Introduction to Screenwriting – CINE 201

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 11/05/2021

Course Description

This is a methods course intended to provide instruction in the fundamentals of screenwriting. Basic three-act structure, writing techniques, character development, and screenwriting software will be covered. This class may be used as part of the required CORE curriculum needed for students to apply and enter into the residential Center for Cinematic Arts cohort their Junior year.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


Writers write because they have to. Filmmakers make movies because they must tell stories. Screenplays are the engine that drives the movie industry. For you, the obstacles that seem so big on this side of your dream will be grains of sand when seen from the other side where your dreams are fulfilled. Our curriculum is designed to give you the leading edge in the world of professional screenwriting by providing a balance between creative exploration and practical industry skills. Everyone has a story to tell, and screenwriting is a great foundation for understanding how to structure a story in written form.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings, websites, and video presentations.

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Discussions (4)

During this course, the student will complete 4 Discussions. The student must post a thread of 350 words in length in response to the prompt and post a reply to 2 classmates’ threads, of at least 150 words in length. All Discussions must be supported by course content, outside materials and/or Scripture references using correct APA or MLA formatting. Each Discussion is due by the end of the Module: Week in which it is assigned.

Character Questionnaire

The student will answer the Character Questionnaire in a Word document. The questionnaire should be a self-reflective response upon reading each question. No more than a sentence is required for an answer under each question.

After selecting the movie of their choice, the student will watch and write down the movie's scene beats and their times. The student must use block paragraph format.

The student will write an elevator pitch. The elevator pitch should never be longer than 3 sentences and is best told within one sentence.

Scripts (3)

The student will be required to choose a specific idea and write two, 2-page scripts, and a rewritten scene in Writers Guild of America (WGA) properly formatted page form. Each one of the 3 writing assignments will have a dedicated purpose.

Final Exam

The student will complete an open-book/open-notes exam that consists of 20 multiple-choice questions based on the Learn information. The student will have 1 hour to complete the exam.