Screenwriting Courses

Spring 2023 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

  • 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.

     

  • This is an exploration of the essential elements of writing short screenplays intended for production. Together we will generate and evaluate log-line ideas for an effective short film, workshop and develop these ideas, then write, rewrite and polish the resulting screenplay into a solid, well-structured 7-10 minute script, which will be filmed next semester in PROD 600.

    Prerequisite: SCWR 501.

    Production Grads only

    See PROWL for Days and Times

     

  • Students will build upon the story-creating tools they’ve acquired in SCWR 540 (with particular emphasis on “8 Sequence” story structure) in order to fully revise their story treatments based on the Creative Notes they receive in our writing workshops. Students will then write a completed first rough draft screenplay.

    Please view PROWL for exact times

     

  • Practical experience writing a first draft feature film screenplay; includes analysis of character development, breaking story, theme, plot, and story structure.

    Required for WPTV / Elective for 2nd & 3rd year PROD Grads

    Please view PROWL for exact times

  • Students gain practical experience pitching and working in the writer’s rooms of drama and comedy television series.

    Prerequisites: SCWR 511 and SCWR 550.

    WPTV Majors Only

    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.

    Graduate Students Only

    Please view PROWL for exact times

  • Animated TV shows used to be fairly straight-forward and predictable. However, in today’s world of streaming services and edgier cable channels, animation can be much more layered and adventurous. Whether it be a nihilist scientist traveling the multiverse to a depressed, former TV star horse searching to find happiness, animated show creators center their visions around a wide variety of nuanced characters. This is one of many reasons why animation is so exciting right now and showcases more diverse and unique voices than any other genre on television. In this class, you’ll develop your own original animated TV series concept and write the script for a pilot based on this idea. In addition to that, you’ll also learn many different aspects of writing for animated television, not only on the creative side, but from a business standpoint as well. Most importantly, you will learn about writing more visually and expressing your voice in this exciting and limitless genre. Side note: you do not have to be able to draw in this class. If you can draw, that’s great, but our focus will be writing and creating your show (also I don’t know how to draw so I can’t teach that).

     Matt Price is an Emmy Award-winning writer and producer whose credits in animation include “Close Enough” (HBOMax), “Final Space” (Adult Swim) and all eight seasons of “Regular Show” (Cartoon Network).

     

  • Practical experience as a producer managing the planning, budgeting, and scheduling of the episodic television art form.

    Please view PROWL for exact times

  • Writing the thesis narrative project and preparing the script for production.

    Prerequisite: SCWR 530.

    Please view PROWL for exact times

  • Broad survey of the wide range of adaptation concepts, practices, and processes. Practical experience developing pitches for translating existing material to TV or film and complete the first act of a feature or a TV pilot based on material in the public domain.

    Grad SCWR Only Required for WSCR Elective for WPTV

    Corequisite: SCWR 640. Prerequisites: SCWR 551

    Please view PROWL for exact times

     

  • Practical experience rewriting the feature film screenplay.

    Prerequisite: SCWR 650.

    Please view PROWL for exact times

  • This first year graduate-level writer's workshop is designed to increase student mastery of screenplay structure and craft, as applied to the process of writing one-hour episodic drama. Students will write a spec drama episode of a pre-determined show. The class will be run like the writers' room on a television series, with students giving each other notes (presented in a constructive manner) and helping to break story, and solve each-other's story and script problems.

     

  • 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

     

  • 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

  • Rewriting original pilot projects.

     Meetings: Please view 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

  • Practical experience rewriting a feature film screenplay.

    Prerequisite: SCWR 690.  FFSW / WSCR Mjrs Only

    Please view PROWL for exact times

  • Develop new or continue to work on previously written material to raise the quality of portfolio to industry standard; includes preparing marketing materials for projects.

    Prerequisite: SCWR 680 or SCWR 690.

    Please view PROWL for exact times