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Script Workshop 1

Script Workshop 1

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Published by: leehamilton51 on Sep 15, 2009
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Screen Academy Scotland MA Screenwriting 2009-10 SCA11102 Script Workshop 1 MODULE TITLE: MODULE CODE: CREDIT VALUE: MODULE

LEADER: MODULE TUTORS: Location of Module: Tutor’s room: Number of Groups: Script Workshop 1 SCA11102 20 James Mavor JM + Visiting Lecturers


Screen Academy Production Centre, Studio 1 (Thursdays 2-5pm) B30 Merchiston (by appointment) The module will be delivered as a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials.

Student Workload Lectures, Seminars, Workshops + Events Individual Tutorial(s) Individual Learning Activities Total Assessments There are three assessments in this module: Proposal: Each student is required to submit a Proposal for a Short Film in Week 6 (Thursday 15th of October) that will account for 20% of the overall module assessment. Script: Each student is required to submit a Short Film Script in Week 13 (Thursday 3rd of December) that will account for 60% of the overall module assessment. Reflective Essay: Each student is required to submit a Reflective Essay in Week 13 (Thursday 3rd of December) that will account for 20% of the overall module assessment. 72 hours 2 hours 126 hours 200 hours


Screen Academy Scotland MA Screenwriting 2009-10 SCA11102 Script Workshop 1 What you will learn and what this module is about This module guides you through the development of a short film from initial idea to a polished first draft script for a 10-15’ film. The film can be in any form – drama, comedy, animation – and the module aims to expose you the huge variety and potential of the short film form. The workshop develops your own writing, developing proposals, outlines and scripts; these will form part of a portfolio of work generated over the duration of the course. There is an emphasis on the development process whereby students acquire skills in story- and script-editing, collaboration and team-work. You will be able to revise and rewrite your work and to learn how to present it in a professional format. In this and the other Script Workshop modules there will be chances to pitch your work to your fellow students, tutors and visiting professionals from the film and television industry. Description of module content In this module, using the short film as a model, students are guided through a professional development process from idea to a polished first draft script. In weekly workshops students follow a process which mirrors that of a professional screenwriter as they generate ideas and develop their projects producing a series of documents – premise, synopsis, outline, step outline or treatment and various drafts of a short 10-15 minute film script. This development process is mapped out in the Classroom section of webCT as a series of lessons. This content is used by students on our online PG Certificate programme and should be seen as a compliment to the face to face, weekly classes on the MA Screenwriting. Students’ written work is regularly circulated and workshopped in small groups: this process develops and enhances the projects, stimulates teamworking and collaboration and helps develop the student’s own writing but also their story-, script-editing and inter-personal skills. There is a research element in which students are encouraged to engage in original research (to generate material for their scripts) but also to critically appraise and assess the various types of research that a writer might undertake as part of their process.


Screen Academy Scotland MA Screenwriting 2009-10 SCA11102 Script Workshop 1 This module also allows space for and encourages students to work collaboratively with other students on courses within Napier University, Screen Academy Scotland, Edinburgh College of Art and the wider Screen Academy network and, beyond that, to experience direct contact with professionals from the film, television and interactive/new media industries. The workshop sessions are interspersed with visits from Visiting Lecturers who will work alongside the students in set exercises or workshops to develop specific aspects of the craft, e.g. character, dialogue or pitching. This year’s visiting film-maker is Hope Dickson Leach. Hope Dickson Leach is a writer and director whose award-winning short films have played at festivals all over the world. She was recently named one of Screen International's Stars of Tomorrow as well as one of the 25 New Faces of Independent Cinema by Filmmaker Magazine. She has taught screenwriting at Columbia University (where she received her MFA), the New York Film Academy and the London Film School. She is currently in development with her debut feature film 'English Rose'. http://www.independent-magazine.org/node/723 Details of the workshop classes with HDL to follow.

