Screenwriting: Crafting Your Sci-Fi Feature

"Fantastic, eye-opening, brain-expanding course. Syllabus was great. Lectures personal and passionate yet informed and all course advisors and staff were superb."

     —Eileen W., Los Angeles, CA, USA

Sundance Collab offers a robust collection of online courses in the Sundance spirit of amplifying your independent voice as a storyteller. Join our global community to hone your craft, network with other creators, and develop career strategies to help you navigate the film and television industry.

Learn how to give shape and form to the outline of your science-fiction (sci-fi) screenplay with experienced screenwriters as your guides. In this live, eight-week online course, you move from idea to outline through a review of the foundations of screenwriting craft, and lessons on character, conflict, world-building, and the components of the various speculative fiction, futurist storytelling and sci-fi genres.

In class sessions, you will analyze clips from films, complete interactive exercises, and discuss concepts with course advisors. Designated homework designed to move your concept to a completed outline is reviewed by your advisor. The course concludes with a one-on-one mentoring session with your advisor focused on your project.

By the end of the course, you will:

  • gain an overview of the genre (utopian, dystopian, fantasy) and the difference between “film genre” and “story genre.”
  • understand the differences between science fact and science fiction.
  • learn the difference between a beat sheet, an outline, and a treatment.
  • understand the foundations of screenwriting, including three-act and alternative structures.
  • sharpen your main and secondary characters.
  • create mood and manage the tone of your story.
  • build a complex science fiction world with clarity on time and space and imbued with humanity and imagination.
  • identify your character arcs and set up character conflicts.
  • learn how to process notes from your peers, collaborators, and production executives.

This course is ideal for:

  • first-time writers who would like to understand the core concepts of sci-fi screenwriting and how to move their project forward.
  • experienced writers who want a more formal setting and/or the guidance of an experienced sci-fi writer.

Course enrollment is approximately 50 participants, with a participant to advisor ratio of 12-to-1. To apply, you must have an idea for a sci-fi screenplay.

Sundance Collab provides accommodations and support services to participants with disabilities. Accommodations and services are designed to meet the needs of each participant. Please email us at to arrange for services.