“As someone with years of experience in the development world, I found Corey’s class to be
absolutely refreshing. If you are committed to becoming a better screenwriter, this class can help you.”
Director of Development & Production at HBO Films
Over the past 10 years, I’ve been fortunate enough to work closely with some of the smartest and most successful directors, producers and writers in the business. I’ve seen firsthand how they think about, create and revise stories. And none of them use the approaches and methods taught in the screenwriting books and seminars. In fact, their approaches often fly directly in the face of conventional wisdom found in such sources.
Which is why, when I bring in agents, managers or producers to speak at my UCLA classes, they always say that they can spot a script written to one of the popular structure formulas a mile away and that these scripts never succeed. Writers who use a “this must happen by this page” approach almost always run into the following problems:
Their scripts read a lot like all the other scripts following the same rules and formulas and probably have little to no chance to stand out.
Their scripts are predictable since the reader knows what specific plot points are going to happen on what specific page.
Their scripts are populated by less-than-compelling characters that feel like puppets forced to say and do things in order to serve pre-ordained plot points.
Even worse, writers following these formulas tend to destroy what’s original and unique—and hence interesting—about their scripts by forcing them to conform to a set of one-size-fits-all, paint-by-the-numbers rules that hold little real value.
In order to have the best possible chance at success, writers need to develop tools and approaches to create flexible, non-formulaic structure designed to support and enhance, instead of destroy, what is unique and original about their stories, characters and writing.
ORGANIC STORY STRUCTURE WORKSHOP
This eight-week intensive workshop is for writers wishing to move beyond rigid cookie-cutter formulas and paradigms to a deeper understanding of how to create professionally-crafted, personalized stories capable of having maximum emotional impact. Participants will learn the tools of sequence writing, compelling questions, heart of darkness, story design and bisociation, and for tying them all together through layering into true organic story structure.
Additionally, the workshop teaches the foundational tools required for creative integration, allowing writers to develop a process for creating both their strongest possible stories and characters.
$595. Participants may pay by check or credit card.
The Organic Story Structure Workshop is offered online using multi-video conference technology allowing participants to see and hear each other in real time. Writers have attended this workshop from across the US, Europe, Australia, Canada and South Africa.
For writers living in Los Angeles, the Organic Story Structure Workshop is offered at Blankspaces Santa Monica, located at 1450 2nd Street.
Students must have successfully completed the Professional Screenwriting and Television Writing Workshop to attend. If you wish to enroll or have questions, please contact Kathryn Stanley at email@example.com.
Please note that all payments are non-refundable. If your plans change, you may defer your registration to a future workshop as long as you give us at least a 21 day notice before the start of the first class session. Within 21 days, there are no deferments or refunds allowed.
ABOUT THE INSTRUCTORS
Corey Mandell is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter who has written projects for Ridley Scott, Wolfgang Petersen, Harrison Ford, Meg Ryan, Julia Roberts, John Travolta, Warner Brothers, Universal, 20th Century Fox, Fox 2000, Fox Family, Working Title, Paramount, Live Planet, Beacon Films, Touchstone, Trilogy, Radiant, Kopelson Entertainment and Walt Disney Pictures.
Corey’s students have gone on to sell or option scripts to Warner Brothers, Paramount, Sony Pictures, Fox, MGM, Disney, Universal, Showtime, FX, USA Network, NBC, HBO, MTV and AMC. Others have been staffed on such shows as Community, Pretty Little Liars, The Fosters, Bones, Justified, Moz
Talton Wingate is an award-winning writer and professional screenwriter. He was honored for his first script Norman, named one of the “Top 10 Scripts of 2005,” alongside other screenwriting luminaries that year such as Aaron Sorkin (with Charlie Wilson’s War), Diablo Cody (with Juno), and David Benioff (with The Kite-Runner). Norman was released in 2011 as a feature film starring Richard Jenkins, Dan Byrd, Emily Van Camp and Adam Goldberg.
Talton has experience with all aspects of the business from selling specs, adapting original properties, rewriting and pitching. He has also been featured in scr(i)pt magazine. Talton is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Film Program and Creative Writing Program, where he was awarded Best Fiction Writer of 2003. He hails from Atlanta and currently resides in Los Angeles.
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING
Corey burrows under the accepted conventions of film structure until they collapse, revealing inviolate rules to be hollow myths. If screenwriting is the land of fundamentalist experts, Corey is a bomb-throwing radical. When I get in trouble with a story, there are only two sources to which I turn for help – and Corey is one of them.
— Paul Haggis, two-time Academy Award-winning screenwriter and director (Crash, Million Dollar Baby, Casino Royale)
As someone with years of experience in the development world, I found Corey’s class to be absolutely refreshing. He provides exercises which reinforce fundamental elements needed to create a strong screenplay. If you are committed to becoming a better screenwriter, this class can help you.
— Jennifer Soskin, Director of Development and Production at HBO films
No one, and I mean no one, is teaching what Corey is teaching. This is the best workshop I have ever attended. There is no way to describe how beneficial it is. I always felt close as a screenwriter, but after taking this workshop I was able to make the necessary changes in my writing and recently sold my first script to Paramount.
