Screenwriting: An Insider’s View from Hobby to Career with Collin Friesen

A moderated Zoom session and Q&A
Saturday, May 29th, 2021 – 1:00PM – 3:00PM CST

To register, click here and select ‘Screenwriting with Collin Friesen.’

During this two-hour moderated session, screenwriter/director Collin Friesen will share insights from his film industry journey, and review a range of screenwriting topics for beginners and more seasoned writers alike. 

All participants that attend will be welcome to ask the instructor questions directly during four moderated Q & A sections. This will give all of the attendees the opportunity to learn the inner-workings of being a professional screenwriter.

Originally from Manitoba, Friesen made his way to Los Angeles where he attended the American Film Institute. His first original screenplay, The Big White, starred Academy-Award winning actors Robin Williams and Holly Hunter. With multiple TV and film credits that include serving as a story editor on the smash hit series Schitt’s Creek, Friesen recently directed the Farpoint Films comedy feature Sorry For Your Loss starring Justin Bartha (The Hangover, National Treasure).

During this session, the instructor will use a combination of theory, video clips, and discussions all designed to demystify working in the screen trade. 

Participants are asked to submit a “log line” for one of their current projects, a small selection of which will be discussed during the final section.

Topics to be covered:

  • Should you be doing this?
  • What to write?
  • How to write it?
  • How to pitch it?
  • Log lines – Your baby pitch

About the Instructor:

Collin Friesen was born in small town Saskatchewan and grew up in Winnipeg, Canada. The son of a high school teacher and church secretary, Collin got his BA from the University of Manitoba before getting a job as a reporter for a local TV station. After working for the CBC in Alberta for two years, he cashed in his life savings and went to film school in Los Angeles. After graduating from the AFI, he sold his first script, The Big White, which was turned into a feature starring Robin Williams and Holly Hunter. Collin has also worked on the Fox series The Lone Gunmen, and done other assignments for various studios. Collin lives in Silverlake California with his wife who plays Hammerhead on the HBO series Doom Patrol.


  • 2018 Sorry for Your Loss (writer/director)
  • 2016 Tested (Short) (writer/director)
  • 2015 Schitt’s Creek (TV Series) (story editor)
  • 2012 Feather Weights (Video short) (writer/director)
  • 2010 The Con Artist (written by)
  • 2005 The Big White (written by)
  • 2005 Plague City: SARS in Toronto (TV Movie) (written by)
  • 2003 Farm Sluts (Short) (writer/director)
  • 2001 The Lone Gunmen (TV Series) (writer/director)

FTM is a member of the Province of Manitoba’s sector council program through the Department of Economic Development and Training. FTM builds a highly skilled and adaptable film industry workforce to support the activities of Manitoba production companies. FTM collaborates with members of the film and television industry to identify the training needs within the community. 

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