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

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
Related Disciplines

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
Related Disciplines

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. —Paul Schrader, Screenwriter/Director, 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 smartphone, 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. We will explore the fundamentals of character, story, worldbuilding, universe and setting, formatting, visual writing, dramatic action, tension, conflict, sequence structure, acts, and screenplay style. 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 toolkit to use for future opportunities that may emerge in writing for the screen. Skills learned in this craft class can be effectively applied to other threads of writing.

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

Screenwriting: The Art and Craft of Film-Telling

Open , Seminar—Fall

How does one write a screenplay? It’s perhaps far different than one might think. In fact, the term “writing” is a misnomer, as the reality is that screenwriting is actually the process of “telling” your film story, articulating the action (“the doing”) of the characters, and thereby revealing the emotional moments of recognition in the characters’ journey. Pursuing the fundamentals of developing and writing narrative fiction motion-picture screenplays, the course starts with a focus on the short-form screenplay. We’ll explore the nature of writing screen stories for film, the Web, and television. The approach views screenwriting as having less a connection to literature and playwriting and more 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 process of “telling your film” (or movie, or Web series, or TV show, et al). In Film-Telling, the emerging screenwriter will be encouraged to think and approach the work as a director; because until someone else emerges to take the reins (if it is not the screenwriter), the writer is the director, if only on the page. 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 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 idea through research techniques, character development, story generation, outlining, the rough draft, and rewrites to a series of finished, short-form screenplays. The fundamentals of character, story, universe and setting, dramatic action, tension, conflict, sequence structure, acts, and style will be explored, with students completing a series of short scripts and a final written project. In-class analysis of peer work within the context of a safe 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 for use as various projects emerge in the future. In conference, students can 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 can be applied to other writing forms.

Faculty

Filmmaking Structural Analysis

Open , Seminar—Fall

This course explores narrative storytelling forms in contemporary screenwriting, including cinema, television, streaming, the Web, and the short form. Geared toward the perspective of the aspiring/emerging screenwriter, filmmaker, and/or media artist, the seminar includes screenings of films and media and the concurrent reading of source materials and/or their respective screenplays. Cinema language, dramatic theory, and cinematic story structures will be explored, including sequencing, episodic, three-act, four-act, seven-act, teleplay, and the so-called character-driven forms. Selected texts will also be read, and weekly structural analyses will be written. Students will also explore screenwriting exercises throughout the course and investigate the connection between oral storytelling and the nature of narration through the screenplay. Conference projects often focus on the development of a long-form screenplay/teleplay/Web series, analytical research paper, or other film/media-related endeavors. A foundation course for narrative screenwriting, filmmaking, and media projects, as well as dramatic analysis, this course develops skills that can be applied to other forms of dramatic writing and storytelling.

Faculty

Screenwriting: The Art and Craft of Film-Telling

Open , Seminar—Spring

How does one write a screenplay? It’s perhaps far different than one might think. In fact, the term “writing” is a misnomer, as the reality is that screenwriting is actually the process of “telling” your film story, articulating the action (“the doing”) of the characters, and thereby revealing the emotional moments of recognition in the characters’ journey. Pursuing the fundamentals of developing and writing narrative fiction motion-picture screenplays, the course starts with a focus on the short-form screenplay. We’ll explore the nature of writing screen stories for film, the Web, and television. The approach views screenwriting as having less a connection to literature and playwriting and more 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 process of “telling your film” (or movie, or Web series, or TV show, et al). In Film-Telling, the emerging screenwriter will be encouraged to think and approach the work as a director; because until someone else emerges to take the reins (if it is not the screenwriter), the writer is the director, if only on the page. 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 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 idea through research techniques, character development, story generation, outlining, the rough draft, and rewrites to a series of finished, short-form screenplays. The fundamentals of character, story, universe and setting, dramatic action, tension, conflict, sequence structure, acts, and style will be explored, with students completing a series of short scripts and a final written project. In-class analysis of peer work within the context of a safe 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 for use as various projects emerge in the future. In conference, students can 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 can be applied to other writing forms.

Faculty

Writing the Film: Scripts For Screen-Based Media

Intermediate , Seminar—Spring

This course is for the emerging screenwriter seeking to write for creative, screen-based media projects. Students may be initiating a new screenplay/project, adapting original material into the screenplay form, creating a Web series or television project, rewriting a screenplay, or finishing a screenplay-in-progress. 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. Students are expected to enter the course with an existent screenplay, a strong idea, an outline or narrative roadmap of their project, and the capability of “talking out” the concept and journey. The expectation is for students to finish a first-draft project. Published screenplays, several useful texts, and clips of films and media will form a body of examples to help concretize aspects of the art and craft.

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