Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris - Directors: Little Miss Sunshine, Ruby sparks

"Working with Joan Scheckel was the single most valuable thing we did to prepare for making Little Miss Sunshine. She gave us a set of tools that made the daunting task of directing a feature very accessible (even enjoyable!) She has a unique ability to inspire each of the directors she works with to build on their strengths, and correct bad habits. Her candid approach whether in private sessions or workshops, wastes no time and gets right to the heart of the matter and produces real results."


For the first time ever, Joan Scheckel, Consulting Producer on Transparent and creator of The Technique offers in an online group setting the in-depth work that has only been available privately.  Dive deeper into the "Nugget" and unearth the "meaning motor" of your story.   Understanding "Nugget" is key to  The Technique™.  Use it to create a meaningful structure for your narrative or doc.  In this one profound weekend, you will learn how to:
  • Identify the "Nugget" (theme) of the story
  • Create a coherent "motor" for the movie
  • Define the direction for the rewrite

 Learn what it takes to create the heart of a Hit! 



The first evening takes you deep into the core of your story. Guided timed writing exercises from The Technique™ allow you to:
  • Investigate the issues and feelings central to your theme
  • Find the "hot coals" embedded in your timed writings
  • Understand how to use "hot coals" to create the narrative from your inner life

Day 2: EMBODY 

The second reveals how to take meaning out of the cerebral and into the visceral!  Learn how to:
  • Hone your timed writing into one key essence
  • Articulate your story "Nugget" in felt, actionable terms 
  • Put your "Nugget" on its feet to discern how a theme becomes truly playable


Day 3 explores the vital connection between action, feeling and meaning.

  • Explore how the "Nugget" has been used in hits like "Transparent", "Little Miss Sunshine" and "Beginners"
  • Apply the concepts to your own work.
  • Embody the actions that earn dramatic Truth. 


The 3 Day Lab: Nugget is designed for Film, Episodic, Commercial and all content creators. It may be attended individually by the Writer, Director or Producer...or by the entire Film Team. 3 Day Labs: Action is a required prerequisite for this lab.

  • Directors
  • Writers
  • Actors
  • Producers
  • Executives
  • Financiers
  • Production
  • Designers
  • Cinematographers
  • Editors

Please see See FilmsCommunity and Quotes for Artists Joan has worked with and their thoughts.


Nov. 05-07, 2021

FRI 4-7:00PM PT

SAT 12-6:00PM PT

SUN 2-6:00PM PT






TAKE A LAB: Nugget