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6 Week Online Course | Thursdays, August 6 – September 10, 2015 | Instructor: Zac Atkinson

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Introduction to Animation Writing

Learn to write for animation from currently working, professional screenwriter Zac Atkinson. Your favorite cartoons and animated movies all started as words on a page. This six-week course covers everything you need to know to write your own screenplay. We’ll cover format, how to establish character, structure your plot, create tone, and even look at ways to build theme. And you’ll get feedback along the way from Zac himself! Plus, Zac will share his industry insights and provide tips on how to break in as a professional screenwriter in the world of animation.

You will take your concepts from basic idea to formal screenplay. By the end of the course, you’ll have your own 7-15 page screenplay that could be used for a professionally animated project.

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  • Details
  • Instructor
  • FAQs
  • Requirements
  • Testimonials
  • Learn from currently working, professional screenwriter Zac Atkinson.
  • You will learn how to write a screenplay for any animated project.
  • You will write 7-15 pages of an original screenplay. This can be a complete short film, the opening to a movie, or the start of a TV series.
  • You will receive advice and feedback on your ideas and your writing from a professional screenwriter.
  • Class meets one night a week, for six weeks. The course is held live from 10:00 PM EST until 12:00 AM EST for each session.
  • You have exclusive access to a dedicated class members-only online forum.
  • You will have access to recordings of any class in the series for the duration of the class and a few weeks after its conclusion–so you never have to miss a class!
  • Bring your creativity, everything else is provided.
Zac Atkinson

Zac Atkinson is a currently working professional screenwriter in the Los Angeles animation industry. He has written for TV series such as Transformers Rescue Bots and other Hasbro Studios projects. Zac also reads as a screenplay judge for several competitions including the highly regarded Austin Film Festival.

A former Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Nicholl Fellowship semi-finalist, Zac attended film school at the University of Texas at Austin. He also holds a Master of Fine Arts in Screenwriting from Boston University.

Prior to writing for animation, Zac worked in animation production as a production assistant and script coordinator. He was fortunate to spend time with many award-winning producers, artists, directors, and writers.


The course meets online once a week for two hours over a period of six weeks. The course’s main focus is on creating a clear and relatable story, culminating with 7-15 pages of a screenplay for an animated project.

What’s the focus of the course?

This course will focus on the essential principals of storytelling needed to create an animated project. We will cover the basics of writing for screens big and small. From simple character concerns to figuring out how to structure your epic animated journey, every story starts somewhere and we’ll help you learn to get it on the page.

We will workshop your story from its core idea and build it out into a story that can play on a screen. By the end of the course, you’ll have a set of script pages you can be proud of and the know-how to write many more.

Do I need to know anything about animation?

No, not at all. Animated projects begin with an idea written out as a screenplay. Since the script is the start of things, you don’t need to know how to make animation to learn to write a script.

That said, any information about the animation process that is useful to writing a screenplay will be provided by the instructor. Questions about animation are always encouraged.

Do I need to know anything about screenwriting?

No, you do not. This course will cover all the basics of screenwriting with a strong focus on how to write a screenplay for an animated project.

Do I need screenwriting software?

While many computer programs exist specifically for screenwriting, you do not need any special software to participate in the course. However, a word processor of some kind is strongly recommended.

This topic will be covered in further detail in the first class meeting.

What do I do after the course?

If your completed 7-15 screenplay pages are part of a larger story, you are strongly encouraged to finish the rest of the script!

Once the course is over, you’ll have been taught the necessary knowledge to approach writing for any animated project, not just one specific story. You can easily begin another screenplay anytime you want

Do I need to be a computer wiz for the class?

No, not at all. You need to have high-speed internet access. Headphones and a microphone are recommended but not necessary. You do not have to speak if you do not want to, though we do like to hear your voice.

Once you’re in your first class, we’re certain you’ll get comfortable quickly.

What computer programs do I need for this course?

A word processor of some kind is highly recommended. No specialty programs of any kind are necessary for this course.

When does class meet and for how long?

Introduction to Animation Writing meets once a week for six weeks. Meetings are two hours long and held live online.

What if I miss a class?

All of our classes are recorded and available to view via streaming link for the duration of the course. Additionally, you’ll have exclusive access to a forum set up just for the class. You’ll be able to interact with the rest of your class all week long at any time.

If I don’t live in the United States, can I still take the course?

Absolutely. While some students may not be able to attend the class meetings live, the meetings are recorded and can be viewed later. Plus, since this is an online class, you can interact with fellow students in the Comics Experience forum anytime.

I don’t want to a career in animation writing or screenwriting, but I love animation. Is this class right for me?

You bet! If you love animation and ever wondered how it is made, this class gives you inside access to the beginning of the process.

And what better way to learn about something you love, than to try it out yourself.

How do I sign up?

Click on the PayPal button and you’ll get an email confirmation and instructions within two business days giving you everything you need to get started with the course.

Whether you want to write animation for fun or become a pro, your animation career starts here. 

To participate in our live online sessions you will need:

  • A computer or mobile device that meets Adobe Connect’s minimum requirements
  • High-speed Internet access
  • Headphones/ear buds with microphone (optional, but strongly suggested)
  • A mind like a sponge!

Nic Shaw

“I’d taken the Intro to Comic Book Writing with Andy previously, but writing for animation was a whole new beast. I thought it best I brush up before getting down to writing. Thankfully Zac is a wonderful lecturer who is well versed in the ins-and-outs of handling an animation script. He walked us through all the facets of creating a script, both short and feature length, as well as helping us learn the unique business of being an animation writer.

Like the rest of Comics Experience, it’s worth the price of admission.”