First Year

Fall Quarter

Winter Quarter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DC 501

STORYTELLING FOR THE SCREENWRITER

Students begin their screenwriting journey with a strong foundation in the basic building blocks of solid, engaging storytelling. Students will mine their own lives in order to create memorable stories, characters, and settings. Additionally, students will learn basic screenwriting skills such as character development, constructing atmosphere, and the fundamental components of a scene. PREREQUISITE(S): None

DC 502

STORY STRUCTURES

Advanced critical analysis of multiple film structures beginning with a solid understanding of classically structured linear narratives told in three acts and ultimately exploring non-traditional feature film structures including but not limited to: ensemble, multiple protagonist, non-linear and episodic. Films will range from classic Hollywood films to contemporary independent films. Students will learn various theorists' approaches to terminology (which may include Snyder, Field, Campbell, and Howard) in order to develop a language with which to discuss scripts and finished films, both other people's work as well as in developing their own. PREREQUISITE(S): None

DC 503

STUDIO DEVELOPMENT

This advanced course examines the development process that enables the screenplay's journey from draft to screen. By crafting professional coverage and development notes, the class will deconstruct feature length scripts and student work in an effort to forge them into cinematically viable properties. The assignments and class discussions are designed to expose the inner workings of Hollywood and provide a framework for what it takes to succeed in the entertainment industry. Enrollment is only open to MFA students. PREREQUISITE(S): None

DC 402

WRITING THE FEATURE I

This course focuses on creating a well-vetted original concept, step outline and first act fora feature length screenplay. Students will analyze the conventions of plot and character driven narratives and participation in workshop sessions in an effort to develop their unique voice on the page. This script should be completed, revised and polished in DC 403 and DC 404. PREREQUISITE(S): DC 501

DC 400

WRITING THE TELEVISION SPEC SCRIPT

In this class, students will learn the basic teleplay structures for both half-hour and hour-long television shows. Students will choose an existing show and write a spec episode, practicing the skills of matching character voice, structure, and tone. PREREQUISITE(S): DC 101, DC 201, or DC 501

DC 403

WRITING THE FEATURE II

This course focuses on completing the second and third acts of the feature length screenplay that was developed in DC 402. Class discussions and workshop sessions will help students support the main conflict of their narrative through the use of rising action, character development and adherence to three-act structure. Students must possess a completed first act for a feature length screenplay in order to enroll in the course. PREREQUISITE(S): DC 402 or DC 405

DC 405

TOPICS IN SCREENWRITING

Advanced study in screenwriting focusing on a specific genre each quarter such as: Science Fiction, Film Noir, Comedy, Action-Adventure, Nonfiction, etc. May be repeated for credit. PREREQUISITE(S): DC 201

DC 480

PROJECT BLUELIGHT

Production of a feature-length digital motion picture written by students or faculty within the Digital Cinema program. Students will work as crew under supervision of faculty members heading each of the various production areas. Goal is to produce a completed digital motion picture suitable for festivals or distribution. In addition to production work, graduate students are required will write a 7-10 page paper which analyzes the experience and how it relates to their MS/MFA course of study.
Prerequisites:
CDM graduate students in the Preqrequisite Phase are restricted from registering for this class.

DC 561

THESIS I

In this class, students complete a feature length outline and first act of their thesis script. Extensive feedback from in-class workshops and thesis advisors provide a viable framework for the completion of the project, which is completed in Thesis II and III. PREREQUISITE(S): Instructor permission
Prerequisites:
CDM graduate students in the Preqrequisite Phase are restricted from registering for this class.

DC 406

WRITING THE SITCOM

In this course, students analyze half hour situational comedy teleplays. The course will feature a specific focus on story-telling styles and techniques of successful sitcom predecessors, various formats of sitcom teleplays, and methods for pushing original projects out into the world. Students will create an original sitcom pilot. PREREQUISITE(S): DC 400

DC 407

WRITING THE EPISODIC DRAMA

In this course, students analyze hour-long dramatic teleplays. This course features a specific focus on story-telling styles and techniques of successful dramatic predecessors, various formats of hour-long drama teleplays, and the definition and significance of "show bibles". Students will create an original hour long pilot. PREREQUISITE(S): DC 400

DC 562

THESIS II

In this class, students complete the second and third acts of their thesis script. Extensive feedback from in-class workshops and thesis advisors provide a viable framework for the completion of the project, which is completed in Thesis III. PREREQUISITE(S): DC 561
Prerequisites:
CDM graduate students in the Preqrequisite Phase are restricted from registering for this class.

