"Always Be Closing" How To Write a Killer Final 10-15 Pages

Taught by John Shepherd

$249

On Demand Class - For immediate download. Unlimited access for 1 year.

Rating   | Read reviews

Start Learning

Please make sure you use the same email address as the one you use to sign in to Stage 32
apply

- or -

$249.00
TOTAL PRICE:
Overlay Icon

This Next Level Education class has a 94% user satisfaction rate.

Class hosted by: John Shepherd

Cross Creek Pictures

John Shepherd is a WGA Award-nominated writer for his work on the Emmy Award-winning Showtime television series Nurse Jackie. He comes to Cross Creek Pictures as the Director of Development after also working in development for Spelling Films, Polygram, and as a story analyst for the William Morris Agency. Mr. Shepherd has a BA in Broadcasting & Cinema from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and received an MFA in Screenwriting from the American Film Institute. Production company credits include Rush, Black Swan, The Woman in Black and The Ides of March. Full Bio »

Part 1 - The Beginning / Character

John gives a brief overview of what he looks for in a good story or screenplay. He then covers opening scenes, scene structure itself, “opposites,” what to include in your opening as it relates to your ending, and the overall creation of a strong, unique, memorable character.

Part 2 - Building the Bridge to Act III

John discusses the key second act into third act turn where your characters will face their greatest fear or weakness and how it will springboard them into a compelling ending. John explores these turns in various genres from rom-coms to horror. He also covers the topic of “ups and downs, positives and negatives”.

Part 3 - The Chase, The Twist, The Reveal... The “Second Ending”

John goes over key elements of powerful endings including chase scenes in various genres, twists and reveals, “second endings” and cliched scenes or details that should be avoided.

Part 4 - Final Scenes, Kickers & Sequels

The last part of this class deals with bringing all the various elements together to make a third act sing. John also covers kickers, page count and whether or not to hint at a sequel.


Summary:

4 part class taught by WGA Award-nominated writer John Shepherd, Director of Development at Cross Creek Pictures. AVAILABLE ON DEMAND!

The first 10 pages and the last 10 pages of a script are the most important. Making an executive walk away from a read of your script with a powerful impression is crucial to getting your script made. The last pages of a script come with their own web of problems (how to tie everything together, how to complete a character's arc, how to create a powerful final image, etc.). Sometimes a time crunched executive will read the first and last 10 pages of a script before deciding to read the whole thing. A writer has to make sure that they "stick the landing."

Stage 32 Happy Writers is excited to bring you the previously-recorded 4 part class: “Always Be Closing” - How to Write a Killer Final 10 Pages taught by John Shepherd, Director of Development at Cross Creek Pictures (Black Swan, The Woman In Black, Ides of March). Learn how to make your last act resonate for your characters, your audience, yourself and the executive reading it.

Purchasing gives you access to the previously-recorded live class.
Although John is no longer reviewing the assignments, we still encourage all listeners to participate!


About Your Instructor:

John Shepherd is a WGA Award-nominated writer for his work on the Emmy Award-winning Showtime television series Nurse Jackie. He comes to Cross Creek Pictures as the Director of Development after also working in development for Spelling Films, Polygram, and as a story analyst for the William Morris Agency. Mr. Shepherd has a BA in Broadcasting & Cinema from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and received an MFA in Screenwriting from the American Film Institute. Production company credits include Rush, Black Swan, The Woman in Black and The Ides of March.


Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: What is the format of a class?
A: Stage 32 Next Level Classes are typically 2 to 4 week ongoing broadcasts that take place online using a designated software program from Stage 32.

Q: Do I have to have to be located in a specific location?
A: No, you can participate from the comfort of your own home using your personal computer! If you attend a live online class, you will be able to communicate directly with your instructor during the class.

Q: What are the system requirements?
A: You will need to meet the following system requirements in order to run the class software: Windows 7 or later Mac OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) or later.
If you have Windows XP, Windows Vista and Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion): The class software does not support these operating systems. If you are running one of those operating systems, please upgrade now in order to be able to view a live class. Upgrade your Windows computer / Upgrade your Mac computer 

Q: What if I cannot attend the live class?
A: If you cannot attend a live class and purchase an On-Demand class, you will have access to the entire recorded broadcast, including the Q&A.

