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The Nutshell Technique


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Table of Contents

  • A Note on the Text
  • Foreword by Patrick Wright
  • Acknowledgments
  • Part 1. The Problem with 99% of Screenplays
    • Chapter 1. The Problem
    • Chapter 2. The Solution
  • Part 2. The Nutshell Technique Process
    • Chapter 3. How to Use This Book
    • Chapter 4. Protagonist
    • Chapter 5. Set-Up Want: Part 1
    • Chapter 6. Point of No Return
    • Chapter 7. Set-Up Want: Part 2
    • Chapter 8. Catch
    • Chapter 9. Flaw
    • Chapter 10. Crisis
    • Chapter 11. Triumph
    • Chapter 12. Climactic Choice
    • Chapter 13. Final Step
    • Chapter 14. Strength
  • Part 3. Advanced Application of the Nutshell Technique
    • Chapter 15. Nonlinear Screenplays
    • Chapter 16. Using a "Secret Protagonist" to Structure a Nonconventional Story
  • Part 4: Film Nutshells
  • Notes
  • Index

Promotional Information

"Just over a century after the invention of the moving picture, Jill Chamberlain may be the one to have finally cracked cinema's genetic code. The Nutshell Technique is a truly great method for understanding the dramatic mechanisms needed for an excellent film. As screenwriters, we need better tools to help us develop more resonant stories. As educators, we need tools that help our students understand the mechanisms at work in great storytelling. In these pages, Chamberlain has put together a fantastic tool set." -- Patrick Wright, Director of the MFA in Filmmaking at Maryland Institute College of Art and codirector of the JHU and MICA Film Center in Baltimore, Maryland. An editor and producer, he has worked on such films as Oyler: One School, One Year, See You Soon Again, and the

About the Author

Jill Chamberlain is a sought-after script doctor, story consultant, and screenwriting coach who founded The Screenplay Workshop (www.thescreenplayworkshop.org). She has taught the Nutshell Technique to more than a thousand screenwriters around the globe, and many of her students have achieved success in Hollywood, having their screenplays optioned, sold, and made into award-winning feature films.


"A clever, fresh way of analyzing structure. I've added to my own writing toolbox." * Creative Screenwriting magazine *
"A Top 10 Book of the Year. A go-to guide for anyone with a story to write." * Austin Chronicle *
" offers ideas that will grow in resonance with each movie you watch. . . a comprehensive method of categorizing movies that you might consider your favorites can now be applied." * Free Press Houston *

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