Upon successful completion of the course, students should be able to:
a) utilize specific stimuli and techniques, and write stories suitable for development in feature film scripts
b) to apply creatively their knowledge of narrative structure and dramatic elements in the composition of a cinematic narrative (eg. arcs of characters and relationships, three-act structure, images, spaces, symbols and semantic levels)
c) to critically read such narratives and, in the role of script editor or producer, to be able to offer specific editing notes in third party texts
d) be able to distinguish the suitability, dynamics and special manipulations that the original fictional core involves / requires during its script development.
Course Content (Syllabus)
The course aims to familiarize students with the methods of story development for feature films, and to apply the knowledge of plot structuring, and the basic dramatic principles in their narratives. Among the subjects are the development of stories in combination with the creation of characters and relationships, the utilization of the settings, and the exercise in individual thematic and narrative ways. This course has an intense workshop character, with ‘live’ creative writing in the classroom as well as sharing notes on the stories and the writings of third parties (cross editing). By the end of the course, students will have been tested and practiced in developing complete and dramatically powerful stories as the possible ‘architectural plans’ for their feature film scripts.
Students are assessed on the basis of their active participation in the course both at the level of creative writing and story development and at the level of contributing with editing notes in the processing of third party stories. More specifically, each student submits his work in a personal File including three (3) draft/first writings (in the classroom), three (3) edits (in the classroom), as well as at least 3 rewrites (at home, at a distance from the first writing), which have been fed back by the students' editing notes, the general remarks of the teacher and the following discussion in the lesson, as well as other texts and related films that each student watched in the meantime, etc. The grade of each story - exercise ot of the three contributes 33.3% of the final grade of the course. Τhe grade of each story-exercise draws 50% on the final writing and progress made compared to the original writing (15%), and 35% on editing a third party. (If someone misses the 'live' first draft or editing in the 'classroom', can always substitute in a later time but this is taken into account according to his active participation grade, as a 'deficit' of reduced participation, e.g. by 50%, in the respective task). Finally, students are orally examined for the way they worked, especially after their first writing.
Additional bibliography for study
α) McKee, Robert "Story: Substance, Structure, Style and The Principles of Screenwriting". HarperEntertainment; 1st edition (November 25, 1997)
β) Seger, Linda: "Making a Good Script Great". Silman-James Press, 3rd ed. 2010.
γ) Vogler, Christopher "The Writers Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers", 3rd ed., Michael Wiese Production, 2007
δ) Field, Syd "Σενάριο: Η τέχνη και η τεχνική". Κάλβος, 1986.
ε) Huntley, Chris "A comparison of seven story paradigms". Write Brothers 2007.