• 0( 0 REVIEWS )
    83 STUDENTS

    If you want to write a movie a personal,  social, psychological, or political drama this class is for you. Learn the tricks and techniques of writing a film that captures real-life drama from an emotional, character-driven perspective.  You’ll learn: What exactly is a “THEME” and how to write a thematic story How to write emotionally-driven characters who change How to write character-driven action The most important beats in a drama The tricks to making audience’s feel the stakes of your drama What to think about when you adapt a novel, play or story from another medium. Course Material Availability: 12 months access from your date of purchase.  

    $59.95
  • 0( 0 REVIEWS )
    17 STUDENTS

    Django Unchained is a master work from Tarantino, and we break down just how it works in this scene by scene analysis. If you’re writing an action buddy western, or a buddy picture of almost any sort you’ll gain big insights into the engines of this best-selling genre. Action is the hottest genre selling in Hollywood today, and it will never go out of style, but the methods and hooks are changing, and Django shows you how. You’ll learn the heart of the buddy dynamic that causes both partners to grow in very particular ways — a classic pattern that you can use in your own story. Tarantino also gives the audience an innovative mentor here — one who changes right along with the hero. Remember the classic tools of suspense in our action lecture? Django gives you scenes with four ‘cross ticking clocks’ — and we stop the action to show you just how Tarantino does it like a boss. There’s nothing like watching a master in action and seeing just how he creates his magic — behind the smoke and mirrors. Sharpen your game and bring originality to your own action movie with this superb breakdown of an incredible movie. Course Material Availability: 12 months access from your date of purchase.  

    $59.95
  • 4.5( 2 REVIEWS )
    60 STUDENTS

    Audiences LOVE a good scare. Whether you are writing a full-length feature or a short — or even a webisode — learning the tricks and techniques to create these emotions will make your job so much easier.This 3-hour lecture will go over:What do you NOT see, and when do you NOT see it? Types of characters that make you squirm. How to create tension when nothing is happening.Much much more! To get the most out of this class see: Se7en, PARANORMAL ACTIVITIES, SAW, THE EXORCIST Course Material Availability: 12 months access from your date of purchase.

    $59.95
  • 3( 1 REVIEWS )
    52 STUDENTS

    These two genres are two sides of one vivid, colorful story form — in one, science gets you into a problem and gets you out, in the other it’s all about faith and magic.Both feature astonishing worlds – and how you create that world is half the battle! We show you how to ‘world build’ in both genres, give you the ‘weed and speed’ both audiences love (each is different), and, crucially, give you the six characters that the greatest fantasists employ to push their hero forward (they are specific to fantasy, and don’t change!). We also show you how the amazing Tool of ‘sequencing’ works to tell 12 mini-stories inside one of the greatest sci fi movies ever (J J Abrams is the master of this, and we show you this in his fantastic first STAR TREK). Movies used in this class: LORD OF THE RINGS, HARRY POTTER, WIZARD OF OZ, STAR TREK (JJ Abrams), BLADE RUNNER, GATTACA Course Material Availability: 12 months access from your date of purchase.  

    $59.95
  • 0( 0 REVIEWS )
    18 STUDENTS

    Romantic comedies are the ‘champagne genre’  – amazingly fun romps about love — stories which, as Peter Russell shows you, contain deep, vivid secrets and story patterns – patterns that you use to make your romantic comedy sing and succeed. If you adore the witty writing and fabulous laughs that go into this most optimistic and romantic of forms, then this lecture is for you. You’ll see how deceit rules the first part of your story (and how the jarring truth rules the second). He gives you the deep characters that help the heroine (or hero) win, and the ones that drag the protagonist down, and what every romantic comedy needs at its center to really make a smash story. You’ll learn why opposites really do attract (but how they must then both change in a particular way), how dialogue rules this genre (the last genre where that’s really true) and how to avoid cliches and still find happy endings (it’s all about learning to tell the one embarrassing truth you’d never want anyone to know.) You’ll also learn the enduring tricks from the biggest hit rom coms in cinematic history — from TOOTSIE, JERRY MAGUIRE, and THE PROPOSAL to television stories like Apatow’s LOVE, Dunham’s GIRLS, and Jacobsen/Glazer’s wonderful BROAD CITY. This course consists of 4 video lectures. Course Material Availability: 12 months access from your date of purchase.  

