University of Southern California
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Courses of Instruction

Writing (CTWR)

105 Nonverbal Thinking: Visual and Aural (2, Sp) An introduction to non-verbal elements of images and sounds which convey meaning, mood, and emotion.

106ab Screenwriting Fundamentals (4-4, FaSp) a: Introduction to and overview of the elements of theme, plot, character, and dialogue in dramatic writing for film. b: Exercises in dramatic writing: theme, plot, character, dialogue and images. Integration of these elements into scenes and sequences. Open to B.F.A. Writing for Screen and Television students only.

206ab Writing the Screenplay (a: 4, Fa; b: 2, Sp) a: Development of synopsis and treatment for a theatrical or documentary screenplay: theme, plot, character, mise-en-scene and utilization of cinematic elements. b: Creation of feature-length theatrical or documentary screenplay based on treatment developed in CTWR 206a. Open to B.F.A. Writing for Screen and Television students only.

213 Content and Consciousness (2, Fa) Inquiry into the relationship between cognitive and affective knowledge as it relates to the art of screenwriting and the screenwriter.

215 Practicum in Writing Short Films (2, Sp) Developing stories less than feature length; writing screenplays from them; understanding what length each story demands; creating idiosyncratic forms and styles. Open to B.F.A. Writing for Screen and Television students only.

306ab Advanced Screenwriting (a: 4, Fa; b: 2, Sp) a: Developing, revising the feature length treatment and screenplay for film or television; writing the first draft screenplay. b: Analyzing, rewriting the screenplay developed in CTWR 306a through final draft. Open to B.F.A. Writing for Screen and Television students only.

315x Filmwriting (3, FaSpSm) The basics of screenwriting: theme, story structure, characterization, format, dialogue, and scene description. A character profile, short treatment, and first 30 pages of the screenplay are written. Lectures, screenings, and in-class readings. Not for degree credit for Cinema-Television majors.

412 Introduction to Screenwriting (2) Introduction to the formal elements of writing the short film.

413 Writing the Short Script I (2, FaSp) Preparation of scripts for short films: form, structure, planning.

414 The Screenplay (2, FaSpSm) Students study story structure and develop several story outlines, and a short script for possible CTPR 480 production. They will also write a detailed, 15-25 page treatment for a feature film. Prerequisite: CTWR 412 or CTWR 413.

415ab Advanced Writing (4-2, FaSpSm) a: Principles of the two-hour story for film and television, creating theme, character, and structure that combine into a feature-length story. Prerequisite: CTWR 414. b: Creating a feature-length script for film or television, using the craft of the screenwriter to convey mood, energy, character, structure, and intent. Prerequisite: CTWR 415a.

416 Motion Picture Script Analysis (2 or 4, FaSp) Evaluation of completed scripts prior to their production; evaluation of existing classic scripts.

418ab Senior Thesis (a: 4, Fa; b: 4, Sp) a: Creation of feature-length treatment and first draft senior thesis screenplay, including "pitching" experiences. b: Completion and revision of senior thesis project and introduction to motion picture industry procedures and practices through interaction with industry representatives. Prerequisite: CTWR 306ab. Open to B.F.A. Writing for Screen and Television students only.

430 The Writer in American Cinema and Television (2, FaSp) American and international writers in cinema; screenwriting; political and economic aspects of the writer in the motion picture industry. Lectures, guest speakers, screenings.

431 Screenwriters and Their Work (2, FaSp) Lectures and readings on creative problems in screenwriting: current scripts; interviews with visiting screenwriters.

433 Adaptations: Transferring Existing Work to the Screen (2, Fa) An examination of motion picture adaptations; problems attendant upon translating a novel, play, or other creative forms into screenplays. Prerequisite: CTWR 206b or CTWR 414 or CTWR 514 or CTWR 529.

434 Comedy Writing Genres (2, max 6, FaSp) Exploration into filmic comedy; writing by committee; developing comedic timing; using humor as a style of filmmaking. Prerequisite: CTWR 206b or CTWR 414 or CTWR 514 or CTWR 529.

435 Writing for Film and Television Genres (2 or 4, max 8, FaSp) Preparation of proposals and scripts for different types of film and television programming: emphasis on conception, structure, characterization and format. Prerequisite: CTWR 206b or CTWR 414 or CTWR 514b or CTWR 529.

437 Writing the Situation Comedy Pilot (2, FaSp) Essentials of television comedy with in-depth study of ideas, character, and venues. Students will write an original story outline, treatment and polish.

441 Writing Workshop in Creativity and Imagination (2, FaSp) Students will explore a variety of problem solving techniques to strengthen their creative work and apply these techniques to individual writing projects.

