Online Course

The Craft of Screenwriting is a 10 Part Course, with each Part consisting of multiple Sections of Video Lecture, Writing Exercises and Downloadable Documents or Handouts.

The course is designed to be followed in order, starting with Part 1, then go through each Section in order.  You may go back and reference a Part or Section at any time.

VERY IMPORTANT:  You must watch the videos!!  The written content in each section is not the full course or lecture, it is a pared down version of what is discussed in the videos.  If you only read the content you will not be getting the full course. 

***Special Note:  Watch from a computer, as videos may not play on an iphone or other mobile device.

Some parts will be longer than others, but ideally one should be able to get through the video sections of each part of this course in 3 hours or less.  There are also class exercises and other writing exercises given as homework in many of the Parts and its various sections which may require additional time to complete.

At some point you will be doing writing exercises and eventually a script which require proper screenplay formatting.  It is advised you either purchase or download a script/screenplay software.  Here are 3 we recommend looking into:

Final Draft
WriterDuet (free)

TAKE NOTES!   Taking notes is vital.  There is a lot of information to absorb and you will retain the information much better if you take notes.  Have a notebook dedicated to this course so you have the information as a resource forever!

Examines how to measure a good, well-constructed script of lasting value and importance, and introduces the fundamental principles of all dramatic writing, including defining what a real story is, and the importance of a premise or theme.

The anatomy of every story is it's characters. The part teaches how to design real, three-dimensional characters, spines & objectives, transition & growth, the protagonist and antagonists, character orchestration and the Unity of Opposites.

It is vital to understand the nature of conflict in order to write a believable story with cause and effect action. Examines the four different kinds of conflict: rising, foreshadowing, static and jumping.

How to get your story down on paper in proper screenplay form, including writing dialogue, how to write the action, and perhaps most importantly - what not to write in the screenplay. Covers many screenwriting conventions, plus my 15 Screenplay Principles, Elements and Helpful Hints.

This course was designed to give writers an organized, step-by-step guide to getting any story or idea for a film prepared to be written into a script. These steps will help guide you through the necessary homework and make sure all the proper dramatic story construction and design elements are in place before you sit down and begin writing the actual script.

Introduction and begin deconstructing the motion picture and script of "Chinatown". We will use this exercise to illustrate how a good screenplay and film is constructed. Robert Towne’s Academy Award-winning script is a model for a well-crafted screenplay, and for screenplay form. YOU WILL NEED A DVD COPY OF THE FILM BEFORE YOU BEGIN PART 7 & 8.

Continue deconstructing "Chinatown", with in depth discussions of the structure, the premise or theme, the spines and orchestration of the characters, as well as many other elements of exceptional writing and filmmaking.

This section will give you various exercises which will help you to better understand the many screenwriting principles you have learned, to practice a variety of screenwriting habits, and to continue to develop your craft.

This Final Writing Project will have you write a 7-10 page screenplay based on a clear premise or theme that conceivably could be made into a narrative, short subject film.