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Write Your
Best Screenplays

A lifetime digital course.
A lifetime of skills, community, and singular stories.

with Ela Thier
Are any of these you?
Ela Thier

You have ideas for stories that you’re excited about but you never seem to get started.

You get started, but few (or none!) of the scripts get finished.

You know that writing is rewriting, but you’d rather get a root canal than deal with the revision process.

You’ve written and completed scripts that you’re proud of. So why are they not getting traction? (The most painful one!)

Or maybe you’re an actor wanting to write your own material, but you know that if the writing doesn’t wow, neither will the performances.

You’re some combination depending on the day…?

Writing your best screenplays
Maybe you tried some of these?

Free stuff online
Courses, classes, workshops
Will power & discipline
Time management systems
Taking time off… or dreaming about it
Writing groups, consultants, accountability partners…

And you’re still not the writer that you know you could be.

Not living up to your potential is painful.

Especially when you know that your work would make a difference to people.

What if…

Writing became a casual part of your daily habits?

What if inspiration felt like a faucet, and you could turn it on any time you wanted to?

What if writing didn’t drive you to isolation but drove you, instead, to a bustling community where shy people rule (because everyone does)?

What if the revision process became a form of relaxation?

After gobbling up every book and class in reach, after climbing out of years-long writing blocks, after writing dozens of scripts – great ones, whatever ones, bad ones, and after training thousands of writers, I devised the course that I wish I had when I needed it.


Ready to write scripts that your readers can't stop thinking about?
Write Your Best Screenplays

lifetime, on-demand access​

Work through the course at your pace and on your schedule. Binge watch now or take your time. Refer back to the course as many times as you need it. Many alumni go through it with every script. When I get stuck, I still go back to it myself and use the exercises in my own writing.

30-day money back guarantee​

If you watch at least one module but not more than half the course, and it doesn't meet or exceed your expectations, request and receive a full refund. No questions asked.

The script I developed with Ela's training landed me a literary agent at CAA and an Oscar-winning producer. This year I was brought in by Disney to work on a feature and feel equipped because of the tools she's given me. To say the least, I recommend Ela to everyone I meet. I feel like I'm Sampson and she's my hair.
Shane Andries
Although I attended a world-renowned film school, my career began once I found Ela. In addition to story structure, Ela taught me how to write from a personal place. After adopting and using her writing tools for two years, I was invited to write my own TV show for MNET, the largest TV network in Africa. Since then I went on to premiere my debut feature film at Sundance. Studying with Ela was a life-changing experience.
Picture of Ekwa Msangi
Ekwa Msangi
Your course has changed me. I now write daily, and have someone local who I meet and write with regularly. People notice that something about me has changed and ask, but the change is internal. I’m more in tune with myself and with my own mind, and I’m more creative than I’ve been in a long time. With everything that’s going on in the world, it’s easy to think that this doesn’t matter, but it actually matters even more now.
Picture of Ann Guido
Ann guido

Modules include short video lectures (5-20 minutes each), writing exercises, and PDF cheatsheets.

1. End writing blocks

Free your creativity
. I use the exercises in this module almost daily.

2. Find your voice

You don’t write hit movies by figuring out trends. You write those characters and stories that only you could write. Get the treasure map to find them. 

3. Support & Community

A writing life is all about the long game. Build the networks and support that you need to persist and stay the course.

4. Emotional Impact

There are common ingredients to hit movies and shows that have nothing to do with structure. Write scripts that stick out of the pack with insights that you won’t find in any class or book.


Learn the most important things that you need to know about storytelling in less than 30 minutes. These insights alone will instantly make you a more powerful storyteller.

6. Story Foundation

Once you identify the “DNA” of your story, you can then extrapolate the rest of the script with ease. Discover an organic approach to story structure that respects the creative process.

7. Character

OMG those cheesy stories where a character has some flaw and then at the end: boom! They have some epiphany and say some syrupy thing… Don’t be that guy. This module will offer an easy tool to creating a gradual and compelling arc.

8. Plot

When The Hero’s Journey is used properly, it offers you the dashboard you need to fine tune and shape your story. I summarize and demonstrate how to use this tool when you write entirely by inspiration.

9. Story Analysis

Become your own best script consultant. 
I analyze two features and two short films in very different styles and budget levels, using the tools that I teach in this course. See these tools in action!

10. Revision Process

What if revising a script felt like a frolic on the beach?
In this module I offer tools to creating story maps that make this adventure…  adventurous!

The Tools in Action

The tools in this course are appropriate for features, shorts, pilots and series. Throughout the course I explain how I might use these story tools differently depending on the medium.

I demonstrate use of these tools by analyzing two feature films, two short films, two pilot episodes, and a regular episode. I span the range of comedy, drama, budget levels and nationalities, to demonstrate the universality of the story tools that we use.

Bonus Units

Creative writing prompts; sample scripts (my own!); recommended resources for further study; tips to running writing groups; lectures on writing descriptions, exposition, dialogue, etc.

