Short Film and Webisode Screenwriting for Beginners | Andre Joseph | Skillshare

Playback Speed


  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Short Film and Webisode Screenwriting for Beginners

teacher avatar Andre Joseph, SI, NY Award-winning filmmaker

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

11 Lessons (1h 23m)
    • 1. Trailer

      1:54
    • 2. Class Project

      1:13
    • 3. Introduction

      5:40
    • 4. Lesson 1: Screenplay Structure Overview

      9:29
    • 5. Lesson 2: Conceiving a Story Idea

      7:40
    • 6. Lesson 3: Conceiving a Web Series

      9:41
    • 7. Lesson 4: Story Skeleton

      8:20
    • 8. Lesson 5: Building Characters

      8:18
    • 9. Lesson 6: First Draft

      8:31
    • 10. Lesson 7: How to Get Feedback

      10:43
    • 11. Lesson 8: The Rewrite

      11:43
  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels
  • Beg/Int level
  • Int/Adv level

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.

59

Students

--

Projects

About This Class

  • Writing screenplays for short films and web series formats.
  • Class is for aspiring novice screenwriters who have that great idea that they want to make themselves or to pitch to producers, investors, networks, and executives.
  • For short films, this class is useful in simplifying your story to the most crucial scenes and character development in a tight 3-act structure. For web series, you will be able to understand how to formulate story and character arcs that take place over the course of several episodes while keeping the audience engaged.
  • Either Final Draft or CeltX are the most highly recommended materials for this course.

4949887a.jpg

Limit 70 by Kevin MacLeod

Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/5710-limit-70

License: https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Andre Joseph

SI, NY Award-winning filmmaker

Teacher

Award-winning director, producer, screenwriter, and actor Andre´ Joseph had a love for movies from a very early age. He began his career making short films with family and friends on his camcorder in his hometown of Staten Island, NY.

Mr. Joseph attended the New York Film Academy summer program in 2001 where he first gained experience working with 16-millimeter film and later graduated Magna Cum Laude from Emerson College in 2006 where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Film. During his time at Emerson, Mr. Joseph interned in television production with VH1 Classic in the summer of 2006.

In 2008, Mr. Joseph formed his own New York-based independent film production company, AJ Epyx Productions, LLC. The company’s first feature film, Priceless, which Mr. Jos... See full profile

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • Exceeded!
    0%
  • Yes
    0%
  • Somewhat
    0%
  • Not really
    0%
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.

