This course will introduce students to core screenwriting principles and techniques. Questions of thematic cohesiveness, plot construction, logical cause and effect, character behavior, dialogue, genre consistency and pace will be explored as students gain confidence in the form by completing a number of short screenplays. The course will illustrate and analyze the power of visual storytelling to communicate a story to an audience, and will guide students to create texts that serve as “blueprints” for emotionally powerful and immersive visual experiences. Final portfolio will include on short exercise and two short screenplays.
Sample reading list:
Robert McKee, Story: Substance, Structure, Style
Guy Gallo, The Screenwriter’s Compass: Character as True North
Michael Ondaatje, The Conversations: Walter Murch and the Art of Editing Film
Michael Tierno, Aristotle’s Poetics for Screenwriters
Roy Armes, Dramatic Structure and Image
Prerequisites and Restrictions:
Interested students complete a creative writing application including a statement about why they would like to take the course, and optionally, a 3-4 page creative writing sample in any genre. Please note this course cannot be audited, and is not open to graduate students.