SCREENWRITING - 2018/9

Module code: ELIM037

Module Overview

The module offers students the opportunity to learn the processes for writing a compelling script for film, television and the web. Through analysing film clips, reading extracts from screenplays, engaging with theoretical concepts, and participating in class discussions and workshops students will be offered a comprehensive overview of the screenwriting process.

At the end of the semester students will produce a professionally formatted script for short film or a pilot episode from either a television or a webseries, alongside a commentary reflecting upon their creative work OR a critical essay that focusses on three films/ TV/ Web series of their own choice using theories, concepts and practices studied on the module.

Module provider

School of Literature and Languages

Module Leader

WYNNE-DAVIES M Prof (Lit & Langs)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

JACs code: W810

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

None

Module content

The following areas are indicative of topics to be covered:


The three- and five-act structures
The Protagonist and their journey
The development of character
Theme, premise and understanding the role of conflict
Openings
Plot and Story
Scene development
Dialogue and description
Film, Television and Webseries
Pitching

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework SCREENPLAY (18 PAGES) PLUS CRITICAL ESSAY AND COMMENTARY (1500 WORDS) OR CRITICAL ESSAY (4500 WORDS) 100

Alternative Assessment

N/A

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate achievement of the module learning outcomes.

Seminar discussion with ongoing tutor feedback is designed mainly to assess transferable skills in working as part of a group and practical/professional skills in expressing ideas and critical analysis in oral communication. It also assesses subject knowledge in the different forms of screenwriting and cognitive/analytical skills in critical thinking and in developing screenplays.

The essay OR the screenplay plus critical commentary assess subject knowledge in the different forms of screenwriting and cognitive/analytical skills in critical thinking and in using the theories of screenwriting to analyse scripts. They also assess practical/professional skills in expressing ideas about screenwriting AND/OR writing their own screenplay in written communication and transferable skills in working independently and as part of a group. 

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

End of semester Creative Piece (3000 words or equivalent in poetry) plus critical essay and commentary (1500 words) (100%) OR Critical Essay (4500 words) (100%)

Formative assessment and feedback

Verbal feedback and formative ‘feed forward’ is provided through seminar discussions, and tutor feedback in seminars, on short pieces (250-500 words of prose, or equivalent in another form) presented as part of the workshopping element of the classes. Each student can expect to present 2-3 such pieces over the course of the semester according to a schedule worked out between the tutor and the student cohort.
Written and/or oral tutor feedback will also be provided on one piece of creative writing (maximum of 1000 words or equivalent for poetry) during the course of the module (the student is free to submit this at any point of the semester).
As such, writing, presentation and critical analysis skills will be developed and honed which will feed forward to the summative assessment at the end of the module. 
There is the option of a range of other feedback mechanisms agreed between tutor and students in week 1 of the module, such as seminar contribution and writing exercises.

Module aims

  • Develop in students a thorough critical understanding of screenwriting processes for film, television and webseries
  • Develop the ability in students to analyse and appraise styles and techniques used in screenwriting and to apply critical insights to their own writing practices and/or the works of other screenwriters
  • Facilitate acquiring the detailed knowledge and skills necessary for screenwriting
  • Help students attain the ability to apply critical awareness to their own creative writing and/or to the works of others
  • Encourage students to work as a group in the production of collaborative work in the workshop context
  • Facilitate the examination of the theory and conceptualisation of screenwriting critically alongside the practices and published texts produced in relation to it
  • Encourage students to critically develop their thinking about their own practice as writers, both creative and critical, and to present this in cogent terms.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Gained significant confidence and ability in critical analysis and thinking C
2 Gained the ability to analyse and appraise styles and techniques used in screenwriting and to apply these critical insights to their own writing practices and/or the works of other screenwriters KC
3  Acquired the detailed knowledge necessary for screenwriting K
4  Acquired the detailed skills necessary for screenwriting ( P
5  Increased the ability to apply critical awareness to their own creative writing and/or to the works of others PT
6  Developed the ability to work as a group in the production of collaborative work in the workshop context PT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 126

Seminar Hours: 24

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:


Hone and develop students’ writing skills in academic writing and/or creative writing (screenwriting) by more fully developing students’ understand of the context and processes of film, television and webseries practices
Assist students in locating screenplays and their own critical and/or creative work in historical and cultural contexts by more fully developing a strong sense of the materials and techniques available, and to develop in-depth thinking in the context of screenwriting for film, television and the web
Equip students with the research and writing skills they will need to produce critically informed academic writing and/or creative writing (screenplays) and creative criticism by helping them gain significant confidence and ability in critical analysis and thinking OR an ability to use specific compositional skills that will have practical application to their practices as screenwriters
Facilitate students’ productive reflection on both the creative process and the finished work by helping them gain significant confidence and ability in critical analysis and thinking, and an ability to use specific compositional skills that will have practical application to their practices as writers, both academic and creative.  


 

The learning and teaching methods include:

2 hour seminar x 11 weeks.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

Reading list for SCREENWRITING : http://aspire.surrey.ac.uk/modules/elim037

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Creative Writing MA 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
English Literature MA 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Creative Writing MFA 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2018/9 academic year.