Transcripts

1. Trailer: Hello everybody. My name is Andre Joseph, award winning filmmaker. You probably remember me from my previous class. No budget filmmaking for beginners. And for those of you who just want to know about the process of screenwriting. And based on the experiences that I've had, I am proud today to bring you my brand new class, the short film and webisodes screenwriting for beginners. This class is designed for novice screenwriters who are looking to write their first short script or webisodes pilot in order to either produce themselves or to pitch to an investor or potential network or production company that might take it up. For short films, we go into things such as the three-act structure, creating good characters, and keeping it all tight within the frame of somewhere between three pages or two about dirty pages, keeping it within the constraints of a short film. If it's a webisodes series, we get into character arcs and how you build your story over the course of a series. Whether it's going to be single-minded storylines or a complete serialized format. By the end of this class, you'll be able to write your very first draft as your class project. It can be a short skirt or it could be a webisodes pilot. And it has to be within ten to 15 pages max in order for you to be able to have followed the proper guidelines that I teach in this class. And then you'll be able to upload to a private link for Google Drive. And I'll be able to look at it, gives you thoughts and feedback on how you can improve on your first draft. And by then, you will be on the road to become a really amazing screenwriter. So let's make that happen. Let's make it all come true, and let's get that first draft started right away. 2. Class Project: By now you've been able to go through all the lessons in this class. If you haven't, please go back for this is now your class project. You have your choice of writing either a short script or a webisodes series pilot. The only requirement that you have in addition to following the proper formatting of a screenplay, is to write within ten to 15 pages max. So you can write as little as you need to if it's three pages, that's fine. As long as you follow the three-act structure that I described in the class. But it cannot go over 15 pages because we're trying to challenge you to condense your story to the little bits of important detail as possible. At the completion of your first draft, you will upload to a Google Drive folder. And that folder is under my email HA EPI X1 at gmail.com. Once I've completed reading your first draft, I'll be sure to get back to you with proper feedback and be sure that we give you all that's necessary to be on the road to create your second and polished draft. 3. Introduction: Welcome everybody to the very first introduction to my brand new class, the short film and a webisodes screenwriting for beginners. Now, some of you probably already know me from the no budget filmmaker for beginners class. So, you know, you could skip pass a little bit of this. For those of you who don't know me, I'm a 13-year professional in the independent film industry going as far back as my very first film that I produced, called priceless back in 2008. And since that time, I've made three feature films, as well as for professionally made short films. Each of which have gotten play in festivals all over the world and has won numerous awards for directing, screenwriting, and producing. So what I'm offering today is probably one of the most fun parts of my field, which is the writing process. I began really from the star, I would say for, for dark grayed. Basically just writing little short stories in my school. I went to a Montessori school in Staten Island, New York. Where do you had a writers workshop class where you basically just wrote your own short story due to cover and have your teacher look at a, give you feedback. And then we will publish it by having it getting the pages getting laminated and putting it up on a shelf for all the kids to read and class. And so I wrote a lot of different ideas based on movies that I watched, video games that I played, cartoons I used to watch on Saturday mornings. And eventually I start writing my own original material inspired by those things. And so that was kind of the beginning of how I got interested in writing. But once I started getting any interest in making my scripts into movies, and that happened because of my cousins and all the short reads we used to play in our grandmother's house in Brooklyn. We had decided that we're not going to rely on other people to come up with our ideas. We're going to do it ourselves. And so I had spent a lot of my high school years writing all of my scripts. I don't think I really shot anybody else's ideas because I was just so specific and my vision. And over time I started to take classes in screenwriting, learning from instructors in my college who had done independent films, sort of worked on the hit TV shows. And so they helped me and guide me in understanding three-dimensional characters, that three-act structure. You know, having individual scenes have their own little stories in them and finding the conflict in those scenes. So that really helped me to become a stronger writer and really did a lot for me to understand what it takes to tell a compelling story. Not just with the feature phones that I've done, but more importantly to cut my teeth in the shorts. Because the short format challenges you to really reached the core of your story to figure out what is necessary to tell the story that you need to tell. And get your points across and make the audience feel what you want. And you know, basically short films definitely get a lot of play in film festivals. They get play some times now on the internet, on YouTube or Vimeo. So there is a little bit of a marketplace for it. But for many people, it's affordable. And more importantly, it's something that helps them to learn and to help them grow into amazing writers over time. And the same thing goes with the web series format. Because television is so much better today than it was when I was growing up. And the kind of shows that have affected the change in what I now see as the golden age of television. Shows that obviously you're no longer with us like Breaking Bad, but then shows that we have today like stranger things that really are so good at creating compelling characters, but also having a total story arc over the course of a season. You follow through. And it's so important that you hook the audience right away so that when the episodes over, they wanna see what happens next. And if you can't hook them in the first five or ten minutes or even just if you don't put them in the first episode, it's done. Same thing also goes with short films. If you don't hook the audience within that first page, then they're just not going to care. So what does it take to be an amazing writer in a short format when so many of us are so overwhelmed by the content that we have today. Well, I'm going to go through those steps. I'm gonna go through my experiences and how they've helped me to improve as a writer. And hopefully my knowledge and my information of what I've gained over time will help you guys along in your journey as well. So I hope you'll enjoy, stick with it all throughout the process. If you have questions, contact me directly. And I hope you enjoyed this and I hope it's a valuable learning experience cause for me it was amazing and I still love it to this day. And I think it's just time to get creative. So let's get you guys creative. 4. Lesson 1: Screenplay Structure Overview: So just the case for you guys. If you haven't taken my first Skillshare class, no budget film-making for beginners. I have an entire lesson that's focused specifically on screenplay and screenplay structure. So if you want to skip past this part of the tutorial, then you can go straight there, subscribe to that lesson, and check out everything that I have to say. But if you want to stay here and hear me talk about it again, I'll bring up some reminders and a little bit of other details that go along in terms of putting together a short script or a webisodes pilot. So the first thing you've got to understand when it comes to writing a screenplay is quite simply, it's not like writing a novel. Everything that you put together in the script is basically what the actors are going to recite, wonder being filmed, as well as the staging and direction of the particular product azure preparing your script. The first thing you have to understand is you have to write visually. So in other words, when you write your screenplay, you're not writing descriptions of what's going on for the characters mindset. You're not writing about all Somebody's going, thinking about what their next action is going to be. You have to write out what the audience is seeing on the screen as it's being played out. So that's the first thing you have to know before you dive into it that you're not writing a novel, you are not writing a short story or a blog. This is the reason they call it a screenplay. It's intended for the screen and it is the play of the performances. Now for basic screenplay structure, I have a template that you can download right now. And now we'll follow all the different directions of where you put your character line, your action line, and you know, basic formatting and margins and so forth. But just so I can just give it to you in layman's terms for some of you are probably not from this country. You start with your scene heading. So usually it's interior or exterior written in abbreviation dot your location. It could be a doctor's office, it could be a house, it could be an apartment. And then space slash day or night. From there you go to the next line. You write your action. Usually your first describing what the environment of the scene looks like. And you don't want to be too simplistic about it. You want to really get kinda detail, but only do it with the limited amount of simplicity that you can give. So for example, this basement that I have here, you may want to talk about the shading of the wood panel floor as you may want to talk about the pool table that's available. You may want to learn about this bar that I'm filming at. Describe it, give people the image and the visual of what they're seeing so they can put themselves in that environment, especially if you haven't producer that's looking at your script. They want to be able to visually see where the scenes are going, what it looks like, where am I right now? That's