This advanced screenwriting course will introduce students to the complexity and thought process behind creating a first season for a dramatic TV series. Students will analyze the dramatic choices that create a successful first episode and study how those elements evolve to construct a cohesive world for the duration of the season. Through reading, watching and in-depth analysis, the course will examine the use of repetition, elaboration, and the role of plot, character, and tone, in maintaining audience engagement. Each student will come up with a limited series concept, characters and story arcs and write a partial draft of the pilot.
Sample reading list:
Chris Chibnall, Broadchurch
David Chase, The Sopranos
Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa, Homeland
Gerard Lee and Jane Campion, Top of the Lake
Weekly writing and re-writing assignments. Around 30 pages of reading per week, watching 2-3 hours of TV episodes a week.
Prerequisites and Restrictions:
Interested students complete an application by attaching a statement about why they would like to take the course and optionally a 3-4 page creative writing sample in any genre. This course cannot be audited. A prerequisite of 2 prior CWR courses. Application deadline is November 22, 2016. This course is not open to Freshmen.