STORY Seminar
  • LOS ANGELES April 29 – May 1, 2022
  • LONDON May 13 – May 15, 2022
  • NEW YORK Fall 2022*
  •  
  • *Date To Be Confirmed

Register Here

THE LEGENDARY STORY SEMINAR

Story creation. Are you inspired by an idea for a story, but don’t know how to realize it? True story is a question of continuous creativity – not a set of formulaic page numbers. Take advantage of one of the best story brains in the business, and let Robert McKee prompt and guide you to your best insights yet. Here is an opportunity to apply classic story design – the kind that has resulted in masterpieces of all kinds – to your own cinematic, theatrical or literary premise.

Robert McKee’s STORY Seminar is ideal for Screenwriters, TV Writers, Novelists, Playwrights, Filmmakers, Directors, Producers, Documentary Makers, Actors and more…

LESS THAN 1% OF WRITERS SELL THEIR SCREENPLAYS. THIS IS YOUR CHANCE TO LEARN WHAT THEY ALREADY KNOW.

Of the total creative effort represented in a finished work, 75% or more of a writer’s labor goes into designing story – only 1% of writers understand this. Anxious, inexperienced writers obey rules. Rebellious, unschooled writers break rules. Artists master the form. The only way to truly master the form is to intimately understand every aspect of Story. Robert McKee’s STORY Seminar is designed to help you master these principles. This seminar goes well beyond the essential mechanics of screenwriting. It will elevate your writing from an intellectual exercise to an emotional one, transforming the craft of screenwriting into an art form. The STORY Seminar affords you the opportunity to separate yourself from the herd of writers who will never invest the time to properly master the form and thus will never have the success they truly desire.

REMEMBER: There’s no such thing as an unemployed writer who has fully mastered the art.

Invest the time. Do the work. Write the truth.

THE RESULTS WILL FOLLOW.

N

Story is about principles, not rules.

N

Story is about archetypes, not stereotypes.

N

Story is about eternal, universal forms, not formulas.

N

Story is about thoroughness, not shortcuts.

N

Story is about the realities, not the mysteries of writing.

N

Story is about mastering the art, not second-guessing the marketplace.

N

Story is about respect, not disdain, for the audience.

N

Story is about originality, not duplication.

What Can I Expect?

Here's an outline of the STORY Seminar.

Seminar Schedule

}

Lecture

9:00 am – 10:30 am
}

Morning Break

Q&A with Robert McKee 10:30 am – 10:50 am

}

Lecture

10:50 am – 12:20 pm

}

Lunch

12:20 pm – 1:20 pm

}

Lecture

1:20 pm – 2:50 pm
}

Afternoon Break

Q&A with Robert McKee 2:50 pm – 3:10 pm

}

Lecture

3:10 pm – 4:40 pm

}

Evening Break

Q&A with Robert McKee 4:40 pm – 5:00 pm

}

Lecture

5:00 pm – 6:30 pm

Seminar Outline

SECTION ONE

  • The writer and the art of story
  • The decline of story in contemporary film
  • Story design: the meaning of story, the substance of story, the limitations and inspirations of story structure & genre, the debate between character vs story design
  • Premise Idea, Counter Idea, Controlling Idea
  • Story Structure: beat, scene, sequence, act, story
  • Mapping the Story universe: Archplot, Miniplot, Antiplot
  • Shaping the source of story energy and creation

SECTION TWO

  • Putting the elements of story together
  • The principles of character dimension and design
  • The composition of scenes
  • Titles
  • Irony; Melodrama
  • False endings
  • The text: description, dialogue, and poetics
  • The spectrum of story genres

SECTION THREE

  • Act design: the great sweep and body of story
  • The first major story event (the inciting incident)
  • Scene design in Story: turning points, emotional dynamics, setup/payoff, the nature of choice
  • Ordering and linking scenes
  • Exposition: dramatizing your characters, the story setting, creating back story
  • The principles of antagonism
  • Crisis, climax and resolution

SECTION FOUR

  • Story adaptations
  • Scene analysis: text and sub-text; design through dialogue versus design through action
  • The writer’s method: working from the inside out; the creative process from inspiration to final draft.
  • How it all works: the principles of the previous days applied in a 6-hour, scene-by-scene screening and analysis of CASABLANCA

Where Can I Attend?

Ready to register? We've got a number of upcoming seminars.

IMAGERY Webinar Series

Begins: November 4, 2021   Ends: November 23, 2021  

Start Time: 1:00 pm   End Time: 3:00 pm  

"Whether a story’s content is beautiful or grotesque, spiritual or profane, epic or intimate, it requires full expression."
- Robert McKee

Once in the ritual of story, audiences react to every image, visual or auditory, symbolically. We instinctively sense that each object, word and setting has been selected to mean more than itself, and so we connote every denotation.

