Writing a Successful Animation

Do you wonder how Pixar consistently delivers their emotional magic? Would you like to find out how a growing number of indy studios around the world craft amazing stories, so that you can produce your own? Then this live workshop was designed for you!

What’s in it for You?

The aim of this workshop is to equip writers, directors, producers, story editors and development executives with a set of flexible storytelling tools that help develop each animation project as effectively as possible.

The workshop puts a strong emphasis on each project reaching the widest possible audience at home and abroad. It also explores the specifics of writing for a family audience.

For example, we’ll explain how Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs applies to animation, specifically how we can use it to reach a four-quadrant audience. We’ll look at the most important aspects of animation writing, including how to blend a strong emotional journey and an eventful quest or how to combine visual storytelling with humour and gags that work at different levels.

From creating riveting set pieces to crafting a satisfying ending, your animation writing skills will greatly improve with a clearer understanding of these tools.

Using clips, examples and detailed case studies from successful animations such as Despicable Me, Song of the Sea, Spirited Away, Zootropolis/Zootopia, Wallace and Grommit, Bolt, My Life as a Courgette/Zucchini, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Tehran Taboo, Toy Story, Cars, Persepolis, Inside Out, A Waltz with Bashir, Toy Story 2, Finding Nemo, Kubo and the Two Strings, Tower and many other productions from major studios and independent companies around the world, we’ll look at the storytelling tools and techniques needed to master this very popular genre.

This workshop is usually commissioned by independent producers, studios, regional/national film funds or training organisations.

Please see the FAQs below for more details. You can also click here to read about this workshop (with feedback from the participants).

Writing a Successful Animation Workshop
Fees on January 1st, 2023

Excl. 20% UK VAT where applicable

5-9 participants

  • Includes preparation and online delivery (using our webinar platform & Zoom)
  • Partial in-person delivery, travel & accommodation costs on top (please see the FAQs below)
  • A/V equipment / Meeting room not included
  • Max. 9 participants

Would you like to bring your script development skills to the next level and give your animation project a total makeover?

This package will train creative producers, development execs, story editors and writer/directors working for the same independent production company, making sure that everyone in the team is on the same page and equipped with the best tools when discussing animations. A separate slate assessment service can be arranged (fee to be defined depending on the number of projects in development).

One or more extra day(s) for project work can also be booked alongside the workshop to allow meetings on individual projects immediately after the last day. See the next column for more details.

This add-on module is an extension of our Advanced Development Workshop. Participants are expected to have attended the main workshop / course or read Screenwriting Unchained.


£3,995 (4 projects)
For project work meetings

  • Includes preparation and online delivery (using Zoom)
  • In-person delivery, travel and accommodation costs on top (please see the FAQs below)
  • Each meeting is an extended script chat (up to 90 min.)
  • £995 for each additional project
  • Actual fee varies, written notes optional

While the Animation workshop is very practical and allows the participants to focus on a specific project if they want to, there is no time during the workshop to discuss individual projects.

A number of extra days can therefore be booked along with the workshop to make time for specific projects, read in advance (max. 130 pages), to be discussed with the creative team (producer, writer, director, story editor) immediately after the last day.  All the participants to the meeting have to have followed the workshop.

We’ll focus on the strengths and weaknesses of each project, as well as the way forward.

For more extensive project work following this workshop, you might want to consider this new hands-on extension of our Advanced Development Workshop: The Rewrite Stuff – 12 Ways to a Stronger Screenplay, which can be adapted specifically for animation projects.


From £5,995
for 10-20 participants

  • Includes preparation and online delivery (using our webinar platform & Zoom)
  • Partial in-person delivery, travel and accommodation costs on top (please see the FAQs below)
  • A/V equipment / Meeting room not included
  • £295 for each additional participant

This version of the workshop is aimed at regional / national funds or organisations who would like to train a larger number of participants (usually up to 48, though more is technically possible). It’s also the option a studio would go for to train their development team and writers developing projects with them.

The content of the workshop can be fine-tuned to a specific audience (for example producers, story editors and development execs, or writers and directors).

While the tools are the same, the approach can be different depending on the participants’ role in development. This being said, the workshop works equally well with a mixed audience as long as participants have roughly the same level of experience.

This add-on module is an extension of our Advanced Development Workshop. Participants are expected to have attended the main workshop / course or read Screenwriting Unchained.

