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

Taught by John Shepherd


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

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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 »


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!

What You'll Learn

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.

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.


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!


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

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