Module Catalogues, Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University   
Module Code: COM227
Module Title: Screenwriting Craft and Practice
Module Level: Level 2
Module Credits: 10.00
Academic Year: 2020/21
Semester: ACYR
Originating Department: School of Film and TV Arts
Pre-requisites: N/A
This optional module runs across two semesters and is aimed at students who want to take up screenwriting seriously. It builds on the work that they have done at Level 4 in their Screenwrting module. The module provides an opportunity to the serious screen-writer to explore their craft by understanding the demands made on them by the profession of screenwriting.

Specifically, the module is designed to:

Enable student writers to further explore the relationship between the visual medium and the craft of storytelling

Give student writers a greater understanding of the theories and principles of writing fiction by producing coverage reports that examine scripts already written and films already made

Develop the ability to write treatements and pitch projects to industry

Find their creative voice by writing screenplays using professional software

Gain an understanding of writer contracts, fees, negotiations etc. so that they can conduct themselves at a professional level.

Learning outcomes 
A Discuss, analyse and critique premises, outlines and screenplays, and write coverage reports

B Research and engage in the professional development process of screenwriting, including engaging in a writer’s recce

C Pitch screenplays both verbally and by creating a professional treatment

D Understand and apply the craft skills involved in writing for film by conceiving, developing and writing both a short film screenplay, and a longer, fuller script using industry standard software

Method of teaching and learning 
There are no lectures for this module. Instead, there are intensive weekly 3 hour seminars where films will be viewed, analysed and coverage reports produced. Each semester will involve a total of 150 hours of study, thus making this module worth 300 hours of study.

The seminars will also concentrate on the craft of writing and polishing scripts.

During the writing periods, the seminars may be replaced with writing tasks.

The seminar sessions will cover a range of topics that will enable students to engage with the principles of screenwriting; to understand the marketplace for their screenplays and to appreciate the principles of fees, contracts, agents, industry script development schemes etc. so that they will be able to operate in a fast-moving industry.

They will be made aware of the need to be professional at all times, understanding that writing is all about re- writing.

Typically, the syllabus will cover some of the following topics:

An exploration of the writer’s journey, helping students to ‘find’ their voice

Coverage reports and their importance in industry

The importance of taking audience and marketplace into consideration while embarking on screenplay writing

Professional development of screenwriters in the world and in China, examining the scope of contracts, fees, drafts, writes and re-writes and script development schemes

Pitching projects as the writer of a project
Delivery Hours  
Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab/Prcaticals Fieldwork / Placement Other(Private study) Total
Hours/Semester   78      6  216  300 


Sequence Method % of Final Mark
1 Coverage Report 15.00
2 Treatment And Script 1 35.00
3 Pitch 15.00
4 Script 2 35.00

Module Catalogue generated from SITS CUT-OFF: 12/16/2019 7:01:10 AM