Average Rating: 5.0 stars (based on 27 ratings)

This is the best investment in our personnel we have ever made

“Our workshop with Emmanuel brought writers, producers and distributors together in a very successful way, leaving us inspired and eager to develop content together. The story type method gives us all a tool and a language that brings the various disciplines in the industry a way of talking about development we have been missing. As a producer and academic, I can honestly say this is the best investment in our personnel we have ever made. Storm Films will continue to use the Story-type method in its development work. We will continue using and developing the “tribal language” we created during the workshop between writers, producers, sales and execs.”

Frederick Howard

Very thorough understanding of the inner workings of our craft.

True value for money. Well-suited for advancing and advanced screenwriters, including successful ones and those who think they have heard or read it all before. Don’t expect a gospel from a preacher or a showman. Oberg is a modest man who clearly resists becoming the next screenplay guru. Yet he delivers an amazing, almost complete and very thorough understanding of the inner workings of our craft, guaranteed to spark fresh thoughts that will benefit your next project, no matter how experienced you are. And there is a big bonus. The screenplay business is a fickle mistress that can often leave you frustrated. Oberg makes you remember why you fell in love with her in the first place and he makes you fall in love all over again. [Advanced Development Workshop for the Netherlands Film Fund]

Mike van Diem

An eye-opener on how to read scripts

“Emmanuel’s advanced development workshop was really an eye opener on how to read scripts, and how, as a distributor, to give good and concrete feedback”

Morten Christoffersen, Head of Nordisk Film Distribution, Norway

A liberating revelation

I took the Screenwriting Unchained-course as a live course at the Swedish Film Institute a few years ago. It was a great (and intense 3-day) experience. Not to say a revelation. After the Hero’s Journey, Truby and McKee with 9, 12 or 20-whatever steps (not bad at all and very useful – but still) it was very liberating.
The TV Series-course takes the same thoughts and applies them on ideas and stories (and storylines) that are meant to last for a whole season (or in some cases several seasons). So far I haven’t come across a take on story structure that has been as helpful and useful as this one. (Ok, Aristotle, but that’s where we all start.)

Håkan Östlundh

It makes so much sense!

Emmanuel’s Story-Type method as explained in the [Screenwriting Unchained] course makes creative sense and deals with the real tasks and issues involved in developing a script/screenplay. The whole process has become more clear to me from following this course and I intend to wring every bit of wisdom and technique I can out of the full course over the next few weeks. Thank you Emmanuel for de-mystifying and clarifying the concepts!

Tom Halton

I would definitely recommend it!

The workshop was so well-structured, easy to follow and it felt like the focus was put on just the right things. Even when you hear about the stuff you already know about, like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, you see it in a different light and it gets you to think about your own projects immediately. I would definitely recommend it! [Advanced TV Development Workshop for NEM Zagreb]

Daria Keršić

Very inspiring and thoughtful.

One of the best workshops regarding script structure I’ve attended. It really makes you review and research what you know about books like Mckee, Field etc. The books that I’ve been related to at my studies. Really enjoyed it and will try to convey it to my work with films I produce and students I tutor. Very inspiring and thoughtful. Thank you Emmanuel! [Advanced Development Workshop (ACE 26)]

Jelena Mitrovic

An extraordinary course!

I cannot thank you enough for such an extraordinary course full of so much wisdom mixed with a rare humility and delivered with real passion. The practical tools will be tremendously useful and the resources a huge bonus. [Advanced Development Workshop for Screen West Midlands]

Natasha Carlish
Producer, Dreamfinder

The right kind of teacher for inherently creative people.

Emmanuel is the right kind of teacher for inherently creative people. He does not instruct, or impose, or prescribe. He displays and explains a box of first-class tools, and encourages the writer to use the ones that suit the work in hand. In this way the work is improved, and the writer gains confidence at the same time, which in turn leads to even better work. Emmanuel is very tall, but he never talks down to you. [Advanced Development Workshop for Cologne Intl Film School]

Simon Perry

A stimulating and inspiring course.

Many, many thanks for such a stimulating and inspiring course. The tools are already coming in extremely useful and I hope will transform my approach to any new project from now on. [Advanced Development Workshop for Ealing Studios]

Smita Bhide

Non prescriptive and flexible!

