Screenwriting: Creating Visual and Emotional Unity

How does a screenwriter, organize and develop the ideas that will form a feature narrative script? In this class, students will become familiar with feature film structure, plot evolution, character development, scene shaping and dialogue, and effective techniques for achieving the complex visual and emotional rhythm required by compelling narrative scripts. Moving from their initial idea to outline and scene formation while analyzing examples of classic and contemporary films, students will tackle the unique challenges and opportunities of crafting a feature length screenplay.

Sample reading list:
Stefan Sharff, The Elements of Cinema
Robert McKee, Story: Substance, Structure, Style
Lewis Cole, Rethink: Reimagine
Karl Iglesias, Writing for Emotional Impact
Alfonso Cuaron, The Sixth Sense

Reading/Writing assignments:
Script segments and film clips from various feature films will be analyzed in order to illustrate the application of feature writing techniques and the necessity of crafting screenplays with a thematic, emotional and visual unity. Students will work on identifying the core elements of their story and style, outlining, as well as completing and revising at least 30-45 pages of their feature script.

Application required.


Prerequisites and Restrictions

Interested students complete an application by attaching a statement about why they want to take the course and, optionally, a 3-4 page creative writing sample in any genre. Not open to graduate students.



Wednesday, 9:00 - 10:50 am
New South Building, Room 606


Christina Lazaridi