Santa Fe, the City Different, has many wonderful resources and opportunities to explore. I had always heard great things about Santa Fe Community College but never had occasion to examine its offerings.
Returning to New Mexico, where I served as film commissioner under Gov. Toney Anya, after nearly 30 years of chairing the Motion Picture Department at the University of Miami, I taught classes at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design and the Renesan Institute. I recently received the Santa Fe Community College continuing education catalog. While some writing courses were offered both live and online, no mention was made of screenwriting.
Having helped hundreds of screenwriters, from beginners to professionals, with original screenplays, rewrites and adaptations (from books to screenplays), I was hopeful my experience in teaching online screenwriting could be used in this environment. Of course, all movies start with the written word: the screenplay. No college degrees are required to have a screenplay embraced by the industry. In industry parlance, “It’s all on the page.”
As the streaming era begins, the movie industry has never seen a greater need for viable screenplays. Kris Swedin, director of SFCC Continuing Education and Contract Training, enthusiastically supported instituting an online screenwriting course, beginning in the January term. Students would receive individual online instruction.
While this training might be transformational for young people, it also could open the door for adults who have a movie in their heads but don’t know how to get it on paper. Also present for the meeting was Sarah Bosvert, founder of Fab Lab Hub and co-founder of New Collar Network. With a technical and entertainment industry background, Bosvert took me on a tour of the Fab Lab Hub in the Higher Education Center, where industrious students were hard at work 3D printing and other contemporary disciplines. It was an awesome display of student engagement and resources preparing them for the professional world they will soon enter.
I am delighted Santa Fe Community College has included screenwriting in an already exciting curriculum soon to be available to Santa Feans.
Paul Lazarus, professor emeritus, University of Miami, lives in Santa Fe.