the 90-day screenplay

summer session: June 13th - September 12th, 2024


A Live-on-Zoom workshop with Alan Watt that will take
you from initial idea to the completion of your screenplay in 90 days.

"Screenplays are structure."
- William Goldman


There are no rules to writing a screenplay; however, passion without structure will only lead to confusion, and structure without passion, can only ever lead to formulaic writing.

There are few terms in the English language more hotly debated than “Three-Act Structure.” The problem is that when story structure is taught by story analysts they often misinterpret structure as “plotting.”

It isn’t. True story structure refers to the DNA of your protagonist's transformation - it is a guide through a series of experiences that leads your protagonist to some kind of transformed state - and within that framework, anything is possible. Anything.

The 90-Day Screenplay helps you to unlock the story within by guiding you through a process of marrying the wildness of your imagination to the rigor of structure.

You have a unique point of view and a desire to tell your story in an original way. The 90-Day Screenplay is where you make your dream a reality. Come bring your passion, your curiosity, your wisdom. Join The 90-Day Screenplay and write the movie you've always dreamed of seeing.

about the workshop

live on zoom - Alan Watt teaching an online writing class at his computer office books behind him

We meet once a week in a LIVE Zoom call on Thursdays from 12:00-1:30 pm Pacific Time, for 14 straight weeks.

The workshop combines craft lessons, screening clips from various films, and stream-of-consciousness writing exercises to illustrate story principles.

Note: You are not required to take the workshop live. Many writers have day jobs or commitments during class hours, therefore all of our sessions are recorded and are available for three weeks, respectively.

the daily letters - Alan Watt sitting in the sand at the beach

Every morning a daily letter from The 90-Day Screenplay lands in your inbox.

The letters were developed over the course of several years, and are a guide through the process of creating a compelling narrative.

Writers often comment on the synchronicity of the letters — on how they seem to meet you right where you are. While the letters focus on craft, they are also a response to the seemingly uncanny uniformity of experience shared by the many writers who have taken the 90-day journey before you.

the group forum - a collection of writers attending a workshop with Alan Watt, taking notes

The group forum is where you can connect each day with your classmates to share your experiences, hold yourselves accountable to a daily page count, and take part in daily discussion topics.

Over the course of 90 days, we discover that the agonies and ecstasies which caused us to question whether or not we were really a screenwriter are, in fact, par for the course.

It can be liberating to realize that you're not alone, that your private struggles are universal, and can frequently offer direct clues into the world of your characters.


one-on-one story consults - Alan Watt standing by an open door smiling

During the first month of the workshop, in the outlining phase, I offer one-on-one story consultations where you can send me your three-page outline and I review it, make notes, and go over it with you in a private one-hour consult to explore the most dynamic and compelling way to tell your story before you begin your first draft. There is an additional cost, and a limited number of spots for this service.

Want a breakthrough right now?

In this free 90-minute video, I'll lead you to a deeper understanding of your screenplay, by guiding you through the process of marrying the wildness of your imagination to the rigor of story structure.


“I have taken The 90-Day Screenplay at least three times with different projects. I cannot recommend Al highly enough. He's my guy. If you take your career seriously, make him yours.”
Jessica Sharzer, Screenwriter, A Simple Favor, Co-exec. producer, American Horror Story


"I've read all the structure books, Robert McKee, Syd Field, etc. Al is the first teacher that I really felt inspired by. I love how he presents structure. He comes at it from an artist's point of view. "Marrying the wildness of your imagination to the rigors of story structure" and always choosing the wildness of your imagination if you have to. Al's passion for story is present in every workshop. He has a real talent for distilling your script to its essence and helping you tell your story in the most compelling way."
Tom O'Brien, Writer/Director of Fairhaven, Sundance Official Selection


"Al Watt understands that the primacy of structure is directly connected to the unconscious mind. The story is already written, The 90-Day Screenplay helps you find it by instilling the hard rules of craft while coaxing your muse from hiding. Al is a wizard, a jester, a drill sergeant - and the best part is that in 90 days, no matter what, you will have a finished screenplay."
Allison Burnett, Screenwriter of Underworld: Awakening

meet your teacher Alan Watt

alan watt standing in front of an L.A. Hillside smiling, hand in pocket

Hi, I'm Al. They call me the Writer Whisperer.

