Screenwriting Courses

Fall 2022 Offerings

  • Students will examine the elements of storytelling as applied to the screen and learn how to think like screenwriters. Beginning with idea generation and moving through story development, students will learn how to create iconic characters and how to utilize the basics of scene construction. Students will apply this knowledge as they write a short film.

    Requirements: SFTV Majors Only

    Meetings: Multiple Offerings, Please view PROWL for exact times

     

     

  • COURSE GOAL:  To understand the elements of long-form film and to build upon those elements by crafting the story, characters, world, plot and structure for three viable feature-length treatments.

    Requirements: SFTV Majors/Minors Only

    Meetings: Multiple Offerings, Please view PROWL for exact times

     

  • Writing a stand alone short film inspired / based on students’ existing feature scripts/pilots OR writing a stand alone short script with feature/ pilot potential.                  

    COURSE GOAL:
    Students will learn how to write production-ready short scripts based on or inspired by their existing feature or pilot TV scripts OR for a stand-alone project. Students will write a 7-12 minute script intended for production.

    Please view PROWL for exact times

  • Practical experience in writing feature film scripts with analysis of plot, character development, and structure.

    Requirements: SCWR JR/SR Only, Prerequisite SCWR 220

    Meetings: Multiple Offerings, See PROWL for times

  • Practical experience in completing or rewriting a feature-length screenplay.

    Requirements: SCWR JR/SR Only Prerequisite: SCWR 320

    Meetings: See PROWL, multiple times available

  • Practical experience in writing in various comic forms with emphasis on television situation comedy.

    University Core fulfilled: Explorations: Creative Experience; Flags: Oral Skills, Writing.

    Prerequisite: SCWR 220

    Please view PROWL for exact times

  • Practical experience in writing in various Dramatic forms with emphasis on television

    Prerequisite: SCWR 220

    Please view PROWL for exact times

  • Elements of screenwriting as applied to short films intended for production.

    Prerequisite: SCWR 120.

    University Core fulfilled: Flag: Writing.

    PROD Students Only

    Please view PROWL for exact times

     

  • An in-depth workshop/lecture demonstration on production and post-production processes and aesthetics of film and video.

    Juniors and Seniors Only

    Prerequisites: PROD 200 or PROD 101 and SCWR 220.

    Please view PROWL for exact times

  • Students will learn about the various challenges that videos game writers face and how the game writing craft diverges from traditional storytelling to create its own dynamic art form. Students will learn how to use the medium to create rich, compelling, and ultimately powerful narrative experiences for the player. Further, this class will offer insight to students about the emerging opportunities available in the games industry for writers.

    Please view PROWL for exact times

  • Entertainment Business Affairs is designed to help third year students integrate what they have already learned with the business practices that are essential to starting their careers. This course will combine lectures, guest speakers, and industry field trips to focus on the business of producing and writing including working with agents, managers, and attorneys; understanding contracts, agreements, and deals; developing negotiating skills; joining the guilds and unions; and the business of development and production including an overview of the various studios, networks, digital platforms, and distributors. The course will also cover the business behind domestic and international marketing and distribution.

    SCWR Juniors and Seniors Only

     Please view PROWL for exact times

     

  • Analysis of feature films from the screenwriter’s point of view and an in-depth study of each story’s dramaturgical elements. This study will deepen the understanding of these principles and techniques for the student’s own creative work.

    Please view PROWL for exact times

  • Writing TV Anthology Series is a unique LMU course on several fronts. First off, students will participate in creating and developing an original television anthology series. The series will contain a unifying subject matter, theme, and style. Then we will build on this series concept with each student creating and writing a full 30-minute episode for this new series.

    For those not experienced in writing or perhaps have some insecurities about the “how and why” behind the scriptwriting process, this course is going to walk you through, step by step. The series that the class creates will be a 30-minute anthology. It will provide each student the opportunity to challenge themselves in their preferred writing genre. Whether your strength is in comedy, drama, sci-fi, fantasy, animation or other form, the goal is to help you explore that interest while keeping it within the structure of the series.

    There are boundaries and rules relating to every TV series. We will keep to those as well. The house or pocket rules will be developed, discussed, and determined in class so everyone will be on the same page. In other words, part of the process is developing the rule book for the series to ensure everyone’s script stays within those bounds.

