It has been
estimated that at least 50,000 scripts are
written every year. Yet only a few hundred
are bought and made. Why do so many Screenwriters
fail? Clearly, there is a limit to how many
scripts the business can support, but in
the vast majority of cases, scripts do not
sell because the Screenwriter has not written
a good script. Most Screenwriters have had
no training at all when they try to write
a script that will sell. Great screenwriting
is more difficult than brain surgery, yet
most people think that they can write a
great script because they watch a lot of
movies or they did well in school.
The Screenwriters Federation of America
will not attempt to teach you the art and
craft of screenplay story structure on this
section of our website. We will however
guide you to the industry's most renowned
story structure experts listed below. With
well over one hundred books on the subject
in the current marketplace, the three individuals
below are by far the most sophisticated
and insightful in our opinion. Their proven
methodologies will indoctrinate you with
the story structure skills necessary to
write a great screenplay.
Over the course of three decades, John
Truby has taught more than 20,000 students
the art and craft of screenwriting story
structure. Providing the knowledge and expertise
he has applied as a consultant on over 1,000
movie scripts, Truby offers an approach
to storytelling that has earned acclaim
for his instructional classes.
From the writers, directors and producers
of Shrek to Sleepless in Seattle to Star
Wars, Truby’s screenwriting classes
have trained some of the top players in
Hollywood today. Truby’s audio and
video screenwriting courses will teach you
hundreds of screenwriting techniques that
will allow you to compete with the best.
Truby’s 14 hour “Great Screenwriting”
audio classes and 8 hour video courses focus
on the 22 building blocks of every script.
These screenwriting tools will take you
from beginning to end in the development
process of your script idea.
In addition to screenwriting courses and
software, Truby.com also offers workshops
which include one-on-one interaction with
a personal mentor. The Great Screenwriting
workshop is 12 weeks long and contains all
the information from the Truby live seminar.
Writing exercises at the end of each lesson
help you apply the course information to
Robert McKee's Story Structure is the
world's ultimate story and screenwriting
class because it effectively demonstrates
the relationship between Story Design and
Character. Using examples from over 100
films, Robert McKee demonstrates that structure
and design are about form and principles,
that structure is not plot, rigid rules,
formulas or "Hollywood" movies.
Characters are what they do. Story events
impact the characters, and the characters
impact events. Actions and reactions create
revelation and insight, opening the door
to a meaningful emotional experience for
Story is what elevates a movie, transforming
a good film into a great one. Movie-making
is a collaborative endeavor requiring great
skill and talent by the entire cast, crew,
and creative team—but the screenwriter
is the only original artist on a film. Everyone
else: the actors, directors, cameramen,
production designers, editors, special effects
wizards, and so on—are interpretive
artists trying to bring alive the story
world, the events and the characters that
the screenwriter has invented and created.
Robert McKee's Story Seminar is a comprehensive,
superbly organized exploration of all elements,
from the basics to advanced concepts. It
is a practical course presenting new perspectives
on the craft of storytelling, not just for
the screenwriter, but for the novelist,
playwright, journalist and non-fiction writers
of all types.
Christopher Vogler is a motion picture
producer, a story consultant to major movie
companies, and the author of "The Writer's
Journey". From 1994 to '99 he was a
development executive at Fox 2000 Pictures.
Prior to that he was a staff story consultant
for the Walt Disney Company where he advised
on the hit animated features "Beauty
and the Beast", "Aladdin",
and "Hercules". He worked most
deeply on the structure of "The Lion
King", one of the most successful films
in history. He continues to consult for
major companies, including Warner Brothers
Feature Animation and Walt Disney Imagineering.
Chris developed Campbell's concept of "The
Hero's Journey" into a structure guide
for writers. It began as a legendary seven-page
memo that he wrote for his own amusement
while working at Disney in the mid-1980s.
It soon became required reading for young
executives in Hollywood.
Chris is also known as a teacher and lecturer,
beginning with the UCLA Extension Writers
Program and then developing workshops that
he has presented all over the U.S. and around
the world. He is now a member of the faculty
at the USC Animation Department in the School
of Cinema & Television.