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Script Writing

Code 16540
Year 1
Semester S1
ECTS Credits 6
Workload OT(15H)/TP(45H)
Scientific area Cinema
Entry requirements 1. Be fluent in oral and written Portuguese. 2. Know how to use Celtx. 3. Have a basic knowledge of English language.
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. Flashback.
8.2. Prolepsis.
8.3. Ellipsis.
9. Other texts: title, tag line, log line, synopsis, treatment.
10. Revision.
Main Bibliography 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.
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.
-. 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.
Allen, Woody. Manahttan. Jack Rollins, 1979.
Coppola, Francis Ford. Apocalypse Now Redux. Zeotrope, 2001.
Kubrick, Stanley. 2001: A Space Odyssey. MGM, 1968.
Malick, Terrence. Badlands. Warner, 1973
Tarantino, Quentin. Pulp Fiction. Miramax, 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) Participation and openness to critical feedback (50%).
Language Portuguese. Tutorial support is available in English.
Last updated on: 2023-09-28

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