In addition to the highly published faculty, The Butler MFA provides one of a kind opportunities to work with additional teachers and professionals. This past year, Emmy award-winning screenwriter and filmmaker Alix Lambert has taught several courses as the 2014-2015 Writer-in-Residence.
Butler MFA student Kirk Young has grown greatly as a screenwriter as a result of Lambert’s courses. He says, “Personally, the workshops with Alix have really helped me figure out which aspects of my writing method I can build upon to positively contribute to my development, as well as having helped me identify the aspects which I need to view as opportunities for trying new things to see what could work better. For me, this has been as equally important and significant to the crafting of my voice as an artist as our workshopping of mechanics and story.”
Her final course will be a three week summer intensive: Make a Movie in Three Weeks. Using available technology, students will work independently, yet supportively, on a complete film.
Lambert has designed the course to encourage creativity and breakthroughs. “People are so intimidated by filmmaking, I want them to be free, to think creatively,” Lambert says. Because of modern technology, anyone and everyone are making films. It’s so easy, that the focus has to shift away from the technical “how-to’s” and into a creative expression. Lambert says, “The quality of a film is in the vision.”
Although students will be working on their own individual film, Lambert expects students to work collaboratively and problem solve together. Supporting each other with individual strengths will leave students free to focus on the creativity of their project.
Young says, “Alix’s teaching style is unique in that, first and foremost, she really wants you to dive into finding your voice as an artist. She provides guidance along the way as to any aspects you find important to your learning experience, whether it be related to industry norms and expectations or even more detailed questions around common formatting standards. She puts clear effort toward figuring out what your expectations and hopes are as a student for a course, and works to integrate that into the semester’s work to ensure a more holistic experience for each student.”
Young has taken both of Lambert’s screenwriting courses the past year and encourages students to take the summer intensive. He says, “For anyone interested in writing screenplays or nonfiction, Alix is a great resource within the program. She has real experience navigating the waters of both genres and their industries, so her comments, suggestions, and questions always offer a very helpful window into ways you can improve as an artist.”
EN 501/502. Intensive Screenwriting: Make a Movie in Three Weeks. This course will count as a workshop for screenwriters and elective for writers in other genres. The class will be an intensive three week course, meeting MTWR May 18th– June 5th 6-9pm.
“This intensive will NOT teach you how to use equipment. This intensive will push you off the edge of the cliff into creative free-fall, and ask you to complete a film before you hit the ground. This is what it usually feels like to make a movie – so why not start now? We will work on your individual films while assisting on the films of your classmates and we will learn the importance of collaboration in the art of filmmaking. This course will also allow you to understand the perspective of different roles that filmmakers often fill: writer, director, story-teller, actor and producer. Finally, the intensive nature of this course mirrors the experience of making a professional film.”