— Michael Helvin, writer of The Lesser Heart
After four years, an MFA, and finally my first break into writing for television, I can say that no one — not even the best graduate programs — are teaching what Corey is, and that integrating his techniques into the day-to-day framework of my writing has been the most important variable in any success I’ve had as a screenwriter. The skills I’ve learned have become my secret weapon in the writer’s room and one of the best things that have ever happened to my career. Anyone that has the opportunity to take his courses — consider yourself one of the lucky ones. I know I do.
— Tamara Carter, Staff Writer on HBO’s The Leftovers
I’ve never met a writing teacher like Corey Mandell. He can help you reach your true potential as a storyteller. What you can get from Corey, if you do the work, is a complete training in process and a path toward creative integration and mastery. I can’t recommend his classes enough to anyone serious about screenwriting or TV writing as a career.
— Jennifer Kushner, Director of Artist Development, Film Independent
Over the years, I’ve developed an impressive distaste for screenwriting courses. Most offer little more than paint by numbers formulas and inapplicable industry advice. But Corey’s class is the exception to the rule. It was a wake up call to me. Corey’s teaching method is so unique, so singular, and effective it made me wonder how I ever wrote without it. It’s hands down the best class out there!
— Gary Lundy, writer of A Happening of Monumental Proportions, starring Jennifer Garner and Katie Holmes
I read the books and took the classes but Corey’s workshop was different. Honestly, it was transformative for me. I use the tools I learned from him in every single script meeting. He reshaped the way I think about screenwriting. If you want to become a better screenwriter and you are not signed up for Corey’s class — seriously, get it together!
— Nick Weiss, co-writer and director of the Paramount movie, Drunk Wedding
Corey’s program represents nothing less than a paradigm shift in writing instruction and learning. No longer does a writer have to be told, “You’re only good with concepts, but you can’t write believable dialogue.” Or, “I love your characters, but you just aren’t good with structure.” Corey’s idea of creative integration isn’t just revolutionary, it is fundamental to successful writing — and has never before been taught. I can’t recommend Corey and his programs highly enough.
— Tom Nunan, former network and studio president, and Executive Producer of the Academy Award-winning Crash
Corey’s class was transformative and a huge paradigm shift for me. His Creative Integration method has completely changed the way I approach my work. The skills I learned in his class are now a main part of my toolbox. As a mom to three, I am very budget-conscious and can say without any reservation that his workshops were definitely worth the investment!
— Brandi Nicole Payne, writer of the HBO film, Muted
I’ve written 1 screenplays without any success. During that time I read every screenwriting book and attended all the seminars. After four weeks with Corey I FINALLY knew why my scripts didn’t work, and more importantly, what to do about it. I used everything he taught me to write a script that landed me a manager and then my first script option. THANK YOU!
— Monica Owens, writer of Timebends
Every client I sent to work with Corey has taken great leaps and bounds. His techniques are ingenious, unique and valuable for both beginners and seasoned professionals. I can’t recommend it enough.
— Jeff Graup, Literary Manager, Graup Entertainment
Corey’s unique approach has been invaluable to understanding the conceptual and intuitive aspects of writing, and has led me on a path towards creative integration of the two. Beyond the classroom, Corey’s wisdom and consultations helped me sell my current pilot, The Owen, to Universal Cable Productions. Thank you!
— Mike Dow, writer and producer on ABC’s Young & Hungry and TV Land’s Happily Divorced
Corey is by far the best writing teacher I’ve ever had and taught me techniques I had never heard of before or since. After finishing his class I landed an agent and my first produced writing credit. I sill consult the notes from Corey’s class in my writing as they’ve been indispensable.
— Keith Schreier, Justified, The Good Wife
As a development executive with the dubious honor of having to read countless boring predictable scripts written to the same old boring predictable formulas taught by a growing number of experts who have never actually written a successful script, I am appreciative someone is finally telling the truth. Anyone serious about wanting to be a professional writer needs to take Corey’s workshop.
— Michelle Sart Tanner
Corey not only taught me the tools to access the dark, painful places that make up my intuitive side, he taught me how to combine the conceptual and the intuitive through Creative Integration to reach my full potential as a writer. In the room or on the page, the benefits of Corey’s workshops are immeasurable.
— Roger Grant, writer and producer on the CW’s Beauty and the Beast and NBC’s Chicago Fire
I feel as if I’ve been liberated from Story Structure Hell. I never could fit myself into those formulas and yet felt guilty and inadequate that I was unable to make it work according to their edicts. It always felt constricting and wrong. Thank you for showing me a sane way out.
— Jennifer Hoffman
Corey’s instruction is ground-breakingly brilliant. I received my MFA in Filmmaking where I took dozens of screenwriting courses. My thesis film won the Gold Medal at the Student Academy Awards. And Corey’s class was the biggest wake up call of my life. I have devoted tremendous time, effort, and money to the craft of screenwriting, yet Corey’s class is the best investment of them all. I’ve never witnessed such drastic improvement in my writing in just a few short weeks.
— Patrick Alexander, writer and director of Rundown
This is the first screenwriting class I’ve taken where I actually learned useful tools that I can take home and practice. I continue to use these tools as a professional writer on a daily basis. Studying with Corey was like my Masters Program.
— Diana Mendez, Staff Writer on Rosewood
After taking Corey’s seminar I had a whole new perspective on what makes a film great. The techniques and tools he gave us applied to every client’s screenplay, regardless of genre, and I’m amazed that no one has taught this approach previously. I highly recommend people take the time to hear what he has to say and absorb it.
— Richard Demato, Literary Manager and Partner, Fuse Entertainment