Online Workshops


What’s the Big Idea?

Screenwriting Workshops with Darren Rapier


WHAT’S THE BIG IDEA is a series of screenwriting workshops for anyone interested in improving their knowledge and skills in screenwriting at any level - whether you just have an interest, an idea, an outline, or a fully finished script - these workshops are a hands-on ‘how to’ guide, giving you the tools you need to take your writing to the next level.

This is not a Webinar, it is a hands-on collaborative intimate online set of classroom sessions, where you can share your own ideas and work!

Based on the successful workshops Darren has run at the British Film Institute, and other institutions and organisations, this course is ideal for those wanting to explore their ideas and potential in this creative medium.  The course will help you create a solid draft of your idea, covering formatting, script and character development, structure, outlines and producing an edited and polished final piece of work.  It also looks at professional pitching, advising on how screenplays work best, what producers are looking for and how to be successful whether aiming for a short or a feature film.

The course consists of two-hour workshops per week, over five weeks (10 hours in total), with a maximum of 8 students per course; allowing everyone to have a chance to talk and ask questions, as well as feel they are getting a bespoke learning experience. In each workshop there will be opportunities to apply what we are learning directly to your own work in real-time.  Students share and review each other’s work and put into practice what we’ve learned.

Over the course we will be looking at all aspects of not only creating a screenplay but creating a screenplay that sells.   Weekly classes will be tailored to individual needs and experience but will be structured roughly (but not exclusively) as follows:

Week 1

  • Introduction and overview
  • Creating a pitch

Week 2

  • Structure and formatting
  • Creating an outline

Week 3

  • Developing believable characters
  • Creating a treatment

Week 4

  • Building the script
  • Scene structure and breakdown, making your story work

Week 5

  • The first ten pages
  • Creating a package for your script
  • Writes and re-writes


At the end of five weeks, depending on how you work and where you start from, you should have: an understanding of professional formatting; an understanding of film structure and techniques; an understanding of character, scene and plot development and tips on how to improve it; a pitch and an overview of your script; a full outline or treatment of your script; an understanding of the industry and how it works; the tools to develop your script into a fully functioning industry standard screenplay for film or TV; at least the first ten pages of a polished script; an understanding of the re-writing process and the ability to apply all this to any of your current or future writing.


COST:  £25/ week (2 hours), making a total of £125 for the 5 sessions

Payment is ideally via PayPal but credit cards and bank transfers can also be accepted. Payment for all 5 sessions needs to be made upfront to ensure a space and to get the Zoom links for each session. Unfortunately, unattended sessions cannot be refunded.



The last course finished on April 26th and the next course will now be in September 2023. Please email to be added to the mailing list for this course and we will contact you nearer the time.

Sessions start at 7:00pm (times are BST [GMT+1] so please take this into account if applying internationally).


For payment details, to be put on the waiting list or for any further information or enquiries please email:

As places are limited they will be allocated on a first come first served basis but we hope there will be ample flexibility to accommodate as many people as possible and we will be running extra modules at a later date if we are over-subscribed again and some of these will have alternative times on offer.


Tutor: Darren Rapier

Darren works as a writer, filmmaker and facilitator. He has written for film, TV, theatre and radio and also works as an independent script editor and script consultant. He teaches on the Writing for Film and Broadcast Media MA at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and on the Foundation Acting Course (Film and TV) at Rose Bruford College, as well as other institutions and universities.


‘I learned more in a couple of hours with Darren than I did in a whole semester on my MA course in Creative Writing. Darren’s no-nonsense practical advice means ‘What’s the Big Idea?’ isn’t for people who dream of being a screenwriter, it’s for people who want to succeed.’ - Al Campbell (Bell House London Workshops 2020), whose film script, adapted from his book) is now being considered by two producers.


‘I’d been laying around with my filmscript for months without getting anywhere. Darren focused my mind on what was really needed and instantly moved the script forward.’ - Eric Storey, Videographer (BFI workshops 2017)


'I came up with a ''big idea'' during the course and intend to turn it into a full-script this year. Darren's lessons were practical, and he offered these in a collaborative, thoughtful way.' - Amina Khan (BFI Workshops, 2018).


If you're looking to get into screenwriting, now's the perfect time and Darren Rapier is the perfect person to help you out. Get involved – Matt Steel (BFI Workshops 2016)


'If anyone is thinking about trying their hand at scriptwriting, you could do well to sign up for Darren Rapier’s interacting online classes! – Steve Coats-Dennis (BFI Workshops 2017)


‘An excellent introduction to screenwriting, clearly structured with a key focus each week. Group size means that there is a perfect blend of individual and group feedback, with a decent amount of humour thrown in! Recommended.’ – Simon Clemsen (BFI Workshops 2019)


‘Darren was the man who finally got me writing. Accessible and fascinating, plus a really supportive community if you want it. Highly recommended.’  – Henry Playfoot (BFI Workshops 2018)