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Screenwriting for Film and Television: How to Begin

Lesson 6 of 24

Story Design

Julio Vincent Gambuto

Screenwriting for Film and Television: How to Begin

Julio Vincent Gambuto

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Lesson Info

6. Story Design
In this lesson, we’ll introduce the concept of story design and explore a new way to think about developing your stories.

Lesson Info

Story Design

Now we're getting to the rial core of this class. And I'm excited because now you've got your writers purpose and hopefully you've got some clarity on a piece of paper about what it is that you're trying to communicate. If you can get that down to one sentence now, we could build a story around it and kind of architect and design around that sentence. Okay. What do I mean? Welcome to story design. I use the word story design because I think it's really important for you to not be at Starbucks for four years straight writing a script and rewriting it and rewriting it and rewriting it. Yes, writing is rewriting. Yes, you will go to Starbucks on right when the pandemic is over. But I want to save you some time here. I want you to not make the mistakes that I did, which is that I was fumbling for years and years and years in my writing because I didn't really understand what are the pieces of this that I need to be able to sew together to make this really cool fabric. So story design is ab...

out thes 10 story fundamentals. This is its own video right now, Just these few minutes, because this is so important. We talked about your key. Take away your core message for your audience. This is my key. Take away for this class. If you identify the story fundamentals and deepen them, you will tell a better story. So we're gonna look at those 10 story fundamentals. But I want you to live and breathe them while you're taking this class. Because if you can find them in your story and get really clear about them and deepen them and bolden them and explore them and clarify them, you're gonna tell a stronger story. I will constantly come back to this because it is the reason I'm teaching this two year right now. Find these story fundamentals. And I do this a lot in my writing where I think I'm clear about something and I'm actually not. And then I discovered that I'm not clear about it. 35 pages into the draft. I don't want you to have that experience. It is so frustrating to write 35 pages of a screenplay and then suddenly discover that actually, he doesn't want that he wants something different than that. Oh, now you've got to go back and rewrite. You're always gonna have to do a little bit of rewriting. That's not my point. I want you to think about thes from the top and get super clear about them. So to help you do that, I've given you a story design worksheet. It's in the bonus materials. This is the singular, most important part of this class. So if you want to download it and spend some time with it or if you wanna use it as your guide for the next 10 videos, um, that's a really good way to look at these sections and maybe watch each section and then go to the worksheet and spend some time on it. My biggest recommendation would be to look at each of these fundamentals and then step away and spend a day, an hour, a weekend, five pages or just a single page writing deeply about that fundamental so that you really get to the heart of why it's key to your story. So let's jump in, and this will come a little bit more clear as we go through them.

Class Description


  • Organize your stories so they’re ready for the screen.

  • Write the screenplay you have always wanted to write.

  • Write strong story treatments that capture the attention of readers and executives.

  • Use a structured writing process that is productive, efficient, and deeply meaningful.

  • Watch movies and TV like you’ve never seen them before!


You have a great idea, but you’re not entirely sure where to start or how best to take it from napkin and notes to full-fledged screenplay. The process can be large and daunting without a structure in place to guide the way. Maybe you’re a writer looking for more clarity about structure. Or a writer who wants to move into film. Or even a director who wants to see the process from the perspective of a writer. This class is here to help.

Start your screenwriting journey with writer/director Julio Vincent Gambuto. Julio is a writer for film and television and a feature film director. He’s created content for Nickelodeon, PBS, E! Entertainment, and James Franco’s Rabbit Bandini. His latest project, Team Marco, is a family film, recently released by Samuel Goldwyn Films.

In this key foundational course, you’ll learn the fundamentals of the screenwriting craft, including story design, story structure, and a smart step-by-step process to keep your writing exciting and productive. By the end, you’ll write stories that can capture the attention of audiences and the business alike. 


  • How to identify your purpose as a writer and how to infuse your story with your specific message and voice.
  • What about “story design” and how to tell your stories with punch and passion.
  • The ten fundamentals of story design and how to use them.
  • Story structure and how acts break down for the screen.
  • How to architect the audience’s emotional journey.
  • The seed-to-script process — an efficient, smart workflow to keep you productive.


  • People who want to learn how to write movies and TV shows.
  • Writers who want to understand the fundamentals of craft for the screen.
  • Beginning screenwriters who want to root their work in a strong story technique.
  • Filmmakers who want to better understand story design and development.
  • Storytellers in all media who want to cross over to film and TV.
  • Creative people who want insights into the world of film and TV.


Meet Julio (“Giulio”). The son of a bus-driver-slash-bread-baker, Julio grew up in a large Italian family in the boroughs of New York City. His feature film, Team Marco, was released November 20 by Samuel Goldwyn Films. This year, his essay “Prepare for the Ultimate Gaslighting*” was the #2 story on all of Medium, with over 20M readers worldwide. He is currently developing the feature family comedy, The Julie Stories. In 2017, Julio founded Boro Five, an independent film and television content production company. He serves as Executive Producer of the company’s slate. Julio has written and produced film and television content for Samuel Goldwyn, Kerner Entertainment, Nickelodeon, PBS, E! Entertainment, Stone & Company Television, and James Franco’s Rabbit Bandini.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Case Study Films

Story Analysis Template.xlsx

Sample TV Scripts

Story Design Worksheet

Story Fundamentals Worksheet

Seed to Script Process

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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Carlos Sandoval

Just a great way to start on your path to screenwriting. A clear and concise class with a friendly tone and humor. I think it is important that a teacher has actually worked in the field. Kudos.


Perfect for a beginner or actors who need a better understanding of what is and why is. Info packed and FUN too!

Asem Nurkina

I took this class last year. And after one year of working with presented tools (story design worksheet, story fundamentals workseet, seed to script process) on different projects I can say that it is very powerful and useful course I ever taken. I can strongly recommend this detailed screenwriting guidance by Julio Vincent Gambuto.