    $59.95
  • 0( 0 REVIEWS )
    13 STUDENTS

    TV stories consist of a series of BEATS — lightning bolt flashes that form 28 dramatic moments in your hour script– (16 in your half hour.) Think of EACH beat as a lightning bolt – the hidden HEART of why your audience watches! Each Beat has a hidden structure that you MUST master to make your TV story SING.  EACH Beat is a beautiful FIGHT with special choreography, with a winner and a loser – a story in itself that has a beginning, middle and end. A ROLLERCOASTER for your audience that leaves them breathless (if you do it right.) This class is about showing you the secret hidden rythym of a BEAT – the flurry of punches that leaves an audience breathless (and one winner raising his arms and a loser on the canvas!) and the good news is, once you learn how one works, you’ll use the same tricks every time.  (And there ARE tricks.) Peter shows you the hidden universal structure of a this critical building block – the four crescendoes inside it (and how the greatest TV writers reverse, pivot and use surprise, good news/bad news, ticking clocks, and raising stakes in each Beat. The pro television writer knows that to keep his audience excited, he’s got to GRAB them in EVERY Beat – it’s the deep molecular structure of ALL great TV. But how? A BEAT is a separate story INSIDE your big story – a CHAIN of little stories that become a pearl necklace that makes the episode!  Peter Russell, who sold two TV pilots in 2018,  shows you precisely how the geniuses in today’s TV story  Bill Dubuque (Ozark), Jenji Kohan (Orange Is The New Black, Glow)  Nic Pizzaloto (True Detective),  Noah Hawley (Fargo), Vince Gilligan (Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul), Kurt Sutter (Sons of Anarchy) do just that. Peter goes further in this class — he also lays out the advanced tools of the ‘split beat’ and the ‘disappearing climax beat’ – just like such sophisticated masters like David Simon (The Deuce), and Dave Andron (Snowfall) do. Here are the tools that innovators in TV use in 2018 to advance the art of television storytelling. If you don’t know how to build a BEAT, your TV story will not work. You can have great characters, storyline and structure, but you will not KEEP your audience watching the screen! No good beats? Your audience gets…

    $59.95
  • 0( 0 REVIEWS )
    21 STUDENTS

    Whether it’s Ryan Murphy’s ASSASSINATION OF GIANNI VERSACE, THE PEOPLE VS. O J SIMPSON, Nic Pizzalatto’s TRUE DETECTIVE, Noah Hawley’s FARGO or FEUD, a big trend in TV now is the mini-series or ‘closed end’ anthology show. Let Peter Russell (who sold a mini-series in 2017) show you the patterns and tools he’s learned that helped him create a successful mini. You’ll learn how to think about your characters, how to create the vivid and original world, the keys to powering your storylines, and the fundamental secret that both keeps your audience interested over the entire course of the story – and also organizes your story crescendos (there are four) for you! Peter shows you examples of how the greatest writers in this genre do what they do — so that you can do it, too. This isn’t just academic ‘analysis’ – Peter has used these tools himself to create sellable TV.  This lecture comes in three parts, which are each purchased separately. PART ONE – Beginnings (this purchase) PART TWO – Middles (purchased separately)  PART THREE – Endings (purchased separately)  This purchase is for PART ONE – Beginnings. This purchase consists of 1 video and 1 embedded PDF. Material Availability: 12 months access from your date of purchase.

    $59.95
  • 0( 0 REVIEWS )
    13 STUDENTS

    Whether it’s Ryan Murphy’s ASSASSINATION OF GIANNI VERSACE, THE PEOPLE VS. O J SIMPSON, Nic Pizzalatto’s TRUE DETECTIVE, Noah Hawley’s FARGO or FEUD, a big trend in TV now is the mini-series or ‘closed end’ anthology show. Let Peter Russell (who sold a mini-series in 2017) show you the patterns and tools he’s learned that helped him create a successful mini. You’ll learn how to think about your characters, how to create the vivid and original world, the keys to powering your storylines, and the fundamental secret that both keeps your audience interested over the entire course of the story – and also organizes your story crescendos (there are four) for you! Peter shows you examples of how the greatest writers in this genre do what they do — so that you can do it, too. This isn’t just academic ‘analysis’ – Peter has used these tools himself to create sellable TV.  This lecture comes in three parts, which are each purchased separately. PART ONE – Beginnings (purchased separately)  PART TWO – Middles (this purchase) PART THREE – Endings (purchased separately)  This purchase is for PART TWO – Middles. This purchase consists of 2 videos and 1 embedded PDF. Material Availability: 12 months access from your date of purchase.