    Please view PROWL for exact times


  • Specially directed projects in writing for film, television, or other media from initial concept through finished form.

     The student must provide a professional copy of all senior thesis-level projects to the school of film and television in partial fulfillment of degree requirements.

    Prerequisites: SCWR 320 and SCWR 321.

    Senior SCWR Majors Only

    Meetings: Please view PROWL for exact times

  • Students will complete a page-one rewrite of rough first drafts written in SCWR 420. This includes revision at every level, from structure to theme to character transformation. Since each screenplay is unique and therefore offers unique challenges for each writer, the instructor will take into account the progress of each student on an individual basis.

    Senior SCWR Majors Only Prerequisite: SCWR 420

    Meetings: See PROWL for Days and Times

  • Students will learn how to write production-ready short scripts based on or inspired by their existing feature or pilot TV scripts OR for a stand-alone project. Students will write a 7-12-minute script intended for production.

    Please view PROWL for exact times

  • Adaptations of existing novels, plays, short stories and musicals have long been important sources for Hollywood in creating feature films for screen and television. This course explores the process for choosing and adapting pre-existing source material to the screen. Through careful analysis, students will study how others have solved the problems of adaptation. By examining what works and what does not work in various adaptations, students will learn how to approach source material and develop their own unique perspective. Students will complete a final adaptation project of a first act for a feature or a television pilot based on material in the public domain.

    SCWR Juniors and Seniors Only

    Prerequisite: SCWR 320. University Core fulfilled: Flag: Oral Skills.

    Please view PROWL for exact times

  • This course is an introduction to the short form play. The art of the short play takes time to hone. To tell a complete story in 10 to 14 pages is a challenge but you will  learn how to construct scenes and write monologues.  For the final project, you will write a one-act play, which will be revised and polished after a staged reading of the play.

    Please view PROWL for exact times

  • A writing workshop to teach the skills necessary to write and revise a packet of four or five comedy sketches that can serve as a sample of your work for executive producers and head-writers.

    SCWR Juniors and Seniors Only

    Please view PROWL for exact times

  • This writer's workshop is designed to increase student mastery of screenplay structure and craft, as applied to the process of writing a television pilot. Students will pitch series ideas for an one-hour episodic drama or half-hour comedy pilot and develop the Show Bible, which will include the Cast of Characters, the "World" of the series, and specific Story "Rules". The class will be run like the writers' room on a television series, with students giving each other notes, helping to break story, and solve each-other's story and script problems.

    SCWR Juniors and Seniors Only

    See Prowl for exact meeting times


  • Elements of screenwriting as applied to short films intended for production.

     Corequisites: PROD 500, PROD 565, PROD 566 PROD Mjrs/Grads Only

    See PROWL for exact times

  • Practical experience in the television development process; includes taking an idea to script and the directing, producing, and post-producing of a short film.

    SCWR Majors and Grads Only

    See PROWL for exact times

  • Course centers on understanding the craft of storytelling and character development as probably the most important task at hand when mounting a production and properly servicing the script for the writer, executive producer, and studio. Making wise choices in the areas of camera, lighting, and special effects to non-linear post-production, etc.

    SCWR Mjrs/Grads Only

    See PROWL for exact times

  • Elements of feature film screenwriting related to idea, character, story and structure development, scene and sequence construction, and elements of genres.

    WSCR Grads Only

    See PROWL for exact times

  • Elements of dramatic writing include emphasis on the television art form and the practical aspects of writing television genres.

    WPTV Mjrs/Grads Only

    See PROWL for exact times

  • A writing workshop to teach the skills necessary to write and revise a packet of four or five comedy sketches that can serve as a sample of your work for executive producers and head-writers.

    Graduate Students Only

    Please view PROWL for exact times

  • This course follows the creation of an original procedural series. Procedurals are often thought of as broadcast shows focused solely on cops, doctors, and lawyers. They can be that. But they also don't have to be. Regardless, procedurals rely on a certain story engine that propels a series, episode after episode, in the hopes of reaching 100... 200... or even 300 episodes. Or more. To construct an original procedural, you will first find your story engine, then build your world, then build your "team" -- each with their own unique skillset. After the world is built and the characters are set, the course culminates with the completion of a first draft of your original pilot.  

