Screenwriting Master Class

Learn How Great Scripts Work, and Work It Into Your Script

Master the methods to crafting an engaging, entertaining, and memorable story.

What’s Included

25 Hours of Workshop Time

Ten 2 1/2 hour class sessions, each one filled with Jill Chamberlain’s unique lectures, skill-building exercises, group discussions, and individual story consultation.

Script Notes and Feedback

Get feedback on your story “nutshell,” your beat sheet, and your final script from Jill Chamberlain and your fellow classmates.

Worksheets

Handouts of key story concepts and professional screenplay examples make convenient references in and outside the workshop.

Film Analysis

Each week the class analyzes a film assigned for outside viewing and deconstructs its underlying structure.

Out of Office Hours

Each week Jill and your fellow writers meet after the workshop for an informal conversation.

Syllabus

The 10 week Master Class was developed for seasoned and amateur screenwriters alike. Each week there is a focus on mastering a different area of the screenwriting craft.

Week 1

The Nutshell Technique and Story Structure

Lecture on the Nutshell Technique and the underlying structure of a feature film screenplay. A film viewing assigned pre-workshop will be analyzed to illustrate the lesson.

Week 2

Plot Development, The Eight Sequence Method

Delving deeper into how to structure your screenplay, you’ll learn the eight sequence method for a three-act story. Your own story nutshell will be reviewed by Jill and the class.

Week 3

Character Development

Learn the secrets to creating compelling on-screen characters. Once your nutshell has been cleared, you can turn in a beat sheet for your story.

Week 4

Writing in Screenplay Format

Learn how to write in industry format, describe scenes, and effectively create action. We’ll go over all the rules — and when you can break them.

Week 5

Dialogue

Writing natural yet concise dialogue is an art form, and this is when we go over the principles to get you on your way to mastery.

Week 6

Scene & Sequence Construction

Scenes are the building blocks of any movie. Here we go over how to write  a strong scene and make sure it fits into the bigger picture.

Week 7

Review of Critical Scenes

Everyone in the workshop turns in a critical scene from their script. The class will do table reads of all the scenes, and Jill will offer script doctoring suggestions and address formatting and structural issues.

Week 8

Mini-Slug Action Writing

Writing gripping action that mimics real time is one of the great challenges of screenwriting, and mini-slugs are an essential tool for achieving this. 

Week 9

Advanced Topics

Advanced topics (such as tone, theme, subplots, and subtext) will be addressed this week. This is the last class you can turn in a complete screenplay for class critique.

Week 10

The Business of Screenwriting

You have a script. How does it become a movie? We’ll talk about the business side of screenwriting, and do final in-class critiques of screenplays submitted by class participants.