Screenwriting: Writing the 10-minute Short

Sarah Zucker, Screenwriter

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7 Videos (1h 21m)
    • Trailer

    • Three Act Structure & the Anatomy of a Short Film (8:06)

    • Character Development (4:15)

    • Writing a Treatment (3:04)

    • Elements of Style for Screenwriting (2:33)

    • Writing Visually (3:08)

    • Rewriting and Seeking production


About This Class

Short films are the ultimate calling card in the movie industry, and can be your ticket to an agent, a contract, and even (yes!) an Oscar. In this class, you will learn how to write the screenplay for a ten minute short film, which you can then use as a writing sample or to pursue production.

This class is for anyone wishing to learn the basics of screenwriting in a supportive space. Drawing from my own professional screenwriting experience, I'll teach you how to pitch, outline, write and workshop a 10-minute short film.

A Screenplay

This class covers:

  • The basics of storytelling: three-act structure and the clockwork of compelling stories
  • Elements of Style for screenwriting: how to format it on the page
  • The anatomy of a good short film
  • How to write a treatment, or synopsis, of your idea
  • Developing character: making it seem real
  • How to effectively process feedback without feeling dejected
  • Seeking production and professional advancement

How it will be taught

The course will be taught as a series of pre-recorded lecture videos that introduce the concepts and how-tos of storytelling and screenwriting.

Students are able to seek feedback from one another by uploading their work to the Project Gallery. 

Students will also have access to a Q&A forum where they can find answers to their questions, should they get stuck. 

Hope you enjoy! 

54 of 57 students recommendSee All

This class has helped me feel a little more prepared to write a screen play. I appreciate the way the teacher broke it down in a way where I didn't feel overwhelmed by terminology.
Shes awesome. Straight to the good stuff without any fluff!
Camille Vela

Dreamers create the Future

The Good: - The lessons are informative and easy to understand - Provides ample examples and further reading - The class is self-paced, and easy to work into any busy schedule - You don't have to buy anything expensive as free tool options are discussed - If you see this class through, you will have a full script - This is the perfect class for someone who feels like they want to write a script but don't know where to start The Bad: (note: this is solely from my experience) - Class participation is low, despite teacher's efforts to encourage critique and comments - Skillshare's project upload system doesn't provide updates to your classmates when you've updated your project so it's difficult to get your revisions noticed and to notice their updates in return - Teacher has a hands-off approach and relies on critique from peers, but as stated, critique from peers is sparse. I enjoyed this class. This is my first skillshare and I think for the price, the classroom-level information and the access to past and current project examples of my peers was worth it. I'm used to self-study and online community, and I had a clear goal of what I wanted from this information, so I thrived. I do not think this class is for someone easily discouraged by lack of comments, is looking to find a community of peer writers, or who needs hard deadlines to complete assignments. I found the lessons clear, easy to follow, concise, engaging, and inspiring. The extra resources that Sarah provides helped me in my self-study, as well. There is also a wealth of great completed projects with interesting critiques to read from the past classes, when it was on a deadline, to read. I also appreciate that this was a self-guided class as I was able to squeeze in my learning around my busy day-to-day life, but this kind of a set up isn't for everyone and I felt also lead to my major critique: little to no interaction in the class. I found the lack of comments and critique discouraging and I think it kept many of my classmates from completing assignments. I found that after the first assignment or so my comments section went quiet. For some background, yes, I commented on others' work, and yes, I posted about my final update in the discussions forum. I could probably have done even more to network, but it felt like I was getting back only 20% of what I was giving out even still, which is frustrating when one takes an open-deadline class to try to work the lessons into a busy day schedule already. I think the problem is the set up for skillshare projects works against an open-enrollment, work-as-you-can class setting reliant on discussion of many drafts. Skillshare gives only one (sort of buggy) project page that you have to keep and update on as you work, but your project does not bump up to the top or give any notification of new changes you make. Your peers are never aware when you update by default, and in a no-deadline setting this kills your interaction. For future classes I might suggest the current classmates put together a discussion forum where they post about when they update to each other, maybe even partner up with a "beta-buddy", someone who will specifically read and critique their work in return for the same, to guarantee each person gets reviewed and feels inspired to see the work through. I would recommend this class. I had positive results from it, because it was a valuable resource with great information and examples and I was dedicated to the project I was working on as my assignment. I also believe there might be creative solutions to encourage comments and critique, and so I think it is worth taking and trying to make that happen, but this not the class for someone looking for an already built-in peer review network.
Tracy MacLauchlan

Artist, Animator, Storyteller





Sarah Zucker


Hello! My name is Sarah Zucker. I'm a screenwriter, filmmaker and visual artist based in Los Angeles. I'm a co-founder of The Current Sea, a design team that specializes in Animated GIF.

I am also a JEOPARDY! Champion.

Originally from Canton, OH, I earned a BA in Theater and Creative Writing for the Media from Northwestern University, and an MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU, where I was the recipient of the Venable Herndon Award for Excellence in Graduate Screenwriting.

I served as the Program Administrator for the Writers Guild of America, East Foundation from 2009-2010, and am a professional reader for The Black List, Hollywood's premiere Film and TV script repository.