I need lessons for film

I need to learn 1940s Gregg Shorthand for a role. I purchased his book, but sadly, I need to work with someone on it. I live in the Los Angeles area. Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions? ANYTHING would be helpful. I am very pleased to have discovered this group. 

(by radmaned for everyone)

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  1. Well thats a pretty big commitment for a film, but it is a worthwhile commitment because shorthand is a useful system in itself. I have been learning shorthand for just over 3 months totally by myself, using the same version that you're most like using (Gregg Anniversary printed in 1929). After this time with solid practice I have replaced my normal planning and notetaking and diary entries with shorthand because they are quicker but with harder words its still a bit slow. If I learned the outlines for a certain scene, I would only be caught out by a discerning Greggite, so I guess 3 months would be enough with solid self-learning.

  2. I live in Australia, so I wouldn't know. In fact Gregg was Never taught in Australia. I think it was Pitman all the way.

    There's really nothing wrong with learning individually, and although it would help I bet my life that no class is still available for Gregg Anniversary, although there might be an enthusiast on this forum that might be able to help you out during your study. You won't find a teacher that will teach you the whole course. You need to work through the book chapter by chapter just like students did back in the 40s.

    ….or you could learn a later and much easier newer version of Gregg, who would possibly be able to tell the difference.

  3. Can't you just learn to write what the script calls for? It would take an excessive amount of time to learn Anniversary Gregg and then build speed!


  4. I think that you are probably going about this the wrong way, radmaned.

    I guess I am too realistic at times. 🙁

    Can you tell us more about the role? Do you know what you will need to write? I moderate a screenwriting board, so I know a little about this kind of thing. Is there going to be a closeup that shows what you are writing? Or are you going to be a teacher writing Gregg on the blackboard or anything like that?

    I think that trying to learn shorthand for a role is not realistic. But you can learn about the strokes that you will need, and learn how to write those sentences, if you can tell us what you want to write.

  5. If you're writing shorthand and it's not shown on screen, then you could just even write "squiggly lines" (as my coworker calls shorthand).  I've noticed in many older films or tv shows where a "secretary" wrote shorthand, it was never shown.  She just wrote on a steno book.  I think there might have been one or two films that showed it but it was never proof the actress knew shorthand, but then again, maybe she did, in those days most girls were put in shorthand and typing classes and it probably paid off for a job while she got into show biz.    Anyway, unless they're going to show it, as long as you're familiar with it, you could act like you know shorthand. Debbi

  6. As far as I know, there are no real-life schools offering Gregg shorthand in the US.

    Some South American areas still teach Gregg. Pitman is still taught in India. Teeline is still taught in the UK.

    Check out this thread:
    There's a link to a Brazillian school site which has some videos.

    I've seen a few online Gregg courses, but one (which is advertised on this site and knows her stuff quite well) is inactive (or at least quiet) and the other (associated with an online school teaching other things) seemed more like someone who had studied it once trying to pick up a few bucks.

    There's also the penpal section of this site.

    Check out Andrew's site
    The Fundamental Drills have a lot of reading material, and reading well-written shorthand is a lot more help than you'd expect; it really does help you remember the outlines. I've also heard that the Functional Method is as good or better than the manuals you have; they start with reading rather than writing.

    Kudos to the director for knowing that there is more than one type of shorthand, and the pen motion is quite different. Gregg writers are encouraged to be smooth and flowing. Pitman writers are encouraged to write in "flicks".

    The section on Modern Systems shows other systems.

    has some good examples of Teeline.

    As long as what you write looks more like Gregg than one of the others, most viewers won't know the difference. (And I'm sure there will be some who think all shorthand looks like the non-Gregg they were taught!) I think you're body actions will be more realistic if you write some easy passages quickly rather than trying to take real dictation; I get very tense, but experienced writers are quite relaxed.

    That's assuming you're the actor. If you want a prop made, I'm sure someone here will be able to help you with something very authentic.


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