Screenwriting I



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Screenwriting I

Screenwriting 1 is a 15-week creative writing course focused on the screenplay as a literary genre, with practical application as students write their own short film scripts.

The course takes students through a process of analysis of storytelling in screenplays, development of original creative stories, and writing exercises to create polished screenplays of their own. This is an essential skill for any student interested in pursuing filmmaking, and it’s a lot of fun for students who just love to write and want to explore different writing styles.

Screenplays are a modern form of literature and are unique in that they are created as the foundation of another medium, narrative film. They possess all of the literary qualities of other story forms: character, plot, dialogue, theme, etc. but convey these elements in a unique and exciting format that is intended to be portrayed visually. Join us as we explore this important modern storytelling medium.

Screenplays completed in this class will be ready for production by students independently or to be further developed as part of the Film Producing & Directing class in the spring semester.

Course Details

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Textbook: The Screenwriter’s Bible, 7th edition by David Trottier, ISBN: 978-1935247210  — approx. $20 on Amazon.

“Flipped” Classroom Model: In order to cover more material in an on-line setting, students need to be prepared to watch pre-recorded lecture material before some weeks’ classes. This will be posted and explained. Working in this way helps to maximize live class interaction.

Equipment & Software: One of the great things about writing is that you don’t need a lot of gear (unlike other parts of filmmaking!)  Students will need to have a working word processor program and a DVD player/movie streaming service for some assignments. As we begin to develop formal screenplays, it will be helpful for students to invest in screenwriting-specific software such as Celtx (there is a free version), WriterDuet (free, online), Slugline (inexpensive, but Mac-only), FinalDraft, or others we will discuss in class.

Tom Khazoyan has been teaching online film and screenwriting classes and in-person workshops and seminars since 2010. He began his career on the production side of the film and television business. He’s an award-winning producer, director, cameraman, and editor. He has produced projects ranging from television commercials to documentaries to dramatic films in over 30 countries.


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