basically what that is. And then from there you write out, if you're introducing a new character, you start a new paragraph. You may give them the age number, a little bit description of their personality and what they're doing in the scene. And again, you don't want to be overly simplistic, but you want to really give visual cues, real like things that pop up to give more of a sense of who that character is. So if it's somebody that's kind of rough edged, you may want to say, Well, that person is maybe handsome, self-confident, but kind of on the edgy side. And that part's not walking to a bar. He striding to a bar, you know, figure out some words and verbs that actually give you more of a sense of that character's personality as you're writing the action description. And then you have your middle section where you that when you are ready to do to dialogue and put down the character name and then the exact dialogue that they say. Typically, there's a question of how much dialogue you give a character in the scene. You usually go no more than six lines. The lesser, the better. But for the purposes of keeping the story flowing, you don't want to have it be so excessive and dialogue that it's the dialogue that's moving the story and not the visual cues or key components of a scene that are very vital for your story to be played out. So don't always rely on your character's dialogue. I know there are people that quit turn T-note at love to give these long monologues for characters. And they could be done here on their own parts. But you don't want to overdo that because you will bore your audience and just takes away from the point of the scene and the point of the story that you're trying to tell. Then of course, if you have parents that are calls, which is in-between the character name and the dialogue. That's also something you wanna do sparsely because we're parent that circles. You're basically saying how the actor should be reciting the lines. So if there's supposed to be grimacing or disposed to feel somber than usually write the description of what they're supposed to say to line. But you don't wanna do that excessively because you have to ultimately leave room for the actor to give their own interpretation of that piece of dialogue. You don't want to seem like as a writer that you're dictating their performance every step of the way. You also, when you have your scene completed, there's a tendency to write the transition on the right-hand side, which is usually you put down cut two or transition to dissolve two. Now that might be okay from time to time if you're talking about SATA passage of time and trying to establish that this new scene that's coming up as happening a couple of days later, a couple of hours later. But that's another thing you don't want to do because now you're overstepping the boundaries of the editor. And so just, you start a new scene, just jump to the next scene. Don't get caught up in every single monos be cut to this cut to that. Which leads to my next cardinal rule of what to avoid with the screenplay, is avoiding writing the camera angles. Now, if you're going to sell, produce your project, then it's fine. You know what you're going to go for. So yeah, go ahead and write where you think the camera's going to be. But don't overload yourself of that if you intend to sell it to a producer or sold the script to a potential network or investor because they're not going to want to get dragged down by that. Because chances are in those situations you might not end the bean to director. So down again, you'd be overstepping the directors boundaries. So keep the camera angles down to a minimum. And especially for actors that are reading it, they don't want to get caught up in the technical end. They just want to get focused under characters are where they're going. So keep that at a minimum for their sake as you write action. And I don't mean action sequences like gunfight or lightsaber hides or martial arts battles. I'm talking about just simply what's going on on the screen where the characters had going. Where do sitting down, what are interacting with somebody? Keep those descriptions also down to a minimum as well. And what I mean by that is you don't want to get overly descriptive about every single moment in the scene. Just screenplay has to flow just like the film. It's supposed to be fast-paced movie. It's gotta move fast and quick and snap. If it's slower than maybe can be a little bit more meticulous, but don't get yourself bogged down with excess of descriptions. In the old days, screenwriters, you started with a typewriter and there's still people who have a fetish for that. But everybody does it on a computer now to do it on a laptop, Hillary, when people don't do it on their phone. And thankfully, you have these amazing programs that help you to get the formatting correct programs such as final draft, sell techs, movie magic, and various others that are online, some of which are for free if you wanted to download. And so I encourage any of you taken this class to download one of those programs or purchase one of them to make it easier for you to write your first screenplay for the problem for the class project. And it makes the formatting much easier. It helps you along. There's tips, there's an assistant panel, particularly with final drafts, so definitely take advantage of those. And the biggest thing that we'll talk about later in lesson six is the three-act structure and how you will condense that three-act structure into a short screenplay. So now we've got the mechanics of the way. Let's jump to the next class where we start talking about conceiving the actual story idea. 5. Lesson 2: Conceiving a Story Idea: So I often get the question when I go to film festivals and I'm presenting my work, what do I get the inspiration to write my screen place? They come from a variety of different sources, just from real life experiences. Maybe a book that I read, maybe a movie that I saw that really got me sparking in my imagination. Inspiration is all over the place, wherever you can find it, wherever you can feel it. And usually the best ideas do actually come from life experience, whether it's true to life or somebody who just overly exaggerate for me personally. And I'll give a few antidotes. My, one of my recent scripts, which was a movie called The saxophonist, who was a short film that I produced a couple of years ago that started as a college scripts that I wrote for a film class. And that came about because I'm a big fan of jazz music. And I was taking a jazz course with the time where I was learning about all the greats in the business and how they were able to break the ground of music in the ages that they were at their peak in their careers. And at the same time, I was also a film student, try and make my mark in school and trying to make the best films that I could. And I had this idea to take those two elements, things that were going on in my romantic life at the time, and combine it all into this short screenplay. And from there it was a number of different rewrites before I figured out exactly what the idea was going to be in terms of the overall arc of the characters. And ultimately what was the theme OLS, the core of the story. And as I got older, because it took me years to finish the script to where I felt it was film bubble. I started to feel that the real-world as a filmmaker and as a filmmaker is much more complicated. And when you're in school because nobody's holding your hand, It's hard to make money. And you're trying to make your mark, but everybody else is doing it with their own equipment or their own resources with varying degrees of success. And so I said to myself, this story now can go from, you know, looking at it from the eyes of a jazz musician living in today's society. Take it from just a guy who was just playing music and falls on love to a struggling artist who wants to be a great. And then reaches this point in his life where he's deciding, does he want his career to go up the notch, to go to the next level in which a new-found level of success? Or does he want to take it easy, take it slow. Stick, keeps feeling the ground and be with a woman that he loves. So the sacrifice was the core of my story. And we'll talk more about core of a story in a moment. But once you have the idea in place, of course, you're eager to just write it down and have the idea already down on paper or on your computer on a doc file. And so how you put that together, I mean, there's a couple of different ways you could do it. Some people like to just get started with the script right away, like they already know what's in their head and ages jump at it and that's fine. But if you already had, just have ideas and loose ideas that you're not sure of. And it's only maybe just loose threads of your characters and different scenes that you envision. Write it all down, put it together for all your ideas into a list, maybe outline it out. It could be an order or not in order, but have your ideas all written now. So this way, you can always go back to it and refine it, take those ideas, and then put together an outline of every scene. What happens in those scenes. And maybe do a second document. Or now you're getting into your characters of the story and where HDR arcs are awarded a start in Act 1, act 2, word a change, and actually what's the resolution? Where did they ultimately end up? So you have a various different ways of putting together, and some people even like to just write it out like a short story or like a blog. And just simply write a couple of paragraphs. So the way they see the story playing out, that's fine too, daughter, absolutely no rules to just simply say, hey, I got a screenplay, Where do I begin? You can start wherever you need to. But again, if you have just loose threads at the idea, just write all down. And if you ever get stuck on your script, you can always go back and take those ideas and use it for inspiration to keep you going so you don't suffer the writer's block. And returning to the idea of finding the core of your story. You may find it, believe it or not, in the first draft as you're writing it and you start to get more engaged with your characters and senior. So for the, for the eyes of those people. And more importantly, scene where your story is going, where does your protagonist begin? Where do they end up? And what is it that you want the audience to leave from getting? In other words, when you write your script, you're not always just writing for yourself, Eve, almost therapeutic thing. But you're