Q: Will I have access to the class afterward to rewatch?
A: Yes! After the purchase of a live or On-Demand class, you will have on-demand access to the audio recording, which you can view as many times as you'd like for a whole year!

Questions?

If you have a generic question about Stage 32 education you can take a look at our frequently asked questions section on our help page, or feel free to contact support with any other inquiries you might have.
 

Reviews Average Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Other education that may be of interest to you:

Writing the Producible, Low-Budget Script

Writers, producers and directors often complain that they can’t get their projects made, usually because the budget is too large. But what if the problem wasn’t the concept, but the way the script approaches the material? Have you had trouble selling your script? Do you constantly hit a wall when writing because you know it's 'too big' or 'too expensive' to make on a small budget? In this exclusive Stage 32 Next Level Webinar James Kicklighter will teach you how to develop a film that can be made without large budgets and resources. James will arm you with the knowledge to create a scene that shows the narrative arc without telling it. He will also go through simple elements that often drive up budgets, elements that have been forgotten or unconsidered by filmmakers of all experience levels.  You will learn how to optimize your script to show and not tell the story with nominal resources, providing valuable guidance for the novice and a refresher for the experienced veteran. You will leave this webinar knowing exactly how to write a producible, low-budget script!

Masters of Craft: The Indie Filmmaker's Toolkit: Maximize Your Resources, Creativity and Profits

To kick off your directing career with Roger Ebert calling your film "One of the best films of the year" you can pretty much be assured you're on a path to success. We are proud to present to you the director who has done just that - Michael Polish. After his Sundance darling Twin Falls Idaho garnered Roger Ebert's critical acclaim he has gone on to direct over 10 feature films including: The Astronaut Farmer, starring Billy Bob Thornton and Virginia Madsen Northfork, starring Nick Nolte and James Woods The Smell of Success, starring Billy Bob Thornton, Tea Leoni & Ed Helms Hot Bot, starring Zack Pearlman and Danny Masterson Stay Cool, starring Winona Ryder and Sean Astin (Nominated for best feature at Tribeca Film Festival) Big Sur, an adaptation of the Jack Kerouac novel starring Kate Bosworth For Lover’s Only starring Stana Katic (CBS’s hit show Castle) 90 Minutes in Heaven, starring Hayden Christensen Amnesiac, starring Wes Bentley The upcoming Sharon Tate biopic adapted from Greg King’s book Sharon Tate and the Manson Murders Michael will be teaching the 2nd installment of our Stage 32 Masters of Craft series - The Indie Filmmaker's Toolkit: Maximize Your Resources, Creativity and Profits. In this online event Michael will share with you how a professional director approaches a film from inception and carries it through to post-production including a discussion of available distribution options. The goal is to give you the agency to make your films without the necessity of the Hollywood studio system (though this information will be handy if that's your path as well). He will go in-depth about the director’s process from finding superior scripts and setting your priorities in pre-production to the challenges of running your set, leading your crew and balancing the demands of your producers. He’ll explain how to interact with everyone vital to your film’s success from producers and film executives to actors, cinematographers, and editors to get the best version of your film. Finally, Michael will share insider knowledge on effective methods to market and distribute your film that will give you the power to maximize your profits. From his experience writing and directing 10 feature films, he’ll share his war stories (like losing vital funding in the middle of a shoot) and his strategies for dealing with any obstacle that arises. You’ll be better equipped to deal with mishaps and avoid filmmaking pain points. If you want to make your film and you want to know where to start, how to proceed and how to ensure you walkaway with a masterpiece, this is the webinar for you! You’ll leave with a comprehensive understanding of what is necessary to succeed as an indie director and gain control over the direction of your career.

