What makes a screenplay exceptional? How can you punch through the slush pile as an up-and-coming screenwriter? What does it take to become a successful screenwriter in Hollywood?
In Breaking Story, NYU Film Professor John Warren breaks down his hard-won insights from more than 40 years in the film industry as a professional screenwriter, director, and producer. Joined by professional screenwriters Alexie Basil and Adam Schaller, John shares advanced-level storytelling techniques, practical strategies for navigating the film industry, and hilarious only-in-LA anecdotes.
Whether you’re a brand-new screenwriter looking for mentorship or are a seasoned professional eager for a laugh (and the occasional screenwriting nugget!), we hope you enjoy Breaking Story.
Flaw and Inner Need in a Screenplay
Every incredible screenplay and memorable movie has a strong emotional core: flaw and inner need. Over the course of the protagonist's journey, they will gradually overcome their flaw and learn to embrace their inner-need.
In this episode, professional screenwriters Adam Schaller and Alexie Basil break down the importance of solidifying your protagonist's character arc. They look at the relationship between flaw and inner need, how it ties to theme, and how you can use it in your own writing.
Character Development in a Screenplay - Breaking Story 003
Which comes first: story or characters? As screenwriters, we use characters to reveal story just as much as we use story to inform our characters. So, how does that story-driven character development process work?
In this episode, NYU Film Professor John Warren, Adam Schaller, and Alexie Basil talk about building and developing characters for stories. They explore the symbiotic relationship between character and story, and share their favorite techniques for character development.
World Building in a Screenplay
As screenwriters, we spend a lot of time thinking our characters, story, conflict, and dramatic action. But what about the world they inhabit?
In this episode, NYU Film Professor John Warren, Adam Schaller, and Alexie Basil talk world building—about designing rich and authentic worlds in screenplays. They dive into iconic scripts like STAR WARS and ALIEN, as well as series like BREAKING BAD, to identify what world building techniques screenwriters can employ to bring their world to life.
Your First 10 Pages
The first 10 pages of your screenplay set the tone for your entire movie—and tell the reader whether they should keep reading or toss your script in the trash.
In the first-ever episode of Breaking Story by Young Screenwriters, NYU Film Professor John Warren, Adam Schaller, and Alexie Basil take a look at opening pages from exceptional screenplays like RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK and MARRIAGE STORY and break down how you can make your first 10 pages punch through the slush pile.