writing for the people that are going to pay to see to fill when it's completed or to television show. And you want to have this sense of, well, what do you want people to feel or get at when they see it? Do you want them to feel like there's a change in their life? Maybe they need to call a family member. Do you want them to feel excited and ready for the next episode or the next movie. Do you want them to kind of feel like they could accomplish anything in the world. Figure that out because if you know what you want them to feel, depth, how you find a core of your tail. And so going back to the saxophonist, my idea was that I wanted people to feel like the idea of quote-unquote making it isn't always making millions of dollars. Have you be cows, nice cars and saying, Hey, you're successful now because everybody knows who you are. Now I wanted to make my story about just simply the sacrifice and quartet to see the movie for yourself. It's on Amazon and the bebop channel. But the point is, you're trying to tell your audience, you know, we leave in their interpretation for them to feel if, for my, for my character in this movie. If they feel that he's making the right choice to sacrifice his career for his love life. Or if he's making the mistake of leaving behind a potential success that, you know, he has a grasp and scan them, just decides not to do it. Ultimately, it's up to the viewer to make that interpretation. And ultimately at the end of day, the movie's going to be for the audience to consume and basically it becomes part of their life. So you have to also remind yourself of that too. There's going to be multiple interpretations, but ultimately you, as a writer, you find the main core of the story. And that's how you get through the, through lines of the way your scenes flow and your character arcs. So now most of what I discussed is focused primarily on the film side, particularly mature films. What about when you have to do a series in multiple episodes? Are going to get into that in the next lesson. 6. Lesson 3: Conceiving a Web Series: Conceiving a web series is a very complex and different type of animal. Then producing a short film or even a feature film for that matter. Because we're shorts of features, Everything has to be condensed to fit a specific running time. And there's not always a lot of room to get into everybody's back stories and, you know, different angles of a particular story with a webisodes series or even just a regular television series depending on the genre. And I'll stay. For this purpose, we'll stick with like television dramas. You have the flexibility to tell almost every angle and every story within multiple episodes. And even though you may be condensed in terms of time, whether it's a 30-minute up soon or an hour-long episode. You're still getting into a lot of deep stuff and a lot of time you can take to develop your characters over the course of multiple episodes. So the question becomes, how do you divide your one story into multiple episodes? And then I'll tell you the truth. I've never produce a TV show. However, I had been in the process prior to this coordinate quarantine. I'm putting together a web series at one of the things that I learned through working with my collaborators was we had our characters, we knew were or story would begin and where it was going to end. And everything else was just filling out the blanks in between. So from there, we would have meetings discussing each episode. Who's the focus? Where are they going? How are other characters effective? What kind of subplots can we do? And then jump to the next episode and see how they progress from UPS or one to episode 2. I think a legend like Stephen botch go who made shows like nypd blue and LA law back in the day, had the formula perfect and it became a standard that I did. A number of writers today have followed. In fact, I would just say very quickly if Stephen botched go influenced many writers that we have today, from Vince Gill again to David mill and David Kelley and various others. But going back to Shirley kill Street Blues that he created, he had the approach of doing episodes in which you would have, usually, for the five subplots in one episode, right? Individual characters would have their moments. And those four bills, story lines would usually have an arc that goes over the course of multiple episodes, three to four tops, maybe five. But every episode would have at least one storyline, usually the fifth one, where it hasn't beginning, middle, and end. And that's it. There's no follow-up to the next step of so from there. So that's a good rule of thumb. If you're trying to do a series, is if you're going to have multiple characters with multiple storylines, decide which ones are going to extend beyond one episode. And if there is one that could just be resolved. One episode in a3x, decide what that is and then move on from there now. Okay. I'm just talking about dramas, but some of you guys doing this may be just doing sketch comedy shows or something that's just more single-focused. You might be doing like a drama or like a social type of thing where you'll have like one character or multiple characters and it's just single storylines. That's easy. You're basically writing a short film for every episode. And that's no problem either use, you're still following a three-act structure and then you take it again, repeat the formula as necessary. The only thing you want to keep in mind though, is if the character is going to learn something in one episode, you don't want to get repetitive and have that end up repeating itself later on. So be mindful that if you, let's say for example, if you have a show where say somebody who's dog gets stolen, don't get to Episode 9 and do that same storyline again, but it's a completely different character within the main cast. Try to avoid that stuff as much as possible. Be as unique as possible with every episode that you write in a single story arc. Now speaking of character arcs, this is pretty much the same as when you're writing a square root and you're trying to formulate your character's journey. So if you have a single character that will have a great deal of change over the course of an entire 10 episode Ron, one season, however way you are going to do it. You want to also make sure that those arcs have their peaks and valleys. So this is where every episode you had that character and the best thing to do in this case, put together a chart and do the chart where maybe one side of the board is your main characters and maybe some of those supporting characters on the top have your episode list. And then with each episode, decide what happens to that character. You know, maybe the character starts to pour in episode 1. By Episode 10, they become rich. Then you gotta figure lab, sit him in between maybe, you know, ups. So two, they decide they're going to go for the lottery episode three, different suspense for the lottery, and go on from there. What's their Arc? Yet? Figured it out for yourself. And then also figure out where the other characters, how they're going to intersect with your protagonist in their journey. Or if they're going to have their own story line that will be separate from the main character. Kind of figure that stuff out and I'll try to see if I can put together a chart that you guys can follow that might make it easier for you if you plan to go with the series route, then of course, you have to find your theme, just like with making a short film. So if you're writing, say something like The Sopranos for example. Your theme may be about family, about loyalty. If you're doing something like Dexter, you're talking about secret identities. And, you know, is it the right thing to do to go out and kill serial killers? Even know, you know, it's not the right thing to do. Maybe you wanna do to Breaking Bad thing where, you know, your main character selling drugs, but he's doing it for the sake of surviving cancer and helping his son, you know, figure out the theme for your story and how that beam kids stay through every episode. And things are always going to be different. You're not always going to repeat yourself. But as long as you have that core theme that carries you through every single episode that you have in your series. And if you're going to do multiple seasons, then you have a good place where you can change up the theme in each season. And that's why I like shows like for example, Dexter, where, you know, the first thing was about the first season was about his identity. The second season was sort of like him on the Ron trying to hide himself because there were getting too close to what he was doing the third season, he finds a friend. So it's about friendship, guy who figures out what he's doing and so on. So yeah, you can always change it, the theme if you're gonna do multiple seasons, m, The most important thing in television. And especially if you're doing a web series, is you got to keep the audience hooked at the end of every episode. So you'd get them to watch the next one. And I think that's just the rule for anything that you do if you're gonna do SQL to a movie or if you're going to, you'll continue your story over the course of multiple episodes. Then you wanna make sure from the time you have your first scene all the way to the very end, your audiences hooked, they're engaged, the characters. They grow attached to them, and then they want to see where they're gonna go next. If you don't have that, they're not going to watch the next episode. And especially if you're gonna do a web series, keep in mind the fact that people on the Internet don't have the longest attention spans. So if you're thinking about doing a 30 minute or an hour long episode of a web series. You gotta make sure you hit the notes at every moment. Because people have a short attention span when they watch videos online if they don't get engaged and turn it off, It's usually the shorter, the better if you keep it under 10 minutes or even under five minutes, that's usually pretty good enough to get all your points across and get your story to continue on and probably a little bit cheaper. But again, it's all about every page has to hit. Like we're going for a ray now with a web series that we're still developing, where we're having to constantly rewrite the first pilot episode because we're trying to get it to a place where we know. This is our first impression. If we don't get it right the first time, nobody's going to care for the rest of it. Hook your audience, get them to watch the next episode. And so we talked so much about structure with both short films and webisodes series. So that leads to the next lesson where we're going to get into the story skeleton. 