Scriptwriting and Storytelling for Digitial Media Production
Instructor: Lindsay Grace

Course Title: Scriptwriting and Storytelling for Digital Media Production

Course Number and Section: MM220, A Term: Spring
Year: 2005

Number of Contact Hours: 6 Time: Tuesday / Thursday 6:30– 9:20 pm
Weekly Homework Hours: 3-6 Place: 180 N. Wabash (Loop)

Instructor: Lindsay D. Grace

Office Phone / E-mail:
Office Hours: As needed

Course Overview:

This course focuses on applying industry-standard scriptwriting and storyboarding techniques to media production. Contents to be covered include the various purposes and formats of scripts, the basic terminology and concepts used in scriptwriting, and the application of scriptwriting techniques to the creation of scripts and storyboards.

Required Reading:
The Screenwriter’s Bible, 1-879505-44-4

Required Viewing:
As specified

Required Materials:
Three ring binder
Notepad (for notes)
USB Key, floppy disk, or CD R/W for saving typed work

Technology Required:
Access to a personal computer to conduct research and type assignments.

Drawing & Perspective, Color Theory & Design

Course Objectives:
· Exhibit proficiency in writing for media production.
· Demonstrate proficient use of language, grammar, and vocabulary in writing for media.
· Recognize and apply the stylistic characteristics in writing for media.
· Develop narrative, storytelling, and scriptwriting skills.
· Create scripts specific to various target audiences and delivery mechanisms.
· Identify the demographic attributes of a target audience.
· Determine delivery mechanisms appropriate for the subject.
· Write a script to tell a story with appropriate techniques and style for the subject.
· Select specific scripting approaches that appeal to a chosen audience.

· Research background, story, or project information.
· Apply basic library research skills.
· Employ the various search engines on the Internet.
· Interact with media clearing houses.
· Conduct a basic media research.
· Evaluate and organize researched information for effective presentation.

Score Breakdown/Grading Basis:

Participation and Preparedness: 5%
PSA/ Commercial: 10%
Teleplay Project: 20%
Final Project: 25%
Assignments and Workshops: 40%

Grading System:

Point Score range Letter Grade
93 and above A
90-92 A-
87-89 B+
83-86 B
80-82 B-
77-79 C+
73-76 C
70-72 C-
67-69 D+
63-66 D
60-62 D-
Below 60 F

Weekly Schedule

Week 1: Book 1
Overview of Story fundamentals

Week 2: Book 1
Overview of Story fundamentals (continued)
Character and Dialogue

Week 3: Book 2
Research: Finding Ideas
Understanding Audience
Formatting a PSA or Commercial

Week 4: Book 2 and Handouts
Creating a Treatment

PSA/ Commercial Due

Week 5: Book 3
Writing a Teleplay/ TV Script

Week 6: Book 3
Writing a Teleplay / TV Script

Week 7: Book 4
Writing a screenplay
The Art of Revision

Teleplay Due

Week 8: Book 4
Writing a screenplay – Camera Language
Creating Big Stories

Week 9: Book 5(199-208) – Protecting Your Work
Developing a larger script

Week 10: Handouts and Revisions
Peer Review

Week 11: Work Week
Final Project Due

Course Requirements and Policies

There will be a lecture and discussion for every class session.

Many classes will involve workshop activities that seek to enhance your writing abilities through practice and guidance. Some workshop activities evolve into homework assignments.

All assignments must be handed in at the beginning of class.

All writing assignments must be typed and stapled.

Students should always keep a backup copy of their work.

No late assignments are accepted. Every working professional is expected to provide their work on time. Failing to do so reflects poorly on that person’s performance. Repeated failure to meet deadlines often results in firing. It is best to learn to meet deadlines now.

In this course, each assignment will build on the previous. Failure to complete the prior week’s assignment will make each subsequent week more difficult. It is in your best interest to complete each assignment on time and to the best of your ability. Always hand in what you have, even if you want to revise it. Partial credit is better than no credit at all.

Attendance / Absences:

Students are expected to attend each class and arrive on time. It is a student’s responsibility to contact the instructor when they know they will be absent or have missed a class session. Students should notify the instructor of their planned absence as soon as they are capable. It is best to send an email.

Makeup exams and acceptance of late assignments will only be granted in the following circumstances; Medical excuse, emergencies, campus-sponsored activities.

All issues of attendance and tardiness will be handled as school policy dictates and at the discretion of the instructor.

Cheating and Plagiarism:

Any student that cheats or plagiarizes will be reported to the academic standards committee and may be dismissed from the course.

All homework is to be completed independently (except when instructed otherwise). Any student who is caught or suspected of working in conjunction with any other student will be penalized.