Joey Soloway - Writer/Director: transparent (Golden globe winner, Emmy Award Winner) Afternoon Delight (Winner Best Director Sundance 2013)

"I steer every person who's looking to the workshops of Joan Scheckel. This is what she insisted we needed to direct-- a sense of being present in the moment, an understanding of playable action as a tool to channel emotion, a stamina that would allow us to withstand the physical challenges of a feature set. As a writer, I had tools about character and dialogue, but as a director, I had a lot to learn about what we're actually doing with the camera. A few weeks in, something kicked in and I actually began to transform into a director. It's odd to me that even after ten years experience on the set of TV shows, I was completely lacking in a foundational language. I learned that language at Joan's lab. I employed things I learned from Joan about the intangibles of energy and relationships, producers and alliances and how the shape of the emotional nugget can inform the larger shape of the process. She handed me a map with clear markings that made sense."

What is it?

Whale Rider, Little Miss Sunshine, Beginners, Snow White and the Huntsman, Arbitrage, One Hour Photo, Transparent, I Love Dick, UnReal, Unorthodox… What do all these hits have in common?

The Technique™

Created by Joan Scheckel, The Technique™ is a radical rethinking of the “conflict” based storytelling paradigm. The Technique™ calls into question accepted tropes of antagonists, protagonists, heroes, villains, winning and losing - and instead puts meaning, feeling and relationship at the center and source of story.

This 4 day, craft packed intensive introduces you to the same groundbreaking approach that has influenced a generation of successful storytellers. 

Now you too can learn how to:

  • Put meaning at the center of your story
  • Connect to the feeling, emotional depth, and rhythm of your work
  • Deepen your understanding of the fundamental building blocks of story: Nugget, Action, and Beats.
  • Create new structural solutions for your episodics and screenplays

Whether LIVE In-Person & Online, OR self-guided on Thinkific, this essential workshop is designed to ground your skills and bring your creativity to the next level. The tools learned can be applied to all fields in any entertainment platform. Up your game, whether you are pitching, writing, acting, directing, designing or producing.

Day 1: Intro to The Technique™

Using a mix of lecture, embodied exercises, and case studies, the first class introduces you to the core principles of this groundbreaking approach. Investigate:

  • How to come into presence and “see feelingly”
  • The core philosophy of The Technique™
  • The Five Table Legs
  • The Six Working Principles

Day 2: Nugget and Action 

Day 2 explores proven tools from The Technique™ that allow you to clarify the thematic essence of your screenplay, film, or character and embody it through Action. By identifying the "Nugget", i.e. the meaning and intention of your work, you can fast-track your project with confidence and coherence. Use the "Nugget" to:

  • Clarify theme
  • Define the direction for your rewrite
  • Unleash the emotional authenticity at the heart of the story
  • Create a coherent "motor" for your movie

Next up on Day 2, we break down a classic movie structure to learn how Nugget is earned through action, feeling and relationship. Use this info to:

  • Understand the relationship between theme and plot
  • Create potent overall actions for your story, sequence and scenes.
  • Structure compelling scripts

Day 2 culminates with the definition of Action.  Embodied exercises teach you how overall actions, supporting actions and beats work together to create surprising structures and specific characters.   Learn the 5 Sandtraps that are bogging down your stories. This basic tool  of Action can be applied to writing, directing, acting and producing. Use it to:

  • Instantly elevate your structures and performances
  • Create blocking and relationship
  • Reveal feeling, vividly compelling characters, and the inner life
  • Communicate effectively with your actors and team.

Watch this brief intro video on the "Nugget":  Click Here

Day 3: Beats

Using a classic film scene, Day 3 explores Beats. Learn how to use script analysis to break down your scene, and get it up on its feet!.  Apply what you learned from Days 1 & 2,  and discover how Nugget, Action and Beats work together to:

  • Bring life and clarity to your script structures and performances
  • Create rhythm and pacing
  • Heighten the speed and vitality of your direction, camera and performance
  • Ground your skills and bring your directing, writing, acting and producing to the next level

Day 4: Synthesis

After this incredible weekend full of new concepts, join Joan online to synthesize the work. A robust online Q&A invites you to ask questions and get practical, direct answers. Dig deeper into the work and get insight into applying the tools of Nugget, Actions and Beats to your own stories! 

Join us in Action! We can’t wait to support your stories and bring them unforgettably to life!



The Lab Series is designed for Film, Episodic, Comercial, and all content creators. It may be attended individually …or by the entire team.

  • Directors
  • Writers
  • Actors
  • Producers
  • Executives
  • Production
  • Designers
  • Cinematographers
  • Editors
  • Brand Directors
  • Any creatives interested in Story!

Please see See Films, Community and Quotes for Artists Joan has worked with and their thoughts.




Join Joan in-person for a hands-on experience in Los Angeles (Limited class size), or join the Live Lab via Zoom and participate remotely from all over the world. Online participants have the opportunity to see Joan demonstrate the embodied work with in-person students.



Anytime Self-Guided Online via Thinkific!  For the first time ever, this course can be taken online at your own pace, for details check out the SELF-GUIDED!



Live Hands On class size is limited. Apply Today!

Call us at (323) 803-5039 or email