DC 408

WRITING ON ASSIGNMENT

This course provides a framework for students to complete a feature length screenplay in ten weeks. Using techniques and deadlines modeled after professional writing assignments, students learn how to meet the expectations of studio executives and producers without sacrificing their unique voice. It is imperative students possess a viable concept and outline before enrolling. PREREQUISITE(S): DC 501

DC 563

THESIS III

In this class, students complete a polish of their thesis script. Extensive feedback from in-class workshops and thesis advisors provide a viable framework for the completion of the project. PREREQUISITE(S): DC 562
Prerequisites:
CDM graduate students in the Preqrequisite Phase are restricted from registering for this class.

DC 505

INDUSTRY AND PITCHING SEMINAR

Students will learn the art and craft of pitching including the differences between pitching new or existing ideas, shaping pitches based on your audience, and pitching a take on existing source material. Students will also learn not only how to pitch projects, but to pitch themselves, focusing on what makes them unique as a writer/director/producer, the themes that connect their work, and how to present themselves as a brand. Industry professionals will visit class (live or via Skype) when appropriate. PREREQUISITE(S): DC 222 or DC 224 or DC 424 or DC 502

DC 429

TELEVISION GENRES AND ANALYSIS

The purpose of this class is to enable you to study scripted television from the professional's point of view. The course involves critical analysis of successful scripted television shows, their narrative structures and themes. Programs of various genres and eras will be examined. Students will learn how to recognize basic structural elements in finished episodes. Students will develop a language with which to discuss television as well as a toolbox of techniques to use when creating television. Key concepts to be discussed include: basic structure, types of shows, character tropes, means of creating and sustaining tension, themes and advancements in form.

DC 424

SCRIPT TO SCREEN FILM ANALYSIS

This analytical course examines the evolution of a story from screenplay to final film. Students will read screenplays of varying genres and perform a critical analysis and comparison to the produced versions of the films. Storytelling conventions such as structure, character development, theme, and the creation of tension will be used to examine alterations and how these adjustments ultimately impacted the film's reception both critically and at the box office.

DC 506

WRITING FOR FILM THESIS I

Students will complete an outline and first draft of their feature length feature screenplay. In a workshop environment, students will get extensive feedback from their instructor and peers. PREREQUISITE(S): Students must be in their final year of the MFA Screenwriting program.

DC 508

WRITING FOR TV THESIS I

Students will complete a show bible, pilot, and future episode of an original television concept. In a workshop environment, students will get extensive feedback from their instructor and peers. PREREQUISITE(S): Students must be in their final year of the MFA Screenwriting program.

DC 428

WRITING THE WEBISODE

Students will examine various webisode structures, pitch original concepts for a web series, and ultimately write a complete season consisting of one dozen 5-10 minute episodes. PREREQUISITE(S): DC 501

DC 441

STORYTELLING FOR VIDEO GAMES

This course examines the writer's role in the game development process and how storytelling conventions like character, conflict, and plot are utilized to enhance gameplay. Emphasis will be placed on building an understanding of game narratives, interactivity, and working with design teams. Students will develop a design document highlighting characters, locations, dialogue scripting, and overall gameplay for an original video game idea.

DC 483

COMEDY, JOKE, AND SKETCH WRITING

Students will learn techniques and formulas for joke writing, writing sketch comedy packets, and writing for news driven comedy shows. Students will apply these skills to their existing scripts as well as to developing new material. PREREQUISITE(S): DC 501

DC 507

WRITING FOR FILM THESIS II

Students will revise their thesis feature script. In a workshop environment, students will receive notes to help revise their project. Students will also be expected to meet with their thesis committee to receive additional notes to be applied to the rewrite. PREREQUISITE(S): DC 506

DC 509

WRITING FOR TV THESIS II

Students will revise their television thesis scripts. In a workshop environment, students will receive notes to help revise their project. Students will also be expected to meet with their thesis committee to receive additional notes to be applied to the rewrite. PREREQUISITE(S): DC 508

DC 510

WRITING FOR FILM AND TELEVISION PORTFOLIO

MFA Screenwriting students in their last quarter will polish their portfolios, making sure they are ready for submission to agents and managers. They will create and workshop loglines and one-page synopsis for all of their projects. Students will write and workshop, query letters. They will research agents, managers, and producers that represent or make work similar to their own and send the query letters to these professionals. PREREQUISITE(S): DC 507 or DC 509