CLOSED GOT A QUESTION
- New South Wales
- Graduate Diploma in Screenwriting
- Postgraduate (AQF Level 8)
- Full Time
- Orientation will take place in the week prior to course commencement.
- 32 Weeks/2 semesters,Start Date:Feb 25 2013
- Nov 5 2012
ATTENDANCE PATTERN: SYDNEY, 2013 // SEMESTER 1 & 2,
Learn the essential professional and creative skills of
You will be taught how to originate ideas and turn them into screenplays that engage an audience. You will explore concept, premise, character, genre and structure in the creation of a treatment for a feature film and a TV project. Through collaborative workshops you will be offered the opportunity to see your work filmed and benefit from an understanding of how cinematic language and performance affects the journey from page to screen. You will explore the range of opportunities in the screen industries through industry presentations and structured feedback sessions.
Graduates of this course are enocuraged to apply for the advanced & integrated Master of Screen Arts
Recent industry guest lecturers have included:
- Helen Bowden: Underground - The Julian Assange Story, Head On
- Tony Ayres: Underground - The Julian Assange Story,
The Slap, The Straits, Home Song Stories
- Michael Hague:Best-selling author and screenwriting coach
- Debra Oswald: Sweet and Sour, Palace of Dreams, The Secret Life of Us, award-winning episodes of Police Rescue, creator and lead writer Offspring.
The course is designed around five core components of screenwriting: craft rigour, creative practice, voice, collaboration and industry engagement. Critically analysing the enduring principles of dramatic storytelling, the course investigates the foundations of story from Aristotle’s Poetics to Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey and current Hollywood paradigms. Students will be taken through an analysis of existing screenplays (both originals and adaptations), produced films, and screened television dramas to deepen their understanding of script construction and audience engagement.
Students create an original pilot for a one-hour television drama; develop a full-length treatment for a feature film, adapt an Australian short story into a short screenplay that will be filmed in joint exercise with the other disciplines and develop a proposal for an adaptation project of the students’ own choosing. A particular emphasis is placed on understanding the screenwriting process from initial story premise through to its creative fulfilment and production realities. Australian and international practitioners will conduct master classes, guest lectures and intensive workshops. This culminates in a Careers Week, where students will meet and receive advice from agents, funding bodies, producers and commissioning editors. The student’s experience over the year gives them an invaluable opportunity to develop connections and create networks.
Craft and practice are contextualised through an historical perspective of screen drama and documentary.
On graduating, students will be educated to understand every stage of the screenwriting process to realise their vision.
1. Apply and critically evaluate the principles of dramatic and cinematic storytelling, structure, character, premise, catharsis and genre, to an analysis of existing screen works and the creation of original screen projects.
2. Reflect on and negotiate the complex relationship between craft rigour and deep personal connection to material in the creation of screen work.
3. Demonstrate an advanced set of screenwriting skills and independence of judgement in how they use these skills to evaluate and solve the structural and conceptual problems that arise in the development process.
4. Describe and appraise the specialised nature of creative collaboration in screen storytelling from writers’ round tables to working with directors and producers and to communicate complex ideas with autonomy, clarity and confidence.
5. Identify and compare the major trends in cinema history and the challenges for emerging formats.
1. Story 1: Classical Storytelling
- This subject is an exploration of the universal paradigm of story. Students will investigate the enduring principles of storytelling first articulated by Aristotle and common to fairy stories and myths right through to contemporary film and television and evaluate what makes a story resonate across generations and cultures. Students will examine protagonist, goal, stakes, suspense, reversals, premise and catharsis, through a series of practical exercises.
In teaching the cohort in a single group, the subject facilitates the development of student relationships across the disciplines and gives them a shared language to create, appraise and discuss story together.
2. Story 2: Writing for Feature Film
- This subject analyses and interprets how story principles shape great cinema: from the Hollywood paradigm to alternative narrative forms and genre films. Students will complete a series of practical exercises to drill down into the imaginative and dramatic possibilities of cinematic narrative techniques such as pace, rhythm, tone and externalising the internal state, culminating in the development of a treatment for an original feature film.