    $59.95
  • 0( 0 REVIEWS )
    13 STUDENTS

    Whether it’s Ryan Murphy’s ASSASSINATION OF GIANNI VERSACE, THE PEOPLE VS. O J SIMPSON, Nic Pizzalatto’s TRUE DETECTIVE, Noah Hawley’s FARGO or FEUD, a big trend in TV now is the mini-series or ‘closed end’ anthology show. Let Peter Russell (who sold a mini-series in 2017) show you the patterns and tools he’s learned that helped him create a successful mini. You’ll learn how to think about your characters, how to create the vivid and original world, the keys to powering your storylines, and the fundamental secret that both keeps your audience interested over the entire course of the story – and also organizes your story crescendos (there are four) for you! Peter shows you examples of how the greatest writers in this genre do what they do — so that you can do it, too. This isn’t just academic ‘analysis’ – Peter has used these tools himself to create sellable TV.  This lecture comes in three parts, which are each purchased separately. PART ONE – Beginnings (purchased separately)  PART TWO – Middles (purchased separately) PART THREE – Endings (this purchase) This purchase is for PART THREE – Endings. This purchase consists of 10 videos and 1 embedded PDF. Material Availability: 12 months access from your date of purchase.

    $59.95
  • 0( 0 REVIEWS )
    45 STUDENTS

    Did you know that almost all great Hollywood movies share the exact same structure? Learn what it is — the 20 BEATS OF GREAT HOLLYWOOD MOVIE STORY – in this groundbreaking lecture by Peter Russell. Peter shows you the hidden design behind nearly all film story that makes for a hit, and offers you a template that can help you shape your own film. Whether you’re writing a love story or an action thriller, these secret patterns remain the same. Use this lecture as a kind of CAT scan of your own story — and as a way to improve it. The precise A and B storylines – they way they interweave, the crescendo points of the acts, and the way the theme of the story is posed through the main character’s journeys — it’s all here in this comprehensive study of the 20 BEATS OF GREAT HOLLYWOOD MOVIE STORY. This course consists of 4 videos. Course Material Availability: 12 months access from your date of purchase.  

    $59.95
  • 0( 0 REVIEWS )
    23 STUDENTS

    Romantic comedies are the ‘champagne genre’  – amazingly fun romps about love — stories which, as Peter Russell shows you, contain deep, vivid secrets and story patterns – patterns that you use to make your romantic comedy sing and succeed. If you adore the witty writing and fabulous laughs that go into this most optimistic and romantic of forms, then this lecture is for you. You’ll see how deceit rules the first part of your story (and how the jarring truth rules the second). He gives you the deep characters that help the heroine (or hero) win, and the ones that drag the protagonist down, and what every romantic comedy needs at its center to really make a smash story. You’ll learn why opposites really do attract (but how they must then both change in a particular way), how dialogue rules this genre (the last genre where that’s really true) and how to avoid cliches and still find happy endings (it’s all about learning to tell the one embarrassing truth you’d never want anyone to know.) You’ll also learn the enduring tricks from the biggest hit rom coms in cinematic history — from TOOTSIE, JERRY MAGUIRE, and THE PROPOSAL to television stories like Apatow’s LOVE, Dunham’s GIRLS, and Jacobsen/Glazer’s wonderful BROAD CITY. This course consists of 4 video lectures. Course Material Availability: 12 months access from your date of purchase.  

    $59.95
  • 4( 4 REVIEWS )
    155 STUDENTS

    The perfect class to learn the fundamentals of screenwriting, storytelling, creating characters, story structure, storyline, tension, suspense and much more.  Learn the eight tools that are all a creator needs to tell a great story in ANY genre. You get eight tools in this lecture:  BMOC, LOGLINE, THE RHYTHM of FOUR ACTS, HERO’S JOURNEY, THEME, IMPACT CHARACTERS, CORE WOUNDS, THE ‘BOXING RING.’Movies Used In This Class: Pulp Fiction, Dead Poet’s Society, Star Wars. Course Material Availability: 12 months access from your date of purchase.  

    $59.95
  • 3( 1 REVIEWS )
    161 STUDENTS

    If you want to write brilliant, breakthrough material, write for television.From “Orange is the New Black” to “Girls” to “Modern Family” television writing is where the most entertaining, evocative and surprising stories are being told.Where do you start? How do you polish what you’ve got? Learn from the best.Peter Russell, award-winning UCLA Extension instructor of the year and co-founder of How Movies Works, takes you through the plot structures of the major TV genres: Sitcom, Episodic and Serial storylines.In this class, you’ll see the breakdowns of shows like HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, MODERN FAMILY, and RAISING HOPE. We also show you how creators Vince Gilligan and Aaron Sorkin create tension in TV DRAMA. We’ll show you BEAT BY BEAT how BREAKING BAD and NEWSROOM work.You’ll learn about writing great characters, writing vivid action and how to build relationships between characters that the audience cares about. Course Material Availability: 12 months access from your date of purchase.  

