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Screenwriting for Film and Television: How to Begin

Lesson 12 of 24

Story Design: Angel

Julio Vincent Gambuto

Screenwriting for Film and Television: How to Begin

Julio Vincent Gambuto

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Lesson Info

12. Story Design: Angel

Lesson Info

Story Design: Angel

So we talked about setting hero Want villain conflict. Our sixth story, fundamental is through the angel. Now you might hear this another screenwriting classes or books as the mentor or the guardian, all the same character or same set of characters, right? Who is it who comes along to help? You're in a setting. You've got your hero. Your hero wants something. There's someone or something standing in the way. Because of that, there's conflict, and the angel helps the hero get what he or she wants. I'll repeat it so that you hear it again. The angel is the character who helps the hero get what they want. That help could be with a physical gift, which we'll talk about next. Knowledge, insight, whatever it is that helps the hero bust through that villain and win. So you wanna ask these questions? Who is the angel who is the angel of your story? There may be multiple ones, but I want you to at least identify one. Who is it who's gonna come along and help your hero to get what they want? Put...

them through the senses? That's right. What does your angel look like? What they sound like? What do they smell like? What do they taste like or what? The foods that they eat? What do they feel like? Use your senses is a way to develop out these dynamics of those characters. Is the angel new? Obvious revealed? Where in your story does the Angel start to appear? Is this the sidekick character who is there to help the whole time? Is this the old man of the bar who shares his insight to the main character? And now the main character has a breakthrough and then can go on with the story and win. At what point will you reveal the angel and introduce them into the story? Are there multiple angels really important point, I think. Think about an angel as anything or anyone who helps along the way. So if you're in a particular sequence, which we'll talk about a little bit later of your film and your hero wants, like in cocoa, he wants that guitar right who comes along to help him to get that guitar. And in Act two of Cocoa, it's actually the sidekick who says, I know how to get a guitar. Come with me, that's the Angel force in your film. Five. What is the hero? Why does the hero trust the angel? Now? This could be a simple as it's my sister. I've known her forever. We're from the same town. Whatever it is, you want to make sure that it's texted that it's in the script toe. Understand? Why does the hero trust the angel so much? Well, they go way back. We go way back forwards in your script, right to just establish what that trust is and why it's there for this one. I want to take a look at the Hunger Games first. Who is the angel? Hey Mitch, right? The homage character is the angel. In fact, they call him the mentor for Katniss from the top of the movie. I really think the Hunger Games is so successful because it follows the story fundamentals to, uh T. So I'm gonna continue to encourage you toe always. Always. No, you're fundamentals Developed them out, deepen them, clarify them because the clearer they are in your script and in your story, the better storytelling. You're gonna be doing so in hunger games. Homage is the angel. Put them through the senses. What does he look like? Well, he's got this sort of long Woody Harrelson scraggly hair, right? He's got purple and and like a white collar. A. Some point, he's dressed up. He looks like the capital people, right? That's what he looks like. What does he sound like? What does he smell like? Taste feel? Put him through the census so that you understand. Who is this character eyes the angel? New, obvious or revealed well in hunger games. It's sort of clear from the start that this is the Angel character because they call him the mentor, So this is pretty straightforward. Are there multiple angels? Yes, there are multiple angels in this movie. Hey, Mitch is the main one, meaning that he's the one who really helps Katniss to survive. But along the way, there are other people who do too right. There are multiple villains in this story. There are meaning. There are all these competitors who are in the Hunger games, and so there are multiple people who help along the way. So, for example, Rue helps Katniss to recover at some point important. All of these characters who help the hero along their journey. Why does the hero trust the angel? Well, it turns out that she winds up trusting homage because he's the only living winner from District 12. So that's sort of the Hunger Games version of saying, Hey, you're from my hometown, right? There's an immediate trust there. Eso the angels are really important character and and think about who it is, who can share wisdom, who can share insight, who can mentor, who can protect who can offer something physical or emotional to your hero to help them along their journey.

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.