    Please view PROWL for exact times

  • This course is an introduction to the short form play. The art of the short play takes time to hone. To tell a complete story in 10 to 14 pages is a challenge but you will  learn how to construct scenes and write monologues.  For the final project, you will write a one-act play, which will be revised and polished after a staged reading of the play.

    Please view PROWL for exact times

  • Students will explore the craft and practice of the professional video game writer. From “chatter” to “branching dialogue,” they will learn the many types of writing used in the modern video game as well as the narrative demands of varied game genres and technologies. Additionally, they will gain a firm understanding of the Game Development Cycle (the long process by which a video game is made), the responsibilities, and demands of different game development departments and how the writer effectively functions within each of them.

    Please view PROWL for exact times

  • Description Coming

    Please view PROWL for exact times

  • The word monster comes from "monstra," meaning to show or signify: what do our monsters show us about who we are as a culture? This class probes horror’s dissolution of boundaries, jamming of categories, and bringing into the light of day all that we would prefer hidden. Through immersing ourselves in frights, we will engage our critical understanding of how this highly emotional and subversive genre has evolved to tap into our collective psyche as we respond to terrors past and present, including the COVID-19 and climate change. This course will investigate the horror genre along with its hybrid iterations: sci-fi/horror, noir/horror, melodrama/horror, fantasy/horror.  As in any good horror film, our focus will be on straddling the genre’s threshold; what elements are at the heart of horror vs. which are mutable/adaptable?

    The final deliverable is a feature-length horror screenplay. Note that there is a film studies component; expect assignments that include critical readings and writing argumentative essays. A 4-hour course team-taught by professors Mary Kuryla and Carla Marcantonio. 

    Please view PROWL for exact times

  • How can a comedy writer break in today in Hollywood? One way is to produce your own web series! In this course, students will examine various comedy web series and how they transitioned from the web to long-form TV platforms. The course will then guide students in developing their own web series from pitch to first draft that is ready for production. 

    Please view PROWL for exact times

  • Analysis of feature films from the screenwriter’s point of view and an in-depth study of each story’s dramaturgical elements. This study will deepen the understanding of these principles and techniques for the student’s own creative work.

    See PROWL for exact times

  • Practical experience rewriting the feature film screenplay.

    Corequisite: SCWR 650. Prerequisites: SCWR 540 and SCWR 541.

    See PROWL for exact times

     

  • Practical experience writing a feature-length screenplay.

    Corequisite: SCWR 640.

    See PROWL for exact times

  • Practical experience creating an original one-hour drama series and writing the pilot teleplay.

    Prerequisite: SCWR 660 or SCWR 670. WPTV Mjrs/Grads Only

    Please view PROWL for exact times

  • Practical experience creating an original half-hour situation comedy series and writing the pilot teleplay.

    Prerequisite: SCWR 660 or SCWR 670. WPTV Mjrs/Grads Only

    Please view PROWL for exact times

  • Production Option: Students write and pre-produce a short digital project (thesis). Writing Option: Students will rewrite an existing pilot teleplay or write a first draft for a new pilot teleplay. Both Options: Students will write a minimum of three trailers for the series, research visual/audio.

    See PROWL for exact times

  • A “real life” experience writing and producing a television series; includes producing and post-producing pilot presentation and a final professional presentation to an audience and faculty committee.

    WSCR Mjrs/Grads Only Prerequisites: SCWR 680

    Please view PROWL for exact times

  • The business behind writing, creating, and marketing entertainment.

    This course is designed to help students integrate what has been learned in the first two years of their program with the business practices that are essential to starting their careers. Focuses on the business of writing, including working with agents, managers, and attorneys; understanding contracts, agreements, and deals; developing negotiating skills; and joining the guilds and unions and on the business of development and production, including overviews of the major/boutique/independent film studios as well as overviews of the various platforms including network/cable/streaming/digital for TV and theaters/streamers/day and date cable release for film. Also tackles the business behind both domestic and international marketing, including strategy, research, advertising, promotions, publicity, and distribution. The course will include a combination of lectures, guest speakers, and field trips to industry locations and offices with top players in their field.

    FFSW, WPTV, WSCR Grads Only. Prerequisites: SCWR 650 and SCWR 651 (Feature Film Screenwriting) or SCWR 670 and SCWR 671 (Writing and Producing for Television).

    See PROWL for exact times


  • Practical experience writing a feature-length screenplay.

    FFSW / WSCR Mjrs Only

    See PROWL for exact times