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The University of Southampton
Courses

ENGL6115 Scriptwriting

Module Overview

This module is an introduction to the basic skills and contexts of script writing. It is not aimed at any one specific medium but will offer introductions to the requirements of theatre and film. You will be expected to engage in some practical drama workshops script. Assessment will be based on the submission of a written script and accompanying critical reflection at the end of the module.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • how to write a script
  • the process of development and revision involved in creating scripts
  • how to achieve originality, linguistic versatility, and form in the handling of dialogue, action, visual effect and overall structural control in your script writing
  • how scripts are developed into performance for different media
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • handle complex demands of script composition in an analytic manner
  • make literary judgements of scripts in an informed way
  • independently evaluate and apply compositional methods
  • interact effectively with audiences via the performance of a script
  • demonstrate originality through your writing
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • write fluently in a range of styles
  • present ideas effectively in a script
  • revise and edit creative writing to a professional standard
  • translate text into performance
  • manage deadlines and make effective use of your time
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • revise and edit your work effectively
  • distinguish your aims as a scriptwriter
  • create the key structures needed for a script
  • explore ways of realising your script in performance

Syllabus

Classroom activity will be aimed at exploring the interaction of script and performance, as well as devoted to the basic analysis of how scripts work. Differences between the media of various types of theatre, television and cinema will be addressed both in set reading and through exploratory investigation in the seminars.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include analysis of cinematic material for group discussion, practical drama work with student works-in-progress alongside exemplar scripts from cinema, television and modern theatre, and seminar discussion of scriptwriting techniques. Learning activities include responding in detail to student scripts and readings, studying published scripts, and writing drafts for performance and seminar discussion. Seminar writing tasks with provide informal, on-module feedback, supported tutorial discussion of works-in- progress.

TypeHours
Independent Study130
Teaching20
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

David Mamet. Glengarry Glen Ross. 

Dirty Pretty Things by Steven Knight. screenplay

Laura Wade. Breathing Corpses. 

Mother of Him by Evan Placey. script

Marius von Mayenburg. The Ugly One. 

Banana Boys or Holloway Jones by Evan Placey. plays for young people

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind by Charlie Kaufman. screenplay

The Methuen Book of Modern Drama. 

Jez Butterworth. Jerusalem. 

Edward Albee. The Goat (or Who is Sylvia. 

Joan MacLeod. The Shape of a Girl. 

Caryl Churchill. Top Girls. 

David Harrower. Blackbird. 

Alternative Scriptwriting. 

Desperate Housewives by Marc Cherry. television script

Misfits by Howard Overman. television script

The Hour by Abi Morgan. television script

Sarah Kane. Blasted. 

Mark Ravenhill. Shopping and F**king. 

Martin McDonagh. The Beauty Queen of Leenane. 

Jane Bodie. A Single Act. 

debbie tucker green. Random. 

Tony Kushner. Angels in America (parts 1 & 2). 

Story. 

Assessment

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Critical commentary  (1000 words) 25%
Written assignment  (20 minutes) 75%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Resubmit assessments 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal

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