Section 2: Tuesday and Thursday 9:30-10:45 AM

Professor: Matt Mullins

English 310 is an introductory course in the theory and practice of screenwriting. For this course students will write one short, complete screenplay of roughly 10 to 20 pages. In addition, they will complete a number of screenplay writing exercises, view films, and read material related to the craft of screenplay writing.  Much of this course will focus on the workshopping and collective critique of student screenplays and the reading and analysis of screenplays and screenplay excerpts considered from the perspective of craft.  Our focus will be on the discussion, analysis, and practice of the techniques and processes of screenwriting.  This includes matters of format, content, structure, style, drafting, and revision, among other things.  In sum, this course is intended to introduce students to the concepts of good screenwriting technique and cinematic storytelling while also giving them the opportunity to apply that understanding to their own short screenplays.  To this end, student work will involve the following:

  • Understanding and applying the essential techniques of screenplay format.
  • Understanding and manipulating the essential techniques of cinematic storytelling.
  • Understanding and utilizing the major structural elements of the screenwriting form.
  • Developing original story ideas into coherent scenes and/or complete screenplays.
  • Receiving and incorporating into their work feedback about structure, content, format and style from  their professor and peers.
  • Reading, evaluating, and offering constructive criticism on the work of their classmates.
  • Reading material related to the craft of screenplay writing and screenplays written by established screenwriters.
  • Analyzing (i.e., “reading”) films to better understand the craft of screenplay writing.

REQUIRED TEXTS/MATERIALS

  • Writing Movies, Gotham Writer’s Workshop
  • The Screenwriter’s Bible (6th Edition), David Trottier

· Screenwriting software:  All workshop scripts and screenwriting exercises involving scripted scenes must be typed in standard screenplay format.  The best and easiest way to do this is to use screenwriting software.  If you don’t own screenwriting software, there are a number of FREE web-based screenwriting programs available online.  I recommend using Celtx (www.celtx.com.)

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