If I think of it, it’s either there or on its way there.

writers don't let writers go it alone

Community & Support


Get addicted to writing!

→ Receive ONE MONTH FREE when you enroll with the payment plan.

→ Receive ONE YEAR FREE when you enroll with the pay-in-full option.

We offer facilitated writing sessions daily throughout the day. Join as many or as few as you want to fit your schedule. Our writing sessions will keep you focused, writing, and connected to peers. 

Unlock special bonuses! When your complimentary membership in The IFS Studio expires, you’ll have the option to subscribe and remain a member.

Indie Film School coaching calls

During your membership in the IFS Studio:

Unlock our invitation to our monthly live sessions, once you complete the course. How’s that for an incentive? I ain’t letting you join a course and then not use it! Nah uh!

Meet alumni, ask questions, and watch the tools of the course in action.

24-7 alumni studio

Some of my alumni have formed lifelong collaborations and friendships.

The virtual Alumni Studio, available while you participate in the IFS Studio, is open for individually scheduled writing sessions 24-7.

I conduct my own writing sessions in our Alumni Studio. Pop in and you’re likely to find me there doing my own work.

lifetime: alumni forum

Use our alumni forum to share wins, goals, rely on peers for accountability, or to ask questions. Access to our private alumni forum never expires.


Get access to sample scripts, writing prompts, and resources to help you learn more about screenplay format, dialogue, characters, and so much more. If I thought of it, it’s either in there or on its way there.

Enroll in Write Your Best Screenplays and write the stories only you can tell.

6 monthly payments of

$ 197
  • Write Your Best Screenplays
  • Alumni forum
  • Live monthly sessions (ONE MONTH FREE)
  • 24-7 peer-run studio (ONE MONTH FREE)
  • The IFS Studio (ONE MONTH FREE)
  • Bonus: Goal Setting Live Workshop​

one payment of

$ 997
  • Write Your Best Screenplays​
  • Alumni forum
  • Live monthly sessions (ONE YEAR FREE)
  • The IFS Studio (ONE YEAR FREE)
  • 24-7 peer-run studio (ONE YEAR FREE)
  • Bonus: Goal Setting Live Workshop​
  • Bonus: Pay in full and SAVE $185
Save $185
Since enrolling in Write Your Best Screenplay, my writing has improved ten times fold, not just in how I write, but in how I look at the writing process.  Ela provides you with challenging, yet simple and easy to follow exercises ...along with techniques that help you get into the mind of your character and their story. I’ve taken many screenwriting courses in the past, but following Ela’s methods, I’ve elevated my writing to a whole new level. Enrolling in her course has proven to be the best decision I’ve ever made for myself as a screenwriter.

When Ela offered her course online, I jumped at the opportunity, knowing I'd be able to review the material and exercises whenever I wanted. Within two months I went from never writing to writing consistently every day.

If you are stuck in any way, like I was for years, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND Write Your Best Screenplays. It just may change your life. It has mine. 

Jayne Maginot
In over twenty years of working in the industry as a development executive on both studio lots and independent films, I've never met someone as sharp in story development as Ela.
Picture of Wendy Sax
As an actor, studying writing with Ela made me realize that I don’t have to wait for anyone to give me the roles that I deserve. I'm now confident enough to be able to say that I’m a writer.

No Time!

If you don’t have time now, you won’t have time later. You’ll never have time.

We keep looking for those giant swaths of time away from the world, but these never come.

DEDICATE 10 MINUTES A MONTH to this course, and a year from now your writing life will be utterly transformed.

To meet our most significant goals, we must take one baby step at a time, but we must keep on stepping.

Too Expensive!

These prices are per year, as of 2019. Multiply these numbers by 4 to figure out what a degree would cost.


Ela Thier, The Independent Film School_1

Find my films at and IMDb

My name is Ela Thier. I’ve written countless scripts, many of which have been produced (links below the photo). I’m proud to have received major awards and positive reviews in major industry publications. I’m also proud of the hundreds of pass letters that didn’t stop me – at least not permanently.

I’ve been through the doubts of whether I’m a “real” writer, been through writing blocks, dug myself – with much help – out of that ditch, and (cut to: years later) became a prolific writer who loves her scripts. I’ve written boring scripts, I’ve written ok scripts, and eventually, step by step by step, while practicing and studying the craft up and down (cut to: many years later), I arrived at scripts that led to standing ovations. Over the years, I’ve developed an efficient and simple approach to writing that leads me to my best works – consistently.

Training writers has been a profound part of my journey. Since 2006, I’ve gotten to instruct and mentor thousands of screenwriters and filmmakers, as I developed the course that I wish I had gotten to take.

I love writers. I love our courage. I love what we contribute to our societies. I don’t love our invisibility, our financial hardships, the harsh criticisms we receive with little actual help, and the resulting insecurities that we wear like battle scars.

Thank you for having the courage to live a creative life. Everyone is better off because you persist.

Ela Thier


Yes and no. This course contains all the tools that I use to arrive at unique and exciting scripts that I’m totally in love with.

