Areas of Study

Work and Research Journals

Students are required to keep a work and research journal. This will be used to record their critical reflections on the theoretical and practical elements of the course.

Students should use the journal to record their thoughts about their overall aims and accomplishments. They are expected to write down their aims at the beginning of the unit and also describe how they will assess their personal development in relation to these aims. At the end of the unit they are expected to comment in writing on their success as measured by their own assessment.

This offers students the opportunity to present their goals for the unit, formulate their own criteria for self-assessment and reflect back at the end of the unit on their progress as measured by these criteria.

Mentoring

Monitoring of students progress and mentoring through the course will come from the course leader in consultation with course tutors for their general course work and exercises; their personal tutors for their progress in terms of their personal aims, individual work and their work and research journal.

A key element of mentoring is the matching of an individual student project with a practising screenwriting professional to give the student individual support and mentoring throughout the development of their feature film screenplay. This relationship is established during Unit 1 and continues through till the completion of the MA at the end of Unit 3.

Screenings

A sense of the history of their chosen art and craft and an awareness of the international and national context of contemporary film is a necessary basis for a critical and informed use of their screenwriting skills. Showing students as many significant films as possible is an aspect of the development of a critical vocabulary sufficient to enable a collaboration centred on the development of their own work.

Wherever possible the School insists on showing films in 35mm and in ratio of the original presentation so students can get an exact sense of colour and composition. Showings are preceded by contextual introductions and are followed by teaching and discussion, often with extracts on film, video or dvd.

Collaboration with MA Filmmaking Students

Students on the MA Screenwriting course will attend classes on film history and analysis with students from the established filmmaking course. At these times and regularly in the coffee bar screenwriting students will have opportunities to collaborate with the filmmaking students either on ideas, scripts or working as a crew member on a student film.

It is expected that many of these relationships will develop outside of the curriculum and beyond the completion of the course.

Script Panels

Filmmaking students who wish their scripts to be considered for production in the fourth or fifth term must submit their project to the Script Panel, a board of outside professionals who provide further critical feedback and support. Screenwriting students can enter this process through collaboration with a directing student from the MA Filmmaking.

Final Critical Review

In the last week of each term, the whole student film output from the MA Filmmaking is screened in succession. Members of staff and outside practitioners comment on the work in all its aspects - including scripting.

This is an event of great importance to the life of the School and an excellent opportunity for screenwriters to deepen their understanding of the filmmaking context of their work. Independent outside comment has considerable significance for the students´ own practice; it creates the possibility of an insight from points of view beyond any individual teacher and beyond the School. It represents a constant re-examining of the appropriateness of practice for everyone concerned. All the students learn from each other's experience here.

Evening Screenings

In the last week of each term, the whole student film output from the MA Filmmaking is screened in succession. Members of staff and outside practitioners comment on the work in all its aspects - including scripting. It's also a networking opportunity for directors and writers who are seeking collaborative partners.