Learn How Joss Whedon Approaches Story, Writing & Directing in 10 Minutes

Joss Whedon on Story, Writing, and Directing
Long before Joss Whedon took the helm of The Avengers and steered the Marvel franchise to the second highest box office grossing film of all time, before Buffy and Firefly, he left his job at a video store to start his first writing gig on the sitcom Roseanne. That is where Joss Whedon learned his craft on the job.

Coming from a long line of television writers may have predisposed Joss Whedon to writing for television and film, but he didn't realize his love for writing until after he graduated from college. Even then, Whedon admits that he had to figure out how screenwriting worked while he was already getting paid to do it. Whedon explains in this first video from BAFTA's On Filmmaking series how he approaches story ideas and how being a true romantic, and therefore a cynic, colors his work.

Video is no longer available: www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmau16Cupio

In the second video, Whedon talks about writing for characters that others have created and making them your own, how comedy comes naturally to him but never in the form of writing a joke, and how television is really a training ground for writers to learn the craft of filmmaking.

Video is no longer available: www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4y_zvY9U3s

Whedon wraps up his interview by describing how writing and directing are part of the same process for him, directing with absolute conviction to get collaborators to believe in his vision, and advising new filmmakers to just "make stuff, make stuff, make stuff."

Video is no longer available: www.youtube.com/watch?v=XfkU0ZX1Vj4

Does Joss Whedon's approach to story, writing and directing resonate with you? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.     

Your Comment


Thanks Joss Whedon for your advices, always are Welcome.

September 30, 2014 at 7:31AM, Edited September 30, 7:31AM

Ragüel Cremades
Film producer and director

He's right, I agree that when you write something you feel the need to protect it, but we should learn how to let go a bit of our stories because what works in paper not always works as a film told by images. Great interview!

September 30, 2014 at 10:13AM

Jesús J. Borges

I just finished Joss's biography that was published last month. Highly recommended. $11.99 on the Kindle. He's rather inspiring because he can work with the studios and he also has the indie spirit (i.e. he likes creative control, and who doesn't?). Plus, anybody who does 'Sundays with Shakespeare' readings at his house is the man.

September 30, 2014 at 6:06PM


Studying both the writing process and the film making process is really a fantastic way to go.

September 30, 2014 at 11:15PM

Riaan Myburgh