But – a course can offer tools and encouragement, it can’t offer experience. That part is on you. I’m giving you the treasure map, but you have to do the work of finding the treasure.

Take these tools, use them day after day, script after script, and you will arrive at your best screenplays. I’m here to offer guidance, and to tell you that you can do this. I’m certain that you can.

This course is definitely for you. Why not adopt healthy habits as a writer from the start; it’ll save you years of unnecessary trial-and-error and a few writing blocks along the way. Might as well skip all that and get to the good stuff.

As you gain experience, you’ll want to re-watch certain sections of the course because you’ll hear different things and understand them more deeply.

Positively. Although the course launches new writers, more experienced writers actually get more out of it.

Wouldn’t it be nice to enjoy the revision process and see actual results, rather than write yourself in circles and turn your screenplays into daunting homework assignments? Yes please! Wouldn’t it be great to abandon formulas, find your best work that is unique to you, and know how to stay fresh and inspired through every step of the process?

Lastly, the module on maximizing emotional impact will lift your work to new heights. I’ve never taken a course or read a book that tackles what I offer in that section.

Yes. In the second half of the course where I go through the nuts and bolts of story structure, I reference Shrek (the first one) and Whale Rider. I also reference the pilot episodes of 30 Rock and Breaking Bad.

You should watch those in order to follow the sections on structure, but there is no rush. The first half of the course doesn’t require anything other than showing up and doing the exercises.

This is an online course, so you can work through it at your own time and pace.

The course is delivered as a series of video lectures, organized into short and descriptive units for easy reference.

Each of the modules that I describe in the outline above includes several lectures, most of which are 5-20 minutes in length. The speed control feature will allow you to watch these at a faster or slower pace.

Altogether there are roughly 50 lectures in the course. All of them include PDF’s with bullet points for review.

In addition to the lectures, each module also includes several exercises, some of which can be done repeatedly. There are certain writing exercises that I’ve been doing over and over again for years – every time I work on a script.

You can binge watch through the course over a weekend or two, or you can work and rework through it for months… or years.

As your writing improves, you’ll hear and understand things differently, and will likely find yourself rewatching at least some portions of the course.

Lifetime! Realistically, as long as both the internet and I exist, I can guarantee your access.

I have a Master's from USC and a BA from NYU. I've read ALL the screenwriting books. I've worked in feature development in Hollywood. Bottom line: ELA KNOWS HER S#IT. She's truly a master of the craft ...and she makes the method super accessible to anyone, newbies and veteran writers alike.

But the best part? She really gets how writers operate and has a process that will have you saying goodbye to writer's block and hello to your next screenplay. Do not miss this!

Picture of Jamie Jensen

As a former literary agent at Gersh, I would recommend your course to any writer who is starting out, switching mediums, or an experienced writer looking to add weapons to their arsenal and write more memorable scripts.

Picture of Sonya Pabley
Best writing course I have ever taken in my life; much more fruitful and comprehensive than most of my writing classes in film school. Finally, someone who teaches practical means and not vague concepts!
Picture of Takeshi Horie
I'm an actor, and on one particular film set, I thought that the script stood out as exceptionally strong. When I complimented the writer she said that her script was great because she studied writing with Ela Thier. I've since then studied with Ela myself and was recently awarded a screenwriting Fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts, based on my first feature script.
Picture of Nabil Viñas

lifetime, on-demand access​

Work through the course at your pace and on your schedule. Binge watch now or take your time. Refer back to the course as many times as you need it. Many alumni go through it with every script. When I get stuck, I still go back to it myself and use the exercises in my own writing.

30-day money back guarantee​

If you watch at least one module but not more than half the course, and it doesn't meet or exceed your expectations, request and receive a full refund. No questions asked.

3 sessions with Ela Thier taught me more than an entire semester of an expensive film school.

One of the best things I’ve ever done to advance my creativity and craft.

When I read the testimonials on Ela’s website, I said to myself: “No one is that good.” And I was right. Ela is infinitely better than good.

Ela’s techniques turn her students into writing athletes. It’s the difference between despair and glee at the keyboard.

Ela’s workshop not only changed me, but I can even see her influence on filmmakers who haven’t taken her class but are learning from her students! Ela doesn’t just care about art – she cares about artists, and has the tools and know-how to empower artists at all levels.

Simply the best writing teacher I’ve ever met!
Ela is like the fairy godmother of screenwriting.


For any writer with any amount of experience. Ela will provide you with tools to dig you out of any pit, as you employ structure without losing the soul of a script.

The workshop was immeasurably helpful even in my defining and shaping a documentary …I shuffled the cards I had in a different way. And now the funders are happy!

A huge eye-opener. I’m now obsessed with my script and looking forward to working on future scripts – instead of agonizing over the process. Thank you.

Ela’s words are like manna to a writer’s soul. She enunciates feelings I’ve had about writing forever. Absolutely top-notch.

Ela is outstanding, a rare find, a unicorn.

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