7. Lesson 4: Story Skeleton: So now at the stories skeleton or getting into what I like, which is the three-act structure in creating your story. If you have the treatment, if you have the basis of the idea that you're going to be putting together in a script. Now you have to structure it so that your character goes through an entire arc. Disarmed can comprise of one whole Schwartz scrub when all feature script or simply one episode of an entire series. So for the purpose of this particular class, I'm going to use the movie Rocky with Sylvester Stallone as the basis for examples of the different plot points in your story skeleton. So the first plot point that you need to know when you put together your stories skeleton is, where does your carrot to begin and what's the change that's about to happen? Usually at the start of your story. Your characters, usually in a situation where they go by their everyday life, maybe there's nothing exciting going on and then a particular moment or a particular event happens that gets them engaged into the events that will forever change the course of their life. So making rocky as an example, you start out with this club fighter and Philadelphia, who is basically kinda down on his luck. You know, he's seen as sort of a bomb in a neighborhood. He lives alone. He doesn't have a family life and doesn't seem to have much going on for him, right? And then the first thing that happens is he starts dating his best friend's sister and they end up having a relationship. They start to connect because of the fact that he's not smartest guy. She may not be the greatest looker in the neighborhood, but there's that connection that goes deeper than there are physical looks that gets done connected. And that will lead to what will be the end point of Act 1 in your story skeleton, which is when the change happens. So in the case of rocky, he gets that opportunity to fight Apollo Creed for the championship of the world. And for him, it's a big deal for Apollo. It's just another payday. And so for any script that you write, you have to make sure that when you reach the conclusion of act one, that your character is about to undergo something that's going to forever change their purpose. It doesn't have to necessarily be life-altering, but it has to be a particular conflict that they get into that ultimately escalates them out of their comfort zone. The second plot point is now you get into a little bit more complication with your main character. And then he get a little deeper into different subplots with the supporting roles. And basically just create more tension, create more jeopardy for whatever it is that your main character wants. And we'll get more into character wants and needs when we talk about creating your characters and making them more defined. So in example with rocky, he starts to train, but he's not a 100 percent, he's a smoker, He's not alveolar. So that makes things complicated for him to train. He has conflicts with this trainer Mickey, and his best friend doesn't like the fact that he's dating his sister and that creates some conflict between them and makes his journey towards the big fight all that more complicated for him. Now this leads to plot 0.3, which is the character now gets to a place where things are more complicated and they can't go back to wording started. You see it in movies all the time where your main character that you follow is going on a path going on in Germany and then a Richard big roadblock that stops them from getting sued her goal. And it almost seems hopeless, like they can't go back to where they began. Now things are just far more complicated. So in the case of rocky, he trained, he trains, but things are complicated because he gets to the point where he realizes that the promoters of the fight don't think he's going to win. They think it's a throwaway. Oppose not taking him seriously. And then he starts to believe, I can't beat this guy. All that I can do that I would like to do is go to full 12 rounds, take that stand against him, and prove to people that I'm not a bomb from a neighborhood. And then even more complications that occur because, you know, being with Adrian has an effect on his training. And his best from Pali is even more enrage the more drunk and creates this, he even bear complications for the relationship. And so that definitely takes the hero totally sidetracked from his journey. And then lastly, yet plot point for which is the heroes triumph. And typically that's just the end of the story, right? They get to their journey. They get to their goal and reach the end of the story. Sometimes there's a twist or maybe find out something more than they were trying to go for initially, or just something else entirely. So you might want to do something that's a little bit dark and there's a big giant hedge cognitive twist there. That's fine too, depending on what you're going for. So with something like Rocky, he gets to fight. And there's complications in the fight because, you know, he's, it doesn't look like he's going to beat Apollo in the beginning, but then he starts throwing those self paul heads and, you know, now becomes a real fight. And he's try and everything he can to stand toe-to-toe with the champ. No, he can't knock him out. But he's still getting up and he's still going forward. And of course by the end of the movie. Well, I don't, I mean, I'm sure some of you who never were born to see it probably have not seen the movie yet, so I won't spoil exactly what happens, the Odyssey for yourself. But the point is, you're getting to the conclusion where everything gets resolved and your protagonist either gets what they want or something else entirely that they didn't realize the ever wanted. And so that's your structure for our story skeleton, your peaks, your valleys, your three-act structure. And then for short scripts, you got to be able to condense all that. So that needs taking out any backstories that you're trying to throw in. Dialogue has to be simplify it or put down to the bare minimum. And you have to just focus on the core of what it is you're trying to say and what you're trying to do. So if I was to take rocky and make it a short film, it will be about a guy just trying to prove that he's more than just what everybody perceives them to be, that he is somebody who's wharf living in the world. And so if you take out the little subplots and other elements that compromise a two-hour movie and turn it into a short film between five to 15 minutes. It can be done and you can still keep that same theme. It's not going to be the same movie for everybody, but it still gets the point across. And so that's why it's so important to understand the story skeleton. And particularly if you are writing your script or you're writing your treatment, this is the best way to go and never gets stuck on writer's block because as long as you know the roadmap of where you want your story to go, where it begins, where it ends. This is the reference you always go back to to understand, do my characters have conflict? Do my characters have an r according to begin somewhere and go through a gradual change over time. Do they have something that they wanted the start and go through obstacles to get it by the end. That's where your story skeleton comes in and helps you along in that journey as a writer. So now get infrastructure in the actual storytelling element. And now we're going to define the characters and we'll talk about that in the next class. 8. Lesson 5: Building Characters: Let's get to the next fun part of this class where we talk about building your characters. Now, many of you will already have an idea of who your characters are when you write your treatments, when you put together your story skeleton. And you may just say, I'm going to go ahead and just start writing because I know who they are. I know exactly how they talk, how they walk, how they react to different moments, how they speak to people. And if you note out right off the top of your head, wonderful, Go for it. But it's really even better if you know, detailed making your characters come to life. Having that planned out or ready before you even begin the script. You know, you may decide there has to be World elements that may not make the film. But certainly, if you know exactly how your characters behaviors are going to play out, you can understand a certain psychology about how we're going to come across on screen. It's best to have that all planned out through writing their backstories, through long treatments that you can write up. Talking about the day in the year and the police there were born all the way till the point where the story begins and fill in all these gaps of their backstory that obviously not make the film, but it'll certainly play into how they behave over the course of the story itself. And you could do that with the leaves, you could do that with the supporting characters and so on. So that's a really good thing to have. But let's say you want to keep it a little bit more simple and you just want to focus on what's happening in the story and what's going to happen on screen. You'll want to simplify all those little traits perhaps into a chart. So a good thing to do is to create a chart of all your different characters in your story and write down things like the who, what and why. So talking about the who of the character, That's where you can get into traits. So somebody like Don Draper from madman, he's somebody who's an alcoholic. He is commanding, he's masculine, and he has an air of confidence about himself. So dose with a little traits that you can define for your lead character and then figure out some other things. I mean, it doesn't have to be Don Draper, but it could certainly be for your purpose. A character that has just simple one word traits that sum up exactly who that person is. In the what section, you get into things like, who is this guy exactly? You know, and we're not talking about personality now, we're talking about a little bit of context and backstory in simple one word answers. So Don Draper, he's an executive, He's a war veteran and just glow things like that. Rocky Balboa, he's a boxer. He is a long sharp guy. He at least in the first film. And, you know, he's just a regular, nice guy who doesn't really want to harm people when he's not an O-ring. You know, and he's not super educated, but he's very street smart. So things like