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CMS 370 A: Basic Screenwriting

Meeting Time: 
MW 2:30pm - 4:20pm
ARC G070
Joint Sections: 
ENGL 387 A
Shawn Wong
Shawn Wong

Syllabus Description:

CMS 370: Basic Screenwriting (cross-listed with ENGL 387)

Shawn Wong, Professor of English 

B423 Padelford Hall, (206) 616-0941

Office hours: TBA

This is a screenwriting class, which means that the bulk of the responsibility for the success of this class is based on the writing you produce for the class and your critique of the writing done by your classmates.  

The goal of the class is to prepare you for more independent writing and self-critique. The focus on the writing is centered more on revision, editing, adaptation of an existing fictional story and understanding the craft of the screenwriting.

This is a beginning screenwriting class and the structure and focus of the class is on collaborative work in writing teams, mirroring the real world screenwriting work done in a "writers' room."  Student will work in teams on an adaptation of an existing short story into a screenplay for a short film of about 15 to 20 minutes.  There will be other opportunities to do individual script writing, but that also is adaptation with the goal of learning the format of the screenplay and learning film grammar.

Required Text:

There will be a textbook for the class and it can be ordered as an e-book or in hardcopy.  The required text is "Invisible Ink" by Brian McDonald and is available for order online from many sources.  Here's the listing on Amazon: (Links to an external site.)

In addition to the course text, there will be selected film clips, podcasts, etc. to be assigned later.



Catalog Description: 
Students develop collaborative critical and creative skills; studying screenwriting manuals and techniques; adapt stories for screenplays; and/or write synopses, treatments, and first acts of their own screenplays.
Department Requirements Met: 
Cinema & Media Studies Elective
GE Requirements Met: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Last updated: 
November 16, 2021 - 12:15pm