Emmanuel’s Advanced Development Workshop for Ealing Studios was very useful and stimulating. I’m a big fan of Emmanuel’s teaching style because it’s non prescriptive and flexible – tools not rules as he always reminds us. All the feedback I’ve had from the writers who attended was extremely positive, I think they responded particularly well to the collaborative atmosphere and interactive sessions. [Advanced Development Course for Ealing Studios]

Sophie Meyer

Fresh insight into the craft

In his deconstruction of the story development process, Emmanuel Oberg provided fresh insight into the craft and artistry that combine to create an engaging story.
The Story Type method as pioneered by Oberg is a particularly useful diagnostic tool and has helped me identify key structural flaws and weaknesses in my screenplays while equipping me with new tools and strategies to problem-solve. Would highly recommend this workshop to both budding and established screenwriters or indeed anyone engaged in the script development process. [Advanced Development Workshop for Screen Skills Ireland]

Molly O Driscoll

An analytical but flexible approach.

Emmanuel Oberg’s workshop was very inspiring and eye opening. Three days with an intensive focus on storytelling in the broadest sense where existing models of structuring a screenplay were questioned.
Emmanuel’s wider perspective is at the same time very detailed. Both the workshop and the book provides useful tools and makes you reflect on what can be the best path for your story to flourish. It’s also an encouragement to an analytical but flexible approach of your story without being dogmatic. [Advanced Development Workshop for the Netherlands Film Fund]

Ellen Hoffmann

Extremely informative course!

As a writer I was able to immediately put into practice what I learnt from this extremely informative course, presented with passion, humour and verve by a man of great generosity at the top of his game and an accomplished speaker of great clarity. [Advanced Development Workshop for Screen Skills Ireland]

Peadar Cox

I gained an amazing amount of knowledge.

Emmanuel’s enthusiasm and knowledge were incredible. What an excellent facilitator and a lovely man too. I’ve always had loads of ideas for screenplays but was never quite sure about where to begin the script writing process. Over the three days, I gained an amazing amount of knowledge on story types and structuring, what does and doesn’t work and why it’s ok to not always live by the rules (lead with your passion). Thanks Emmanuel, I feel that I’ve unlocked the start of a new writing chapter in my life. [Advanced Development Workshop for Screen Skills Ireland]

Anna Mannion

Definitely a game changer!

The most encouraging workshop I have ever attended.
I am a big fan of the book [Screenwriting Unchained] and I highly recommend it to anyone working in the industry. Emmanuel is very enthusiastic and knowledgeable. I cannot thank him enough for sharing his methods with us. The workshop is definitely a game changer and brought my writing skills to the next level. Many thanks. [Advanced Development Workshop for Creative Europe Galway]

David Souto

I’m itching to write. I can think of no higher praise.

Every once in a while, we need an update; whether it’s a software update for our phones or laptops, or an attempt to re-paint the kitchen cabinets.

This is the update for story on screen. If you are a writer, an editor, a producer or a commissioner, you need to do this course. Every project you work on will be better – fact!

I’ve been writing and editing for ten years, and I’ve done lots of different courses over the last decade, but this has completely revolutionized the way I think about my writing and the structure of story.

Not only is the Story Type Method enlightening, it’s as creative and fluid as the writing process itself. And it puts the audience at the heart of the discussion. Not in a slavish way that suggests pandering to the market or duplicating previously successful formulas, but in showing the best way to make the story you want to tell enjoyable for the different audiences that are out there.

I found this course inspiring and encouraging. Gone is the sense of dread that can accompany sitting down to tackle a scene or a treatment – I’m itching to write. I can think of no higher praise. [Advanced Development Workshop for Creative Europe Galway]

Blathnaid De Roiste

Inspiring stuff!

What a fantastic three-day workshop. Emmanuel Oberg explored the mechanics of writing good drama, and provided us with a toolbox to help turn it into great drama. Inspiring stuff! [Advanced Development Workshop for Screen Skills Ireland]

Marty Thornton

Very inspiring.

I found the 3-day advanced workshop very inspiring. Emmanuel has no dogmas unlike other scriptwriting gurus. He is an ego-less gentle open-minded teacher, who does not place himself above his students. He is very intelligent, but also emotional, spiritual and funny. Above all very positive. His tools are practical, but do not interfere with your writing flow. It’s all about the balance between knowing and not knowing, combining heart and head. I would advise every screenwriter to do this workshop, especially when you want to (re)discover your originality and talent. [Advanced Development Workshop for the Netherlands Film Fund].