I'm the L.A. Times bestselling author of the novels, Diamond Dogs and Days Are Gone, and the recipient of the American Library Association's Alex Award, a Book Sense Pick, a New York Time's New and Noteworthy book pick, and winner of France's Prix Printemps for best foreign novel of the year. Along with the national bestseller, The 90-Day Novel, (Amazon's #1 book on writing for five months) the lab has published five other books on writing. I teach a process of marrying the wildness of your imagination to the rigor of structure, and my students span the range from first-time writers to best-selling authors and filmmakers who've won numerous accolades for their work including the Pulitzer Prize.

I’m also the writer/director of the independent feature, Eddie, Kill the President (formerly Interior Night), which won four best feature awards at U.S. film festivals as well as The Boston Film Festival's Filmmaker Visionary Award. Oh, I also had a small part on Seinfeld back in the 90s when I had a thick lustrous head of chestnut hair. It's the Chinese gum episode. I'm the movie theater vendor who sells Kramer the vile hotdog.

the 90-day screenplay includes

movie camera

Fourteen 90-min workshops

question mark

Live Q&A following each session

play button

Playback access

letter envelope

90 daily letters


Daily writing prompts

two talk bubbles

Group forum with daily discussion topics

an open book

One-on-one consult
(additional charge)

vocal microphone

Special guests


Personal accountability groups

unlock the story within

Suggested Donation - $1,500 | Mininum Donation - $750 by May 30th

what are people saying about the 90-day screenplay?

The Italian Job

“It is difficult to distill what Al Watt does in his workshops. He helps the writer tap into that secret world that lies within, a world often victim to procrastination, insecurity and lack of focus. He instills a fundamental knowing that we are uniquely qualified to tell our stories, that our conscious mind is a filter through which passes our creativity, and that the trick is to not let it get in the way but rather provide a structure under which we can create.”
Donna Powers, Screenwriter of The Italian Job

The Wedding Planner

"I am blown away by The 90-Day Screenplay! I'm applying the principles to my current works in process - as I will for all future projects. It is helping to reshape my understanding of character and story. This invaluable tool will never be far from my side."
Pamela Falk, Screenwriter of The Wedding Planner


"The 90-Day Screenplay digs straight for the substratum of drama by asking the question: why is dramatic form universal and how is it a reflection of human experience? Take this workshop and experience the soil of your creative ground growing more fertile."
Benjamin van der Veen, Screenwriter of Steven Soderberg's Che: Guerilla

Viki King

"Do you want to get the movie in your heart onto the page? Go 90 days deep with Al!”
Viki King, Best-selling Author of How To Write A Movie in 21 Days


"The 90-Day Screenplay is a game-changer. This is not a book that sits on your shelf. It's a proven process for anyone who has ever wanted to write a screenplay but has been too frozen by panic to get off their ass and do it. I wish I'd had this book when I started. It would have saved me five years of laying on the couch and shuddering in dread for fear of the unknown."
Howard Busgang, Writer/Executive Producer, Boy Meets World

Family Guy

"Rather than just a blueprint for cookie-cutter storytelling, The 90-Day Screenplay provides a road map to explore all those tangled corners of the soul where the best stories are hiding. This book is a boundless resource, filled with simple yet profound instruction, and should be state-mandated reading at the front gates of Hollywood."
Aaron Lee, Screenwriter/Producer, Family Guy


“I am a fan of Al’s writing for the skill, depth, and insight he brings to the table.  And I’m a fan of the care and craftsmanship he brings to teaching.”
Peggy Rajski, Producer of Little Man Tate and The Grifters


"Al's passion and input during the rewriting stage was instrumental. He asked all the right questions, pushed all the right buttons and led me toward a greater clarity of my project in a fully engaged, insightful and supportive way."
Jordan Rane, Scriptapalooza Grand Prize Winner for GOAT

frequently asked questions

This workshop is donation-based. The suggested donation is $1,000, however, if you’re struggling financially then that should not interfere with your ability to take the course.

