Writing Hit Super Hero and Fantasy: A Joss Whedon Case Study

Writing Hit Super Hero and Fantasy: A Joss Whedon Case Study

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From his script doctoring of Toy Story and Speed to the creation of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer and Firefly to the international blockbuster Avengers movies, Joss Whedon’s scripts have inspired both a passionate cult following and a mass audience. How does he do this? By centering every plot move, story element and even every action sequence on character first.

In this OnDemand webinar you’ll explore how Whedon creates characters and how he creates stories to explore them even in the context of billion-dollar superhero franchises – and how you can bring the same blend of intimacy and spectacle to your own scripts.

William Rabkin has spent decades studying Whedon’s work, both as a fan and as a teacher. Now he wants to share what he’s learned with you.


  • What makes Whedon’s work special
  • How Whedon creates and explores characters audiences fall in love with
  • How Whedon uses action and spectacle to deepen characters
  • How Whedon’s scripts blend action and characterization
  • How Whedon uses humor to heighten emotion – even tragedy
  • How to think like Whedon when you’re approaching your own stories


  • Writers who are interested in genre films
  • Writers who love superhero movies
  • Writers who wish superhero movies could be better!
  • Writers who want to bring depth to their characters
  • Writers who want to create more satisfying action sequences
  • Writers who want to understand how to bring emotion to a tentpole fantasy action script
  • Writers who want to break into the small group who are hired to write big budget superhero, action and fantasy movies
  • Joss Whedon fans who want to know more about the work they love.

William Rabkin, author of WRITING THE PILOT and co-author of best-selling book SUCCESSFUL TELEVISION WRITING, is a veteran showrunner whose executive producing credits include “Missing,” “Diagnosis Murder,” and “Martial Law.” He has most recently written for A&E’s new hit show The Glades. His writing and/or producing credits also include “Monk,” “Psych,” “SeaQuest,” “Spenser: For Hire,” “Hunter,” “Baywatch,” “Sliders,” “The Cosby Mysteries,” and “Nero Wolfe,” to name a few. In addition, Rabkin has directed episodes of “Diagnosis Murder” and several short films. He has led writing seminars in Madrid and Stockholm, consulted for broadcasters in Germany, Sweden, and the Netherlands, and served as an adjunct professor of screenwriting at Stephens College. He is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of creative writing in the University of California, Riverside’s MFA Program, Palm Desert Graduate Center, and also teaches television writing at the UCLA Extension. He is the author of five original novels based on the characters from the show Psych and published by NAL: “A Mind Is A Terrible Thing to Read,” “Mind Over Magic,” “The Call of the Mild,” “A Fatal Frame of Mind,” and “Mind-Altering Murder.” He is also the co-creator and co-editor of The Dead Man, a monthly series of action horror novels publlished by Amazon’s 47North imprint.

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