Because of Mama

The Art of Storytelling

Drafting the Short Screenplay

Directing the Short Film

Editing the Short Film

So You Want to go to Sundance?

Useful Links

Because of Mama Script

    This website is designed for young filmmakers interested in writing a short narrative film. While we provide useful tips for editing, directing, and marketing your film, this site is primarily a site for writers. Its aim is to help you to hone your story: its themes, structure, and cinematic style.

    We offer advice through our own experience. "We" are Karen Gocsik and Serguei Bassine, the writer and director of the short film, Because of Mama. Our film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and since then, the film has been screened at international and domestic festivals and has won a few awards.

    We offer you here the many hard lessons that we learned while writing and producing our film. We've also created some exercises to help you write a better screenplay. We hope you find the materials helpful.

    This site was made possible through a grant from Dartmouth's Venture Fund. If you have comments or questions about the site, or if you would like to send us comments about the film, please contact Karen Gocsik

For Teachers Using This Site
    If you are a teacher using this site for a class, you'll want to note that the site was developed with two purposes in mind: to teach screenwriting and to teach writing in general. This site is based on the premise that all of the skills necessary to writing a good short film - brainstorming an idea, developing a theme, creating a structure, editing for clarity and emphasis, and finding your own style - are necessary to writing a good essay as well. Accordingly, the exercises offered here were created not only to inspire students who want to write short films; they also serve the general writer by providing creative ways of approaching the writing process. Experienced composition teachers will be able to see how this site might be used as an exercise or as supporting materials for their composition classes. If you would like to see how one teacher of composition uses the site in her class, visit Professor Gocsik's English 2 Class, Fall 2001.