Fall 2004
Fully Enrolled

ARTS 641
Screenwriting

Callan,Jamie

09/13/2004 - 12/18/2004
Wednesday 07:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Public Affairs Center 136

How do screenwriters create a great cinematic story? To explore this question, we will study visual scenes and will write for the screen, creating dynamic action and strong dialogue that builds a strong dramatic arc. Students will parse contemporary film scenes with an eye toward building their own scripts. Students will also develop techniques for pitching a film idea and building this initial concept into a strong outline, a treatment, and then the first 25-40 pages of script. We will study film and screenwriting in the context of the current film market, with attention to how Hollywood develops scripts..

Sources to be studied include Richard Walter, SCREENWRITING, THE ART, CRAFT, AND BUSINESS OF FILM AND TELEVISION WRITING; Linda Seger, MAKING A GOOD SCRIPT GREAT; and Viki King, HOW TO WRITE A MOVIE IN 21 DAYS. Every week, students will choose one current film to view and discuss.

Required course work includes viewing a current movie each week for class discussion, pitching an original story idea (2-3 pages and verbal presentation), and writing a step outline for a screenplay (3-5 pages), treatment (5 pages), and first 25-40 pages of script.

Students should come to the first class with three ideas for a screenplay, which can be presented within a few minutes. This course may, by student petition, count toward the humanities concentration.


Jamie Callan (B.A. Bard College; M.A. Goddard College; M.F.A. University of California, Los Angeles) is a writer whose short fiction has appeared in many magazines, including The Missouri Review, Buzz Magazine, American Letters & Commentary, and Best American Erotica 2002. While a film student at UCLA, her screenplay "Thrill Rides" won a Goldwyn Award, a Jack Nicholson Award and was a finalist for the Disney Fellowship and the American Academy's Screenwriting Award. Her most recent book, Hooking Up or Holding Out is forthcoming from SourceBooks in November 2006, and her writing exercises are being published as The Writer's Toolbox, forthcoming from Chronicle Books in spring 2007.


ENROLLMENT INFORMATION

Consent of Instructor Required: No

Format: Seminar

Level: GLSP Credits: 3 Enrollment Limit: 18

Texts to purchase for this course:
James Frey, THE KEY: HOW TO WRITE DAMN GOOD FICTION USING THE POWER OF MYTH (St. Martin's Press), Paperback

Linda Seger, MAKING A GOOD SCRIPT GREAT (Samuel French Trade), Paperback

Christopher Vogler, THE WRITER'S JOURNEY: MYTHIC STRUCTURE FOR WRITERS (Michael Wiese Productions), Paperback

READING MATERIALS AVAILABLE AT BROAD STREET BOOKS, 45 BROAD STREET, MIDDLETOWN, 860-685-7323

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