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Intro to Writing for Screen

This course explores the basic theory, form, art, and craft of writing for the screen—whether for a feature-length film screenplay, a film short, or a serialized television show. Film Production Certificate students are required to register for the corresponding CT lab.

Douglas Morse
Douglas Morse
Douglas Morse has adapted and directed medieval and Renaissance classics for the screen: The Summoning of Everyman, Christopher Marlowe’s The Jew of Malta, and Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. Students and scholars in The United States and at Universities around the world study the films. Professor Morse’s three other features include a documentary about hikers on the Appalachian Trail, a docu-drama about Manhat...
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Jan 22 - May 07
4:00 - 5:50 PM
Spring 2019
CRN 4753
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What you will learn
  • The essential concepts of classical dramaturgy, mythic structures, hero psychology, comedic premise, and genre.
  • The principles of storytelling including act structure, plotting, scene construction, character arc, tone, mood, and theme.
  • The formal standards for a variety of screen forms including the three-act structure of the feature film screenplay; the four or five acts plus teaser for an hour-long TV series; the three acts plus tag at the end of a half-hour comedy episode; and a series guide that allows the writer to explore larger themes, character arcs, and season-long dramatic events.
  • By examining popular screenwriting conventions and paradigms as well as rule-bending experiments in storytelling, students learn from both pillars of classic style as well as the cutting edge of the craft.
  • This writing-intensive class approaches screenwriting with assignments designed to teach aspects of craft and protocols of workshopping and critique.
  • Writing exercises are designed to develop creative and critical screenwriting skills necessary to proceed from concept to treatment, which may develop further in either the Film or TV writing track.
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