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Writing for the Screen II

Module Code: CW922

Convenor and Tutor: Lucy Brydon


Students should have some working knowledge of screenwriting and have completed one script prior to enrolment. Students should have an understanding of the fundamentals of Screenwriting and using screenwriting software. Therefore, this is not suited to total beginners.


The module looks at contemporary screenwriting practice across the film and television industries in thriller, comedy and science fiction. Using the freshest and most exciting screenwriting of today, we prepare students to leave their MA with a professional-level project that they can confidently pitch to agents and producers in the real world.

Students will leave with an advanced understanding of writing in different formats within these genres, and how to package their projects for a competitive market. They will have a critical understanding of the differences between writing for television and film. They will have a consolidated their understanding of the process of production and how it impacts the writer. They will have sharpened their understanding of their own voice, and where that sits in the current UK film/television climate. Their critical understanding of filmmaking, screenwriting and film/television theory will have been enhanced. They will also be provided with an intermediate level network of film industry contacts.

Course Weekly Outline

1: Introduction/ Development Workshop
Students come with an idea that they intend to work on over the term. Peer review and feedback.
2: Thriller – Masculinity in crisis (film)
You Were Never Really Here (film, w/d Lynne Ramsay),
3: Thriller – Speculative fiction (series)
Lost (series)
4: Comedy – Satire (film)
Parasite (film, w/d Bong Joon Ho)
5: Comedy - Comedy-drama (series)
Succession (series, w Jesse Armstrong)
6: Guest Lecture (online, suggestions welcome)
7: Development Workshop.
8: Sci Fi – Dystopia (series)
The Man in the High Castle (created by Frank Spotnitz, based on novel by Philip K Dick)
9: Sci Fi - Sexuality & love in the future (film)
Her (Spike Jonze)
Week 10: Pitching
Students present their most developed ideas:

Indicative Reading List

Story Theory
Into the Woods by John Yorke
The Science of Storytelling by William Storr

Screenplays & Texts

You Were Never Really Here (film, w/d Lynne Ramsay),
Lost (series)
Parasite (film, w/d Bong Joon Ho)
Succession (series, w Jesse Armstrong)
The Man in the High Castle (created by Frank Spotnitz, based on novel by Philip K Dick)
Her (Spike Jonze)


6,000 words total.

A project pitched and developed during the workshop and with support from fellow students. 70% creative work, 20% reflective essay and 10% story outline.