Every Great Scene Has These 3 Elements – Jen Grisanti


Film Courage: What is a scene?

Jen Grisanti, Speaker/Story/Career Consultant, Author: A scene is like one step toward the bigger picture. In the scene you’re looking at who wants what and what is getting in the way. Who wants what, what is getting in the way, how do you create the small piece of the bigger puzzle through looking at the scene and also understanding what is the conflict in the scene is a struggle that I see a lot of writers go through. You often will find scenes that have no conflict and you have no sense of who wants what and what is getting in the way. By simply understanding the scene as a part of the greater picture and how you are creating a step toward an outcome while escalating the conflict is an important part of scene work.


-Who wants what?

-What is getting in the way?

-How do you create the small piece of the bigger puzzle through looking at the scene?

-What is the conflict in the scene is a struggle?


Film Courage: What happens in a good scene?

Jen: A good scene is a strategic approach to How does the scene serve the purpose of advancing the external plot as well as the internal with the character development. A good scene brings us into the personal so that we feel the personal as well as understanding how it’s a step in the external plot.

Film Courage: What do a lot of new writers get wrong when they write scenes?

Jen: I would say the biggest thing…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).



International speaker Jen Grisanti is an acclaimed Story/Career Consultant at Jen Grisanti Inc., a 13-year Writing Instructor for Writers on the Verge at NBC, and a former 12-year studio executive, including VP of Current Programming at CBS/Paramount. Jen is the author of three books, Story Line: Finding Gold in Your Life Story, TV Writing Tool Kit: How To Write a Script That Sells, Change Your Story, Change Your Life: A Path To Your Success. 

Grisanti started her career in 1992 as an assistant to Aaron Spelling. He served as her mentor for 12 years. She quickly climbed the ranks and eventually ran Current Programs at Spelling Television Inc., covering all Spelling’s shows, including Beverly Hills, 90210, Melrose Place, and Charmed. In 2004, Grisanti was promoted to Vice President of Current Programs at CBS/Paramount, where she covered numerous shows, including Medium, Numbers, NCIS, 4400, and Girlfriends. 

In January 2008, Grisanti launched Jen Grisanti Inc., a highly successful consulting firm dedicated to helping talented writers break into the industry. Drawing on her experience as a studio executive, where she gave daily notes to executive producers/showrunners, Grisanti guides writers to shape their material, write from their emotional truth, hone their pitches, and focus their careers. Since launching the consulting firm, Grisanti has worked with over 1000 writers specializing in television and features. Due to her expertise and mentorship, one hundred and six pilots have sold, including ten that went to series, and one hundred fifty-two writers have staffed.















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