Skip to main content

Final Q & A

Lesson 21 from: The Screenwriters Toolkit

Jim Uhls

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

21. Final Q & A

Lesson Info

Final Q & A

Any final questions about anything I've covered I did that one question I would ask you have you ever had anyone come up and say I've got a great story you could collaborate with me you khun do the dialogue e stuff or whatever that is and I'll do you know I got the story has anyone ever done that uh right because everybody can right right no way know that now I know they can uh any questions yes so I kind of have like a checklist of things that I kind of look over I'm like stuck on a scene I was wonder if you have something similar like I'm stuck here let me see like uh is like okay ask myself is the conflict clear? I can play games like what's the worst thing that could happen was the best thing that could happen how can I replace dialogue with action and things like that? So do you have things go on? I mean fantastic. I love that make an outcome a surprise by going like the opposite direction of where you intend on ending up I could I consult things I call uh the character goal and h...

istorical and radical character goals like what's the hero trying accomplish this thing story goal is like I need to have a hero learned this piece of information to set up this thing for the next scene so what is that and a writer goal is like for me like I think we could have a fight scene so can I work that into the senior things like that all right, well it's not like you've been listening to me that's great um no that's just that's all yeah all terrific. I like that that's serious that's a seriously weird looking everything I'll tell you um you know any uh any other questions about any part of this that we talked about? I'm just going off what matt was asking about I'm wondering if you personally have any kind of reading strategies are kind of quirky rituals that you do that you know that no other writer or few other writers dio very here is well I don't know about other writers doing them or not but I will do the I will act the scene with a tape recorder going and do the lines and sometimes and I mean before it's on paper before I've written it before it's a computer whatever I created that way like im improv ing see sometimes I do that I am I just find that things seemed to come out in that they're useful in terms of discipline I know that we all have our computers we have search engines on as you're writing something comes up oh, I'm with that with that guy's gonna be from akron uh what part of akron would he be from okay I mean you start reading the wikipedia entry for a baccarat and that kind of thing there's an email oh yeah gonna respond to that real quick what was going oh yeah I need to look up nannies because that one man is gonna come in later you know what kind of agencies high what do they ask mandy's when they hire this goes on all day because your computer has that access uh phone call, email, phone call instant message I'm going to sign onto facebook really quick I'll get off on the euro for three hours um I think that part of his discipline khun b phones off internet is unplugged uh there's no research there's no answering emails there's no answering phone calls were to write if something had go on a research that write it down I'll research it later you keep going I bring that up and I say that because I don't do that I wish I didn't know I was told that by a screen right in front of my data stevens and sometimes I do actually remember to force myself to be that way and it's amazing how much more productive you are if the first thing I mean yes make your coffee do whatever you have to do when you first get up but you sit down and you don't do any of those distractions and you start it almost feels like we're got at least I should at least a couple of emails first see what the news is on the web just feels unnatural so start writing when you do that it's amazing how much mohr productivity you have for the whole rest of the day or however long you're writing it's it's incredible you get this flow and it's a flow that can later be interrupted without losing it but you can't not start with it and have it later you've got to get in there and started yes and then later in the day okay now I'll look up all that stuff on google or I'll answer all these e mails and all that kind of stuff but and you can take a break like that and come back and you've got your flow it's amazing if you establish it right away and stay with it for a while hours you can interrupt it later and get right back and it feels like that all the engines are on again so that's one of my best discipline pieces advice I have um doesn't matter I you know I sing all the line no I don't have that much quirky stuff that I do just just a glass of wine and the fireplace maybe the the end of the working day after midnight nobody's calling anybody and there's nothing going on so it's like the perfect time like like last night for example like midnight to two thirty in the morning nothing's going on I could just kick ass flying through stuff right now and go to bed thinking I just got a lot accomplished yeah, I mean, these people are right the prime time too right is different than mine and you should find your prime time it may not be the first thing when you wake up for me it's it isthe it's like I wake up if I get into that zone I got it gets close to the end of the day I don't have, you know, it's like I'm not going so I'm not a knight rider, but I know writers who are they get on it and they turn that on and they it's always at night so find where your abs onus and definitely working bee in that zone. So this is a very specific question in the screenplay equation where we have the first act with a new inciting incident and that we have plot point. And then you taught me today something that I didn't know which was the false ending in the middle of the second act that could be one way of do yeah, yeah, yeah, I feel like I need one of those for my third act because they tend to struggle personally with my third act, where I hit that point for my leave for my mean character in which it's his worst point in the script and then somehow I'm just at the ending oh yeah I feel like my third act is usually eleven pages you know I didn't do a lot of work like I do that too I feel like oh well I did all of this I got all the way through act I got him this morning let's go to climax yes, something between like that climax and to the actual resolution well our or from the end of act a lot of times it's like I just want to get into it and that's just a matter of working backwards from it and see how you could build it and really um and that's where you were talking about false endings and things like that that's it's a technique he could use anywhere if it it's a hit but it's like you want some reversals you wanted to almost be the climax but it's not because something else happens and then and that's a one way to build the climax is don't just draw that straight line there's a movie it's quite interesting almost does that like that act free starts so I talked about filming louise when they traced the call now we know where you are we're coming after you but in the climax the decision that's kind of the twist is let's drive over the cliff let's keep going. She says movie in that's actually, that actually ended at the top of the climb back. There's no day newmar. Look into the bottom of the cliff going well and that car way we've got, you know they ended on the peak of the climax so you could break rules and if it works, um, so thank you very much. I appreciate that you've all been incredibly great, so I want to have a huge thank you out there. Everyone who's watching today and a big thank you are students who had the courage to come in here and share their work and really that's all the content that we were doing and of course, a huge thanks to jim rules for being here to teach us. I know we learn so much by doing this again. My name is chris jennings. Thank you so much for watching. This has been the screenwriters toolkit on the creative live film channel and we will see you next time.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Script Presentation Reference PDFs.pdf
Student Scene - KimGrimes - ITEM5.pdf
Student Scene - Maria Maella - Bring Me An Avocado.pdf
Student Scene - Matthew Baltar - Cold Open.pdf

