COMPLETELY FREE

The five recorded classes cover fundamentals of storytelling, adaptation, how to thrive in a writer’s room, and more.

LEARN FROM THE EXPERTS

JPCatholic faculty share industry advice from their extensive experience in animation, screenwriting, and directing.

STUDY AT YOUR OWN PACE

Since the course content is not for credit and there are no deadlines, you can continue your education anytime, anywhere.

Must-Know Storytelling Principles From Pixar

With Professor Colin Brady

In this lesson, Professor Colin Brady gives you insights on eight key storytelling principles that he learned from his work in story development at Pixar Studios. From creating the idea of your story to pitching your script, Professor Brady brings you all kinds of tips to improve your stories and enable you to more skillfully share them with others. Recommended for those interested in creative writing for short stories, short films, poems, novels, feature films, or television.

  • Part 1 – Why is Story Important? (2 minutes)
    Part 2 – Know Where You’re Headed: Write Your Ending First (6 minutes)
    Part 3 – Know Your Genre (3 minutes)
    Part 4 – Show, Don’t Tell: Could Your Movie Work with the Sound Turned Off? (7 minutes)
    Part 5 – The “Gap”: Where Expectation Meets Result (5 minutes)
    Part 6 – The Big Idea: Pitching Your Story (3 minutes)
    Part 7 – Pixar’s “Braintrust” Model: Getting Honest Feedback (2 minutes)
    Part 8 – Writing is Re-writing (8 minutes)
    Part 9 – One Last (Ridiculously Simple, but Difficult) Piece of Advice (2 minutes)

Colin Brady

Adjunct Professor of Animation

  • Colin is a director, creative producer and animation supervisor who has worked at Pixar, Industrial Light and Magic, Imagi Studios, Rhythm and Hues, and Pixomondo. He has directed animation for Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Ang Lee, John Lasseter and Martin Scorsese. He has directed on such films as Everyone’s Hero, Astro Boy, TMNT, and Toy Story 2, and has supervised scenes for The Hunger Games, Hugo, Green Lantern and Spiderman. Colin is head of story and animation for Light Chaser Studios in Beijing working remotely from his home in Los Angeles.

The Basics of Storytelling: What is Story?

With Professor Chris Riley

In this lesson, Professor Chris Riley walks you through the basics of story and outlines how to create heroes, goals for your heroes to strive for, and obstacles for your heroes to struggle against. The principle of the Hero-Goal-Obstacle Dynamic that Professor Riley teaches can be applied beyond written storytelling and into marketing and other forms of visual storytelling. Recommended for anyone looking to work on their storytelling skills.

  • Part 1 – Introducing The Hero-Goal-Obstacle Dynamic (11 minutes)
    Part 2 – The Hero: The Heart of Your Story (12 minutes)
    Part 3 – Goals and How They Motivate Your Hero (12 minutes)
    Part 4 – Obstacles: The Essence of Dramatic Storytelling (16 minutes)

Chris Riley

Professor of Storytelling

  • A veteran of the Warner Bros. script department, Chris is one of the most authoritative figures on the official screenplay format of Hollywood and is the author of The Hollywood Standard: The Complete and Authoritative Guide to Script Format and Style. With many credits to his name, Chris has written for Paramount Pictures, Junction Entertainment and Touchstone pictures; Sean Connery’s Fountainbridge Films and Intermedia, among others.

TV Storytelling: How to Survive and Thrive in a TV Writer’s Room

With Professor Sheryl Anderson

In this lesson, Professor Sheryl Anderson walks you through how writing for TV works and how to become a TV writer. Professor Anderson discusses practical and crucial tips for aspiring TV writers. Recommended for anyone interested in learning more about how writing for TV works. Especially recommended for aspiring TV writers.

  • Part 1 – Intro and Prepping: How to “Break In” (5 minutes)
    Part 2 – Your Portfolio of Scripts (4 minutes)
    Part 3 – A Guide of Pitching (15 minutes)
    Part 4 – Protocol and Performance: Rules of the Writer’s Room (12 minutes)
    Part 5 – [Season 1] In the Life of the Writer’s Room (13 minutes)
    Part 6 – Impacting Culture with Your Life: Pouring into Others (2 minutes)

Sheryl Anderson

Adjunct Professor of Screenwriting

  • An accomplished TV producer, writer, novelist, Sheryl has written and produced for hit TV shows such as Charmed, Flash Gordon, For the People, and Ties that Bind. She began her career as a development executive for Grant Tinker’s GTG Entertainment, writing for half-hour sitcoms Parker Lewis Can’t Lose and Dave’s World. She is currently working as show runner for the upcoming Netflix show, Sweet Magnolias.

Bringing Personal Themes into Your Storytelling

With Professor Nathan Scoggins

In this lesson, Professor Nathan Scoggins discusses the idea of theme within stories, how you can leverage your personal themes in your stories, and how to generate compelling themes by asking questions. Professor Scoggins stresses the idea of how every artist is a storyteller and encourages you to find themes that are important to you. This lesson will inspire you to tell deep and compelling stories.

  • Part 1 – We’re All Telling Stories (8 minutes)
    Part 2 – What is Theme? (11 minutes)
    Part 3 – How to Craft Thematic Statements that Connect (8 minutes)
    Part 4 – How to Find Your Personal Themes (15 minutes)
    Part 5 – Pressing in to the Meaningful Emotions of Your Life (5 minutes)
    Part 6 – Made for the Chase (8 minutes)

Nathan Scoggins

Professor of Film

  • An award-winning filmmaker, Nathan Scoggins’ list of credits include The Least of These, released in 2011 by Universal, starring Isaiah Washington, and screen legend Robert Loggia, as well as the TV movie The Perfect Summer, starring Eric Roberts. He is a two-time winner of the Doritos Crash the Super Bowl contest and has had two of his award-winning short films released by Lionsgate on DVD.

Adaptation: Bringing Novels and True Stories to Life on Screen

With Professor Chris Riley

What makes a good adaptation? In this lesson, Professor Chris Riley guides you through the basic principles of adapting source material (such as novels and true stories) for film and television. The lesson features an exercise examining Stephen Spielberg’s film “Lincoln”, taking a look at the decisions that were made in adapting the life of Abraham Lincoln into a feature film. Recommended for anyone with a curiosity for how novels and real life stories are distilled and written into movies. Especially recommended for writers interested in making movies from short stories, novels, or real life stories.

  • Part 1 – The Impact of Adaptation (11 minutes)
    Part 2 – What Makes a Good Adaptation? (17 minutes)
    Part 3 – How Literature and Real Life “Resist” Adaptation (14 minutes)
    Part 4 – Putting It All Together: Case Study of Spielberg’s “Lincoln” (12 minutes)
    Part 5 – How to Get the Rights for Source Material (7 minutes)

Chris Riley

Professor of Storytelling

  • A veteran of the Warner Bros. script department, Chris is one of the most authoritative figures on the official screenplay format of Hollywood and is the author of The Hollywood Standard: The Complete and Authoritative Guide to Script Format and Style. With many credits to his name, Chris has written for Paramount Pictures, Junction Entertainment and Touchstone pictures; Sean Connery’s Fountainbridge Films and Intermedia, among others.

BONUS CONTENT INCLUDED

In addition to the Crash Course, you’ll receive access to our ongoing speaker series with industry professionals.