Jon Bernstein

Instructor Biography:

Screenwriter, WGA member who wrote Meet the Robinsons, Ringmaster, and Beautiful (starring Minnie Driver directed by Sally Field). Mr. Bernstein has worked on film and TV projects for Paramount, DreamWorks, 20th Century Fox, NBC/Universal and the CW. He recently wrote and directed the hit stage musical McCready. Current film projects include The Unraveling (Neil Abramson, director) and Brian Wonders (Victor Robert, director). He is a contributing author to Cut to the Chase (Gotham Books/Penguin) and is a recipient of the UCLA Extension Outstanding Instructor Award in Screenwriting.

Instructor Statement:

Screenplays that sell have a Big Idea and distinctive voice. What do you have to say? What do you believe? What are you passionate about? Your screenplay needs to represent you, and your voice, and your world view. I enjoy guiding my students to their strengths, and leading exercises to tap into their most authentic form of self-expression. In my classes we start with discussing our intentions. What sort of script do you want to write? What kind of world are you interested in creating? Who are the characters, what is its tone, and what are its main themes? Once you have a clear idea of the type of script you want to write, we construct it like a house. We use our blueprint to build a solid, three-act foundation, and fill it with strong characters and a compelling story. It is my hope that in my class you will discover your true voice, and write a story that you, and only you, can tell. There are many ways to capture your own unique brilliance in a screenplay, which way is yours?

Our Students Say it Best!

Jon is a genius and has been brilliant to work with. He is always inspiring and enthusiastic about writing, and he creates a safe space and was full of positive energy and warmth. One of the best screenwriting instructors I’ve ever had.” —Writers’ Program Student

Watch an interview with Jon about screenwriting:

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