Four Semesters: (Fall, Spring, Fall, Spring)
Core Requirements 56 credits (cr)
COM FT 552: Special Topics
See the Department of Film and Televison for specifics.
COM FT 702: Script To Film
Exclusive to Graduate Screenwriting students (required in 1st year. An introduction to the relationship between the written script and the image on screen. Through in-depth analysis, we will study screenplays, films and the mind of the screenwriter in order to decipher the process of developing story from character, plot and theme. Students will be required to write expository papers and present their own analysis of a chosen film.
COM FT 711: Screenwriting I
Exclusively for screenwriting graduate students, an introduction to principles of drama, screenplay structure characterization, screenplay description and dialogue through lecture and discussion of produced screenplays. Students begin with exercises and then write outlines/treatments in preparation for completing a first act (approximately 30 pages) and full treatment of an original feature screenplay. Student work will be discussed in workshop format.
COM FT 722: American Masterworks
Subjects vary with instructor. Directors include: D.W.Griffith, Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, King Vidor, Frank Borzage, Victor Fleming, Howard Hawks, Frank Capra, Alfred Hitchcock, John Ford, John Huston, Elia Kazan, George Cukor, Orson Welles, Robert Altman, John Cassavetes, and Woody Allen.
COM FT 721: International Masterworks
An eclectic and unsystematic survey of a small number of the supreme masterworks of international film created by some of the greatest artists of the past eighty years. The focus in on cinematic style. What does style do? Why are certain cinematic presentations highly stylized? What is the difference from realistic, representational work? We will consider the special ways of knowing, thinking, and feeling that highly stylized works of art create and devote all of our attention to the function of artistic style and form to create new experiences and ways of thinking and feeling.
COM FT 512: Writing Episodic Drama for Television
Deals with the process and techniques of writing a dramatic series for commercial network and cable television. Students will select a current prime-time drama, develop A, B, and (possibly) C stories for an episode, and complete a Writer's Draft and polished First Draft, suitable for a Writer Portfolio. Lectures will include the life of a working television writer, one-hour story, structure, genres, and character development. We will view and analyze TV series from the past and present, and focus on proper drama script format, character development and voice.
COM FT 704: Genre for Screenwriters
This class will touch upon the basics of genre theory, identify genre conventions using the courses "study" films. The films will be discussed in terms of theme, structure, characters, setting, subject matter, visual motifs or recurring icons, and tone/mood.
COM FT 707: Introduction to Video Production
An introduction to the techniques of producing and directing video projects, including videography, lighting, editing, sound, and special effects. Emphasis is on execution and design of both "live" on tape and postproduced works using both field and studio equipment.
COM FT 713: Screenwriting II
Students compose a feature-length film and a set of revisions based upon the film outline created in COM FT 711. Further examples of dramatic structure are analyzed from the library of world cinema.
COM FT 522: Writing Television Situation Comedy Scripts
Intense writing workshop learning how to write professional sitcom scripts. Elements of character, dramatic story structure, how comedy is created, how scenes build and progress a story, formal story outlines, dialogue, the business of sitcom writing, pitching, arc, comedic premise are analyzed. The class becomes a sitcom writing team for a current hit series and writes an original class spec script to understand the process of group writing employed on most sitcoms. Also, students write their own personal spec scripts with individual conferences with the professor.
COM FT 724: Screenwriting III
Advanced screenwriting for 2nd year Graduate Screenwriting Students. Based upon lectured material, the feedback received during workshops, and one-on- one consults with the professor, students will write and revise a full feature-length screenplay. Students will be expected to have a firm grasp on narrative structure, character development, and cinematic storytelling. The material covered in the first year of the graduate screenwriting program will be applied to this intense workshop atmosphere.
COM FT 730: Screen Adaptation I
More than half of Oscar nominated films are literary adaptations. This course analyses the current commercial and artistic reasons behind the surge in adaptations, touches upon adaptation theory, and studies novels and short stories that have been adapted for film. Student's present papers on film adaptations and adapt a short story.
COM FT 514: Writing the Television Pilot
Prereq FT 512 or FT 522. Explores the development and creation of the Television Series Pilot. Each student will pitch a concept, write a treatment and a finished pilot script for an original series, either comedy or drama. Emphasis on premise, story structure, characterization and originality. Lectures, screenings, script readings, written assignments and critiques. 4 cr. 2nd sem.
COM FT 729: Script Analysis
A detailed and exhaustive analysis of selected screenplays through which we will focus on the cultivation of critical skills leading to a sharpened perception, and a heightened awareness of how a screenplay can be vastly improved. Utilizing these analytical skills, students will provide in-depth analysis for participating production companies who are in need of pre- production revisions. Each student will examine the chosen scripts, write coverage, write a more in-depth report for some of the production companies and meet with representatives from each project. Using the model of our workshops, the class will conduct story meetings with writers, directors and producers involved in each project. Students will be expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner through both their written reports and their verbal consultations. In addition, students will look at how source material, such as short films, stage plays and/or books can be adapted for the screen. Each student will then design a pitch based upon chosen source material and do pitch presentations.
COM FT 731: Screenwriting IV
Restricted to Graduate Screenwriting students. Through a rigorous writing schedule, the students complete a feature-length screenplay. A solid first draft of a new feature-length screenplay and two sets of revision.
Elective Credits (2 courses—8 credits)
(Screenwriting or Film or TV Studies courses are recommended.)
Some courses have prerequisites which are not listed above. All Film & Television requirements, prerequisites and course descriptions are listed on the Boston University Academics website.