Course curriculum

  • 1

    Chapter 1: What is a story?

    • Lesson 1: Welcome to Film Writing

    • Introducing the first exercise

    • Exercise: Exploring the reasons you connect to characters

    • Lesson 2: A look at storytelling for the screen

    • Lesson 3: A story is...

    • Introducing "Tango Goes for Chips" assignment

    • Assignment: Your "Tango Goes for Chips" story

    • Quiz: What is a story?

  • 2

    Chapter 2: Heroes, goals and obstacles

    • Reviewing your "Tango Goes for Chips" story

    • How and why to read scripts

    • Read the first 10 pages of the screenplay "Bergman Manor"

    • More about heroes

    • More about goals

    • More about obstacles

    • Quiz: heroes, goals and obstacles

    • Making us care

    • Introducing the "hero-goal" exercise

    • Exercise: Brainstorming five original hero-goal pairs

  • 3

    Chapter 3: Digging Deeper Into Character

    • The Hero Questions

    • Exercise: Answering the Hero Questions for Clem

    • Exercise: Answering the Hero Questions for an original character

    • Dr. Showers' Eight Character Traits

    • Exercise: Finding Dr. Showers' Eight Character Traits for your original character

    • Character defining moments

    • Exercise: Discovering your character's defining moments

  • 4

    Chapter 4: Brainstorming original stories

    • Introduction to the creative discipline of brainstorming

    • Brainstorming, part 2: Unleashing your inner mad scientist

    • Exercise: Brainstorming from a prompt

    • Brainstorming, part 3: Unleashing your inner critic

    • Exercise: Selecting your best ideas

    • Brainstorming, part 4: Lego time

    • Exercise: Playing with your Legos

    • Writing log lines

    • Exercise: Write a log line

    • Brainstorming Mad Ideas

    • Exercise: Brainstorming Mad Ideas

    • Assignment: Write a "hero changes" story

  • 5

    Chapter 5: Structuring films to grab and hang onto your audience

    • Introduction to movie structure

    • "The Raft," an animated short film

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    • Tools for structuring movies

    • The Structure of the short "The Raft"

    • How to structure a feature-length film

    • Exercise: Locating the first 5 of the Eight Essential Story Points for Bergman Manor

  • 6

    Chapter 6: Building your movie from the log line up

    • Understanding the story you're looking for, part 1

    • Short film: "Black Hole"

    • Short film: "Spin"

    • Short film: "Table 7"

    • Short film: "Father And Daughter"

    • Understanding the story you're looking for, part 2

    • Exercise: Brainstorm an idea for your short movie

    • Panning for gold

    • Exercise: Pan for gold

    • Bulking up your hero

    • Exercise: Bulk up your hero

    • Building your obstacle

    • Exercise: Build up your obstacle

    • Making it personal

    • Who else is in the room?

    • Find your ending

    • Find your beginning

    • Your movie in three sentences

    • Assignment: Telling your story in three sentences

  • 7

    Chapter 7: Imagining the scenes

    • Finding your scenes

    • Exercise: Break your movie into scenes

    • Imagining your scenes pt 1

    • Exercise: Imagine each of your scenes

    • Imagining your scenes pt 2

    • Exercise: Fill out your vision of your scenes

    • Imagining your scenes, part 3

    • Assignment: Outline your script

    • Exercise: Reading the conclusion of "Bergman Manor"

  • 8

    Chapter 8: Putting your movie on the page - part 1

    • Describing a setting

    • Exercise: Write a description of a setting for one of your scenes

    • Introducing characters

    • Exercise: Introduce one of your characters

    • Describing actions

    • Describe yourself as a character in action

    • Describing sounds

    • Exercise: Describe a sound

    • Formatting your script like a pro

    • Using screenwriting software to help you write your script

    • Review of the best free screenwriting software

  • 9

    Chapter 9: Putting your movie on the page - part 2

    • Writing dialogue, part 1

Course materials

Downloadable electronic copies of course materials are included in the price of the course and will be provided to students after enrollment. Paperback copies may be purchased from Amazon or any other major retailer.

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Pricing options

Whether you're working on your own or with a class, you have options. Individuals and cohorts can pay in four monthly installments for a single semester or save 10% with a one-time payment up front. Similarly, small, medium, and large classes can save 10% with a one-time payment up front for a single semester. But classes also have the option to subscribe to the course indefinitely with a payment every three months (cancel any time).

Sample it.

Not sure this course is what you're looking for? Try a free lesson before you purchase. It's like those sampler tables at the grocery store. Taste and see. Free.