How To Write Screenplay

Do you want to learn how to write a screenplay from a professional Script Doctor and screenwriter who has worked for major movie studios and is based in Los Angeles, California, Hollywood, the entertainment capital of the world?

I can give you the CRAFT, the TOOLS and the METHOD — the professional screenwriting how to — to write a great movie screenplay or television script. My method is called Story Maps Screenwriting and it is the most focused, clear and effective roadmap to take you from your initial idea all the way to a polished draft that you can submit to managers, agents and producers in the movie industry in Hollywood.

  • 95% of great movies use the Story Map

Take a few samples from from popular movies: The Dark Knight, an action thriller in the Superhero genre, The Matrix, a Science Fiction action thriller and As Good as it Gets, a Dramatic Comedy. These movies are blockbuster films and employ strong Story Maps. These films are very different stories in completely different genres, but employ the same storytelling structure.

As an example of this method in use, I will highlight one of the unique beats found in my Story Maps structure.

The INCITING INCIDENT is an event of HIGH CONFLICT that does the following…

  1. Upsets the ORDER (as established in the opening of the script/film)
  2. Ups the STAKES for the Protagonist
  3. Acts as a crucial CATALYST for the story.
  4. Occurs in the screenplay page range of 8 – 10 or the movie minute range of 8 – 10.

The Dark Knight

The Dark Knight - Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale)Exactly 10 minutes into the film, BATMAN (Christian Bale) uses his incredible strength and technology to apprehend The Scarecrow and the last of crime boss Moroni’s crew, effectively ending crime in Gotham City and paving the way for a new threat, THE JOKER (Heath Ledger). Directly after this scene, Batman pledges to Police Captain JIM GORDON (Gary Oldman) that he will stop The Joker.

The Matrix

Neo (Keanu Reeves) stops bullets in The MatrixExactly 10 minutes into the movie, the young hacker THOMAS ANDERSON/NEO (Keanu Reeves) meets TRINITY (Carrie-Anne Moss), who sets him on the path to find the answer to the question “What is the Matrix?” This introduces the main STORY ENGINE for Act One (Neo searches for “the Matrix”), the LOVE INTEREST (Trinity), and the THEME (Free Will vs. Destiny).

As Good As It Gets

Jack Nicholson as Melvin Udall in As Good as it Gets with dog Verdell.10 minutes into the movie, MELVIN (Jack Nicholson) meets CAROL the waitress (Helen Hunt) for his daily meal. As they talk, Melvin makes a heart-less remark about how her sick son will die. This introduces the powerful CONFLICT between Melvin and his LOVE INTEREST Carol (negative vs. positive), the THEME (Don’t let pessimism rule you) and Melvin’s central GOAL: to learn to love.

There are nine other crucial narrative beats in the Story Maps structure,as well as four story engines and nine core dramatic elements. These are the BUILDING BLOCKS of your story, and once you understand them I can teach you about proper screenplay format, how to write a screenplay treatment or synopsis and how to sell a screenplay.

Where are you at in the screenwriting process?

It doesn’t matter if you’re just starting out or you’ve written many scripts, I can help you to achieve your goals.

Good luck and happy writing!

Dan Calvisi

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