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The 20-Minute Screenwriter, Part 1

A crash course with D.B. Gilles and Katherine Wessling

2. Highlights

Table of Contents

  1. Crib Sheet (PDF) PDF
    Download this outline and use it to take notes. Includes resources and other information.
  2. Highlights FREE!
  3. The 20-Minute Screenwriter, Part 1 (29:25) 29:25 FREE!
    1. Structure The conventional structure of a screenplay is three acts. What is the breakdown of these three acts? How many pages should each act include? You'll want to make sure that your screenplay follows the proper structure before you go any further. 2. Story How do you adapt your story to the structure of a screenplay? Character development is essential so that your screenplay tells a story, not merely a situation. 3. Drafts Don't expect to perfect your screenplay on the first try. Getting the beginning, middle, and end of your story down on paper is just start of your screenplay. You’ll go through many re-writes before you end up with your true first draft. 4. Wave Movement A good screenplay is like a wave. Before the wave crashes and a resolution is reached, you must build up your story, characters, theme…etc. to keep your audience interested. 5. Second Act Don't repeat information. Keep the audience guessing by introducing new elements to the plot throughout the script. 6. Outlines and Treatments What's the difference? Make sure to create the proper blueprint for your screenplay. 7. Instigating Event Why is the instigating event so important? When should this event take place? Hit your viewers with an event that will make them interested in the rest of the film.

Video Details

In the second part of our session with our screenplay experts, you'll learn crucial techniques for developing your story ideas and characters. How do you create believable dialogue? What circumstances will transform your characters throughout the film? When should you start wrapping up the story? Staying passionate about your idea will help inspire your completed work.


• D.B. Gilles, author of The Screenwriter Within and The Portable Film School
• Katherine Wessling, actress and instructor

A detailed crib sheet tracks all the terms and sources mentioned in the video.

1 video
20 minutes total running time

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