Skip main navigation

Panel thoughts on story and form

Our four educators share what they’re looking for in a cinematic story. They share their experiences about writing for a cinematic form and soon discover that not everyone approaches their …

The Three Act Structure

This article will focus on the format that’s most commonly seen in contemporary movies, the causal, character-driven “Three Act Structure”. While modern films don’t have intervals or ‘real’ acts, the …

An introduction to Week 1

Michael Lengsfield, Lead Educator, welcomes you and introduces the course. In the first week, we’ll take a broad look at story and what makes a screen story, developing our own …

What do we mean by cinematic story and form?

Michael Lengsfield starts by taking a broad look at screen stories. Anyone who’s been to the pictures will have a perfectly good notion of how screen stories operate. For example, …

Expanding the Five Finger Pitch

In this second week, let’s continue to work with the story we developed for our Five Finger Pitch, which should loosely conform to the model for the character-driven three act …

Stories that don’t fit the Three Act mould

The panel discusses a range of alternate story structures and considers structure in relation to story architecture, audience expectations, the immersive medium and interrupted narratives. It’s over to you: see …

Alternate story structures

In the last discussion of story structure, we looked at the dominant form in theatrical films, the character-based causal Three Act Structure. Now we’ll look at other approaches to story …

Panel thoughts on the Three Act Structure

Our educators review together the purpose of each act in the common Three Act Structure, the dominant form of story telling for film. It’s over to you: see if you …

What is story structure?

Now that we have a basis for a story, we will consider the idea of “story structure.” It refers to the process of organising the story and constructing the screenplay’s …

The Five Finger Pitch: an explanation

Michael Lengsfield describes his Five Finger Pitch technique and suggests it as one way to quickly summarise your story. The aim is to find a story shape you can confidently …

Developing a basic storyline

When developing a story, we all need time to cast about for the material that interests and excites us. At a certain point, however, it helps to work some ideas …

Meet the team

This step gives you the opportunity to find out a little more about the team that will be guiding you through this course. It might be a good idea to …

Welcome aboard!

Giles Foden, author of The Last King of Scotland welcomes you to An Introduction to Screenwriting. As a professor of Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, Giles introduces …

Screenplay formatting

Screenplay Form and Style It helps to use professional scripts as a guide, so read lots of scripts. The BBC Writers Room offers a wide selection of sample scripts. Check …