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Code 13582
Year 1
Semester S1
ECTS Credits 6
Workload OT(15H)/TP(45H)
Scientific area Cinema
Entry requirements The student must: 1. Have talent for fictional writing. 2. Have discipline and working habits. 3. Be fluent in oral and written Portuguese. 4. Be open to critics from colleagues and from the professor.
Mode of delivery Face-to-face.
Work placements Does not apply.
Learning outcomes By the end of this course unit, the student should be able to:
1. Correctly format a script.
2. Find and test ideas.
3. Understand the several phases of the construction of a script.
4. Debate the question of the authorship of a film.
5. Reflect upon the contents and form of a cinematic narrative.
6. Reflect upon the processes and challenges of cinematic adaptation.
7. Do research about places, characters, historical times, situations etc.
8. Build a credible character.
9. Create spaces and atmospheres.
10. Manipulate time.
11. Build natural dialogues and use voice-over.
12. Create coherent and captivating plots.
13. Use the Field Paradigm.
14. Write a script for a fictional short film and the necessary paratexts.
15. Develop a critical spirit in the assessment of literary and cinematic texts.
Syllabus 1. The script.
1.1. Functions.
1.2. Team work.
1.3. The problem of authorship.
1.4. Literary script vs. technical script.
1.4. Formatting and software.
1.5. Cinematic adaptation and its challenges.
2. Finding ideas.
2.1. Stages of writing.
2.2. Sources of ideas.
2.3. Testing the potential of an idea.
2.4. The research: "in loco", interview and library search.
2.5. The cinematic adaptation.
3. Characters.
3.1. Typology.
3.2. Creating empathy.
3.3. Building credible characters.
4. Dialogue.
4.1. Functions.
4.2. Writing natural dialogues.
4.3. Monologue and voice-over.
5. Conflict
5.1. The transformation of the main character.
5.2. Types of conflict.
5.3. Suspense.
6. Structure.
6.1. The narrative arch.
6.2. The Field Paradigm.
7. Space.
7.1. Description.
7.2. Creating an atmosphere.
8. The manipulation of time.
8.1. Analepsis.
8.2. Prolepsis.
8.3. Ellipsis.
9. Other texts: title, "tag line", "log line", synopsis, treatment.
10. Revision.
11. A few pieces of advice on how to win as a scre
Main Bibliography Bordwell, David. Narration in the Fiction Film. NY: Routledge, 1985.
Comparato, Doc. Da criação ao guião. Lisboa: Pergaminho, 2003.
Cooper, Pat & Dancyger, Ken. Writing the Short Film. Burlington: Focal, 2005.
Decker, Dan. Anatomy of a Screenplay. Chicago: Screenwriter’s Group, 1998.
Edgar-Hunt, Robert et al. Screenwriting. Lausanne: AVA, 2009.
Field, Syd. The Definitive Guide to Screenwriting. London: Ebury, 2003.
Frensham, Ray. Screenwriting. London: Teach Yourself, 2003.
Mancelos, João de. Manual de guionismo. Lx: Colibri, 2016.
-. Introdução à narrativa cinematográfica. Lx: Colibri, 2017.
-. Como escrever um guião para curta-metragem. Lx: Colibri, 2019.
McKee, Robert. Story. NY: Methuen, 1999.
Nogueira, Luís. Laboratório de guionismo. Covilhã: Labcom, 2010.
Parent-Altier, Dominique. O argumento cinematográfico. Lx: Texto & Grafia, 2011.
Prince, Gerald. A Dictionary of Narratology. Lincoln: U of Nebraska, 2003.
Seger, Linda. Making a Good Script Great. NY: Samuel French, 1994.
Teaching Methodologies and Assessment Criteria Methods: 1. Explanation of screenwriting techniques. 2. Analysis of meaningful examples. 3. Suggested exercises to drill certain techniques. 4. Constructive comments produced by the colleagues and the professor.
Since this is an MA unit, I will be more demanding towards the work produced by students, I will promote a thorough reflection about the nature, form and content of a cinematic narrative, and I will value research to create plots and characters.
The final mark results from:
a) A script for a short film, including a tag line, a log line, a synopsis and a treatment (50%);
b) Talent, participation, class attendance, critical spirit, contribution to the debate, etc. (50%).
Language Portuguese. Tutorial support is available in English.
Last updated on: 2020-01-17

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