that defined like where does so you know what this character is in their profession, in their life, and what their purposes in terms of just the world that you're creating now to where could be just where does this character reside? What is their world, what is their comfort zone? So Don Draper lives in an apartment. He obviously works in an ad agency. So, you know, dozer his worlds, worlds that are very defined by a man, Rocky Balboa. He lives in a ratty apartment, he trains in a boxing gym. He runs the Philadelphia steps. The boxing ring alone is where he gets everything out. His grief has pain, is need to prove himself. And again, this is the world that this character gravitates in. And there's so many other examples that you could get into Aleks, say Rambo on now we're still sort of Stallone thing. Rambled typically is a war guy, right? So he's in the Django, he's in military bases, He's in war-torn countries. Those are the type of environments that you see that character in. The most important part of this chart is what is your character want? And that is the key to your story. Every character wants something. They're not just there, simply to be there. They have, like anybody else in the world. You come to the world with some level of purpose, something that you want, like everybody wants money. Everybody wants to have a good life. Her body wants to be healthy. And they want to feel like they can have that experience of a good day every day. That's what people generally want. But in movies, everybody wants something more specific. And it has to be specific to what your story is presenting here. So going back to a TV show like Mad Men, Don Draper, he wants power, he wants privacy. You know, he wants to get his rocks off, if you know what I mean. Rocky Balboa wants to win the championship, wants to go to distance and not be a bomb. He wants to be with his girlfriend Adrian and have a family and live a life with her. He wants to be something more than just a guy living in a rough neighborhood. He wants something better for himself. So every movie has to have that or else there's just no point because you have to root for your protagonist to see that person succeed with the things that are trying to attain the goals that they want. And if you don't have it, it just doesn't make your story all that interesting. And then the last section would just be the summary. Just running down all those little elements that we just discussed and write out who this character is and their purpose in the story, the relationship to other characters. And that's basically all you need to do. It works for film or for television. And it's a great resource to figuring out who your characters are. And then once you get into the actual script writing process, you have to also be mindful that your dialogue, as Woody is, you may want it to sound the times. You gotta make sure it up. People sound different for one another. If you're somebody like me who's gone to college and you speak a certain way, you're used to hearing people talk a certain mannerism. There may be that tendency to write exactly the way you speak and ends up going for every character, not every character in your story is going to sound exactly a leg because that's not the real world. Everybody comes from different backgrounds, different educations. And so always be mindful of that. This is where your character, building your character is so important. Because you'll know if you're characters educated, not educated from the country, from outside the country, RNA from a particular state, out-of-state, things like that, that really helped to figure out how they speak, how they interact with other characters and makes them unique. And if you have them unique, that makes them memorable. So building characters is so important and it's not just something that you just go into a script and just already know exactly what you got. You got to define it ahead of time before you jump into the script. And now with the characters out away, I think we're ready to get into the first draft. 9. Lesson 6: First Draft: So we've gotten mechanics edit away. We've talked about building characters. We've talked about the story skeleton. Every place that you need to begin scenario that you are ready to start writing your first draft that you're scrubbed. So we're writing in terms of what are you're making a short film or you're writing a pilot for a web series. The things that are going to be helpful for you with the class project that's in there. So it's daunting because you have all these tools. You have all these mechanics that you have to know. And the first thing you'd probably don't be intimidated by is I have to have this big story and I don't know if I could condense it down to three pages, five pages, or even 15 pages for that matter. Because my story may well be something that's a feature length picture. So that's where I go back and I say, You gotta find the core of the story for short scripts, whether it's a web series pilot or short film, it's got to come down to who is your protagonist? What is it that they want? Figure out the obstacles that could be filled in within the particular lot of time. And then eventually a conclusion. Usually it's either straight on or does it big giant twist to it. But they get somewhere or they get a different kind of result of the gold that they were trying to achieve. So knowing that, then you just go ahead and you just start writing. And one tip that I would say is don't get caught up on the script pages. The first go around. Because a lot of writers tend to maybe go over the limit of what they end up putting together. And that means maybe having to go back, cut down some dialogue, cut down on the descriptions as I discussed in the previous class, and keep it as condensed as possible. Less is more because ultimately when the project goes into production, it's the director that's going to fill the gaps in. It's going to be the editor that's going to time everything out to make sure that scenes move quicker or take their time and specific moments. And to keep it down to a condensed running time that works well for film festivals and like little first run screenings. So, you know, don't, don't get caught up in the length so much and sale, it's gotta be exactly 15 pages, right? As much as you can. And then scale back before you can say, Okay, here's my first draft before I start to take it in for feedback, which I'll talk to you about in the next course. Now of course, another thing that everybody gets worried about when they write a first draft is the writer's block. Even if you have a skeleton, you know your characters. Maybe sometimes it gets tough to figure out what's this character go into? Say, What's this next big moment? What's the audience going to think when this particular moment happens in the movie? Don't get caught up in those things. If you ever feel like you get stuck with something like writer's block, which happens to me, it happens to every writer. Put the script down, don't rush into it. Take your time. You could go get something to eat, baby, you get that hot flash of an idea. Ages jump right back into it. You could even just go back into your treatment. Go back to like the list of ideas you may have had from the script. And it might even help you to generate an idea, maybe go for stuff you rejected that you probably didn't think would work before. And maybe find something in the arity could probably inject into your screen played out, you keep going. And then sometimes you may just decide, just wing it. You know, maybe with all of the different stories, skeletons are treatments that you have. You might get to a place organically as you're writing, or you might just discard all of that and just go into a completely different direction. That's not a bad thing either because filmmakers will have storyboards for their movies of different shots that they have. But it doesn't necessarily mean they're going to use all of that. By time we get to production, they go on set and they may discover something pretty actors performances or the location that they have. And they decide, okay, I've gone to some different than does an interesting idea that I have for a shot that we didn't plan out. But if we got the time, Let's do it. Same thing is true with writing. You just have to have the plants or at least you have a roadmap. But if you're organically decide something needs to change, maybe something needs to change with your characters and their traits and what they want, then you don't have to initially go all way back to page 1 and start all over. But you can just easily just say, Okay, well, we're going to shift this direction that we're going to take a detour into another route that I didn't think about before, but makes the script for a more interesting than I previously envisioned. Of course, you have to be mindful of the number of scenes and the number of dialogue that you have when you're writing a short script. Because again, you're going back to the idea that it's not just that you can't have a lot of backstory that obviously would take up too much time and you don't have enough time allotted, especially if you're doing a web series, you know, leave the time later when you have the available room to get into more subplots with other characters, focus on your main characters first before you start extending it out. You know, be mindful of how much you're putting into it and not extending it out so much that it starts to become a feature length script or an entirely different thing That's not even a web series BYOD or TV series violet. So just be mindful of those things. And another question I usually get from people is, once a good time to write. Some people like to write in the day time when they got nothing going on. Some people like to write at night when they feel like they've got the day behind them. Nobody's going to bother, nobody's going to call. And it'll just jump back into their script. Just be able to plow pages. Some people may find that their daily lives are busy with work or school. And maybe they can only bang out one page a day or just a couple of lines here, a mirror. That's not a problem either. As long as you keep writing, that's the key to your success rate. No matter what, you know. Put it down if you need to, when you need a break, we feel you're overthinking and jump into it again when you feel motivated, you know, don't rush the process. But if you do feel like there are those specific times when you just have to set everything aside to do that particular activity of writing, no matter what it is, doesn't have to be a script. Take the time to do it. You know, it's, it's not only creative, but it's also very therapeutic. So I encourage that for any endeavor that you do is just no matter what, you gotta keep writing. And the last thing that I'll also say about writing your first draft is right with your heart. As Sean Connery sudden the movie Finding Forrester, you know, people do get too caught up in a mechanics on time. They feel like they have to have it perfect on the first trap. Know first draft is ever perfect. And I can't think of any first draft of a movie that ever got produced without rewrites, which I'll talk about in another class. So don't get hung up too much with water produces gonna thing. What's the audience going to just write it? Write whatever comes out of your heart, whatever comes out of your experiences and whatever you've already prepped up before you write the script and then straighten it out later. It's like an art. When you're making a sculpture, you build out the mesh first, right? You take a piece of clay, you put it together. It's not going to be defined in the beginning. You just have a foundation. Later, you're going to sharpen it up, sculpted texture to do whatever you want painted over. But the first time that you touched this thing, you just have to lay it out. No judgment, no criticism. Just put it together and then take the next step of what we'll get into next, which is getting feedback. 