Karen van Holst Pellekaan

Impressive knowledge!

I had the pleasure to attend two of Emmanuel’s workshops. His knowledge about the different screenwriting approaches is impressive and enables him to recombine and rethink them to a new approach. I highly appreciate his work no matter if you already know a lot about screenplays or not. [Advanced Development Workshop (ACE 27)]

Arash T. Riahi

The most inspiring developing session I have ever taken part in.

Without doubt the most inspiring developing session I have ever taken part in. Emmanuel is not only a very good speaker – but manages to use practical examples and group discussion to give the participants a very clear understanding of his thoughts on drama. Less dogmatic than McKee and Field he aims at giving the creative a tool box of dramatic elements rather than a formula for success. I strongly recommend this workshop to both writers, producers and funding bodies. Well done! [Advanced Development Workshop (ACE 26)]

Frederick Peter Howard

Extremely inspiring and very useful!

Thank you so much for the workshop at Filmlab in Norway a couple of weeks ago! As a producer I found it extremely inspiring and very very useful for my future collaborations and my work in creative processes. I have now got more tools when analyzing projects, guiding my directors/scriptwriters or just to discuss the projects. For my particular team that participated we also now have a common vocabulary to talk about our project, which feels really great. I’m also impressed with the structure of the lesson and your lecturing – kept me concentrated and interested the whole way. Thank you so much! [Advanced Development Workshop for Filmlab Norway]

Andrea Ottmar

Full of vital and resourceful tools to use in the development process

I truly enjoyed Emmanuel’s three-day insightful workshop on The Story-Type Method! Full of vital and resourceful tools to use in the development process. Emmanuel is enthusiastic with no fixed screenwriting rules – only great tools he skillfully shared with us. I highly recommend his workshop to anyone who works in the film industry. Thank you so much! [Advanced Development Workshop for FilmLab Norway]

Ingrid Stenersen

Refreshing and liberating!

The story-type method is a refreshing and liberating way of looking at story and structure. Emmanuel is full of enthusiasm, and his passion for good storytelling makes the workshops engaging and the method fun (yes, really!) to apply. I’ve gotten some solid new tools, as well as the bonus of a new surge of inspiration and energy into the development process. Thank you! [Advanced Development Workshop for FilmLab Norway]

Ina Remme

Intense but incredibly useful!

Intense but incredibly useful workshop that has helped take our script to the next level. Emmanuel is very friendly and doesn’t force you to conform to any fixed methods. Instead he gives you the tools to explore your own ideas better. [Advanced Development Workshop for iFeatures]

Manjeet Gill
Writer/Director/Producer, Black Country Cinema

A really useful and inspiring seminar!

Thanks for a really useful and inspiring seminar – I have attended a number of development training courses in the past, so wasn’t sure whether I would learn very much that was new. As it happens, I learned a huge amount and feel much more confident about going back into the development process with a brand new toolbox. [Advanced Development Workshop (ACE 24)]

Alison Sterling
Producer, Ignition Films

I have learnt more on this workshop than any previous development course.

I have learnt more on this workshop than any previous development course that I have attended. It’s as if up to now I have been looking in through a window and now the door has been opened. I came away not just with an effective set of diagnostic tools but the confidence to approach script development in an enthusiastic and positive way. [Advanced Development Workshop for Screen West Midlands]

Sunandan Walia

Have Any Questions?


Don't hesitate to contact us if your question isn't answered.

Who might want to attend a Story-Type Method workshop?

This is an Advanced Development Workshops add-on, so it's not for beginners.

Most of our alumni are working professionals.

How is the workshop delivered?

This workshop is delivered live, online, over two consecutive days. We use advanced presentation tools to offer an interactive, engaging experience including polls, chats, Q&As and hand-on group work.

Travel permitting, it is possible to deliver the final Q&A session of this workshop in person if optional one-to-one meetings have also been commissioned, for an additional fee. Please contact us for more details.

Are there prerequisites or language requirements?

All our courses are delivered in English, so a good verbal understanding of the language is necessary.

This add-on module is an extension of our Advanced Development Workshop. Participants are expected to have attended the main workshop, done the main course or read Screenwriting Unchained.

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