter/Director, Paul Schrader, Telluride, CO 1989.

“In one rule in screenwriting is show, don’t tell.”
-- Classic Screenwriting Adage (attributed to just about every screenwriting guru).

“I wrote an awesome script, but ‘they’ shot it full of holes and made a terrible film.”
-- Classic Screenwriter Lament (attributed to just about every screenwriter unhappy with their produced work)

In this graduate craft class, we will explore writing for the screen, be it silver, flat, computer or
smart-phone. The aim is to understand how to write a “bullet-proof screenplay” where a writer “tells” a film through prose that effectively “shows” what we see and what we hear, moment-to-moment, articulating the action (“the doing”) of the characters, and thereby revealing the emotional moments of recognition in the characters’ journey. Writers will investigate the nature and construct of the screenplay form, studying the fundamentals of character, story, universe and setting, formatting, visual writing, dramatic action, tension, conflict, sequence structure, acts, and style. Screen character development and story outlining will be a focus. Analysis of published screenplays and peer work within the context of a productive environment will help writers hone a critical eye and develop skills to apply to troubleshooting one’s own work as well as the work of others. Overall, the writer builds a screenwriter’s tool kit for use as future opportunities may emerge in writing for the screen. Skills learned in this class can be effectively applied to other threads of creative writing.

Faculty

Writing For The Screen – The Bullet-Proof Screenplay (Fiction Craft)

Craft—Fall

Screenwriting is not so much a writing discipline as it is one allied with the tenants of the oral tradition of storytelling. In the best scripts, you are telling us your film.—Screenwriter/Director Paul Schrader, Telluride, CO, 1989

In screenwriting, you show, you don’t tell.—classic screenwriting adage (attributed to just about every screenwriting guru)

I wrote a beautiful script, and ‘they’ shot it—shot it full of holes—and made a terrible film.—classic screenwriter lament (attributed to just about every screenwriter unhappy with his/her produced work)

In this graduate craft class, we will explore writing for the screen, be it silver, flat, computer-based, for iPad or smart-phone, et al. The aim is to understand how to create a “bullet-proof screenplay” where a writer “tells” a film through prose that effectively “shows” what we see and what we hear moment-to-moment, articulating the action (“the doing”) of the characters and thereby revealing the emotional moments of recognition in the characters’ journey. Structured as a combination of seminar craft class along with some workshop-style exchanges, writers will journey through the nature and construct of the screenplay form. The fundamentals of character, story, world-building, universe and setting, formatting, visual writing, dramatic action, tension, conflict, sequence structure, acts, and screenplay style will all be explored. Analysis of published screenplays and peer work within the context of a productive environment will help writers hone a critical eye and develop skills to apply to troubleshooting one’s own work. Overall, the writer builds a screenwriter’s tool kit for use as future opportunities may emerge in writing for the screen. Skills learned in this craft class can be effectively applied to other threads of writing.

Faculty