Scriptwriting for Film and Television
In this interactive 10-week workshop, writers will learn the art of script writing while working on either a feature-length film or a pilot for a television show. With Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and YouTube redefining what the word “television" means, the boundaries between TV and feature films have become less clear. Television shows have evolved into long-form movies lasting dozens of hours and told over the course of years, creating some of the most compelling stories of our time. Whether your movie is two or fifty-two hours long, a movie is a movie, and this class seeks to break down the barriers between television and the movies (or better, show that they have already gone away).
Students will learn about the differences and similarities between film and episodic television, explore new media, and discuss how the medium is evolving. We will discuss screenplay format, as well as how to structure a scene, create compelling characters, write dialogue, and overcome writer’s block. Students will work on creating a backstory (or “show bible”) to help make the world of their story more complex and populate this world with fascinating and believable characters.
During the class, we will analyze the structure of several films and episodic television shows to help students gain a complex understanding of stories that follow the Hollywood paradigm as well as those that defy it.
Students can expect to leave the class with a detailed outline, several completed scenes crucial to the screenplay, and either a completed first act of a feature-film or the first half-hour of a television pilot.
Writers we will study include:
- Jenji Kohan (Weeds, Orange is The New Black)
- Zach Galligan (Breaking Bad)
- Aaron Sorkin (Newsroom, Social Network)
- Quentin Tarantino
- Matthew Weiner (Mad Men)
- Christopher Nolan (Interstellar, Inception)
- Charlie Kaufman (Adaptation, Being John Malkovitch)
- Alfred Hitchcock
- Ricky Gervais (The Office)
Previous Students Say
- "Inundated with Great Info"
- "High-Energy Class"
- "Inspired Me to Write More"
- Computer or Tablet Recommended
- Writing Homework
- Reading Homework
- Class Discussion
- Revision Assignments
- Instructor Feedback
- In-Class Writing
- Craft Lessons
- Generate New Work