Students who dream of writing and directing films have the chance to learn from an award-winning independent director, Ran Talwho co-teach a screenwriting class.
A guest artist in SDSU’s Jewish Studies program, Tal will teach Screenwriting Techniques (ENGL-577) with another Israeli guest artist, Matan Yairaward-winning screenwriter and filmmaker.
This is his first time teaching in the United States and he looks forward to having in-depth conversations about art with his students. It is curious to know how the students will react.
“It will be a process that takes students from fact to fiction in both sections of the course,” Tal said.
Tal will teach non-fiction and Yair will teach fiction to give students a deep understanding of both genres. Students will construct fictional scenes after researching Tal’s documentary section of the course.
“I hope students will understand the richness and endless possibilities they have in non-fiction filmmaking in order to appreciate it,” Tal said. “When they write their own films, they have the ability to observe what is happening around them. I hope it will be inspiring.
“Sometimes the best stories are right around the corner, but they’re so small it’s hard to fathom how beautiful and complicated they are,” Tal added. He recommends that students looking for story ideas step out of their comfort zone and start looking at other people and communities to see what they have to offer in terms of story and understanding and “ to open a window.
Students will be asked to interview characters around them – to write questions, conduct and possibly film interview sessions. Another task will ask students to take a news story and turn it into a movie idea. “Media information could be a seed for something much, much bigger,” Tal said.
Yair will help students begin the screenwriting process using the research material completed in Tal’s section of the course.
“Come with an open mind and let’s have fun!” It’s writing, it’s art, it’s not meant to be pain,” Tal said.
Visiting Israeli scholars and artists are supported by the Murray Galinson San Diego-Israel Initiative. The Murray Galinson San Diego-Israel Initiative aims to strategically promote, support, and catalyze discourse and knowledge interaction about the modern state of Israel through scholarship, engagement, and collaboration.