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Writing for Film and Television Diploma

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  • Entry requirements
    A 1-page (maximum) synopsis of a feature film or television project that you are passionate about making. Provide the film genre and utilize references to other movies to explain how you would make the film. Explain the concept, vision or idea. In addition provide a minimum of two and maximum of four other creative writing samples in their original form (no more than 20 total pages should be submitted).
  • Course description
    Our curriculum is designed to give you the edge in the world of professional screenwriting by providing a balance between creative exploration and practical industry skills. You'll learn the craft of storytelling by working on feature scripts, TV scripts, shorts, sketch comedy, and more. But through our many productions during the year, you'll also learn to write to deadlines, to work alone and as part of a writing team, and to rewrite effectively. To ensure you're truly prepared to begin your screenwriting career, we teach you how to pitch and market your work. You'll graduate armed with a portfolio of writing and the knowledge of how to get it made.

    The following is an in-depth breakdown of the Writing for Film & Television program by term and courses studied.

    Program & Term Overview

    Weeks 1-8 (Term 1)


    Sample Classes

        * Writing With Style
        * Character
        * Story
        * The Biz: Format
        * The Biz: Pitching
        * TV Spec Script: Part 1
        * Short Script
        * Script Genre 1: Comedy

    Study the foundation of filmic storytelling - story structure, character, format, and genre - as well as learning the art of the pitch. Begin your writing portfolio by writing and rewriting a 10-minute short film script.
     
    Weeks 9-16 (Term 2)


    Sample Classes

        * Basic Tools for Feature Screenwriting
        * TV Spec Script: Part 2
        * Dialogue
        * Script Genre 2: Crime
        * Writing for Animation (Elective)

    Jump in to major writing projects: write a treatment (a 25 page outline) for your feature film script, and begin writing your TV spec episode. Students will discuss their writing in workshops - round table discussions with faculty and classmates.
     
    Weeks 17-24 (Term 3)

    Sample Classes

        * Feature Script
        * Documentary: Part 1
        * Sketch Comedy: Part 1
        * Portfolio Shorts (Elective)
        * Adaptation (Elective)

    Complete first drafts of both your feature film script and your portfolio short script. Expand on your storytelling abilities by studying - and writing - for documentary and sketch comedy.
     
    Weeks 25-32 (Term 4)


    Sample Classes

        * Feature Script Rewrites
        * Story Editing
        * Script Genre 3: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
        * TV: Rewrites
        * Sketch Comedy: Part 2
        * Writing for Sitcom

    Go deeper into the writing process by analyzing scripts and rewriting your work. Take your understanding of the screenwriter's role in the film industry to the next level: production. Pitch, write, and rewrite a Portfolio Short (a short script to be produced in Term 5).
     
    Weeks 33-40 (Term 5)


    Sample Classes

        * Final Feature Project (Elective)
        * Script Genre 4: Action
        * TV: Pilot: Part 1 (Elective)
        * Writing for Commercials (Elective)
        * Writing and Producing for Comics (Elective)
        * Writing for Web Series: Part 1 (Elective)
        * Improv Collaboration with Acting
        * Writing for Games (Elective)

    Start thinking about your portfolio: begin either a second feature film script or a TV pilot. Elect to study further forms of writing, like Adaptation and Journalism, or choose to focus on just one or two major writing projects to work on independently.
     
    Weeks 41-48 (Term 6)


    Sample Classes

        * Final Feature Project: Part 2 (Elective)
        * The Biz: Marketing
        * Script Genre 5: International (Elective)
        * TV: Pilot: Part 2 (Elective)
        * Journalism (Elective)
        * Acting for Writers
        * Writing for Web Series: Part 2 (Elective)

    See how all the pieces come together, as you complete your script revisions and assemble your portfolio. Make the transition to writing professionally by learning the business side of writing - promotional skills, grant writing, and dealing with agents, managers, and producers.
     

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