Master Classes are in-depth, interactive learning experiences focused on craft and career building and led by renowned industry experts. Topics include fiction and documentary filmmaking, TV writing and production, and navigating and succeeding in the entertainment industry.

Let's talk nightmares. How do we mine the fear, tap into the uncanny, and shape moments of horror that win the screams and applause of audiences? Join award-winning filmmaker and novelist Owen Egerton (Mercy Black, Follow, Blood Fest) as he leads a deep dive into the craft of writing horror for the screen. Using in-class clips, Owen will analyze the various types of horror storytelling, discuss subgenres, and give insight into how to elevate the genre through character. There is always a market for horror, and Owen will walk you through how to get your horror screenplay or film out into the world. In this live and interactive three-hour event, you will have the opportunity to ask questions about the craft of writing horror and how to bring a fresh take to a tried-and-true genre.

Table of Contents:

00:00 - 04:30: Welcome and introduction from Sundance Collab
04:30 - 11:40: Introduction from Owen - horror in horrific times, overview of the session
11:40 - 16:01: Why Horror? Why Now?
16:02 - 43:13: A Quick History of Horror
43:14 - 47:03: Using horror to address social issues - Don’t scream at them… make them scream
47:04 - 58:24: Q&A
59:02 - 01:01:04: Using horror to address social issues cont’d - Tigers are Not Afraid
01:01:05 - 01:05:57 : Finding your way into your story
01:05:58 - 01:12:54 : Finding your way into the narrative (character, monster, world, idea)
01:12:55 - 01:22:52: Twisting the Known
01:22:53 - 01:28:45: The Character’s want, need, wound
01:28:46 - 01:35:37: Torturing the character: Get Out
01:35:38 - 01:39:28: Analyzing the scare (jump scare vs. soul scare)
01:39:29 - 01:43:38 : Analyzing the scare: The Shining
01:43:39 - 01:47:14 : Exceeding expectations, surprise vs. Suspense
01:47:15 - 01:52:00 : Analyzing the scare: Psycho
01:52:01 - 01:56:25 : Scene Ingredients
01:56:26 - 02:02:54 : Analyzing the scare: Hereditary
02:02:55 - 02:09:54: Q&A
02:09:55 - 02:20:31 : The market, production companies, networking
02:20:32 - 02:28:42 : Make your own damn film
02:28:43 - 02:48:00 : Q&A
02:48:01 - 02:51:08: Final announcements

Past classes have included Academy Award-winning director Roger Ross Williams on Documentary Storytelling, Finding Dory’s Victoria Strouse on Comedy Writing, Emmy-nominated director Lesli Linka Glatter on Blocking a Scene, The Walking Dead’s Glen Mazzara on TV Writing, and more.


Download the list of RESOURCES from Owen Egerton and Sundance Collab

Award winning filmmaker and novelist Owen Egerton is the screenwriter and writer/director of several films including BLOOD FEST (Rooster Teeth, Warner Media) and MERCY BLACK (Blumhouse, Universal). Working in horror, comedy, and occasionally animation, Egerton has written for Fox, Disney, Warner Brothers, HBO and more. He’s written several novels including THE BOOK OF HAROLD THE ILLEGITIMATE SON OF GOD and HOLLOW which landed on NPR's Best Books of 2017. Egerton is also one of the comics behind the Alamo Drafthouse’s Master Pancake Theater and host of the Fantastic Debates at the Fantastic Fest. more...

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