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Story Design: Gift

Lesson 13 from: Screenwriting for Film and Television: How to Begin

Julio Vincent Gambuto

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Lesson Info

13. Story Design: Gift

Next Lesson: Story Before/After

Lesson Info

Story Design: Gift

the seventh Fundamental is the gift, and the gift is directly related to the Angel. What is the gift? First of all, the gift is the thing that the angel gives the hero to help them beat the villain. I'll say it again. The gift is the thing that the angel gives the hero to help them beat the villain. So in some stories it's a bullet for the gun and some other stories. It's insight and other stories. It's love and other stories. It's just advice. So it's important to think about through the lens of your story. Put that through this lens. What is the gift? What is it that the angel is going to share and part give to the hero so that they win their battle? Who gives the gift? It's the angel. When is it delivered? Think about when is that gift delivered? At what point in your story? Very often at the end of act, to which we'll get into in the story structure section when the hero has lost everything and lost all hope. That's usually when the angel says, Hey, don't forget dot, dot dot Here's...

wisdom. Here's insight. Here's a reason to live a reason to go forward. And that's that breakthrough moment that's so special and heartwarming and wonderful. How is it delivered? Okay, Is it at a bar with a drink? Is it as in the Hunger Games dropped from the sky, right again, back to hunger games. They just dropped gifts from the sky. In fact, I think they call them gifts, right? They just dropped them. And then the hero gets them and she's got a lotion to make sure that she'll be okay. Those air, the gifts that come along the way to make sure that the hero can accomplish their goal. How does the gift affects the effect, the hero and their journey or their mission on? We'll look at this again when we get two story structure. But how is it? What is it that that unlocks for them? That advice, that insight, that knowledge that love that pat on the back? Or that bullet that lotion whatever it is? Whatever that gift is. The ruby red slippers and Wizard of Oz. Whatever that gift is, how does that help the hero to accomplish their goal for this one? I wanna look at good will hunting first. What is the gift? The gift here is the gift of therapy, right? The Angel character is Sean the doctor, although he sort of appears to be the villain Toe will. For most of the movie, he turns into the Angel character. So, uh, interestingly, characters can play multiple roles, and that's what makes Ah, script layered more dynamic. Deeper, more interesting. I want you to understand the fundamentals, but you can play with them anyway that you want. So in good will hunting, uh, will hunting. He doesn't want to be in therapy. He's there by court order, right? And so Sean, the doctor who winds up being the Angel character, his his guardian, his mentor helps him to sort of unlock his inner trauma. Who gives the gift? It's the Angel character in this movie. It's Sean the doctor. When is it delivered? Now it's delivered throughout the entire movie, but there's sort of this final climactic moment where Sean finally wins over will finally gains his trust. They finally talk through things, and they finally at the end, he gets him to cry when he's up against the wall, and it's this beautiful scene where, um, Sean, the doctor gets will to sort of understand that his own child abuse really wasn't his fault. So it's an incredible in our villain inner demon. That sort of has to be exercised like The Exorcist by the psychiatrist. How is it delivered? Well, he's given the gift of therapy throughout the movie, and it's delivered in conversations and in conflict in the conflict of talking and yelling at each other. And, um, you know, there's humor their asses well, but it's delivered throughout, um, mostly in conversation. And how does the gift affect the hero and their journey? Your mission, ultimately, when will hunting can admit that his childhood trauma was not his fault? Onley Then can he really go after the girl that he loves? So It Z, this is a great example of internal demon internal villain. But the fundamental we're talking about is the gift and the gift that's given in good will. Hunting is love therapy and insight

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

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.

Student Work