3. Story 3: Writing For Television
- This subject will inspire students to the imaginative and professional opportunities of writing for television. It emphasises the importance of understanding television audiences and the need for a writer to create story material that meets a project’s specific audience’s expectations, without compromising their own deep, imaginative connection to the material. It investigates the specifics of crafting a complex, character driven television series, applying fundamental storytelling principles to develop and execute an original pilot for a television series. Through an industry standard development process, the student will take their idea from concept through to second draft, including writer’s tables, feedback sessions and workshops, to identify and address strengths and weaknesses within their work and hone their ability to receive and communicate constructive feedback.
4. Story 4: Script Analysis
- This subject tests and critically evaluates how enduring dramatic principles and visual storytelling techniques inform enduring works of cinema and television. Each session is structured around the viewing and reading of a produced work or reading of an unproduced screenplay and class discussion to assess the effectiveness of screen storytelling, and identify and generate solutions to script problems.
The subject runs concurrently with Story 1, 2 and 3 is the fourth of the story modules.
5. Drama Collaboration 1: Advanced Scene Writing
- The subject investigates the construction of character driven scenes through the advanced analysis of different types of scenes and a series of developmental non-dialogue and dialogue writing tasks. Creating compelling, complex drama for screen relies on scenes that use action and image as well as dialogue to reveal complex truths about its characters. The writing-based focus of the subject will give students an opportunity to experiment with the application of elements taught in other subjects such as visual screenwriting techniques on a micro level, give them an increased understanding of their own voice, practice and creative point of view and to gain mastery over the key skill of writing: rewriting.
6. Drama Collaboration 2: Adaptations
- This subject explores how original works of literature, theatre and research are turned into screen adaptations. It provides a theoretical framework for adapting and dramatising existing works for the screen and then applies that theory to practice with the students working with directors and producers to adapt and film an Australian short story and writing a rationale to adapt material they have sourced into long form drama. This subject will ignite student’s enthusiasm for adaptation and give students a thorough grounding in the dramatic and market opportunities of working with source material.
7. Career Incubator
- This subject deepens a student’s understanding of how the industry works through a series of guest lectures by key industry figures, analysis of market trends, ratings and box office, select industry internships and then allows students to test this understanding through a rigorous, industry-standard development process in the creation of an original work (of the student’s choosing). In aligning the student’s creative practice with the market, this subject will allow students to plan a possible career path.
8. Screen Studies
- Screen Studies at AFTRS aim to inspire and facilitate informed creative use of ideas, intuitions and influences in Australian screen production. By engaging with cutting edge productions, innovations and concepts about form and context, students have the opportunity to develop shared vocabularies across disciplines and enhance their capacities for creative collaboration, their articulation skills, and their knowledge and understanding of screen arts and industries.
• Students will be able to demonstrate skills, knowledge and understandings deemed to equate to AQF Level 7.
1. Curriculum Vitae
Supply a full CV, attaching 300 words on the strengths and weaknesses of your creative process and how that is reflected in your creative work.
2. Referee Questionnaire
The referee questionnaire form is to be completed by someone who can attest to your interest in screen culture. The referee must not be a relative or family friend.
Your creative portfolio should demonstrate your talent and potential and illustrate your interest in this course. Be selective; we just want your best work. We are more interested in ideas and execution than production values. Clearly outline your role on the work submitted in your portfolio. The portfolio should be selective, demonstrating your writing talent and potential. No more than two examples in any form of writing.
If submitting DVDs please ensure the following: (i) the DVD is separated into chapters that relate to specific projects (ii) in total there is no more than 30 minutes of material (iii) the DVD includes only complete sequences of your work, not cut montages, (iv) the DVD should not be region specific, (v) the format is playable from both a laptop and DVD player. If you have questions please contact Student Services for further clarification.
4. Creative tasks
You must submit all of the following:
4.1 Submit a single 2-3 page 'two-hander' scene: two strangers meet, and at least one of them undergoes a substantial emotional or psychological change.
4.2 In no more than 300 words, explain the choices you made in writing this scene and how those choices informed the creative approach you took.
5. Proof of Residency
Submit a certified copy of your birth certificate or passport as detailed on the How to Apply page on the AFTRS website.
+ Evidence of ability to complete complex tasks
+ Evidence of original creative thinking