You will study four core course units.
Core course units:
This unit will focus on the acquisition of basic writing skills, and is a gateway to the ‘Story and Theme’ unit. You will explore the specifics of scene and dialogue construction, formatting and issues around research and around adaptation from source materials – e.g. plays, novels and news stories.
Story and Theme
This unit teaches the essential components of story and structure, the specific language of film storytelling and genre. It will include lectures, screenings of films and extracts, and individual and group analysis of films. You will produce ideas, formal outlines and a feature-length screenplay or TV series bibles and episode.
This is a discussion forum to which you bring the work above, where it is critiqued and debated from a number of points of view including aesthetic, generic, marketing, audience and budget. Development Lab is interactive and is at the core of the course; it replicates many of the development processes you will face in the film and television industry.
Contexts: Current British Film and TV Practice
This unit covers current aesthetic and generic trends in British film and television. There will also be lectures and seminars on budget, schedule, commissioning, finance, contracts, casting and marketing, and you will explore the production and marketing implications of your own screenplay projects.
On completion of the course graduates will have:
- the ability to discriminate between project ideas, present ideas and drafts to others effectively, and both give and receive constructive criticism
- the understanding of the aesthetic and economic conditions of the marketplace, how their work may be viewed in terms of budget and audience, and the stages a screenplay will go through in development and production
- a broad and detailed understanding of the nature of the film and television screenplay- how it signifies, how it communicates meaning to the film producer, director, actor and to the audience
- advanced understanding of the processes of writing a screenplay, from initial concept to final draft
- advanced understanding of the various stages of script development and how each is documented- outlines, treatments, pitch documents and so on
- critical knowledge of the current genres and trends in film and television and how they have evolved in recent years, particularly in the context of economic and market developments in these industries
- an understanding of the UK film and television industries, including their structure, institutions and working practices
- a broad understanding of the group nature of writing and development, and how the roles played by the various parties- producer, script editor, director and so on- shape and influence the screenplay.