Story and Structure Workshop

Discover how to fine tune your story and transform it into a well told, satisfying screenplay!

WendellWellmanBased on a very successful class that Wendell Wellman taught at UCLA extension for four years, this workshop is an opportunity to find out how well you have worked out your story, structure, and other elements of your screenplay.

Attendees will be invited to share the story of their screenplay in five minutes or less. Wendell will analyze the elements of the screenplay in the exact same fashion in which he does his own writing, and will reference as examples, movies that we are all likely to have seen.

  1. Opening: Do you provide a sparse canvas with multiple ideas?
  2. Premise: On a superficial level, the premise can be defined as a question, e.g. Can the hero overcome personality disorder to succeed in college? But, more importantly, we are going to examine the author’s premise (your premise). What is the point you are trying to make by telling your story? Using this example, maybe your point is that college isn’t necessary for success.
  3. Problem: How efficiently is the problem revealed?
  4. Hero’s Argument: How do you define it, and how is it attacked in the story?
  5. Enemy’s Argument: How is it defined, and do the set pieces allow the enemy to push the counter-argument forward?
  6. Progressions: This is the most important element in advanced screenwriting. How do these “mini movies” within the movie function as support pieces for your movie‘s premise? As in the rules learned in a high school speech class, you are to provide a premise and then offer at least three support subheadings that reinforce your premise. In sum, your progressions should advance the story plot, and also support your initial movie premise.
  7. Secondary Characters: Do you have at least one, or more, that share the same problem and crisis as your hero? In other words, what they learn on their journey should provide subliminal or residual education for the hero on his journey.
  8. Climax: Does your climax provide a final support piece for your initial premise? More importantly, it should provide your author’s argument or the enlightenment of your hero.

This StoryBoard Special Event occurred on:
Monday, September 28, 2015

Please see the Special Events page
for upcoming workshops and seminars.

Writer, teacher, actor WENDELL WELLMAN has taught screenwriting at UCLA Extension, and wrote Firefox, Sudden Impact, and a final Dirty Harry script for Clint Eastwood. Trained at the Actors Studio and the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute, he has performed in feature films, television, and on stage. He is currently working on a feature adaptation of the novel The River Journey by Robert Nathan.

We highly recommend Wendell’s excellent book, A Writer’s Roadmap, available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.