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with john yorke

3-day Online Programme
25th, 26th, 27th June, 2024   

They make up every act, every episode, every season, every moment of every great drama. A scene is the smallest divisible element of a screenplay.  Its structure is replicated by a sequence, an act, an episode, a whole film.   It’s the DNA of any narrative, and as such – a detailed look at what scenes are, how they work and what you can do with them – is the very best way to understand all narrative structure

In six 90 minute sessions, John takes us through scene structure, scene history, scenes as building blocks, and scenes as chains of cause and effect.  How they work, how to write them, how to cut from one to another, how to use them to create pace, how to use them to define character, how to make them utterly compelling

From how to structure them, to how to use them as Mise-en-Scene, how they appear in beat sheets, synopsis and treatments, everything you need to know about advanced story structure is here


Basic definitions, where they come from, and how you link them together to form beat sheets, treatments, and synopses

Detailed dive into the DNA of scenes – how they are put together and what they can teach you

Periodic Structure – what is it, and what can it teach you

Subversion of Expectation
How good scene structure can completely change the emotional power of a script

The Character’s Perspective
How to approach scenes from a character’s point of view.  How that can revolutionise your story

Mise – en – Scene
Scene and image – the vital link

Non-linear scenes
Fighting traditional structure

Creating Propulsive Drive
How to assemble scenes to give story a whole new level of power

Scene Transitions
How to cut from one scene to another to create an armoury of narrative effects.
“J Cuts and L Cuts”.  Bringing the language of cinema to your script

The Language of Scene Description
How the way you write a scene down can transform your work

Scene Logistics
How you tie writing and production together to create a system of mutual support.  Recap and final exercise

Who is this for?
Writers, Script Editors, Story Editors, Development Executives, Executive Producers, Commissioners

25th, 26th, 27th June 

11am – 12:30pm BST
3:30pm – 5pm BST

Standard Fee:
£450 (plus VAT if applicable) 


Please review our Terms and Conditions, which includes advice about our Data Protection and Privacy Policy.

For more details contact: [email protected]

All Online Programmes will be conducted in English


John is a drama producer, author and teacher who has spent 30 years studying our insatiable appetite for stories. His long career in TV drama has given him the tools to identify the underlying shape common to all successful narratives – from drama to political speeches

He is the author of the UK’s bestselling book on narrative structure – Into The Woods – How Stories Work and Why We Tell Them.
As former Head of Channel Four Drama, Controller of BBC Drama Production and MD of Company Pictures, John has shaped stories that have attracted some of the biggest audiences for drama in UK TV history

He has overseen some of the UK’s most enduring and popular programmes, from Shameless and Life On Mars to East Enders and Holby City, alongside award-winners like Bodies and the internationally acclaimed Wolf Hall. John has worked with a vast array of talent, from Paul Greengrass and Paul Abbott to Debbie Horsfield and Jimmy McGovern, making him uniquely placed to watch, learn and analyse the work of the finest writers in television

“This is a marvellous analysis of screenwriting and, with any luck, should help a great many people achieve their dreams

Julian Fellowes


“Probably the most accessible, inspiring take on story that I’ve attended.  We came home with a clearer and deeper understanding of our work, and with a common set of vocabulary, which is key to good teamwork.”



Companies that have participated:
In light of continually expanding opportunities provided by the international markets, please contact us to review your corporate interests and projects for coproduction to build business and creative strategies to expand your international presence