How to Write a Unique, Commercial Horror Script

It's Introduce Yourself Weekend at Stage 32! Head over to the Introduce Yourself section of the Stage 32 Lounge and let everyone know who you are, what you're working on, your dreams and aspirations. And be sure to peruse other member's threads. You never know when you're going to make a connection that changes your life!

Writing a Genre Film that Delightfully Scares Executives
Taught by Stuart Arbury

$250

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 Your coupon will be applied after you agree to terms below.

- or -

$250.00
TOTAL PRICE:
Overlay Icon

Satisfaction Rate:

Class hosted by: Stuart Arbury

Director of TV & Episodic Content at Ramo Law

Stuart Arbury is the Director of Development Captivate Entertainment. Captivate is a production company run by Ben Smith and Jeffrey Weiner. Captivate has a first-look deal with Universal and is based on the Universal Studios Backlot in Universal City, California. Captivate is most known for managing the movie rights to Robert Ludlum's series of Bourne novels. Prior to joining Captivate, Stuart Arbury was a Creative Executive with Weinstein's Dimension Films and worked in the creative department at Good Universe. Stuart is one of the co-founders of Wolf Knife TV, an award winning online comedy channel. His TV producing and writing credits include Couchers and Bonnie Blake: Parole Officer. Full Bio »

Summary

4 part class taught by Stuart Arbury, Director of Development at Captivate Entertainment (Universal)!
AVAILABLE ON DEMAND!

The number one genre we hear most executives look for is horror. Horror written in any language can be easily enjoyed by any viewer from around the world. It's the most universally acceptable genre out there, and it's where filmmakers go to cut their teeth (Sam Raimi, James Gunn, Oliver Stone, Peter Jackson, Francis Ford Coppola, James Cameron, Zack Snyder, and Steven Spielberg all started in the horror genre). But writing a fresh, commercial, scary horror is getting harder as executives continue to see familiar tropes and generic set pieces. What a writer sees as a fresh idea, is one that an executive has probably seen in some variation many times over.

Stage 32 Happy Writers is excited to bring you the previously-recorded 4 part class: How to Write a Unique, Commercial Horror Script taught by Stuart Arbury, Director of Development at Captivate Entertainment (Universal). From choosing a concept to picking an antagonist, from strengthening the emotional crescendo to amping up the scares in your project – Stuart covers all in this 4 part intensive class.  

**Plus! You'll get a copy of the HALLOWEEN script in your resources!

 

Purchasing gives you access to the previously-recorded live class.
Although Stuart is no longer handing out or reviewing the assignments, we still encourage all creatives to participate.

What You'll Learn

"Very informative and enjoyable. Look forward to putting what I've learned into action!" - James A.
"Enjoyed the course, the content and look forward to putting it all into use." - Louise A.
"Fantastic wrap up to an informative and enjoyable class." - James W.

Part 1 - Horror

Stuart runs through his personal experiences in the genre, and how his clients have made money maneuvering through it. He discusses the types of horrors that studios and companies are looking for, the volatility of the horror market, the difference between wide release concept and a limited release concept (with examples), the concept of “elevated horror” and more. You'll get a copy of the HALLOWEEN script as a resource!

Part 2 - Tone

Stuart explains the importance of the emotional crescendo of a horror script, when the scares should start, and how to implement a successful crescendo that will have the scares build on top of each other. He also discusses the difference between jump scares and atmosphere, the importance of a sharp inciting incident, and runs through a series of examples where the emotional crescendo worked.

Part 3 - The Antagonist

Stuart explores the Antagonist in detail, including an in-depth look into “Creature Features”, inner demons and more. He covers everything from when to introduce your antagonist to how to use a creature to affect the tone and sophistication of your script. He then explores human antagonists before discussing how to layer your horror and how to find a proper balance between keeping it scary and making sure the characters are continuously relatable and compelling.

Part 4 - Pitching and Marketing

Stuart explains how to successfully pitch your genre film and how to market your horror script when completed. He covers tips on how to get an agent, productivity steps, how to increase the value of your material, getting a director attached, filming a short and more. He also gives case studies on how other careers got launched.

About Your Instructor

Stuart Arbury is the Director of Development Captivate Entertainment. Captivate is a production company run by Ben Smith and Jeffrey Weiner. Captivate has a first-look deal with Universal and is based on the Universal Studios Backlot in Universal City, California. Captivate is most known for managing the movie rights to Robert Ludlum's series of Bourne novels.

