Story Development

Wednesday, March 22, 2017 - 6:00pm - 10:00pm
Wednesday, March 29, 2017 - 6:00pm - 10:00pm
Enrolment is limited to: 

Do you have a screen story but don’t know whether to write it as a short, a web series or a feature film? Do you know which format you are writing for but wonder if you have too much (or too little) story? This class will focus on four key formats for emerging screenwriters and filmmakers: short films; web series, television and feature films. The class will identify storytelling principles common to all formats while also exploring the crucial ways in which they diverge. While the short film is often about the large impact of small moments, the successful series relies on a powerful story engine that can continually generate new objectives and obstacles, episode after episode. Feature films, in contrast, specialize in character transformation and story resolution. Through in-class screenings, lectures and discussion, participants will develop their understanding of these four fields and will learn how to tailor their stories to the formats in which they are planning to work.

This course is recommended as a companion to the Short Film Writing and Worldbuilding for Storytellers workshops.



Originally from the UK, Stephen Davis is a graduate of the MFA Screenwriting program at the American Film Institute (AFI) in Los Angeles. He has worked as a script reader for companies in Los Angeles, Toronto and the UK. In 2014, he was selected for Script Room 4, a BBC program for developing new talent. His most recent feature film screenplay has received development funding from the British Film Institute (BFI) and Film Wales and was selected for the Black List Mini-Lab at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival. In 2016, he was the runner-up for the Red Planet Prize for new television writing. Passionate about screenwriting education, Stephen also spent a year in the School of Theatre, Film and Television at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and tutored a number of film courses and workshops at York University in Toronto while earning a second Master’s degree in Screenwriting.