Writing the Cinematic Protagonist: Creating Multi-Dimensional Lead Characters

Learn directly from Tyler Ruggeri, a writer, story consultant, and former manager who has developed and sold screenplays to top producers, including his own The Making of Rock Hudson to Maven Pictures! Tyler managed Damien Chazelle, whose film Whiplash was nominated for five Academy Awards (including Best Adapted Screenplay) and won three, as well as the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival! This year, audiences have been introduced to a number of singular, fully fleshed out lead characters. From the surprisingly dimensional Joy in Inside Out, to two distinct Brian Wilsons in Love & Mercy, to the female road warrior Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road, films continue to provide an endless amount of potential for diverse protagonists. But these characters are often the exception rather than the rule. With a constant parade of franchise sequels, remakes, and reboots, it’s become harder than ever to create a unique and nuanced lead that audiences feel they haven’t seen before. And in a marketplace crowded with more of the same, it’s never been more essential (and potentially lucrative) for screenwriters to set their work apart. So how can writers create characters that appeal to a wide audience without sacrificing the very qualities that make them singular? In this exclusive Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, we are thrilled to bring back Tyler Ruggeri to discuss how to write interesting and complicated characters that audiences can root for without sacrificing depth. Having worked both on the writing and management side in Hollywood, Tyler brings uniquely qualified, invaluable experience on Writing The Cinematic Protagonist. In this live and interactive webinar, Tyler will focus on studying (and deconstructing) the building blocks of movie protagonists in a straightforward, fun, and easy to digest format. He’ll discuss character in a macro-level approach while zeroing in on recent examples from popular films. Participants will learn that there’s no one way to create a memorable protagonist. But by knowing and staying true to what’s special about your story (and your lead character), you can shape a screenplay that’s fresh and unexpected while remaining accessible to all kinds of viewers.

How to Write Compelling & Authentic Dialogue

Part 1 - Character Jared gives an overview of the elements that make for engaging and natural dialogue, using practical, real-world examples demonstrating how the voice of a screenplay can make your project competitive in the marketplace. He also reveals the “one true secret” behind some of the best dialogue ever written. Part 2 - Environment Jared leads a discussion on how to cultivate the best environment for great dialogue to grow. He also discusses the practical side of writing dialogue for a specific audience of genre. Part 3 - Voice Jared covers how to find a character's voice when writing dialogue, and how to successfully layer subtext into your scenes. Part 3 ends with a discussion on the Do's and Dont's of writing great dialogue. Part 4 - Objectivity The last part of this class covers common mistakes writers make when writing dialogue for voice overs. Jared reveals the single tool that is in every great writers' toolbox, and lastly he gives insight into what producers and executives look for when evaluating the voice of a screenplay.

Intro To Using Social Media for Your Low to No Budget Film

Social media is essential for your film. If you want people to find out about it, watch it, like it, and tell their friends to watch it, you need to be on social media. If you have a small or no budget, knowing how social media works is going to be the best tool to market your film. So come prepared to learn! In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, social media expert Jennifer Winberg (digital strategy for mini and major studios - Disney, Fox, Sony, Lionsgate, and Gravitas Ventures) will teach you how to create a social media campaign that is right for your film. She will walk you through the different channels of social media and how to decide which one is right for your film.  Your host, Jennifer will use her 10 years of branding and entertainment experience in digital strategy, social media, and integrated marketing to show you how to create a social campaign that will build an audience for your film. She'll outline a social media timeline for your film, when to start social media for your film and how to utilize interns to maintain your social media. You'll walk away knowing how to build a successful social media campaign including best tactics, tools and resources.   

What Makes Me Interested In Your Script? A Development Executive's Perspective

Stage 32 Next Level Education is excited to bring in Agustine Calderon, Development Executive at RatPac Entertainment (Oscar Nominated, THE REVENANT, ENTOURAGE, TRUTH, HORRIBLE BOSSES, JERSEY BOYS) to teach an exclusive Next Level Webinar, What Makes Me Interested in Your Script? Agustine’s day-to-day role at RatPac is to help develop screenplays and projects. Whether it’s shaping the story of a script in order to attract a director or actor, breaking down a script in an effort to maximize its marketability, or simply working with the writer to ensure that the script has the best chance of success, Augustine is hands on in every step of the creative process. But before Augustine, or any other creative executive, can get to work, he has to love and see the potential of the material. And that raises the question: What makes someone like Agustine interested in a script? Understanding every aspect of how and why a film goes from the page to the screen is crucial to being a professional in the film industry. It truly can make the difference between a “Pass” or a “Yes”. If you are a writer looking to learn what exactly gets a Development Executive interested in your material or if you are a producer and want to understand the mindset of a Development Executive as it relates to developing your project, look no further – you will learn the entire truth straight from someone working in the trenches every single day. This is material designed to give you a competitive advantage in a crowded marketplace! And as if that wasn’t enough, Agustine will be hosting a Q&A session as well, so bring questions!