This is the moment in the script where there is no turning back. The story gets "launched" here. It's where the plane takes off. 

This pivotal scene is often lost; Set-Ups often are way too long, and then the audience is hurled into the Crisis. Or everything is thrown into the Set-Up beat, with hopes that the audience will get hooked on some exciting piece of action. 

What you want to think about in the POINT OF NO RETURN is: 

  1. The meaning of your story 
  2. Where your story is going to end up
  3. How you are engaging people in meaning from the beginning 

We don't need to know the ending here - but we need to know something has begun. 

Deep dive into focused work on this pivotal scene of your script!

*Use this work to prep your scene for work in DIRECTING 2: POINT OF NO RETURN, or take it on its own as a tool to tighten your script!


Saturday APRIL 13th, 2024: 10am-2pm PST


Live Online via Zoom! Join from anywhere in the World!


The course is designed for professionals who wish to bring their skills to the next level.

The Tuition per participant is: 

  1. Live - Online: $585 (includes 2 weeks access to recording)
  2. Self-Guided: $385 (available post Lab and includes one months access to recording)

We love teams and groups that want to take the Lab together! Should you choose to study with your team, please note the tuition price is per participant, not per group. 

  1. Payment via credit card.
  2. Feel free to email us with questions!


Register by completing the Inquiry Form or enrolling directly at the bottom of the page! 



  1. There are no cancellations or refunds after booking.
  2. Students are responsible for payment in full whether or not they chose to attend all class sessions.
  3. Media links will be available for 2 weeks.
  4. Extender passes are available should you wish to access media links longer than 2 weeks.



  1. Lecture and physical-based curriculum support-integration and insight.
  2. Labs allow the opportunity to study on your own schedule, and at your own pace.
  3. Enjoy the Media Links for 2 weeks! 



  1. Sweats, yoga clothes (no jeans), and sneakers - as if you were going to the gym.
  2. No belts, earrings, or jewelry please. We want you to protect your bodies during floor work!
  3. Please note the lab is physical, you are free to observe at your comfort level. Please be respectful of your body and do not participate in the physical work if you have any physical injuries, illness, are on any medications, or are pregnant.



  1. These are advanced classes for professional artists interested in exploring new practices, pushing their boundaries, and going deep.
  2. The Labs are physical.
  3. The work is feeling-based.
  4. Please note you may find the work to be uncomfortable. 
  5. There will be a mix of lectures and active exercises designed to investigate the meaning, structure, and emotional core of your project.
  6. You are welcome to observe or participate according to your comfort level. You will get just as much out of observing as participating.



The Lab Series is designed for Film, Episodic, Commercial, and all content creators. It may be attended individually… or by the entire team.

  1. Directors
  2. Writers 
  3. Actors 
  4. Producers 
  5. Executives
  6. Production 
  7. Designers 
  8. Cinematographers
  9. Editors
  10. Brand Directors
  11. Any creatives interested in Story!


The Technique™ is the first, and only, entirely new approach to dramatic craft to be developed since The Method. A paradigm shifting approach to writing, directing and acting, The Technique™ throws out conflict as the source of story - and instead puts Meaning at the core.

The Technique™ is now the most influential craft utilized in Hollywood, impacting scores of groundbreaking films and tv shows, including Whale Rider, Little Miss Sunshine, Beginners and Transparent. Joan created the tools of The Technique™ through her own search for meaning in story, and evolved them by working closely on 84 features with first time or early career writer/directors. 


Writer/Director/Producer/Teacher Joan Scheckel is the internationally-renowned creator of The Technique™, the most influential new approach to writing, directing, and filmmaking craft in Hollywood today. Joan is known as the “Director’s Guru” and as a master teacher in the tradition of Stanislavski, Strasberg, and Joseph Campbell. Joan’s groundbreaking work challenges our cultural addiction to conflict and calls for a new storytelling paradigm that embraces feeling and meaning. Her innovations inform every level of the mise-en-scène, from writing, acting, and directing to visual style.

Joan trains and then teams with directors to develop, workshop, write, direct and produce material from the ground up. Including such iconic hits as... Niki Caro’s Oscar Nominee Whale Rider, Dayton/Faris’s Oscar Winner Little Miss Sunshine, Mike Mills’ Oscar Winner Beginners (Executive Producer), Joey Soloway’s Emmy Winner Transparent (Consulting Producer), Joey Soloway’s Golden Globe Nominee I Love Dick (Producer), Sarah Shapiro’s Peabody Award Winner UnREAL, Rupert Sanders’s Oscar Nominee Snow White and the Huntsman, Nick Jarecki’s Golden Globe Nominee Arbitrage, Sacha Gervasi’s Spirit Award Winner Anvil! Story of Anvil, Karyn Kusama’s The Invitation, Mark Romanek’s One Hour Photo, Miranda July’s The Future, (New Yorker Magazine Best of the Decade List), Liz Feldman’s Emmy Award Winner, Dead To Me, Anna Winger and Alexa Karolinski’s Unorthodox and many, many more.

Joan was also co-writer on The Vintner’s Luck, directed by Niki Caro (Mulan), starring Jeremie Renier and Vera Farmiga.

Overall, Joan has worked on 84 feature films and television shows. 74 came to her with unfinished drafts, no financing or cast, and with first-time or early-career writer/directors at the helm. 83 have been released, earning over 800 nominations and 406 wins including major category nods at the Oscars, Spirits, Golden Globes, Sundance, Cannes, Bafta, Emmys, PGA, DGA etc. 

Joan has been profiled and featured for her work and her influence on a generation of directors in many articles and publications such as: NYTimes, LA Times, Marie Claire, Deadline, Indiewire, Vox, IF Magazine, California Sunday, The New York Observer and more.

Now Joan is poised to create a slate of books, films, labs (live and online), podcasts, and apps.

Enroll Here