Prior to joining Captivate, Stuart Arbury was a Creative Executive with Weinstein's Dimension Films and worked in the creative department at Good Universe. Stuart is one of the co-founders of Wolf Knife TV, an award winning online comedy channel. His TV producing and writing credits include Couchers and Bonnie Blake: Parole Officer.

Testimonials

"Very informative and enjoyable. Look forward to putting what I've learned into action!" - James A.
"Enjoyed the course, the content and look forward to putting it all into use." - Louise A.
"Fantastic wrap up to an informative and enjoyable class." - James W.

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

  • I'm trying to download these videos, but for some odd reason the site won't let me. Can someone help me with this?

Other education that may be of interest to you:

How to Make Your TV Script's First Ten Pages Count To an Executive

We've brought in veteran development executive Marla White to give you an ultimate guide on dissecting the first 10 pages of a TV script from her perspective as an executive. In addition, by looking at specific examples from great scripts like “Justified,” “Weeds,” “How I Met Your Mother,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Modern Family” and more, she's going to break it down for you why and how those pilots succeed where others failed and how to apply that to your script. Marla has worked with writers who have sold pitches to Fox, TNT, CBS, NBC and ABC and have been staffed on premium cable dramas.

Talking Rom Coms! Richard "RB" Botto (Stage 32) & Amy Baer (Women in Film Board President)

With the tremendous box office success of CRAZY RICH ASIANS, BOOK CLUB and THE BIG SICK and the streaming successes of SET IT UP, SIERRA BURGESS IS A LOSER, and TO ALL THE BOYS I LOVED BEFORE, romantic comedies are making a huge comeback for all types of audiences. Variety called Rom-Com's the "Hottest genre" for 2018 and beyond. If you have been sitting on a Rom-Com script or been thinking about writing one, now's the time to learn about the current marketplace for romantic comedies.

The Current TV Movie Landscape: From Development to the Marketplace

TV Movies are still very much alive and well, and if you’re a screenwriter or producer looking to break into this huge market niche, you’ve come to the right webinar. Despite the change in viewer habits with on-demand movies, the TV Movie and the Movie of the Week on Hallmark, Lifetime, and Disney, as well as many other channels are still extremely popular. To breakdown this landscape and share the truths behind the TV Movie model, Stage 32 has brought in MarVista’s former Acquisition and Co-Production executive, Justine Wentzell. Justine has worked on almost 100 different TV movies in MarVista’s core business. After she digs into what these networks are looking for, Julie will offer tips on writing a successful script for this niche. Stick around for a Q&A after the webinar to take an even deeper dive into other key elements of this form of storytelling.

Masters of Craft: The Screenwriter's Process with Jim Uhls

EXCLUSIVE ON STAGE 32!   What can we say about Jim Uhls? We all know he's a legend in the business. Not only is he the acclaimed screenwriter of the brilliant classic, Fight Club, as well as Jumper and the upcoming Shane Black directed, The Destroyer, but he's also one of the nicest human beings on the planet. And now he's here exclusively on Stage 32 for a Masters of Craft Class. It takes a special person to be a screenwriter. It takes a lion's heart as well as patience and perseverance. Through a meticulous step-by-step presentation, Jim is going to show you how you can find ideas, bring them to maturity, bring unparalleled depth to your characters, write by seeing the trailer in your mind, and much, much more, all designed to give you the skills to produce the best material possible and to assure it's attractive to producers, investors, managers, agents and talent. Most of all Jim is going to show you how to channel the passion and remove the cynicism and blocks that were not present when you first started.   Our CEO, Richard "RB" Botto, a screenwriter himself, says, "I've never quite met anyone like Jim. His skills are undeniable and revered in the business. But it's his approach, his consistency, his way in to the material and the characters and his ability to see the entire landscape in a clear, calm matter that sets him apart. He's a true original and an inspiration to so many including yours truly. I've learned so much from him."   This is a masterclass you will not want to miss. Jim will leave you laughing, full of energy and ready to write.

