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EGL 08 W — That's a Great Idea for a Movie! The Making of a Strong Screenplay

Quarter: Fall
Course Format: Online (System Requirements)
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Sep 23—Dec 6
Drop Deadline: Sep 26
Units: 3
Tuition: $910
Instructor(s): Xandra Castleton
Limit: 17
Status: Open
Please Note: No class the week of November 25

Online courses have a new refund policy. The full tuition refund deadline for this course is September 26th at 5:00 pm (PT); 50% tuition refund deadline is October 1st at 5:00 pm (PT).
Fall
Date(s)
Sep 23—Dec 6
10 weeks
Drop By
Sep 26
3 Units
Fees
$910
Instructor(s):
Xandra Castleton
Limit
17
Open
Please Note: No class the week of November 25

Online courses have a new refund policy. The full tuition refund deadline for this course is September 26th at 5:00 pm (PT); 50% tuition refund deadline is October 1st at 5:00 pm (PT).
Have you ever wondered why certain stories make good movies while others may not? Do you have an idea for a screenplay or an interest in learning how to come up with one? This course will help you recognize and develop viable screenplay ideas and give you the tools to write compelling scenes. We will examine the all-important screen story premise from a number of entry points, such as screenplays, essays on screenwriting, interviews with screenwriters, writing exercises, and an online workshop of story ideas, outlines, and scenes. Each week we will deepen the study of premise as we study other essential elements of screenwriting, such as character, theme, dramatic tension, dialogue, and plot structure. We will dissect the screenplays for three famous films: Chinatown, Thelma and Louise, and Moonlight. Students will take an idea through stages of development from a one-line summary to a five-page outline, key elements such as opening and closing images, and the first ten pages of an original screenplay. We will use The Screenwriter’s Bible, various articles on screenwriting, and interviews with screenwriters as instructional texts.

Xandra Castleton, Screenwriter; Producer

Xandra Castleton’s scripts have been the basis for documentary, TV, and film projects, including a profile of the filmmaker John Waters, which received a regional Emmy award. Her films have been shown at the Sundance, Tribeca, AFI, and Rotterdam festivals. She co-wrote and produced the feature film Full Grown Men, which received the 2007 Sundance Channel Audience Award. Castleton is the co-creator and writer of the scripted TV documentary Stand Up Planet, hosted by Hasan Minhaj of “Patriot Act.”

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) David Trottier, The Screenwriter's Bible, 6th Edition (ISBN 9781935247104)
(Required) Jennine Lanouette, Thelma and Louise: A Screenplay Analysis, 1st Edition (only available at https://www.screentakes.com/downloads/thelma-louise-a-screenplay-analysis/)
DOWNLOAD THE PRELIMINARY SYLLABUS » (subject to change)