Ratings and Reviews

Angelo Mike

This is really good. Some of the exercises Jim teaches are very powerful in that if you put dedication and time into using them, you will notice results. Some of the exercises he teaches I did for six weeks on a daily basis. They're very straightforward, and doing them makes a small difference each day until you notice a big difference. I'm still early in my writing journey but already I know I'll never write the same as before I did these exercises. And this class was only a few dollars and from a guy who wrote one of my favorite movies, so I was thrilled to take part and just hear a voice affirm what I've been learning, who encourages pushing beyond what you're comfortable doing in your writing.

Karla KL Brady

I would definitely recommend this class for first-time screenwriters and writers in general. I'm a novelist that would like to turn a couple of my stories into screen plays. I was mostly interested in the "dos and don'ts" which he supplied in a generous number. He gave a lot of great examples. I enjoyed the format with the students and he pretty much walks you through the entire process, including and especially the three-act structure which can be applicable to novel writing, too. He gave a lot of great examples. I would have liked a more extensive discussion on loglines and writing the action, but this certainly is enough to get you started. For the price, you can't beat it.


I came to this site by accident and then found some well known internet marketers here, who had already been sending me helpful emails and offers for some time, which I have used. What I like about the video contents is, that it is good old-fashioned skills and crafts development, rather than just formulaic, churn it out in big numbers advice. Whether screen writing, script writing, creative writing, news writing, etc. there is a structure and guideline for contents, order, grammar, etc., but the appeal is towards the development of one's creative side. I am normally involved in non-fiction writing, so this is a nice, creative side-kick, which no doubt will help my other work. As prolific author Isaac Asimow said, "If you want to learn to write, then you must write".

Student Work