10. Lesson 7: How to Get Feedback: Alright, so congratulations, you got for your first draft and you feel like, okay, now you've conquered the world. Whether it's your short script or simply your pilot episode for a series. You've got it done, you got through all the pages. Now. You want to figure out what's working, what's not working, and you can't totally trust your instincts on it. So you got to find somebody with an objective point of view who will look at the work and see what's working, what's not working, and if they enjoy it. And that's what we're talking about here. We're talking about how do you get feedback. So when I was starting out, I used to go to my cousin who was a magazine writer and the city. And anytime that I add a script that I had written, he would be the first-person I will go to and say, Hey, come and check this out. And from there, he would give me pointers on dialogue, on making seem too intricate, more interesting, adding more conflict, maybe even finding some things on a cultural level that I might not be totally into personally. But he can say, Oh, this would be an interesting angle. This would be a good hook to make the story interesting and resonate with today's audience. So that's how I kinda began. And of course, when I've gone film school, I had my professors, even sometimes my fellow classmates look at the war, good there, $0.10 and then decide what to use, when not to use and so on. So it's so important that, you know, you gotta find people you trust. What's your friends, your family? There have even been people that you can go online and higher to take a look at the script. Of course, if you do that, make sure they sign a non-disclosure agreements or they don't steal the work. And I know many of you might be paranoid about that sort of thing. That's my advice. Make sure it's down on paper. And that goes for anybody for that matter that you may not totally trust. But have them look at the script and don't let a be anybody that's so close that they can't give you an objective point of view. It may be tough for your friends and some tangible as relatives in particular, to look at a scrubbed and say, you know, it's great, I think it's fine. I think you're good to go to shoot. If you can get an honest opinion about the work than it's like, don't even try to follow that. It's not going to get you to grow. Because again, as I mentioned in a previous class, you already have the mesh built out. Now you got a sculpture or a, you got a texture, it, you gotta detail it. And you know, you have to be able to trust other people that could give you some thoughts and feedback on how to make that work. And so that's where good feedback comes in to improve your script. And so what are some of the ways that could be done? If you don't feel trusting of somebody else to actually like sit down to find time during what if he can't find anybody to read the script because they're too busy with their work schedules or school schedules. Well, Quentin Tarantino employee is a technique where he'll finish a script and then he'll get a bunch of his actor friends to come together and they would read the script. Word for word, dialogue for dialogue. And just play it out, act it out as if they're rehearsing for a play. And from there, Ferentino would take notes to see what are the best moments does this dialogue flow? And that helps him with his own rewrites because he's his own kind of unique storyteller that no studio can tell him exactly how to write a script to their specification is termed chemo works the way he wants to work. And so if you are that kind of writer that prefers that you maintain your own voice and you're not compromising with a producer. Then find some actors, find some people that can actually act up the script. And then from there, you'll get a sense of the reactions. You'll get a sense of what a laugh where scenes are not flowing, where scenes or too slow, moving too fast or, you know, something may not gel well, you find all that out through Lake almost like a early rehearsal process, which helps you with doing your rewrite. Now, if you're doing a web series or television series, it's even better. Because the best thing you can do is have a writer's room, like they actually do with TV shows. And what I mean by that is you get two, maybe three people in a room and you go through the script scene by scene, line by line. You may even have already done that right from the beginning before the script is written. And you just bounce off ideas on one another. You know, come up with the ideas for how to seen supposed to start. What do they visualize? Figure out the dialogue, figure out little things here and there, and right on the spot, you can say yes or no to those ideas and then ultimately give the task of the actual writing assignment to one, maybe two writers to put together. And then when the strap is done, pass it off to a meeting and go through it. I think that's the best way to go. And I realized that when I was putting together my web series, and we didn't have scripts prepared yet, just sitting in a room with two guys late at night and just throwing ideas on the wall, no matter how crazy, ridiculous they were. It was getting the brain flowing, it was getting the juices going and it got me motivated to really gauge myself in the conversation and take whatever ideas and experiences I had and put them on the table that the other guys put their ideas and experiences on the table. And then we play, It's so much fun to do. And I encourage anybody that's doing a series to do just that. And I think it's perfect for creating a structure for your entire series if you plan to go that route. Also, doing research is perfect in any scenario that you're putting together a script. Now, I didn't really get too deep into it in one of the previous classes. But one thing that I would say is, it's one thing if you're writing something that's personal to you and it's based on your own experiences. But if you're going to write something where, let's say it's about the medical field and you're not a doctor. You don't know the language, you've never been to medical school. Find an actual doctor beat in your family or within your circle of friends to look at your script and give you details on how doctors actually talk. What are the different terminologies? How would they react to these situations? And let you know, it's good to have all that info at a time before you write the first draft, but it's just as good if you get that insight after the fact. I add a script. One stat was dealing with some trouble kids at a hospital. And they all had their own personal issues that we're all seeing. A psychologist and a psychologists is trying to relate to them on a, on their own level. And I got the script done. But one of the first things a feedback that I got from a writer friend was there's not enough at the therapeutic side. It's just more focused on sort of the safe commercial side of the story. So I actually tried to go to a psychiatrist front of mind to get their thoughts and feedback. And while I never finished the script, to be quite honest, I got a lot of good notes and insight on little psychology details that could add more drama to the story and make it more realistic. So if you're trying to go for authenticity, do your research before you write the script. Or when you just say, okay, I want to give it a first draft and then I'll start to straighten that out and we'll get into how you make a strong rewrite in the next class. And then what if you can't find actors or if you can't do it with somebody else that has the time to look at the work, then the best thing you could do is be your own critic and read the script by yourself when you have the time. And I mean, literally read it out loud. See if the dialogue flows the way you speak and the way that you think. And then you get a sense of is it working or is it not? So that's another technique that you could do if you ever feel stuck and there's nobody else around that could help on process. So there's all kinds of amazing people, English teachers or those who write grants. Lot of really good writers out there that could give feedback. And then of course you might say to yourself, well, you don't want so much feedback that ends up altering your script altogether. Well, feedback is really constructive criticism. Somebody who was honest with you, we'll tell you what's working and what's not. And so you have to make the judgment and decide, you know, if this particular moment in the script is working, then stick with it, go with it. If they don't see your point of view on something that they disagree with and you feel strongly about it. Stick with your instinct and make your case of why you're going this route. Because ultimately, that's what writers have to do. You take the feedback that you get. You're not obligated to use every little piece of detail because in Hollywood nobody knows anything as William Goldman once said. So everybody's going to have a different opinion based on their own education, their own worldview, and our own thoughts. When they read a script. And it's up to you as a writer to make the charge Min of what makes sense you instinctively to take that feedback and make your script stronger. Or to say to hell with it, it That's not going to work and stay your course DAY your lane, but you still need the feedback at least to know if you're in the right direction. And so with that said, we're going to get into the next and last class where we finally talk about the rewriting process. 