    $59.95
  • 4.5( 2 REVIEWS )
    89 STUDENTS

    This most complicated of genres is also one of the most wonderfully fun, and challenging, to write.Every great mystery thriller has three different plots, and most feature a hero who has a very particular emotional change (that helps them solve the mystery). We show you how Shapeshifters rule in this genre, how to weave all three plots (and when and where to place them) and give you thorough patterns that will guide you all along your journey.This is a genre where you’ll NEED a roadmap to help you!Movies used in this class: SALT, LA CONFIDENTIAL, CHINATOWN, TRAINING DAY Course Material Availability: 12 months access from your date of purchase.  

    $59.95
  • 0( 0 REVIEWS )
    63 STUDENTS

    So many times when we begin to work with a writer on their TV pilot, they lack a fundamental knowledge of just how to structure the plot lines in their story. In this guide, we show you how your one hour TV Drama/Dramedy/Comedy pilot should weave its main storylines. (There are usually three.) If you aren’t sure you want to get our full TV Lecture, this quick guide will show you the heart of how to structure your hour long drama (it works on hour long dramedy and comedy, too!) Course Material Availability: 12 months access from your date of purchase.  

    $59.95
  • 5( 1 REVIEWS )
    63 STUDENTS

    Short films are the calling cards of the film industry. You can make them for as little or as much as your budget can allow — but first you need a great concept, a tight story, a character or two the audience wants to follow (note: we didn’t say “like.”)If you get it right, a short film can propel you into a feature, a TV show or a great partnership with a producer. You can travel to Toronto, Sundance and Cannes with priority access passes. You can get meetings and be known as the next hot talent. That’s IF you get it right.  We WANT YOU TO GET IT RIGHT! Peter Russell, a long-time judge at the HollyShorts Film Festival , is taking HMW’s expertise as sought-after story developers and script doctors and applying our wisdom to the short film. He will show you several short films and breakdown the conventions of each. – Breakdown the “long” short and the “short” short – How to have character arcs. – How to create surprise. – How to get the most drama out of a simple idea. You will understand how to write one, how to make one and how to break out of the pack by shining your brilliance in the RIGHT WAY.  If you have made a short film or if you want to make one — this is the class you’ve been waiting for. Course Material Availability: 12 months access from your date of purchase.  

    $59.95
  • 4( 2 REVIEWS )
    47 STUDENTS

    Whether you are writing the next Avatar, Titanic, or Twilight, or Last of the Mohicans, or The Matrix, you’ll want to understand the hidden patterns beneath each of these stories — the elements are always the same. You’ll learn how danger accompanies the romance at particular points in the story, how rescue features and why the core wounds of the lovers must be tied not to sex but to a simple plot device that always exhilarates the audience. The tools that master adventure romance creators have used for decades and are still used in every single adrom made. Movies used in class: Titanic, Twilight, Last of the Mohicans, Avatar and more. This course consist of 3 videos. Course material availability: 12 months access from your date of purchase.  

    $59.95
  • 4( 2 REVIEWS )
    27 STUDENTS

    Love stories are among the best selling films of all time: Gone With the Wind, The Way We Were, The Notebook, Moulin Rouge, Amour, Carol, The Eternal Sunshine Of the Spotless Mind, Call Me By Your Name –all feature Love . Even those without big adventure score big with audiences.This workshop, designed for beginning and intermediate writers, will go over:- How does an audience know a couple is in love?- The proven story patterns of romance movies- The tools of suspense and tension- How to create a hero your audience will care about- How to write characters who change and grow- The most common mistakes made when writing storylines – How to write a second act that will keep the audience guessing – even though we know the lovers will come together! Movies used in class: The Notebook, Once, Lost In Translation, and more. This course consist of 3 videos. Course material availability: 12 months access from your date of purchase.

    $59.95
  • 4( 1 REVIEWS )
    54 STUDENTS

    Action films are a perennial favorite for audiences around the world.  More than ever you need techniques that will surprise the audience and keep them engaged — whether they are in India or Indiana. You’ll learn: The proven story patterns of Action Movies The tools of suspense and tension How to create a hero your audience will care about How to write characters who change and grow The most common mistakes made when writing villains How to write a second act that will keep the audience guessing Movies used in class:  Pulp Fiction, Dark Knight, Training Day, 300, Fast and Furious and Unstoppable. Course Material Availability: 12 months access from your date of purchase.  

    $59.95