Curriculum Guides

Screenwriting Curriculum

The FilmSkills Screenwriting Curriculum has been developed in partnership with Academy Award and Emmy-winning writers to guide students through the process or writing a narrative short or feature length screenplay. This complete curriculum has been grouped into:

  • Story Structure
  • Character Development
  • The Writing Process
  • Using Final Draft
  • Career Skills

Learning Objectives

Our approach is driven from an industry best-practices view. By focusing on the structure of the screenplay, story-driven character development, time-tested writing practices, and what the industry expects from screenwriters, students will learn skills to help make them competitive in the field of narrative screenwriting.

About the Lessons

Every box in the curriculum outline below is a self-contained lesson, complete with a 20-30 minute long on-set video tutorial, test questions, projects and exercises, and downloadable resources to enhance the lesson.

Lessons can be mixed and matched to create a custom learning path in each class, and while the curriculum below is our recommendation as the content producers, you can select any lessons you wish when building each class, including lessons from other categories.

Download the Complete Curriculum Catalog

The catalog features complete descriptions and video durations for every FilmSkills Academic lesson. You can look up each lesson from the curriculum flow chart below for more information.

Professionals Contributing to the FilmSkills Screenwriting Curriculum


Ken Dancyger

Ken Dancyger is the author or co-author of seven books on screenwriting, directing, film editing and production. Ken is past Chair of Undergraduate Film and Television, TISCH School of the Arts, New York University, where he is a Full Professor.

Edward Ricourt

Edward has received screenwriting credit for "Now You See Me," "Jessica Jones," "Now You See Me 2," and "Wayward Pines"

Neil Landau

Neil has penned screenplays for "Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead," Melrose Place," Doogie Howser, M.D." "Tad: The Explorer,""The Magnificent Seven," and "Undressed"

Guy Gallo

Guy has penned the screenplays for "Under the Volcano," "American Playhouse," and "Takes from the Darkside"

Chris Huntley

Academy Award Winner
Chris Huntley won the Academy Award for his groundbreaking story structure software DRAMATICA.

Alexa Amin

Studio Executive
Alexa is the former Vice President of Development at Sony Pictures Animation and Vice President of Production at New Regency Productions.

Steve Skrovan

Emmy-Winning Executive Producer
Two-time Emmy winner, Steve is the Executive Producer on "Everybody Loves Raymond," "Hot in Cleveland," "'Til Death," and "School of Rock," and produced the Sundance Grand Jury Prize nominee, "An Unreasonable Man."

Jenn Carroll

Script Coordinator
Jenn's credits include, "Breaking Bad," "Just Call Saul," "Men of a Certain Age," "Childrens Hospital," and "General Hospital"

Jeff Ulin

Studio Executive, LucasFilm
Jeff was the Head of Worldwide Distribution and Online for LucasFilm, overseeing the release of the Star Wars prequels.

Wayne Fitterman

Head of Production at William Morris-Endeavor
Wayne Fitterman leads the WME's Production Department, one the top five most powerful talent agencies in the world. His clients have included, Oscar-winning cinematographers, production designers, producers, and actors.

Cristen Carr Strubbe

Unit Production Manager
Cristen ran productions for Steven Spielberg's "Catch Me if You Can," and "Charlie Wilson's War," Academy-Award winning, "American Beauty," and over a dozen other blockbusters.

Jody Brockway

Emmy-Nominated VP of Production, NBC
Jody managed NBC Studio's made-for television movie department, with credits including "Christmas Cupid," "Snowglobe," "Identity Theft," "Maiden Voyage," "Rush of Fear," "Cruel Justice," and "The Ron Clark Story"

Ricky Margolis

Ricky serves as the Vice President of Future Films, LLC. The Future Film Group is a major financier and producer in the media sector having raised over $2bn in finance and having been involved in over 200 films and TV shows.