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Online Class

Screenwriting 101: Mastering the Art of Story

by The Great Courses
$69.99$234.99

Learn the art of successful screenwriting for movies and television.

Skill Level

Beginner

What You Get

  • 24 Streaming HD video lessons with anytime, anywhere access
  • Downloadable class resources, including a 229-page course guidebook
  • More than 12 hours of close-up instruction
  • Answers from fellow classmates in our virtual classroom

How it works

  • Once you purchase, find your class in your class library.
  • Watch on any device anytime.
  • Find downloadable class resources in the class viewer.

Class Overview

Whether you want to write your own scripts or simply gain a deeper appreciation for the great stories you see unfold on the screen, Professor Angus Fletcher is here to show you the way. In this class, you’ll understand not only how to write a script, but how to tell a great story that moves audiences — the ultimate goal of storytelling in any medium.

Lesson Breakdown

1. Thinking Like a Screenwriter
32:46
Before "Lights! Camera! Action!" there's one thing a film must have: a good story. In this first lesson, Angus. Fletcher introduces you to the importance of story. See how the earliest stories shape the ones we create today. You may be surprised to discover how cognitive science can shed light on how humans experience stories.
2. Reverse Engineering Successful Scripts
32:21
3. Building Your Story World
33:28
4. Developing Your Characters
33:22
5. Tone: The Screenwriter's Lens
31:27
6. Plotting Your Story Beats
32:20
7. Sentimental Return: "Casablanca"
31:38
8. The Tragic Sublime: "The Godfather"
32:19
9. Romantic Satisfaction: "When Harry Met Sally..."
30:45
10. Suspense & Relief: "Jaws"
31:15
11. Romantic Longing: "Annie Hall"
30:10
12. Big Wonder: "Star Wars"
33:11
13. Charm: "The Princess Bride"
31:09
14. Alienation Effect: "Do the Right Thing"
31:52
15. Redemption: "Unforgiven"
30:23
16. Surreal Connection: "Pulp Fiction"
31:48
17. Big Sympathy: "Toy Story"
32:13
18. Existential Meaning: "Fargo"
32:47
19. Film Versus Television: "MASH" & "M*A*S*H"
31:47
20. Writing a Television Plot: "Game of Thrones"
32:05
21. The Sitcom: "The Simpsons"
31:23
22. The Procedural: "CSI"
33:16
23. The Prime-Time Soap: "Grey's Anatomy"
31:06
24. Becoming a Screenwriter
34:27

Taught by

Angus Fletcher
Angus Fletcher
Angus Fletcher is a professor of English and Film at The Ohio State University and a core faculty member at Project Narrative. He has previously taught at Stanford University, the University of Southern California and Yale University. Angus is the author of more than a dozen feature screenplays and television pilots, including a J.R.R. Tolkien biopic for the producers of "The Lord of the Rings" series, an adaptation of "The Longest Journey" for the estate of E. M. Forster, and an adaptation of "The Variable Man" for the estate of Philip K. Dick. He holds a Ph.D. in English from Yale.

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