Screenwriting Courses

Spring 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


  • 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 course explores the writing process and the role that writing plays in series creation and production. Students will create and develop an original anthology television series, containing a unifying subject matter, theme, and style. Building on the series concept, each student will create and write a full episode for this new series. Students will explore and develop their strength in comedy, drama, sci-fi, musical, or another genre, while keeping it within the structure of the series in a workshop designed to replicate an industry writer’s room.

    PROD/SCWR Majors Only

    Please view 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

    Meetings: Monday, 1:00pm - 4:00pm OR Wednesday, 1:00pm - 4:00pm

  • 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

    Meetings: Monday, 4:10pm - 7:00pm OR Thursdays, 4:10pm - 7:00pm

  • Intermediate screenwriting techniques as applied to short films intended for production.

    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

  • 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

  • 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.

    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

  • Streaming and Digital Web Series and Content can be the gateway to TV and film as evidenced by well-known web series that ultimately were transformed into TV series, such as BROAD CITY and AWKWARD BLACK GIRL.  Indie web series and content have skyrocketed.  We will explore how digital content can be a gateway into traditional television and film and how it has allowed a new frontier for storytelling through new media. These shows and content can also prove to be a bridge for you into the professional world by selling your series or using them as a calling card.
    This course will teach you how to develop, sell and monetize digital content. The class will explore the changing world of television through the development of digital distribution, branded entertainment, and web series. We will also familiarize you with the many digital buyers as well as other branded content opportunities. You will develop your own idea which we will then develop into a pitch. We will then decide what sales tools you will need to create in order to sell. You will decide to work on your own Rip real or a proof of concept script.   You can Shoot your 3-5 page proof of concept/first episode or assemble your Rip Reel. The semester will culminate in showing and pitching your web series or alternate digital content to branded and digital buyers.

    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

  • What is Producing? My family and friends often ask that question. “What exactly is it you do?” A producer is the VISIONARY of the project. We are many times the one that begins the process, nurtures it, develops it and builds it...step by step. We put all the elements together and we are responsible for holding it together. It is imperative that writers, directors, and producers learn the Art of Producing. In this class, we will study each section and build all of these pieces upon the spine of your own individual projects.

    So how do we do this? This course will be delving into it item by item. It is an immense job and in the world today it is essential to be knowledgeable of the process. In this class, we will begin with the passion: where ideas come from and the Who, Where, What, When and Why Now...Why You. We will move on the “Producers Handbook”, which will be your personal research containing film/TV script coverage, writer coverage and an index of who’s who of all your favorite “Keys” (DPs, writers, costumers, set designers, editors, sound engineers, etc.). We will then proceed to the art of pitching: knowing how to sell your show is fundamental to getting your film/TV show produced. We will then focus on sales tools from creative show bibles to tone reels.

    We then shift focus to the business of show business, moving into protective contracts, deal memos, and optioning material. We will tackle how to work with agents, managers, and
    executives. We will cover financing, festival strategy, co-production international models, and new media. We will discuss distribution and marketing and then the ultimate production producing path for you.

    Ultimately, This class is specifically designed so that students can learn and participate in the development of other student’s work. The expectation is that discussions and ideas
    applied to one student’s work in class will be reviewed by each student to see how it applies to their own concepts. Producing TV and film is a magical “gift” we have to give. We should cherish and nurture it with all our power.

    Please view PROWL for exact times

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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