Summer Classes – Now Registering
Get Out – Nutshell Technique applied!
Alumni – Big News!

Summer Classes – Now Registering!!

The Screenplay Workshop classroomRegistration for our Summer session has begun!

All workshops are taught by professional screenwriter and script consultant Jill Chamberlain. Be sure to register ASAP for the best selection and to ensure your choice is not filled or cancelled.

Our workshops are for all levels: beginners through professionals. Classes are highly interactive, jam-packed with information, and a ton of fun!

Here are all our Spring offerings:

Learn in 5 weeks everything you must know to write a screenplay.
– TUESDAY group (7-9:30 pm, May 29-June 26)
– SATURDAY group (1:30-4 pm, June 2-30)
See syllabus
Tuition: $270

Write a feature-length script or script outline in 10 weeks.
– TUESDAY group (7-9:30 pm, May 29-July 31)
– SATURDAY group (1:30-4 pm, June 2-Aug 4)
See syllabus
Tuition: $475
(Master Class Alumni pay $425)

is also available. See more info on our website.

Just hit “Reply” and e-mail us with which workshop group you are interested in, and we’ll email back to get you enrolled right away!

Get Out – Nutshell Technique applied!

Get Out nutshellScreencraft asked me to write another article for them. This time, I wrote about one of my favorite movies of last year, the 2018 winner of the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay Get Out. I applied my Nutshell Technique and wrote about what we can learn about story from it.

In my last previous article for Screencraft, 3 Keys To Cracking Screenplay Structure, I wrote about how one of the keys is that every story is a version of “be careful what you wish for.” The protagonist wants something (the SET-UP WANT) and by the POINT OF NO RETURN at the 25% mark, they will get exactly what they wanted. One of the things I wanted to point out about Get Out‘s story Nutshell is that it’s a great example of what I call having a “lowercase” want for the SET-UP WANT.

The SET-UP WANT is not necessarily the thing the protagonist wants the most. Nor is it necessarily the thing that the protagonist says that they want. The SET-UP WANT is simply two things: 1) it’s the thing that the protagonist wants in their first scenes that they actually get in the POINT OF NO RETURN and 2) it’s the thing that they want that is the opposite of what they want at the CRISIS at the 75% point.

Protagonist Chris wants a number of things at the beginning: for Rose’s parents to know in advance that he’s black, to not cut himself while shaving, to not be stressed out while packing, to not get chased off of the lawn with a shotgun. These are all things he wants in the first scenes, but he doesn’t get any of them. The thing that he wants that he gets — the SET-UP WANT — is to quit smoking.

He gets this want in the POINT OF NO RETURN (Rose’s mom hypnotizes him), but “be careful what you wish for”! Because while he gets his SET-UP WANT, he also gets something he doesn’t want which is the CATCH (now things get weird).

Read more and see the complete story Nutshell diagram for Get Out in my full article on Screencraft: Story Lessons from Get Out using the Nutshell Technique.

Or to learn even more, buy my book, The Nutshell Technique: Crack the Secret of Successful Screenwriting, Amazon’s #1 Rated Screenwriting Book! You can also learn the Nutshell Technique directly from me if you take any of my feature film workshops (Fundamentals and the Master Class) or in private consultation.

Alumni – Big News!!

Alumna (and HBO Fellowship recipient) Katherine Crafthas had a lot of news. She signed with manager Jamie Wager of Capital Creations. She recently turned in her first professional writing assigment (details TBA publicly soon). And her film June screens Friday, May 5th on HBO as part of the HBO APA Visionaries – Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Fest!

The feature Justin Copier co-wrote, Tim Timmerman: Hope of America, is now available for streaming on Amazon and iTunes following its theatrical release.

Deborah Esquenazi, who previously directed the Peabody award-winning Southwest of Salem, has written the feature Queen of Wands which is in the process of being optioned with Deborah slated to direct.

Jeffrey Kerr and Ray Spivey‘s film The Last of the Moonlight Towers will screen Saturday, May 12 at 11 am and 12:30 pm at AFS Cinema. Prior to the film, they will also show the trailer for their upcoming feature, Writer’s Block, a thriller being filmed in Austin. And Jeffrey will also be speaking about his historical novel Lamar’s Folly, which tells the tale of Mirabeau Lamar’s unsuccessful quest to build a Texas empire, at BookPeople on May 12 at 6 pm

Angela Briones was one of eight writers selected to present work at AFF’s inaugural First Three Pages Live! event and her work, a half-hour pilot entitled merried, was voted audience favorite.

Julia GrubbsParallel was a finalist at Other Worlds Austin Film Festival.

Alumni: be sure to email us about your news. We love to hear from you! Email


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Follow on Twitter: @jillchamberlain

Nutshell Technique book coverOn Amazon:
The Nutshell Technique: Crack the Secret of Successful Screenwriting

On YouTube:
watch The Nutshell Technique book trailer

TSW Director Jill Chamberlain now has a website focused on her book, speaking engagements, and private consultation services:

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