Suspense...It's Not Just For Thrillers!

Suspense, often called dramatic tension, is a key element for all films, not just Thrillers. If your story feels flat, it's probably because there isn't enough tension or suspense. If you don't create suspense, you’re putting tremendous pressure on yourself to make every scene, every moment, every line, intensely interesting. We’ll dive into how to create expectations, and generate suspense. We’ll also look into several techniques to avoid the straightforward and other methods to make your story a suspenseful, dynamic page-turner.



Don is a working screenwriter and WGA member with 20 years of industry experience. He teaches advanced screenwriting and core screenwriting classes at USC School of Cinematic Arts and UCLA.
Currently, he is writing the upcoming Sci-Fi feature Gods of Mars.


Recently, he wrote a mini-series based on a classic novel set to star and produced by Sir Ben Kingsley. He has written extensively in the feature world including credits on Hayao Miyazaki's Oscar-winning and Oscar-nominated films. He's also had the privilege of working with some of the top producers in the industry, such as: John Lasseter, Peter Chernin, Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall, David Heyman, Eric Fellner, Tim Bevan, Charles Roven and Alex Gartner.

His passionate screenwriting guidance has led numerous students'  

success. Over the last 3 years at least one of his students have finished in the top 3 in the UCLAex screenwriting competition, including last year's winner Johan Ingler, who's script Frankie & Chair is now in production.

His screenwriting classes have been rated the "Best in LA" by LA Weekly.

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