Kingston University

Course Description

  • Course Name


  • Host University

    Kingston University

  • Location

    London, England

  • Area of Study

    Creative Writing, Film Studies

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    Prior study of film.

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Course Content:

    This module centres on screenwriting. It will have both an analytical and a creative
    component. It will interpret screenwriting techniques both in order to then apply these
    insights to the analysis of an existing screenplay, but also with a view to enabling
    students to write their own short film. Examples from a variety of cinematic genres will
    be studied and comparisons will be made between the written screenplay and the
    cinematic result.

    Leaning heavily on classic examples from Hollywood, but also alluding to British and
    European cinema, the course has two strands.
    First, we will analyse and dismantle successful examples of the conventional narrative film,
    focusing in particular on structure and character/characterisation, and enabling you to
    understand the contribution of the screenplay to how the film is constructed and why it

    Second, we will guide you to the creation and completion of your own short screenplay,
    providing you with models (in both film and script form) from a selection of successful short

    Autumn Semester topics:
    ? Introduction to Screenwriting: From Treatment to Film. Short film
    ? Structure of the Feature Length Film (Part 1) ? Act Structure, Creating the
    World, Inciting Incident.
    ? Structure of the Feature Length Film (Part 2) ? Progressive Complication,
    Resolution. Illustrated with clips from Sexy Beast.
    ? Character (in Feature Film) (Part 1) : Goals, Inner Conflict, aims, struggle,
    empathy for character . Illustrated with clips from In A Lonely Place.
    ? Character (in Feature Film) (Part Two): Aims struggle, lack of self
    knowledge, empathy for character , building to crisis, questions of selfknowledge,
    point of view, etc. Illustrated with clips from In a Lonely Place.
    ? Telling the Story ? Screen Narrative Devices. Illustrated with clips from
    Body Heat and Witness.
    ? Telling the Story (Part 2) ? ?Less is More?. The re-write stuff; visual
    storytelling, illustrated by clips from Witness and The Hudsucker Proxy, etc.
    ? Introducing Character. The first appearance. Illustrated with clips from
    North by North West, The Constant Gardener, A Matter of Life and Death.
    ? Tricks - Methods of Story Telling; use of voice over, flash back, flash
    forward, false endings. Hidden exposition ? how and when to reveal
    information; dynamic cuts ? pushing the story forward.
    ? Development. (i) Reincorporation ? key objects (The Abyss, Jaws), and (ii)
    Twist ? Giving the Audience What They Want But Not The Way They Expect
    It. Illustrated by clips from Pulp Fiction, A Very Long Engagement, Witness.
    In the spring semester, students will be expected to develop an idea from premise
    through treatment to the draft they will subsequently submit.

    Two hour weekly sessions consisting of screenings, practical workshops and individual

    ? 1000 word written exercise in analysis of a professional, feature-length
    screenplay (50%)
    ? A short screenplay of no more than 1500 words, plus a 500 word evaluation
    STUDY OPTION 2: alternative assessment

    Study Option 1 = Whole Year
    Study Option 2 = Autumn
    Study Option 3 = Spring/summer

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.


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