The Craft of Screenwriting: Scenes, Shorts, and Series

Summer 2020 Full Session
Freshman - Senior
Class Size: 25
8 Credits per quarter
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In this course combining screenwriting and film/media studies, students will obtain a firm grounding in dramatic writing for the screen. They will analyze professional and student screenplays while critically examining films and episodic programs in various formats: short and feature film, half-hour comedy, one-hour drama, and web series. Students will apply what they learn to writing their own scripts as they build their creative writing portfolios.

The workshop component will depend on class size, but each student will have 2-3 opportunities to obtain critical feedback on their project in an open workshop format. Each student should have some idea of the story they wish to develop from day one, but since we won't begin workshops until week three, there will be time to test drive 1-2 story concepts.

While the course is geared toward serious writers developing material for audiovisual platforms, even those who don't intend to pursue screenwriting professionally may find that screenwriting practice can enhance skills useful in any field, e.g. sensitivity to language, ability to express oneself in writing, capacity to give and receive constructive feedback, and general creative problem solving.

UPDATE (5/1):

1) Please note that the posted schedule assumes a class size of 25. If fewer students enroll, we may adjust the schedule slightly but the same general principle will apply: Minimize synchronous online class time while maximizing time for writing and script/film analysis with assignments to be submitted asynchronously via Canvas. For the first two weeks, students should plan on 4 hours/week of synchronous class meetings via Zoom. This will drop to 2-2.5 hours/week once workshops begin July 7.

2) Most of the films and television programs that we will be studying are available on Netflix- please make sure that you have access to Netflix for the entire quarter.


Summer 2020 Registration

Course Reference Numbers

Full Session (8): 40009

Academic details

Fields of Study
Preparatory for studies and careers in

Screenwriting, Film/Media Production, Content Development, Gaming, AR/VR, User Interfaces/Voice-Driven Applications in AI

Maximum Enrollment
Class Standing
Special Expenses

May require a subscription or access to Netflix


Time Offered
Schedule Evergreen link
see Schedule Evergreen for detailed schedule

First Meeting