Story Mapping the Films of Christopher Nolan

Story Mapping the Films of Christopher Nolan

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Learn the storytelling secrets of blockbuster Writer/Director Christopher Nolan by unlocking the intricate structures of his biggest films: MEMENTO, BATMAN BEGINS, THE DARK KNIGHT, INCEPTION, and THE DARK KNIGHT RISES.

Story Analyst Daniel Calvisi will introduce you to the story structure and principles used in most commercial movies, including the films of Christopher Nolan. The "Story Map" breaks down a movie into its clear, concise dramatic elements and plot points. These are the building blocks of your story and the “signpost” beats of your plot, and they must be in the proper order and desired page range—no matter the genre—if you want to blow away the reader. It was first developed by Daniel Calvisi while working as a Senior Story Analyst for major studios like Miramax Films and Twentieth Century Fox, and later honed as he coached hundreds of writers and worked as a script doctor. This structure is what readers look for on the page and how movies are edited for the screen.

Christopher Nolan and his writing partners, David S. Goyer and Jonathan Nolan, may write BIG movies for a global audience, but their scripts are always intelligent, relevant, and incredibly well-crafted. They push the envelope with fractured narratives, time jumps, complex set pieces, parallel plot lines, and five-act structures. Your script may not be structured as intricately as a Christopher Nolan film, but there is a lot to learn by delving into the mind of a master storyteller.


• How to write a Story Map for your screenplay or any other.
• How to develop a new concept from scratch, or diagnose problems in your existing script.
• How to break down major movies so you can use them as templates for your own screenplays.
• The structure of Christopher Nolan’s biggest movies, with an emphasis on his Dark Knight Trilogy and Inception.
• What readers look for in a spec screenplay.
• How to use theme and conflict to bind your protagonist’s pursuit of their dramatic goals.
• The detailed characteristics of each crucial story beat—where to place them and how to use them in your narrative.
• Essential story beats that appear in almost every major studio movie but have not been defined by any other source in such clear and practical terms, such as the First Casualty, Assumption of Power, and True Point of No Return.


• Writers who want to utilize the structure used by Hollywood pros.
• Writers looking for a more practical, industry-based approach to screenplay structure and outlining that applies to all genres.
• Writers who are developing a new concept and want to begin with the strongest foundation possible.
• Writers with a completed feature screenplay who want to locate issues that are holding the script back from reaching the “submission-ready” level.
• Fans of Christopher Nolan films like Memento, The Dark Knight Rises, and Inception who would like to learn more about how he crafts his stories.

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