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Lean and Mean: Using Jeff Kitchen's Reverse Cause and Effect to Construct a Tight Script

At a Glance

  • Learn Jeff Kitchen’s plot construction tool that development execs from all the major Hollywood studios rave about
  • Work backwards from an effect to its cause to build a tight, coherent screenplay
  • Strip your plot down to its absolute core, separating the necessary from the unnecessary

Jeff Kitchen has taught Reverse Cause and Effect to development executives from all the major Hollywood studios and they love its unique power to build screenplays that are tight, coherent, and compelling. 

“Your seminar for Development Executives was by far the best seminar I have ever taken.... Your class is the most comprehensive one offered as far as making people understand how to apply the tools and make them work.”

- Jennifer Grisanti (Story/Career Consultant, Writing Instructor for NBC’s Writers on the Verge, former 12-year studio executive, and blogger for The Huffington Post)

A script should have good cause and effect such that the first event causes the second, which causes the third, and so on through to the ending. You create this by working backwards from the ending, building from an effect back to its cause, thereby constructing an unbroken chain of events that has a good forward flow and keeps the audience on the edge of their seats.

It also separates the necessary from the unnecessary, a crucial skill for a dramatist, stripping your plot down to its basics in the same way that radically pruning a tree exposes its major branches. 

This gives you a good objective look at the script’s essentials and enables you to systematically build an extremely solid outline, gradually developing detail as it becomes necessary. The trick is that you chain backwards through your story asking “What is the cause of that effect?” and not “What came before it?” Any number of things came before it, but only one actually caused it. In this way you free yourself from the profusion of unnecessary details that can bog down your script development process and make it hard to see the forest for the trees.

WHAT YOU’LL LEARN

  • One of the most powerful plot construction tools in the film industry
  • Use the power of logic to systematically build a tight, coherent, and powerful outline
  • Work backward from the end of your story to the beginning using reverse cause to effect
  • Separate the necessary from the unnecessary in every single part of your screenplay
  • Give your plot a crisp forward flow that keeps your audience on the edge of their seat
  • State the objective of your script in crystal clear terms and move everything toward it
  • Make the crucial distinction between the writer’s objective and the protagonist’s objective
  • Gradually filling in detail as it’s needed frees you from the profusion of unnecessary detail
  • Make sure that your overall plot works before developing your acts, sequences, or scenes
  • Turn “mere story” into coherent, compelling, continuous dramatic action
  • Never feel trapped by a jumble of story possibilities—this tool always helps you solve that
  • Find a clear logical path through your story material and toss out extraneous dead weight
  • Learn how the screenplay is one of the most compact of all literary forms
  • Cure the “episodic” script, the succession of unconnected plot points that doesn’t go anywhere
  • Be able to step back and evaluate your material objectively at any point in your writing process
  • Build an unbroken chain of events that constitutes the spine of your story
  • Make this process a habit and you’ll never be paralyzed by the plot construction process again
  • Learn why Hollywood studio developments execs absolutely love this amazing tool

HOW DOES THE WEBINAR WORK?

The webinar is broadcast over the Internet with the live audio being delivered through your computer speakers or over your telephone. The presentation is displayed directly from the Presenter's computer on to your computer screen.

The Q&A is managed through a chat-style submission system with questions being answered by the Presenter for the entire class to hear. In the event some questions are not answered during the live session, an e-mail with all questions and answers will be sent to all webinar attendees.

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

For PC-based users:
• Required: Windows® 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server
• Required: Internet Explorer® 7.0 or newer, Mozilla® Firefox® 3.0 or newer or Google™ Chrome™ 5.0 or newer (JavaScript™ and Java™ enabled)
• Required: Internet connection, with cable modem, DSL or better recommended
• Recommended: Minimum of Pentium® class 1GHz CPU with 512 MB of RAM (2 GB of RAM for Windows® Vista)

For Mac-based users:
• Required: Mac OS® X 10.5 (Leopard®), OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard®)
• Required: Safari™ 3.0 or newer, Firefox® 3.0 or newer or Google™ Chrome™ 5.0 or newer (JavaScript™ and Java™ enabled)
• Required: Internet connection, with cable modem, DSL or better recommended
• Required: Intel processor with 512 MB of RAM or better recommended

For iPad-based users:
• Required: Free GoToMeeting app from the Apple App Store
• Required: WiFi connection to use VoIP

QUESTIONS?

If you have questions about the webinar, please e-mail us at webinar@writersstore.com or call us prior to the start time at 800.272.8927.

The Writers Store does not offer any refunds for the webinar. All sales are final.

Product Details

  • Date available: 08/21/2012
  • Publication date: 08/21/2012
  • Return policy: This item is not eligible for return.

Return Policy

Your satisfaction is our top priority. If you are not satisfied with your purchase, please return the item(s) for an exchange or refund within 30 days from the purchase date, unless otherwise noted on the product page.

Ship the item(s) to The Writers Store via a traceable and insured method. You will be responsible for return shipping fees.

Please include a completed Return Form with your shipment. Refunds take up to one week to process once we have received the item(s).

Software returns must be deactivated and uninstalled from your computer before a refund may be issued. Please contact the software manufacturer if you need assistance uninstalling or deactivating your software.

The following items are not returnable: Hollywood Creative Directories, DVDs (opened), and Gift Certificates.

Meet the Author: Jeff Kitchen

Jeff Kitchen is a working writer and has taught screenwriting professionally for over twenty years. Jeff worked as a dramaturg in New York theater and taught advanced playwriting technique before bringing the craft of the dramatist to screenwriters. He is a sought-after script consultant and is considered one of the top scriptwriting teachers in the world. He’s the author of Writing a Great Movie: Key Tools for Successful Screenwriting.