LT221-5-FY-CO:
Introduction to Screenwriting

The details
2019/20
Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Undergraduate: Level 5
Current
Thursday 03 October 2019
Friday 26 June 2020
30
20 August 2019

 

Requisites for this module
(none)
(none)
(none)
(none)

 

(none)

Key module for

BA PW38 Film and Creative Writing,
BA PW39 Film and Creative Writing (Including Placement Year),
BA PW88 Film and Creative Writing (Including Foundation Year),
BA PWH8 Film and Creative Writing (Including Year Abroad)

Module description

This module introduces students to some of the practical and theoretical aspects of writing for the screen. It will investigate script form and structure in feature and short films, as well as examining techniques of ideas generation and creating memorable characters and plots.

Students will be expected to write their own short films, essays which reflect their understanding of screenwriting, and also participate in creative pitching and ideas development sessions. Preparation for and participation in the module will involve compulsory viewing of all the films, preferably at the scheduled time on campus, attendance at weekly two hour seminars, the reading of relevant extracts and screenplays as well as some creative homework.

Module aims

The aims of this module are:

1. To introduce students to a range of screenwriting styles and contrasting approaches used to create original work.

2. To introduce students to some of the techniques used to construct a successful screenplay and to inspire them to create original stories in a cinematic context.

3. To enable students to find their voice and create engaging, original and thought provoking scripts.

4. To familiarise students with terminology used by screenwriters and to enable students to write a short film script.

5. To introduce students to how the film industry works from a writers perspective.

Module learning outcomes

After successful completion of this module, students will:

* be competent in screenwriting.
* be fluent in the critical language used by screenwriters.
* be able to distinguish a variety of critical approaches to screenwriting.
* understand how to navigate the industry as a screenwriter.

Module information

Selected readings and extracts from:

Robert McKee, Story, Methuen, 1998.
Syd Field, Screenplay, Dell Pub. Co., 1994.
Ken Dancyer and Jeff Rush, Alternative Scriptwriting, Elsevier/Focal Press, 2007.
Christopher Booker, The Seven Basic Plots, Continuum, 2004.
William Goldman, Adventures in the Screen Trade, Abacus, 2010.
Linda J. Cowgill, Writing Short Films, St Martin's Press, 2005.
Patricia Cooper & Ken Dancyger, Writing the Short Film, Elsevier/Focal Press, 2005.
J.J. Murphy, Me and You and Memento and Fargo, Continuum, 2007.
Christopher Vogler, The Writers Journey, Michael Wiese Productions, 2007.
John Yorke, Into the Woods, Penguin 2013.
Annie Proulx, Close Range, Harper Collins 1999/2006

Selected Screenplays/Treatments:

Groundhog Day, It Follows, American Beauty, The Fisher King, Whiplash, Reservoir Dogs, Juno,
Brokeback Mountain, The White Ribbon, Stranger Than Paradise, Barton Fink, Little Miss Sunshine, The Player, Adaptation.

Learning and teaching methods

Weekly 2-hour seminar, screenings

Bibliography

This module does not appear to have any essential texts. To see non-essential items, please refer to the module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework Participation 40%
Coursework Assignment 1 (Screenplay package) 12/12/2019 30%
Coursework Assignment 2 (Essay - 2,500 words) 20/03/2020 25%
Coursework Assignment 3 (Screenplay package) 07/05/2020 5%

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%

Reassessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Bevan Walsh
LiFTS General Office - email liftstt@essex.ac.uk. Telephone 01206 872626

 

Availability
No
No
No

External examiner

Dr Mikel Koven
Senior Lecturer - Film Studies
Resources
Available via Moodle
Of 134 hours, 0 (0%) hours available to students:
54 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
80 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).

 

Further information

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