BRIFT Teacher Publishes Book On Screen Writing

Shawn Fornari, who teaches two scriptwriting courses at the Burt Reynolds Institute for Film and Theatre (BRIFT), recently published a book based on the workshop approach he developed at BRIFT. Titled Writing Your Story for the Big Screen, Fornari’s offering is a step by step guide for those wishing to learn the art of writing for feature films.

During the past six months, Fornari developed his technique with students in his course “Writing the Feature Screenplay: From Conception to Completion.” What makes this class unique is the active participation of each student-writer in a round table discussion atmosphere. Every week the students-writers bring 10 new pages from their script to class. These pages are then presented as a staged reading. Rather than a strict teacher-student relationship, everyone in the class has an opportunity to express ideas and concepts about their own story and those of other students. Critiques — both positive and negative — are a part of the process, and when interviewed, all the students agreed that the negative comments were the most beneficial.

Fornari’s beginning writer’s class is held on Tuesday evenings at 7 p.m. His advanced class is held on Thursday evenings at 7 p.m. Both classes cost $20 per week, and students are welcome to stay as long as they feel necessary to hone their skills. Registration can be made by calling Donna Carbone at (561) 385-1584. The classes are limited in size to allow each student an opportunity to present his or her work on a weekly basis. The Burt Reynolds Institute for Film and Theatre is located at 304 Tequesta Drive in Tequesta.

Writing Your Story for the Big Screen is meant to encourage and direct both fledgling and experienced writers to develop their craft in a way that allows agents and producers to “see” the film within the screenplay from the very first word. It is available online at


Above: Shawn Fornari