There are no prerequisites to join. You will find New York Times bestselling authors writing shoulder to shoulder with first-time writers. I’m teaching a process of getting the story from your imagination to the page. Start where you are.

We offer 100% refund in the first 7 days of the workshop if you need to drop out for any reason. There can be no postponements for future workshops.

I offer up to two full scholarships each semester for military veterans and for stories of cultural diversity. To apply, please submit a brief bio and a synopsis of up to 300 words describing your story to Selected recipients will be notified 10 days prior to the start of the workshop.

All workshops are recorded and available for up to three weeks, so you can watch them as often as you wish during that time.

I try to offer this workshop twice a year. If you can’t make this one, check for future dates here.

This workshop meets on the same day each week for 14 consecutive weeks beginning on the start date, barring any unforeseen circumstances.

While the objective of the workshop is to complete a screenplay in 90 days, the goal of the workshop is to deepen your relationship to your creative spirit, and we cannot do this without creating an environment where each writer feels respected and honored, and where their story is valid. I try to be encouraging, positive, passionate, deep, thoughtful, intuitive, and extremely curious about the story you’re attempting to express. I won’t impose my ideas onto your work, but rather, through inquiry, guide you to the heart of what you’re attempting to express. This process will almost inevitably bring up doubts and fears, but that is an inevitable part of the journey. The workshop will guide you through the emotional ups and downs through the daily letters and support in the group forum and from myself as your instructor.

If one or more of the following apply, you belong here:

  • I’ve always wanted to write a screenplay.
  • I’ve tried in the past and gotten stuck or blocked.
  • I love to write, but I’m scared I’ll do it wrong.
  • Someone once told me my writing sucks . . . but I really want to write.

When we commit to this process, the results are often beyond our imagination … we just don’t know what they will be. This workshop is going to guide you through your protagonist’s journey, and you will likely be transformed as a result. The only thing I can promise is that if you show up and put in the time, you will have a polished screenplay in 90 days.

Yes, there is homework. Outlining and writing a screenplay is a big undertaking. I recommend that you devote two hours a day to the workshop. If you have a busy schedule, that may not be possible, in which case, you may want to temper your expectations, but that should not discourage you from jumping into the class. It is more important that you approach this workshop as a daily or near-daily practice, even if you can only devote a little time each day, than it is to cram all of your work in on weekends.

The 90-Day Screenplay class size is not limited. In writing your screenplay, you do not read your work-in-progress to the class, however, you are encouraged to read your writing exercises so Alan can work with you one-on-one to illustrate the principles to everyone. Also, while you are encouraged to share your work, it is not required.

Workshops take place on Thursdays from 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (Pacific Time). I’m always on the Zoom call at 10:45 a.m. to welcome writers and answer questions before class. I also do a formal Q&A immediately following each workshop.

You don’t need to have a story idea to begin the workshop. The writing exercises will help you to discover a story. We don’t begin writing the first draft until the 5th class.

The lab celebrates your joy, curiosity, and uniqueness — this a space where we welcome diversity and inclusivity, where all stories are supported and encouraged. There is no place for bigotry or discriminating against someone due to their ethnicity, political belief, race, religion, sex or gender, sexual orientation, language, culture, disability, or on any other ground. We ask for all writers attending workshops in the lab to respect one another. Every 90-day workshop includes up to two full scholarships for stories of diversity and/or characters who have been marginalized in some way.

Yes! In our monthly newsletter, we have a section called Lab News where we promote our writers’ film premieres, screenwriting awards, etc.