A well-told story, well directed and acted, will be a good story. All that, plus an enrichment and deepening of the work’s expressivity through the writer’s skilled command of imagery, will be a great story.  

McKee's 2021 IMAGERY IN FICTION Webinar Series

Robert McKee concludes his fall program with a brand-new webinar series: Imagery in Fiction. 

In three 90-minute lessons (+30-minute Q&A sessions), and three exclusive 2-hour follow-up Q&As, McKee presents an all-new series of lessons teaching you how to elevate your story, how to create images for the eye versus the ear, and the art of writing prose versus dialogue and settings, before concluding the series with a masterclass on the multiple ways to employ single, multiple and merged image systems in your work. 

Late joining the live sessions?

Not to worry! As a courtesy to our global audience, we're providing limited access to the recordings of each event. Sign up now and catch up at your convenience. Recordings of the Imagery in Fiction Webinar Series will be accessible until January 31, 2022.

PART 1

Thursday, November 4: Sources of Imagery
Tuesday, November 9: Follow-Up Q&A Session

Recordings will be available to stream until January 31, 2022.

In Part 1 of the series, McKee breaks down sourcing imagery from your imagination, dreams and subconscious, and teaches writers how to optimize their use. Topics covered in this webinar include:

  • Archetypal Imagery
    Symbolic imagery and how to create an image system.
  • Metaphorical Imagery
    How to use tropes in dialogue and descriptions.
  • Mental Imagery
    How will the reader receive and react to the images?
  • 30-minute Q&A
    Clarify your understanding of the lecture content.

PART 2

Thursday, November 11: Imagery and Media
Tuesday, November 16: Follow-Up Q&A Session

Recordings will be available to stream until January 31, 2022.

In Part 2 of the series, McKee teaches the key differences between creating imagery for stage, page and screen, and how to maximize the benefits of each. Topics covered in this webinar include:

  • Projected
    Optimizing imagery in your script for film or television.
  • Described
    How to harness the power of imagery for the page.
  • Spoken
    Maximizing imagery for the stage.
  • 30-minute Q&A
    Clarify your understanding of the lecture content.

PART 3

Thursday, November 18: Compound Imagery
Tuesday, November 23: Follow-Up Q&A Session

Recordings will be available to stream until January 31, 2022.

In Part 3 of the series, McKee delivers an in-depth breakdown of imagery in three on-screen works of art. Topics covered in this webinar include:

  • Counterpoint
    How to juxtapose imagery within your story.
  • Merged Imagery
    Combining imagery to instill meaning.
  • In-Depth Study
    A breakdown of the use of imagery in three modern-day classics.
  • 30-minute Q&A
    Clarify your understanding of the lecture content.

How It Works

Webinars
Webinars take place live on Thursdays from 1:00pm - 3:00pm Eastern Time (US & Canada).

Q&A Sessions
Follow-Up Q&A Sessions take place live on the following Tuesdays from 1:00pm - 3:00pm Eastern Time (US & Canada).

Recordings
The link to each recorded session will be emailed to registrants within 24 hours of its conclusion. Recordings will be available to stream until January 31, 2022.

Available Spaces: Unlimited

STORY - Los Angeles (Spring 2022)

Begins: April 29, 2022   Ends: May 1, 2022  

Start Time: 9:00 am   End Time: 6:30 pm  

Robert McKee's Los Angeles STORY Seminar

In an intense 3 days, Robert McKee teaches the substance, structure, style and principles of Story. Learn how to apply classical story design – the kind that has resulted in masterpieces of all kinds – to your own cinematic, theatrical or literary premise.

Available Spaces: Unlimited

STORY - London (Spring 2022)

Begins: May 13, 2022   Ends: May 15, 2022  

Start Time: 9:00 am   End Time: 6:30 pm  

Robert McKee's London STORY Seminar

In an intense 3 days, Robert McKee teaches the substance, structure, style and principles of Story. Learn how to apply classical story design – the kind that has resulted in masterpieces of all kinds – to your own cinematic, theatrical or literary premise.

Available Spaces: Unlimited

Upcoming STORY Seminars

In an intense 3 days, Robert McKee teaches the substance, structure, style and principles of Story. Learn how to apply classical story design – the kind that has resulted in masterpieces of all kinds – to your own cinematic, theatrical or literary premise.

April 29 – May 1, 2022
May 13 – May 15, 2022

The Legendary STORY Seminar

For you to fully understand the power of attending a Robert McKee seminar, listen to what a handful of past students have to say:

“McKee gives the writer a very liberating set of guidelines.”

GEOFFREY RUSH

Oscar-winning Actor

“…stimulating, innovative, refreshingly practical.”

LAWRENCE KASDAN

Oscar-winning Screenwriter/Director

“Not only the best teacher of writing I’ve ever had…but the best teacher of anything.”

STEVE PRESSFIELD

Bestselling Author