Screenwriting 101: Back to Basics with ScriptHackr

We received a ScriptHackr membership in exchange for our honest review. All opinions are our own. Read to the end to claim a special $200 discount for ScriptLadder readers!


Our experience with ScriptHackr, the new "back to basics" screenwriting course from ScriptReader Pro!


When you were a kid you might have learned the fundamentals of a sport like baseball, tennis, or golf. It was pretty simple at first – stance, grip, eye-contact, follow-through. But if you stuck with it long enough you also found lots of books, videos, and experts with a hundred conflicting theories on how to do it better. 


Applying all that advice at once might seem like a good plan, but after a while you almost forget how it feels to move and play naturally.


Remember the story of Packers’ coach Vince Lombardi retraining even his most experienced players in the fundamentals of football, famously starting with “This is a football”?


Sometimes, you just need to get back to basics.


That’s exactly what the folks at ScriptReaderPro have done with their ScriptHackr online screenwriting course. They offer a refreshing back-to-basics approach to screenwriting that emphasizes practice over theory.


The course is laid out in 7 modules – Theme, Concept, Characters, Structure, Scenes, Dialogue, and Description. The modules are available in several formats to suit your learning style – video, audio, or as an eBook. There’s also ample bonus content like logline samples, additional screenwriting resources, and full scenes of bad dialogue to help you practice your editing skills.


Each module starts with a “theory hack” to demystify some of the confusing terms you’ve heard. Think of it like cutting your way through the thick tangle of jargon we’ve all picked up over the years – confusing concepts that can choke the life out of a story.


The core of each module focuses on practical steps you can take to improve your writing. In the Scene Hack module, for example, you’ll learn how to structure a powerful scene with some great examples from The 40 Year Old Virgin, American Beauty, and The Bourne Identity.


You’ll also be prompted to analyze your own screenplay, including articulating exactly why each scene is important to advance your story (or if it isn’t, to figure out why!) At the end of each module, the ScriptReader Pro consultants even highlight a few Key Rookie Mistakes they’ve seen in hundreds of reviewed scripts. This feature isn’t only for beginners – just because you’ve been screenwriting for years doesn’t mean you won’t find a few “rookie” mistakes in your own screenplays!


ScriptHackr’s pragmatic application of teaching turns this course from just another “here’s how they did it” lecture into a “let’s see if you can do it” interactive experience that can’t help but improve your writing. It’s particularly helpful when used in conjunction with our powerful suite of ScriptLadder tools. Applying ScriptHackr’s fundamental techniques side-by-side with our visual analytics, story-structure overlays, and table-read features will give your screenwriting process a strong foundation so that you can focus on helping your stories shine.



Interested in giving ScriptHackr a try? The course normally retails at $299, but ScriptLadder readers can get it for just $99 by clicking here and using this coupon code at checkout: SCL4D3. (There’s even a money-back guarantee, so if you try it and find it’s not a good fit, you’re still covered!)

Thanks to our friends at ScriptReader Pro for sharing ScriptHackr with us! For more information about ScriptHackr, click here.


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