453 Advanced Feature Rewriting (4, FaSp) An advanced workshop in which a feature length screenplay will be rewritten using a specific methodology that focuses on a macro to micro approach to revision. Prerequisite: CTWR 306b, CTWR 415b.

459ab Entertainment Industry Seminar (2, Fa; 2, Sp) Examination and analysis of various topics, issues and resources pertaining to creative, legal and business perspectives for writers in the entertainment industry. Prerequisite: 459a for 459b.

494x Practicum in Screenplay Development (2, Sm) Development of writing skills learned in CTWR 315x; students will develop and write the second and third acts of a screenplay begun in CTWR 315x. Prerequisite: CTWR 315x. Not for degree credit for Cinema-Television majors.

499 Special Topics (2-4, max 8, FaSpSm) Detailed investigation of new or emerging aspects of cinema and/or television; special subjects offered by visiting faculty; experimental subjects.

509 Understanding the Process of Filmmaking (2, Sp) An introduction for screenwriters to the process of creating a feature film, from script through release print, including pre-production, production and post-production.

513 Writing the Short Script (2, Fa) Preparation of scripts for short films; dramatic, informational, experimental, and other forms.

514ab Basic Dramatic Screenwriting (a: 2, Fa; b: 2, Sp) Dramaturgy for the fiction and non-fiction work. Techniques for creating the original or adapted theatrical length script. a: Emphasize narrative development through short scripts, sequences and story outlines. Prerequisite: CTWR 513. b: Development of an outline and feature length, original script. Open to M.F.A. Writing for Screen and Television students only.

515abcd Practicum in Screenwriting (4-4-1-1, FaSp) a: Creation of a feature screenplay from presentation through treatment, including some scene work. b: Comprehensive rewriting of a second and third draft of a feature screenplay leading to a polished and professional piece. c and d: Supervised rewrite of feature screenplay. Prerequisite: CTWR 513 or CTWR 514; CTWR 515a for CTWR 515b; CTWR 515b for CTWR 515c and d.

516 Advanced Motion Picture Script Analysis (2 or 4, FaSp) Detailed evaluation of completed scripts prior to their production; evaluation of existing classic scripts.

517 Studio Communications (2, FaSp) Comprehensive examination of forms; methods used by motion picture companies to disseminate literary, business, production, and other information.

518 Introduction to Interactive Writing (2, Sp) A series of exercises written and discussed for interactive experiences.

520 Advanced Scene Writing Workshop (2, SpSm) Intensive workshop oriented specifically to writing and rewriting the most effective and telling dramatic scenes to heighten audience participation and greater story impact. Prerequisite: CTWR 414, CTWR 514, or CTWR 529.

521 Seminar in Writing Drama for Television (4) Writing for a variety of television formats: the series, the individual drama, the musical, children's programs; working within television time constraints; use of established characters as required.

528 Screenwriting Fundamentals (2, FaSp) Introduction to the principles of screenwriting with special emphasis on story, characterization and dramatization.

529 Intermediate Screenwriting (2, FaSp) Emphasizes structural elements crucial to the feature film. Techniques for creating an original and adapted theatrical-length script. Prerequisite: CTPR 507x and CTWR 528.

533ab Writing the Feature Script (4-2, FaSp) Advanced screenwriting workshop. a: Development of treatment and first act for feature-length script. Prerequisite: CTPR 508x and CTWR 529. b: Completion of second and third acts and revision. Prerequisite: CTWR 533a.

541 Writing from the Unconscious (2, FaSp) Students are introduced to unique problem solving methods over a broad spectrum of subject matter and integrate the results in specific creative writing assignments.

553 Advanced Screenwriting (4, FaSp) Advanced feature screenwriting, emphasizing the rewrite of a first draft script. (Duplicates credit in former CNTV 553b.) Prerequisite: CTWR 533ab.

572 Practicum in Directing Actors for Film (2 or 4, FaSp) Seminar in directing actors for film; emphasis on demonstration and laboratory exercises, script analysis, and detailed study in character motivations.

574 Advanced Seminar in Directing Actors for Film (2, FaSp) Emphasis on detailed script analysis and character motivation. Individual projects. Prerequisite: CTWR 572, CTCS 673 or CTPR 532.

577ab Intermediate Screenwriting Workshop (2-4; 2-4, FaSp) a: Ideation and development of a treatment for a feature length, original screenplay. Writing first act. Prerequisite: CTWR 514b. b: Completion of the first draft of the screenplay; introduction of techniques for rewriting; revisions of the first draft of the screenplay just completed.

599 Special Topics (2-4, max 8, Irregular) Detailed investigation of new or emerging aspects of cinema; special subjects offered by visiting faculty; experimental subjects.