Writing the Family (Friendly) Film

Writing the Family (Friendly) Film

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What is a Family Film? Is it a film about families? For families? Is it geared towards kids? Is it defined by the G and PG rating? In this seminar we will start by defining what constitutes a family film on a commercial basis, from the perspective of the producers and studios to the audiences and critics. We will then identify the structures, themes, characters and tropes that define the genre on the level of craft and art in order to assist the writing and development process.

As a development executive in family films, Pete Letz worked with writers, producers, directors, actors and studios in the family film development process. Now running his own management/production company he continues to seek out and develop broad appeal family projects.

We’ll look at a wide variety of films and identify the patterns. From Finding Nemo and Night at the Museum to E.T, Paul Blart, Daddy Day Care and Lego, we will identify what binds these disparate films together and how one can use that knowledge to write a family screenplay.


  • Subgenres and narrative templates
  • Key themes
  • Recurrent characters and characters arcs
  • Pitching
  • What studios look for
  • Common pitfalls


  • Writers who want to improve their craft in writing the family film
  • Writers who want to learn about the business of family films
  • Writers seeking a close study of genre
  • Writers who want to learn how to pitch family films
  • Writers who want to learn more about script development from the point of view of a former development executive
  • Producers and Executives who would like to brush up on the family film genre
  • Academics, Bloggers and Critics who would like a real industry look into the script development process

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