Jonathan Hourigan. No office or office hours. Available during teaching hours only. Exceptionally, by pre-arrangement, via firstname.lastname@example.org
Coursework 100% (Creative and Theory submissions, 50% each)
Submission by 1pm on Tuesday, 27th March, 2012
Access to support material
Support material is provided electronically via the University’s u-Link system. You can gain access to the u-Link system via the following web page:
INTRODUCTION: Welcome to the Screenwriting and Narrative Theory Module, FM2010. Through lectures, workshops, reading and assignments the module introduces students to the art, craft and theorisation of screenwriting and to narrative theory.
The module should be enjoyable, challenging and stimulating. It should enrich your understanding of moving image culture, theory and practice, as well as introduce you to the world of professional screenwriting.
The module leader, Jonathan Hourigan, is a graduate of Oxford University and the National Film and Television School. He is a writer, director, script consultant and teacher. He has taught screenwriting and narrative theory at Brunel University for several years.
MODULE DESCRIPTION: The module introduces students to the role of narrative in culture and society, to narrative theory and to the professional practice and theorisation of screenwriting.
The module is substantially practice-based and all students will write an original screenplay to a maximum length of 10 pages as well as supporting documents such as a Story Proposal and Step Outline. The module also requires students to analyse films and scripts – including their own and contemporaries’ - from a screenwriting and theoretical perspective.
To familiarise students with the discourse, conventions and practices of screenwriting, with particular emphasis on structure, plot, characterisation, theme, dramatisation and visualisation.
To introduce students to the theoretical and practical literature on narrative and screenwriting, which underpins much screenwriting practice.
To offer students the opportunity to produce their own short screenplay.
Learning outcomes There are learning outcomes that you must achieve in order to be awarded the credits for this module. They are listed below:-
The module provides opportunities for students to demonstrate knowledge, understanding, qualities, skills and other attributes in the following areas:
Knowledge and Understanding:
Evaluate key debates in narrative theory and screenwriting
Understand the conventions of screenwriting
Analyse screenplays and the narrative structures of films
Other Skills (Practical/Professional/Transferable):
5. Develop transferable skills such as working in groups and practicing informed, constructive criticism of one other’s work.
Method of teaching Each week, the lecture addresses an aspect of the subject, creative or theoretical.
Weekly workshops extend learning in these areas and contribute to the development of creative and theory assignments.
As the module progresses, some workshops may be structured to provide students with individual tutorial support.
The module requires active participation and extensive reading from students.
The module requires the completion of specified weekly self-directed exercises.
Participation: The module requires the active participation of all students.
Participation includes not only compulsory attendance at all lectures, screenings, workshops and tutorials but also significant and consistent contributions to these activities and the completion of all weekly reading and written assignments.
Reading: The module outline includes reading for each week. Students MUST have read at least two items of the specified primary reading before each week’s session. It is vital that students do this in order to benefit from the lecture and seminar.
Evidence of wide reading and engagement with ideas raised in the reading are key assessment criteria.
It is also crucial that students read as many screenplays as possible. Preferably in ‘production format’. A good source for such screenplays is www.dailyscript.com
Workshops and Tutorials: Each week there will be practical exercises during the workshops.
It is crucial that you complete all practical work outlined in the week-by-week guide before you come to the lecture/workshop as discussions and exercises will be based on this work.
The module is constructed so that by doing this, you will automatically be developing your script as well as your capacity to analyse that creative work.
You should also contribute critically and constructively in discussion and analysis of other students’ work.
For the purposes of this module, it is advisable that students watch (i) as many short films as possible, to familiarise themselves with the format and (ii) feature films similar in theme, narrative, characterisation, style or genre to their own project.
Evidence of wide viewing and engagement with ideas raised by such viewing are key assessment criteria.
The Term 2 Research Week for 2011-12 will be as follows:-