11. Lesson 8: The Rewrite: All right, So now you've got your feedback, whether it's from your friend or your family member or somebody you're doing research for. And now it's time to write the second draft. And so as I mentioned with the Finding Forrester comment, the first draft you're at with your heart. Second draft you going to write with your ad. So by that, that means you've already gotten the words down on paper. You got your script completed. But now you gotta go back and you got to refine it. You gotta start texturing and sculpting and doing everything possible to now give this script some strength, give it some teeth. So by doing that, as I mentioned before, you take the feedback that you got from whoever it is that read your script and you decide, go with their ideas or shoot them down, and go to your own instincts or what you think from their feedback will improve your script from there. So that's one thing that you need to do. You have to go back and obviously make sure you're structuring is correct, your formatting is correct. If you've overwritten pages, which as I said before, you may have that tendency to go over the 15 page mark or 30 page mark. Figure out what's your cutoff point for anybody that doesn't know. One page of a screenplay equals one minute of screen time in a movie or TV show. Now of course, that gets exaggerated, fruity editing. But that's the rule of thumb as you're writing. And especially if you're going to sell, produce the film yourself, you have to be mindful of what's your cutoff point. So if you want to make a 15 minute short film, but you got 30 pages and it's a lot of dialogue and excessive scenes. Figure out what you can cut down to simplify your story to 15 pages. So that may mean your descriptions have to be chopped down. Your dialogue may have to be a little less wordy. Maybe some moments that were supposed to have dialogue. Maybe you just take them out and you'll let the actors perform whatever silent reactions that they give that we'll say everything that's necessary without having to speak a single word. Consider data as a possibility. Azure in the rewriting process, you also want to make sure that your scenes have conflict. That your story has a structure where your protagonist has a beginning, middle, and end, but they start out in one place, they have a goal that they want to achieve. They have to go for all these obstacles. There may be the point where do we want to turn back because it's not working, then it get motivated to finish and get that goal. And then ultimately those, you don't have big twist or they do make the goal somehow. But the trick is go through and make sure that your film, your script, is following that path. That's accessible for everybody that's going to view it. You also want to make sure that individual scenes have conflict. And when I taught a conflict, I'm not talking about two people going against each other on fighting, but it has to be something simple enough that somebody has something that they want. And there's going to be challenges to get there and you have to be it has to be a push and pull in each scene no matter what you're writing. And that's where the drama has to come in and I'm in. Drama doesn't necessarily have to be straight, sad, you know, Brokeback Mountain type of drama I'm talking about like taking tension wood or it's in a drama or comedy or action film, or something that's animated. And there's a push and pull with what the protagonist is trying to achieve. Just to give a short example, when I went to New York Film Academy, the very first project that I did. And keep in mind, I was only doing stuff on high a video of my friends. I knew nothing about story structure up until this point. But I did a short film about a kid trying to get a bottle of water in New York City. And it was the middle of the summer. So it is done to talk about now. But basically the idea was, this kid is thirsty and his goal is you want to get water. He goes to a vendor, but it's too expensive to buy a bottle and he doesn't have the money. He goes to water bound by the park, but the water fountain don't work. Just a little bit of rain and drizzle going on, but it's not heavy enough that he could drink enough water and feels satisfied. He's colleagues stuck and doesn't know what to do. And then finally he gets a bright idea. He sees somebody on a park bench or the bottle of water and he's going to try to steal it. And that is where you get the big twist where he tries to steal it. But then the guy with the bottle, he ends up playing, pulling it away and then the guy gets us going again. They looks back and the guy who was trying to rob is an undercover cop. It's stupid. It's silly. But the point of it was to establish conflict and conflict in every moment, in every scene, and having a three-act structure, no matter what the length is, That's the thing up. Spike Lee once taught me at a filmmakers workshop class many years ago, that whatever you're making a script or a movie that is, you know, two hours long or Doherty seconds. Sure. Even if it's like a commercial or music video, there's gotta be a structured, it's got to be three acts and has gotta be tension in every scene. And so individual scenes have to flow like the entire story as well. So look for those things in all your scenes. Is their attention, is there conflict? And does your character have something that they want to achieve? If you have all those things, That's how you get your script together. And then ultimately you might say, you know, when am I done wonderful, I truly had this script completed and tight and ready to shoe. So there's no real one answer. If you're producing it for yourself, you, again, you have to go with your own instincts because you may ultimately go back. And this is another aspect of the rewriting process is where you may have to cut down for budgeting reasons. So you may have all these exciting ideas in the world. And then if you're going to sell, produce the movie, you gotta wonder, can you afford to do that? Q4 to duties idea steadily require you to go and do another rewrite and simplify locations and how many characters you have in a scene, or how many prompts you may have. Or if you're going to have special effects, maybe cons and things down. So you know, like what you want to spend on the movie, but not compromise the overall vision because of funds. And of course, if you're going to break for a major producer or network or studio, then they may require you to do rewrites based on her own notes and what they think will be commercially friendly. Which I know is not the most fun thing to say for some people, but that's just the reality of the business. And, you know, unfortunately in those situations they may decide, okay, we like the idea. We'd like work starts, but we want to bring in our own writers to come in and rewrite this thing to her own liking. And it's unfortunate, but that's the other avenue that you would have to go in if you wanted to go into the business and make a lot of money. But if you're going to do it independently, especially if you're just starting out, then you just have to rewrite as much as you can and continue to go for the cycle, the process, get your draft, get the feedback, continue to rewrite and do it, and so on. Do your research until you feel like this is it. This is as good as it's going to get. I am done. And you'll either put it away in your shell for your bookshelf or even your file cabinet. And just decide, okay, I'm going to just say, Okay, I got my script on. That's that I'm moving on to something else. Or you're going to do something with it and get it actually produced. It's up to you ultimately end of the day what you decide to do. So that is all for the short film and webisodes, screenwriting for beginners. And I mean beginners because there's a lot of little things I did not get into that. More professional writers in these classes on Skillshare or more than likely to teach about in the intermediate and professional classes. I'm just helping for the people that never written anything before and want to get started someplace. I recommend books from the likes of Syd Field and another book called Save the Cat. I believe it's called find those books. If you want to learn more about screenwriting, signal emits making movies is another great tool to have. And while that's more focused on the filmmaking process, I think that simulate that gives you great insight on just getting started with your career no matter what level you're at in your life as a filmmaker or as a writer. I highly recommend that. And you can take a look at these classes. I mean, there's masterclasses from Aaron stork and among many other screen writers out there. Read interviews and just research, do your homework, and you'll become a better writer. I even recommend looking at news magazines. Look at how other writers and professional publications, right? How they detail and visualize every word on the page so that you as the reader can physically see it in your mind. As crazy as that sounds, that actually is for real. So that's where I talk about inspiration. Where do you find it and what makes you stronger as a writer is just finding it all around you. And I'm here. If you want to message me for any comments or feedback, I hope you take on the class project and send your script. I will be happy to read it and give you proper feedback to help you along in your journey. And any other questions you may have about the process, about the mechanics, about just the difference between writing a script, I'm writing a TV show, and believe me, there is actually a significant difference between the two in terms of mechanics. But I'm only talking from the short film and feature film point of view. Which I think if you're going to self produce is still a good way to go and your actors will understand the weight of wheat it, when it's done. So those are all my thoughts. And guys, good luck. I encourage you to write. Do not get stuck. Don't give up, and just have fun, right? Your movie, write your web series, right, your television series pilot, and take it as far as you can and just stay inspired.