Writing the Short

Go from idea to shootable short script in 5 weeks.

Recommended by Teachable

You can pay for this course in 4 installments.
Click here to pay $247 for 4 months.








  • 25 HD video lessons
  • 5 Weeks of Content
  • 5 Writing Projects
  • Certificate of Completion
  • Mobile and tablet friendly access
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Teachable Best Price Guarantee™

If you find it cheaper anywhere else, we'll refund you the difference.

Your Outcome

If you want to write movies, you don't need a feature film right out of the gate . . . you need a short script that DEMANDS ATTENTION.

Often, young screenwriters will overlook the power of a strong short script. They want to immediately dive into writing their feature.

But did you know . . .

  • You can win prestigious screenwriting competitions with a short
  • You can use your short to wow agents, managers, and producers
  • You can realistically shoot a short on your own and add it to your reel
  • You can use your short to apply to world-renowned film programs and universities
  • You can test a feature film idea on a smaller scale before investing tons of time and money

Want to know the number one mistake young screenwriters make? Sitting down with a pen and paper (or a laptop) and writing "FADE IN" before knowing exactly where their story is going.

So often, I've had students tell me, "I'll figure it out as I go..." or "It can't be that hard. I have an idea and I can write."

They have no experience screenwriting. But really, they wonder, how important can structure be?




Very, very, very important.

Structure is the roadmap for your entire script. The foundation. The bones.

And to have a script that demands attention, you need a foundation that is strong, confident, and grounded.

This 6-module course is designed to help you go from no idea to a compelling, audience-ready, shootable short script in just 5 weeks . . . even if you have no screenwriting experience whatsoever.

This course will walk you through all the secrets I've acquired through over the course of 20+ years in the movie business, both as a professional screenwriter and as a professor of screenwriting at NYU Tisch School of the Arts. It includes the insights I gained by meeting with countless agents, producers, and filmmakers, selling my own feature films, and studying the most successful films to discover what they have in common.

Wondering what kind of short film you could write?

Check out this award-winning animated short film written and created by one of my students, Jacob Kafka.

Throughout the course, you're going to learn absolutely everything you need to know to write your own short script—and even some tips on bringing it to life.

And, one of the most incredible parts of the course is that you have the opportunity to get personalized, one-on-one feedback on 5 separate writing projects.

So, to recap, we're talking about:

  • More than 25 exclusive videos walking you through the screenwriting fundamentals
  • 5 writing projects (with opportunities for personal, one-on-one feedback)
  • The chance to earn an official certificate, celebrating your work

Writing the Short encapsulates my most useful successes and discoveries in hopes that you can take a shortcut and avoid the same mistakes I made.

It's a step-by-step guide for getting your idea on the page so you can start telling the stories you need to tell in just 5 weeks.

So, what are you waiting for?

Hit that enroll button, and I hope to see you inside Writing the Short!

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Course Curriculum

Week 1: Welcome!

  • Welcome to Week 1! (0:31)
  • Your Goal (6:00)
  • Project: Writing Your Idea (3:58)
  • BONUS: The Time Disney Had a Bad Idea (3:23)

Week 2: Your Logline

  • Welcome to Week 2! (1:16)
  • Protagonist (1:46)
  • Antagonist (1:18)
  • Objective (2:01)
  • Obstacles, Antagonists, and Conflict (1:43)
  • Project: Writing Your Logline (0:49)

Week 3: Your Pitch

  • Welcome to Week 3! (1:35)
  • Inner Need and Flaw (1:21)
  • Ultimate Test and Resolution (2:29)
  • Project: Writing Your Pitch (4:09)

Week 4: Beatsheet

  • Welcome to Week 4!
  • Act 1 (1:29)
  • Act 2 (1:55)
  • Act 3 (2:34)
  • Project: Writing Your Beatsheet (4:49)

Week 5: Your Script

  • Welcome to Week 5!
  • Dialogue (2:10)
  • Formatting
  • Revising (1:21)
  • Project: Writing Your Script (2:30)
  • BONUS: Your Future
  • What's Next? (1:21)
  • Get Your Certificate!
  • BONUS: Should You Direct Your Own Script? (1:09)
  • BONUS: Getting and Giving Notes (2:42)
  • BONUS: What is a Pitch Meeting Like? (6:04)
  • BONUS: What is a Storyboard?
  • Tell Us What You Thought!

Your Instructor

John Warren
Professor at NYU Tisch

John Warren is a professor of screenwriting at New York University Tisch School of the Arts Film and Television Program.

He began his writing studies at Ohio University and continued at the New School in New York. In 1986 Warren accepted a fellowship at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. That same year Warren sold his first script, The Body Politic, to Orion Films.

Warren has had a variety of films in development over the years, including The Family Tree at Universal, Super Model at Disney, Passionate Kiss at Dreamworks, Sneaky People at DeLaurentis Productions, Tark the Shark and Man Bites Dog at Showtime. Naked in New York, which Warren wrote, was produced by Martin Scorsese. Warren wrote and produced Flashfire for Tri-Mark Films and Girl in the Cadillac for Columbia. As a writer/director, Warren made The Curse of Inferno for MPCA and Major League: Back to the Minors, released by Warner Bros.

On the TV side, Warren’s writing credits include Johnny Bago (CBS), The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. (Fox Network) and Fortune Hunter (Columbia Tri-Star TV).

Warren is married to Janet Eilber, Artistic Director of the Martha Graham Center of Contemporary Dance, with whom he has two daughters, Madeline and Eva.

Frequently asked questions

When does the course start and finish?

Whenever you want! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.

How long do I have access to the course?

How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.

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