Learning Outcomes for module Upon completion of this module you will be able to: LO1: Generate, critically evaluate and select potential ideas for development as a short film project LO2: Select appropriate strategies for writing for film and apply creative and analytical skills to the initial development of projects including appraising and incorporating feedback LO3: Identify appropriate team members and other resources required for the creative development of the project LO4: Present projects in oral, written and electronic formats in a timely and professional manner LO5: Critically reflect on, and consolidate an understanding of and approach to, the writing and development process -3-

Screen Academy Scotland MA Screenwriting 2009-10 SCA11102 Script Workshop 1

Assessment Guidelines There are three assessments in this module: Assessment 1 will be a detailed proposal for a short 10-15’ film. This is worth 20% of the module mark and is due on 15/10/09. This should be 1-2 pages and include a premise and a brief synopsis of the story. You may want to add some notes on character plus some indication of style and tone. You should indicate the market the project is aimed at and you may also want to talk about the audience for the film. You will receive written feedback by Friday 30 October. Assessment 2 will be a revised first draft of a short 10-15’ film. This is worth 60% of the module mark and is due on 3/12/08. It is not necessary that this should be the same project as the initial proposal selecting, testing and rejecting ideas is a valid – indeed essential – part of the development process. Please note that you will have the chance for formative feedback from peers and tutors in advance of the final hand-in. Tutor feedback on rough drafts can be given up to one week before the final hand-in. Assessment 3 will be a short Critical Essay of approximately 1500 words. This is worth 20% of the module mark and is also due on 3/12/08. This is a useful tool in your future creative, professional and personal development. You are encouraged to reflect upon the development of the short film project, making a critical assessment of what worked well – and what less well – in terms of your own creative process. You should also make a short assessment of your own progress, strengths and areas for further development as a writer, together with any ‘advice to self’ which you might want to note for the future. List two or three goals or targets for the next trimester. You should set your work in the context of films and reading undertaken during the trimester. All references should academically referenced. A handout is provided. You will receive written feedback on by 24 December.


Screen Academy Scotland MA Screenwriting 2009-10 SCA11102 Script Workshop 1

Feedback The feedback sheets will give tutor’s comments together with a broad indication of the student’s strength and areas for further development under the following headings: • Story • Character • Presentation • Market Potential Assessment Criteria The assessment criteria relate directly to the Learning Outcomes for the module. You will find these laid out in this module handout. In addition, creative work will be assessed using the following criteria: • • Originality of concept and of approach to subject, character, theme or genre. Evidence of sustained research, development and creative progress in relation to structure, plot, characterisation, theme, image, sound and dialogue. Technical, professional and presentational skills relating to the production of written work in relation to industry-standard layout, grammar/spelling and overall presentation.

Submission Of Work Students are expected to meet the submission deadlines. Work may be submitted up to one week late, with prior approval. After this, work will receive a mark no higher than P1 unless the student has applied for Mitigating Circumstances and these have been approved by the Mitigating Circumstances Board. Please consult the Programme handbook for further details. TWO HARD COPIES should be submitted in class or to the office and submitted online to webCT as a PDF document. Pages should be


Screen Academy Scotland MA Screenwriting 2009-10 SCA11102 Script Workshop 1 numbered. Please make sure that all work carries a COVER PAGE with your name, matriculation number, module number and name of the assignment.


Screen Academy Scotland MA Screenwriting 2009-10 SCA11102 Script Workshop 1 Reading List The following are indicative references and background reading. Further reading will be given in class or placed on webCT. Frensham, Ray Screenwriting (London: Teach Yourself/Hodder Headline, 1996) Howard and Mabley, The Tools of Screenwriting (New York: St Martin’s Griffin, 1993) Vogler, The Writer’s Journey (London: PAN, 1999) Cameron, The Artist’s Way (New York: Penguin, 2002) Cowgill, L.J. Writing Short Films (New York: Lone Eagle, 2005) Websites: www.bbc.co.uk/writersroom/ and www.atomfilms.com and www.bbc.co.uk/filmnetwork/ and www.imsdb.com Please use the university library, the Moonstone film script collection and see WebCT for web and other electronic resources. Please use the group’s closed Facebook site to exchange comments, ideas and to share clips and film-links with fellow students: Screenwriting MA 09/10 Also see this Facebook group to share ideas and get projects going: Edinburgh Skillset Screen and Media Academy - Buzz Or to see what’s going on: Edinburgh Skillset Screen & Media Academy


Screen Academy Scotland MA Screenwriting 2009-10 SCA11102 Script Workshop 1 TIMETABLE Screen Academy Production Centre, Studio 1 THURSDAY AFTERNOONS 2-5pm 1 2 Thursday 10 September Thursday 17 September Thursday 24 September Thursday 1 October Thursday 8 October Thursday 15 October Mon 19 October Introductions, Matriculation, Module Induction, Screenings, Welcome Drinks Short Films – screenings and JM discussion Homework: 20 Ideas Ideas Homework: Character Page Character + Story Film-maker Workshop 1 Film-maker Workshop 2 JM JM (tbc) JM + HDL HDL

