A video series recreating the classes taught by former NYU professor, Gordon Farrell. In these recorded lectures, he shares the writing techniques he taught for over 30 years at Tisch School of the Arts, to students who have gone on to become some of the most successful writers in the industry today.


What is it that makes a dramatic script powerful, even irresistible to audiences? What is it audiences seek when they watch theater, movies, and TV show after TV show? Aristotle’s insights into this question have shaped the evolution of our craft for 2,400 years. In this video, we lay the groundwork for a comprehensive understanding of how to use Aristotle’s insights in your own scripts.


Aristotle’s Poetics is quite skimpy on the subject of creating characters, no doubt because he had already covered the subject thoroughly in his Ethics and knew that his students were familiar with his concept of character. In this lecture, we cross-reference the Ethics with the Poetics to learn what he had to say about bringing your characters to life in an unforgettable manner.


Breaking away from Aristotle: The absurdist movement of the 1950s changed forever the way we write scripts for stage, film, and televsion. Writers had come to believe that our efforts to change the world will always fail. They found a way to express that view of life in scripts that still hold audiences enthralled. Television, stage and movie writing continue to draw on these powerful techniques today.


Surrealism in theater, film, and the visual arts grew out of a frustration with the limitations of realism and naturalism. The surrealists believe that the true cause of life’s events and upheavals lies in the depths of unexamined and unarticulated forces surging through the darkest corners of our minds. How do we tap into that power in our theater? in our movies? in our TV writing? Here’s an introduction to this mysterious process…