Learn the elements of story structure and explore design and style. Analyze films from Casablanca to Brokeback Mountain.

In recognizing the important role that film has in the life of our culture today, this course focuses on the skills particular to writing in that medium. Using the Robert McKee classic text, Story, as our guide, we learn about elements of story substance and structure, and we look at principles of story design and style in screenwriting. We also analyze the way these principles reveal themselves in significant modern and classic films, as we read and discuss screenplays ranging from Casablanca to Brokeback Mountain. Viewing of these films accompanies class discussions. An important part of the course revolves around guest speakers working in the field today as screenwriters and/or producers, who come and participate in workshops with our students. Students complete the course with a portfolio of scenes and the treatment and outline for their own original film. Open to uppers and seniors and to lowers with permission of the department chair. Offered: winter term.