Course Description

This course will serve as an introduction to the art, craft, and business of writing for film. Please note one immediate qualification of that description, however: while I have a deep and abiding love for experimental and independent film, this class will concentrate on the classic Hollywood form. This form, contrary to popular belief, does not prevent the creation of art; in fact, the art lies in figuring out how to make what appears to be a rigid structure work for rather than against you.

To that end, we will spend the first few weeks discussing screenplay structure and format and watching and exploring movies in terms of the Hollywood form, after which we will begin reading and workshopping scenes. Throughout the semester, we will keep abreast of contemporary Hollywood film by seeing and talking about numerous movies. And we will investigate the methods of representation that are unique to film by reading a number of novels and watching their film adaptations. What makes a story "filmic"? And what do you have to do to work within the Hollywood dream machine?