3 4 5 6 7

Proposal Due (20%) Masterclass with screenwriter Andrea Story Week Gibb (Napier) Tues 20 October Short Film Screenings (ECA) All day Wed 21 October Animation Day (ECA) workshops, Thurs 22 October Short Film Day (ECA) seminars and Friday 23 October Documentary Day (ECA) masterclasses Thursday 29 October Thursday 5 November Thursday 12 November Thursday 19 November Thursday 26 November Thursday 3 December Script Workshop 1: Rough Draft 1 Script Workshop 2: Rough Draft 2 Script Workshop 3: First Draft Film-maker Workshop 3 Film-maker Workshop 4 Film-maker workshop 5 Final Draft Script (60%) + Critical Essay Due (20%) JM JM JM/AR (tbc) HDL HDL JM + HDL

8 9 10 11 12 13


Screen Academy Scotland MA Screenwriting 2009-10 SCA11102 Script Workshop 1 14 7-11 Dec 15 14-18 Dec 19 December 14 January 2010 Research and Reading Week 1 * Research and Reading Week 2 * CHRISTMAS BREAK TRIMESTER 2 CLASSES RESUME

* PLEASE NOTE: There are no formal taught classes in weeks 14-15 in this module. You will have the chance to attend research workshops and tutorials with Yvonne Baginsky. The purpose of these is to develop background research (and research dossiers) for the Major Project screenplays that you will write in the summer. (This applies to Full Time students only). You may also attend Drama Workshops at the Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) during these two weeks (subject to confirmation and numbers etc). Short studio-based filming of drama exercises with actors and ECA MA Directing students. Individual Tutorials will be arranged in the course of the trimester. Details of other events, workshops, screenings and masterclasses will be regularly posted and updated on webCT and the group Facebook site. The timetable may change. Any changes will be posted on webCT.


Screen Academy Scotland MA Screenwriting 2009-10 SCA11102 Script Workshop 1 Appendix: Assessment Brief and University Regulations

1. Module SCA11102 number 2. Module SCRIPT WORKSHOP 1 title 3. Module JAMES MAVOR leader j.mavor@napier.ac.uk 4. Tutors James Mavor with responsibilit y for this Assessment 5. 1: Project (Short Film Proposal) Assessment 2: Project (Short Film Script) s 3: Critical Essay 6. Weighting 1: 20% of module assessment 2: 60% of module assessment 3: 20% of module assessment 7. Size limits 1: 1 page for 2: 10-15 pages assessment 3: 1500 words 8. Deadline 1: Thursday 15 October at 5pm of 2: Thursday 3 December at 5pm (*) submission 3: Thursday 3 December at 5pm Your attention is drawn to the penalties for late submission * Please note that the deadline for delivery for this assessment has been moved from Week 11 to accommodate work with our Visiting Film-maker. If you wish to apply for a short extension you must agree this with the module leader before the deadline. Assignments submitted (without an agreed extension) up to 5 working days after the stated deadline will be capped at P1. Any assignments received after 5 working days will receive a mark of F1 (Fail). If you have mitigating circumstances which prevent you completing work, you can apply for these to be considered by the University Mitigating Circumstances Panel at the end of the module. See Programme Leader.

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Screen Academy Scotland MA Screenwriting 2009-10 SCA11102 Script Workshop 1 9. Please upload assignments to webCT as a PDF file. Copies Arrangemen may be emailed to the module leader as a back-up. ts for submission Your work must be submitted with the appropriate cover sheet which must confirm that the assignment is your own and has not been submitted for another assessment. You will find this on webCT. 10. All http://staff.napier.ac.uk/Services/studentaffairs/Student assessment +Administration/ s are Regulations+and+Policies/2009-10Regulations.htm subject to the This website contains the current regulations and details of how University to apply for Mitigating Circumstances extensions. Regulations. 11. Please see module handout. Requiremen ts for the A copy of the assessment brief is also on webCT. assessment 12. Special None instructions 13. Return of You will receive written feedback for coursework within 3 weeks work of submission. Every effort will be made to do this within 1-2 weeks. All marks are provisional until a sample has been seen by the External Examiner and final grades approved by the Module Boards at the end of each Trimester. 14. Please see module handout for assessment criteria for this Assessment module. criteria The assessment criteria relate directly to the Learning Outcomes for the module. You will find these in the module handout. Where relevant, written work should follow normal academic conventions for acknowledging sources.

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