Screenwriting 103: Writing for Animation is now open for enrollment! The class, which is part of our Screen Experience initiative, will run for six weeks beginning on Thursday, October 4. You can sign up here. Our courses tend to fill up pretty quickly, so make sure to enroll and ensure your spot as soon as you can!

Instructor Zac Atkinson has worked on Transformers Rescue Bots as well as other Hasbro television properties, and serves as a judge on screenwriting competitions at the Austin Film Festival and other events. We spoke with him about the upcoming course.

Comics Experience: What is your approach to teaching the Writing for Animation course?

Zac Atkinson: Rule one in Writing for Animation is to have a great time! I aim for fun, with learning woven into it. Education is the base of the class, but this is a course about telling stories. So we get wild and weird every chance possible. Animation can depict literally anything you can imagine, so I try to bring that wide-open concept to the class.

CE: What are some of the common misconceptions about writing for animation that you plan to address?

ZA: One of the biggest misunderstandings I see time and again is that animation is often referred to as its own storytelling genre. Animation is not a genre. It’s a medium that is open to all types of stories, not just kid-friendly or family-friendly fare. I strongly encourage students to write any kind of story they want to tell in this course.

CE: How is writing for animation different than writing for comics, in ways that many students might not realize?

ZA: Animation is a moving medium and the moment unfolding before the audience’s eyes is all that matters. Like all TV, movies, or video, the immediacy of the moment requires a different approach than a story in print. Comics are open to a myriad of narrative devices that don’t always play well on a screen. I cover this in more detail in the class.

CE: What are you most looking forward to in teaching the Writing for Animation course?

ZA: Meeting the students! Every time I teach this course, the students are the most fun and interesting part of the experience. Everyone brings their own unique point of view and their own strange experiences to the class. This makes for exciting conversation and wildly inventive stories! I love it!

If you want to guarantee your spot in Introduction to Animation Writing, click here.

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If you want to make comics, write, draw, letter, and color comics, or improve as a comics creator, you’ll find like-minded friends and colleagues in our online workshops and courses. We hope to see you there!