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Screenwriting for Film and Television: How to Begin

Lesson 13 of 24

Story Design: Gift


Screenwriting for Film and Television: How to Begin

Lesson 13 of 24

Story Design: Gift


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 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.


  1. Getting Started

    In this module, you’ll meet your instructor and learn about his background and his journey as a screenwriter. Then we’ll take a look at how to maximize this class. Additional points include important screenwriting resources, best practices, and case study movies.

  2. The Power of Stories

    In this lesson, we’ll explore why stories are so effective as a communications tool, what makes for a powerful story, and how best to decide if your story is a movie, a TV show, or something else. Understand the power of images, events, drama, and the like.

  3. Key Concepts

    In this lesson, we’ll focus on the key distinction between structure and formula so that you can best utilize the tools in this course.

  4. Analyzing Stories

    In this lesson, we’ll break down a story and you’ll learn how to analyze a story.

  5. Writer’s Purpose

    In this lesson, we’ll determine your purpose. What is it that you want to say with this work? You’ll learn how to clarify that message and embed it in your screenplay’s core message and premise.

  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.

  7. Story Design: Setting

    In this lesson, we’ll dive into story design and into the ten fundamentals of all stories. You’ll learn how to identify those fundamentals in your story and in others, as well as how to think about and develop the specific fundamentals of the screenplay you are developing.

  8. Story Design: Hero
  9. Story Design: Want
  10. Story Design: Villain
  11. Story Design: Conflict
  12. Story Design: Angel
  13. Story Design: Gift
  14. Story Before/After
  15. Using Emotion

    This lesson will focus on the tenth fundamental: emotion. In this module, we’ll explore an emotion chart and learn how to use it as a companion to your writing.

  16. Story Structure

    In this lesson, we’ll take a look at story structure (a.k.a. architecture) and how to lay out an effective story structure.

  17. Act 1

    Learn what makes for a successful first act.

  18. Act 2

    Learn what makes up Act 2 and how to structure the largest act into sub-acts for best effect.

  19. Act 3

    Learn how to design your final act and what it needs to include to be truly powerful.

  20. Seed-to-Script Process

    In this lesson, we’ll introduce the seed-to-script process. You’ll learn a 10-step step-by-step process to move from a logline to a full screenplay. Learn how to organize your time and your writing so that you progress and stay motivated and productive.

  21. The Treatment

    In this lesson, we’ll look deeper at the “treatment” and how to use it as a sales tool.

  22. Deepening Your Work

    In this lesson, we’ll discuss how to make your work better, deeper, stronger, including a look at rising action, progressions, stakes, twists, reveals.

  23. Feedback

    In this lesson, we’ll explore the question, “Now what?” This includes a discussion about feedback, notes, colleagues, etiquette, and grace.

  24. Next Steps

    In this lesson, we’ll wrap up and discuss next steps, including how to get your work read, as well as Julio’s follow-up courses, Screenwriting 2 and 3.


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!

Jack Vincent

I loved it. I've been a writer most of my life and transitioning into screenwriting. I've taken numerous courses and read many books. Julio's course was thorough and clear.. and no, we are no relation :-) I absolutely loved it.