The Fifteen

Course Purpose:

There are fifteen beats to any successful screenplay that every actor should know. When auditioning, actors should be able to navigate not only their audition piece, but they should also understand where that scene fits into the rest of the film. This skill will enable them to fully realize their character and performance.

Course Goals and Outcomes:

During this course students will learn the structural elements that support every script, as well as the required key components. To demonstrate their knowledge, students will write their own screenplay. Topics covered include:

  • How to identify the fifteen key beats in any movie
  • Defining the traditional three act structure
  • Exploring the four elements of a great one-liner
  • Recognizing the ten types of movies
  • Simplifying story
  • Focusing on characters’ primal urges in story development
  • Plotting major plot turns and conflict
Course Activities:

During this course students will work with a variety of media as they explore the following:

  • Creating a one-liner
  • Creating a movie title
  • Creating a one-sheet and movie poster
  • Developing the 15 beats
  • Creating the 40 scene cards
  • Writing a script with a target of 110 pages
Course Texts:

Save the Cat!

Supplies and Equipment:

Computer, screenwriting software, internet access, printer.

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