Adapting a Book Into a Film or Television Program

Learn directly from award winning non-fiction producer, Jim Young, who's produced 8 films based on books, including Lovelace (James Franco, Amanda Seyfriend), The Man Who Know Infinty (New York Times best Seller), The Catcher Was a Spy and Layover Some of the recent best feature films were based on books, including Hidden Figures, Lost City of Z, Unbroken, American Sniper, Inherent Vice, Wild, The Imitation Game, and The Theory of Everything. Some of the top recent television series based on books include Game of Thrones, True Detective, Pretty Little Liars, The Leftovers, Boardwalk Empire, Justified, True Blood, Dexter, the upcoming Fresh Off the Boat. As you can see, great books often make for great films and TV programs. The first step to beginning an adaptation is to find a book that lends itself to being turned into a film or television project. Discovering an adaptation-worthy subject can be as simple as stumbling across an interesting title at a bookstore or airport newsstand. Another way to find possibilities include reading the magazine Publisher’s Weekly, which profiles new books hitting the market each week along with short synopses. Many other magazines and newspapers give mentions of new titles each month as well. In this on-demand Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, Jim Young will go over how to adapt a book into a film or TV series! Jim will cover everything from acquiring the rights, to script development, to pre-production, to production, all the way to the finish line. Having produced films such as Lovelace (starring James Franco, Sharon Stone, and Amanda Seyfried) and The Man Who Knew Infinity (starring Dev Patel, Jeremy Irons, Toby Jones, and Stephen Fry) and the upcoming The Catcher Was a Spy (directed by Ben Lewin and written by Robert Rodat) and Layover (written and to be directed by Toni Kalem) all based on books, Jim knows how to adapt a book into a film and TV series from start to finish. Jim Young is an independent producer and the president of Animus Films. He has produced over eight films, with upcoming productions including Cut Throat City, directed by RZA. Young is currently developing many other film and television projects with independent companies including Lynda Obst Productions, Ruby Films, Tollin Productions, Tribeca Productions, Underground Films, and Pressman Films.

Stage 32’s Women In The Room - Breaking In As TV Writer!

  Stage 32 is dedicated to diversity and toward seeing that the imbalance of female creatives finding work changes permanently. That is why we are proud to present our Women In The Room series and the first installment Breaking In As a TV Writer! You can join this live webinar for FREE! It continues to be Stage 32's mission to give you access to this incredible information and talent working in the industry. Hosted by the Script Coordinator for FOX's Shots Fired, Courtney Smith, Women In The Room - is designed to show you how to break in and get paid as a television writer. Joining Courtney will be Sonia Kharkar, Showrunner's Assistant of such acclaimed programs as FOX's The Mindy Project and NBC's The Blacklist, Nicole Ranadive, Staff Writer for TNT's The Librarians and Script Coordinator for FOX's Sleepy Hollow, Solange Morales, a Writer's Assistant on FOX's Shots Fired, and Nicole Brides Ockman, a Script Coordinator for FOX's Blindspot If you’re interested in taking the first step toward landing a job in a TV writer’s room these ladies will give you advice on breaking in, breaking story and navigating the politics and personalities. We’ll go over what to expect once you’re in an assistant or script coordinator role – the good, the bad and the sleepless – straight from the dynamic ladies who help keep the train on the tracks. Plus, we’ll open up the floor so you can ask questions during a Q&A session at the end. With more television being created just about everywhere, this is actionable information for everyone, no matter where you live in the world! Your accomplished instructors are: Sonia Kharkar - Showrunner's Assistant - FOX's The Mindy Project - NBC's The Blacklist Sonia began her career at WME and moved on to be a showrunner's assistant for ABC's The Blacklist and now is a showrunner's assistant for Mindy Kalig on The Mindy Project. Nicole Ranadive - Staff Writer - TNT's The Librarians, Script Coordinator - FOX's Sleepy Hollow Nicole has been active in the TV industry for years having worked in various writing positions on 24, Everybody Loves Raymond, Hawaii Five-O, Smallville and Dawson's Creek. Solange Morales - Writer's Assistant - FOX's Shots Fired Solange is currently a writer's assistant on FOX's Shots Fired. She started at Fox Searchlight Pictures as an assistant to screenwriters, producers and directors for the feature films Notorious and The Secret Life of Bees. Her next stop was the world of documentaries, casting her as associate producer of ESPN’s One Night in Vegas, a doc chronicling the parallel lives of undisputed heavyweight boxing champ, Mike Tyson and iconic rapper, Tupac Shakur.    Melissa Brides Ockman - Script Coordinator - NBC's Blindspot Melissa is currently the Script Coordinator for NBC's Blindspot. From New York, Melissa graduated from City University of New York-Hunter College with a Bachelor's degree in Film, Cinema and Video Studies.       

register for stage 32 Register / Log In