13 Steps to Nail Your Feature Screenplay Structure

Hosted by Jon Hersh

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Jon Hersh

Webinar hosted by: Jon Hersh

Literary Manager at Housefire Management

Jon Hersh is the Manager at Housefire Management, a boutique literary management company based in Los Angeles that represents writers and directors in film, television, and digital content. Housefire specializes in deep development, strong client relationships, and incendiary material that stands out like a house on fire. Jon's client list includes writers and writer/directors for film and TV including emerging writers Hayley Easton-Street, whose project THIS IS AFRICA is in development with Eclipse Films (FINDING YOUR FEET, URBAN HYMN); Casey Giltner, whose project FELIX is in development at Conquistador Entertainment (CAKE, RESCUE DAWN); and Marc Bloom, whose title RUNT is in development at the Traveling Picture Show Company (JOSIE, A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES). Jon is also working with a writer he discovered in a pitch session and is setting up his TV series with a major production company he's excited to announce soon! After graduating from USC's School of Cinematic Arts, Jon Hersh went on to become a full-time story analyst at Creative Artists Agency (CAA). During his tenure there, he evaluated thousands of screenplays, pilots, and books, and gave detailed story notes to high-level clients of the agency. After four years at CAA, Jon moved on to the fledgling mini-studio Broad Green Pictures (THE LOST CITY OF Z, JUST GETTING STARTED) where he helped found a new and innovative Story Department and had a hand in developing a slate of quality projects for the company. Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

Literary Manager Jon Hersh has read thousands – yes, thousands – of screenplays in his career. Starting at CAA he was a story analyst covering screenplays, manuscripts books and television pilots, which helped him get a crash course on effective structure for a project. He moved on to be a development executive at Broad Green Pictures and helped develop feature material for their slate.

Being around so much material Jon learned one thing – you MUST have solid screenplay structure to get past development and get your project greenlit. In this exclusive webinar Jon is going to show examples and break down beat by beat what needs to be in your outline, plus go in detail on the 13 steps you need to follow to nail your screenplay structure.

 

***This webinar is a reduced price because 10 minutes of Q&A are not captured on audio***

What You'll Learn

Introduction

  • My background (CAA, Broad Green, Housefire)

Step 1: Outline

  • Is an outline necessary? We'll go over the various types of outlines and how to draft them.

Step 2: Cold Open

  • We'll talk about various styles of cold opens, what you must do and what you should never do.

Step 3: Set-Up

  • We'll talk about how to best set up the hero and the world. 

Step 4: Catalyst

  • What is the purpose of the catalyst, how do you write it and what elements does it need to have?

Step 5: Debate

  • What type of reaction do you need for your catalyst? What beat(s) need to be here? 

Step 6: Act II Plunge

  • We'll go over your hero and why the transition into Act II is so important. 

Step 7: Trailer Moments

  • What elements are needed in the premise and what needs to be introduced? 

Step 8: Midpoint

  • How do you shift your goals and raise your stakes? 

Step 9: Challenges

  • We'll go over effective ways to to stretch your hero's challenges.

Step 10: Rock Bottom

  • This is such an important part of the script. We'll talk about how to make this moment work effectively. 

Step 11: Act III Lightbulb

  • What is the lightbulb and how do you help it turn to Act III in your script?

Step 12: Climax

  • How do you make the climax count?

Step 13: Epilogue

  • We'll discuss the end of your script and what your intentions are with the story. 

Q&A

About Your Instructor

Jon Hersh is the Manager at Housefire Management, a boutique literary management company based in Los Angeles that represents writers and directors in film, television, and digital content. Housefire specializes in deep development, strong client relationships, and incendiary material that stands out like a house on fire.

Jon's client list includes writers and writer/directors for film and TV including emerging writers Hayley Easton-Street, whose project THIS IS AFRICA is in development with Eclipse Films (FINDING YOUR FEET, URBAN HYMN); Casey Giltner, whose project FELIX is in development at Conquistador Entertainment (CAKE, RESCUE DAWN); and Marc Bloom, whose title RUNT is in development at the Traveling Picture Show Company (JOSIE, A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES). Jon is also working with a writer he discovered in a pitch session and is setting up his TV series with a major production company he's excited to announce soon!

After graduating from USC's School of Cinematic Arts, Jon Hersh went on to become a full-time story analyst at Creative Artists Agency (CAA). During his tenure there, he evaluated thousands of screenplays, pilots, and books, and gave detailed story notes to high-level clients of the agency. After four years at CAA, Jon moved on to the fledgling mini-studio Broad Green Pictures (THE LOST CITY OF Z, JUST GETTING STARTED) where he helped found a new and innovative Story Department and had a hand in developing a slate of quality projects for the company.

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Reviews Average Rating: 5 out of 5

  • This webinar gives a clear and detailed look at script structure. I highly recommended it. Unfortunately, the final 15 minutes of the video during the Q & A has no sound.

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