module specification

SJ7037 - Scriptwriting (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Scriptwriting
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School School of Computing and Digital Media
Total study hours 200
 
170 hours Guided independent study
30 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   Portfolio - 5000 words
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Tuesday Afternoon

Module summary

This module will allow students to develop good practice in devising treatments and writing scripted material for a range of media, including work on both adapted and original scriptwriting. Critical response to and analysis of filmed, broadcast or performed work in relevant media will inform practical work in the technical aspects of presenting scripted material in relation to professional requirements.

Module aims

The main aims of the module are:
1. to provide students with the means to enhance their writing and narrative skills through advanced writing workshop activities;
2. to provide an attractive and distinctive approach to writing with regard for potential audiences, markets and performance opportunities and how to access these;
3. to extend critical awareness of the creative processes,  formulae and practical techniques required to engage in scriptwriting;
4. to extend and enhance students' skills in developing derived and/or original scripted material for one or more media.

Syllabus

There are three main strands to this module:

workshop activity devising treatments for and writing scripted material for a range of media: work on both adapted and original scriptwriting will be included;
critical reading, viewing and listening to published, broadcast or performed work in the relevant media;
practical work in the technical aspects of presenting scripted material in relation to the professional requirements of different media with regard to publication and/or performance.

Students will be expected to build on their previous writing experience, allowing for some self-selection in terms of a) medium, b) derived or original work for assessment purposes. However, experience of writing across the indicative range is a requirement of the module.

Learning and teaching

The module is delivered in a three hour workshop setting. Most, if not all, sessions will involve students writing in class on required and/or self-selected tasks. Other elements will include: critical appraisal of published, broadcast or performed examples of scripted material; practical application of the technical aspects of presenting scripted work to a professional standard, particularly with regard to publication and/or performance; sharing and mutual critical support of each other's work in pairs, small groups and with the class as a whole. Students will be expected to spend the requisite amount of out of class individual effort on all the above activities.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be expected to:
1. possess enhanced and extended writing and communication skills;
2. have a professional sense of potential audiences, markets and performance
opportunities and how to access these, particularly in a London context;
3. have an acute critical awareness of the creative processes involved in the development and production of their own and others' scriptwriting;
4. possess effective strategies for devising treatments and writing derived and/or original scripted material for one or more media.

Assessment strategy

Given the workshop based nature of the module, it is particularly appropriate that there is ongoing, informal and formative assessment throughout, whereby the tutor responds to the products of the students' workshop activities. There will be an expectation that students devise at least two treatments for this formative assessment process.
Emerging from this work the summative assessment will be a portfolio consisting of a) a final draft, 30-minute script, based on one of the approved treatments; b) a 2000-word commentary demonstrating an acute critical awareness of the creative processes involved

Bibliography

Dona Cooper: Writing great screenplays for film and TV (2nd edition) New York: Macmillan, 1997
Ken Dancyger and Jeff Rush: Alternative scriptwriting: successfully breaking the rules (3rd edition) London : Focal Press, 2001
Rib Davis: Developing characters for scriptwriting London: A & C Black, 2001
Rib Davis: Writing Dialogue for Scripts London: A. & C. Black, 1998.
Rosemary Horstmann: Writing for radio (3rd edition) London: A. & C. Black, 1997
Gerald Kelsey: Writing for television (2nd edition) London: A. & C. Black, 1995
Shaun MacLoughlin: Writing for radio : how to create successful radio plays, features and short stories Oxford: How to Books, 1998
Charlie Moritz: Scriptwriting for the screen New York: Routledge, 2001
Mark Readman: Teaching scriptwriting, screenplays and storyboards for film and TV production London: BFI Education, 2003
John E. Schwiebert: Reading and writing from literature Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997
J. Michael Straczynski: The complete book of scriptwriting (Revised and expanded edition) London: Titan Books, 1997
Ronald Wolfe: Writing comedy : a guide to scriptwriting for TV, radio, film and stage (Revised edition) London: Robert Hale, 2003
David Wood: Theatre for children : guide to writing, adapting, directing and acting
London: Faber and Faber, 1997