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Organization, Regulations, and Courses 2018-19

MALS 226 Screenwriting

One should emerge from this course with 1) the first draft of a professional-quality feature length screenplay and 2) the knowledge of how to do subsequent revisions. No previous creative writing experience is necessary. Whether your idea is "commercial," "artistic," or "personal" will not matter in terms of the focus of this course, but we will be concerned with your producing something that will hold up to professional scrutiny. We will emphasize the following: 1) a comprehensible story with a beginning, middle and end 2) a sympathetic protagonist 3) a worthy antagonist 4) an appropriate "love-interest" (if any), 5) how to keep your story a "page turner," so the reader will want to keep going; 6) proper format and length (100-120 pages) and absence of typos, 7) and originality of premise and dialogue. Since you will be expected to write an entire first draft of a feature script within this course, it behooves you to be somewhat prepared. It would help if you have a story in mind, a protagonist, a worthy antagonist, a love-interest (if appropriate), and at least an idea of your beginning, middle and end. It also really helps to have at least 30-40 situations (scenes) to string together to support a feature-length film. We will go over all of this in class, but if you get a head start on your thinking, it will be a tremendous help to you.


Bill Phillips