"Joan gave me a Technique, she handed me a map with clear markings that made sense… Although I had been writing TV for many years and went to film school in college, I had no actual technique. I had a shot list and a hope for the best, but I didn’t have something to do when I got to the set...I came into most of my power as a filmmaker when I realized that all I needed to do was make a safe space for people to have feelings."

(Read Joey's full quote here.)

What is it?

There's never been a better time to be a content maker....
The doors are open
The rules are shattered
The demand for authentic content is at an all-time high

Using Season 1 of Emmy Award-Winning Transparent as a case study, you will learn how the concepts of The Technique™ were utilized to create structure, give life to characters, truth to relationships and infuse meaning throughout the entire Season.

In this Lab, you will learn how to:

Use meaning, action, and feeling to create compelling episodic structures that are uniquely your own.
  • Define the emotional core of your story in simple, actionable terms
  • Use Overall Actions to structure a meaningful plot
  • Craft ensemble scripts with equally strong arcs for every character
  • Create a compelling journey that breaks out over multiple episodes
  • Think outside of outmoded industry standards and create the content of TODAY!

Our industry demands innovation.

Your episodic is no longer hemmed in by the traditional notions of comedy or drama, a half hour or hour, commercial breaks, a stories, b stories, stereotypical heroes, likable characters, and hopeful endings.

So what’s YOUR Story? How are you changing the cultural narrative by bringing your own story to the screen?

Check out this video for a brief intro to Joan's work: “Influencing Transparent”:  Click Here

JSFL Alums have gone on to work on today’s cutting edge hots such as Lovecraft Country, Queen Sugar, Greenleaf, Mrs. America, Sharp Objects, Russional Doll, Watchmen, The Great, Big Little Lies, The Handmaid’s Tale, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Council of Dads, Star, When They See Us, Dear White People, You’re the Worst, Killing Eve, Sorry for Your Loss, Shrill, Glow, Defiant Ones, Silicon Valley and many more. The singular voices of these artists are transforming Hollywood today, and so can you!


The first night of the Lab provides an overview of the paradigm shifting philosophy and structural tools behind The Technique™. Then, explore how these tools are used to build masterful episodic structures.  The first night reveals:
  • The Foundational Elements of The Technique™
  • The 5 Table Legs
  • The 3 Basic Working Principles
  • The Nugget (Meaning) that underpins the Emmy Award Winning Transparent, Season 1.

Use this info to:

  • Rethink the “rules” of narrative Structure
  • Put the meaning of your story in simple, gettable, actionable terms
  • Understand how meaning is embodied on the levels of the Mise-en-scène germane to Transparent, Season 1


Day Two takes a deep dive into the core tools you need to structure your Episodic and then reveals exactly how these tools were used in Transparent, Season One.  In this class you’ll learn:
  • What an Overall Action is and how it drives your Story
  • How to find  Overall Actions that are based on Meaning, not Conflict
  • How to combine Overall Actions and Meaning to unleash powerful, authentic scenes
  • How to deepen your story through the use of Inner and Outer Obstacles
  • How exactly Meaning, Overall Actions, and Obstacles were used to structure Transparent Season 1

Use this info to:

  • Create multi character narratives with equally compelling storylines
  • Free yourself from the typical antagonist/protagonist conflict based models
  • Create unforgettable, meaningful stories you can FEEL


Put it all together!  Day 3 reveals how to map the Journey of your Episodic in 5 Emotional Beats.  Discover how to:
  • Use the tool of Emotional Logic to craft the Arc of your Series
  • Understand the relationship between Feeling, Rhythm, Pace and Journey
  • Craft profound transformations for your characters and your audience
  • Understand the 5 Emotional Beats used to craft Transparent, Season 1

Use this info to:

  • Think outside of the Hero’s Journey box
  • Write episodes of ANY length, short to long
  • Craft a compelling series that reveals the inner lives of your characters

Episodic is a crash course on profound structures that really sing.  Critical for creators and executives looking to break form and MAKE CHANGE


EPISODIC is designed for Film, Episodic, Commercial and all content creators. It may be attended individually by the Writer, Director, Producer, Execs...or by the entire Team.

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

See FilmsCommunity 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 assistant@joanscheckel.com