SCWR 101 Screenwriting for Majors (Formerly DC 101)
To provide the student with a two-fold experience: first, a quick tour of a few comedy fundamentals, using the various elements that comprise an episode of “Saturday Night Live.” And second, the creation from scratch of a well-written, original ten-minute film script, including: brainstorming, pitching, the development of a treatment, the organizing of an outline, a quick first draft, a more thoughtful second draft, and a thoroughly rewritten final draft.
No textbook. The night before each class, Sundays and Tuesdays, the instructor emails each student a handout with up-to-the-minute information relevant to each assignment.
There will be an assignment due in the D2L Dropbox before each class (see “Assignments” for the bi-weekly breakdown).
Participation (30% of final grade), there will be an assignment due in the D2L Dropbox before each class on both Wednesdays and Mondays. In the eighth and ninth week, the student will either be presenting a first draft version of his/her/their film script to the entire class or they’ll be actively critiquing their fellow students’ first draft script presentation.
Rewritten Sketch Packet (30% of final grade), this will include a second pass at four previous assignments: the Cold Opening Sketch from Week Three; the Commercial Parody Sketch from Week Four; the Digital Short Sketch also from Week Four; the live TV or Film Parody Sketch from Week Five—all four due in the D2L DropBox by 11:20am, Wednesday, October 16, 2019.
Final Draft of Script (30% of final grade), having gone through the stages of crafting a pitch; developing a treatment; organizing of an outline; writing a first draft; presenting said first draft to the class for their analysis; taken into account the class’ reaction; writing a second draft; and receiving notes from the instructor—the student will submit his/her/their final draft in the D2L Dropbox no later than 11:20am on Wednesday, November 20, 2019.
Attendance (10% of grade), very important. Attendance will be taken at the start of each class and factor into the student’s final grade, along with participation.
A= 100-93, A-=92-90, B+=89-88, B=87-83, B-=82-80, C+=79-78, C=77-73, C-=72-70, D+=69-68, D=67-63, D-=62-60, F=59-0. A indicates excellence, B indicates good work, C indicates satisfactory work, D work is unsatisfactory in some respect, F is substantially unsatisfactory work.
Wednesday, 9/11: Read The New York Times’ front page and write at least one Two-Liner(s) per day for Thursday, 9/12/19; Friday, 9/13/19; Saturday, 9/14/19; and, Sunday, 9/15/19.
Monday, 9/16: Finish, polish Commentary Monologue and write one more Two-Liner based on the headlines of The New York Times for Tuesday, 9/17/19.
Wednesday, 9/18: Finish, polish Character Monologue.
Monday, 9/23: The student will complete a first draft of an SNL Opening Monologue for his/her/their Hero (living or dead, real or imagined).
Wednesday, 9/25: The student will complete a first draft of an SNL Opening Monologue for themselves, as they were hosting the upcoming show, also Saturday, September 28, 2019.
Monday, 9/30: The student will complete an original, topical SNL Cold Opening Sketch, so grounded in the moment that it could air on the next episode of SNL.
Wednesday, 10/2: The student will write an original SNL Commercial Parody, specifically in the SNL style, based upon current running commercials.
Monday, 10/7: The student will write an original SNL Digital Short, specifically in the style of the current season, incorporating the current cast.
Wednesday, 10/9: The student will write an original TV or Film Parody, using the current SNL cast and written in such a way to accommodate its live performance within the confines of NBC’s Studio 8-H.
Monday, 10/14: The student submits a second draft version of his/her/their SNL sketch packet, comprised of four elements: the Cold Opening Sketch from Week Three; the Commercial Parody Sketch from Week Four; the Digital Short Sketch also from Week Four; the live TV or Film Parody Sketch from Week Five, all four due in the D2L DropBox by 11:20am, Wednesday, October 16, 2019.
Wednesday, 10/16: The student will create three pitches for his/her/their ten-minute script.
Monday, 10/21: The student will refine his/her/their most successful pitch, further incorporating information, humor and the student personal enthusiasm for the original idea.
Wednesday. 10/23: The student will finish his/her/their two-page treatment.
Monday, 10/28: The student will expand his/her/their two-page treatment into a more concise four-page (est.) outline.
Wednesday, 10/30: The student will complete the first draft of his/her/their ten-minute film.
Monday, 11/4: Those students whose scripts were part of the day’s reading will begin their rewrites; the rest will prepare to their upcoming reading.
Wednesday, 11/6: Those students whose scripts were part of the day’s reading will begin their rewrites; the rest will either continue working on their rewrites or prepare for their upcoming reading.
Monday, 11/11: Those students whose scripts were part of the day’s reading will begin their rewrites; the rest will either continue working on their rewrites or prepare for their upcoming reading.
Wednesday, 11/13: Scheduled one-on-one meeting, student and instructor.
Monday, 11/18: Scheduled one-on-one meeting, student and instructor.
Wednesday, 11/20: FINAL DRAFT, of ten-minute film script due in D2L Dropbox by 11:20am.
This syllabus is subject to change as necessary during the quarter. If a change occurs, it will be thoroughly addressed during class, posted under Announcements in D2L and sent via email.
Evaluations are a way for students to provide valuable feedback regarding their instructor and the course. Detailed feedback will enable the instructor to continuously tailor teaching methods and course
content to meet the learning goals of the course and the academic needs of the students. They are a requirement of the course and are key to continue to provide you with the highest quality of teaching. The
evaluations are anonymous; the instructor and administration do not track who entered what responses. A program is used to check if the student completed the evaluations, but the evaluation is completely
separate from the student’s identity. Since 100% participation is our goal, students are sent periodic reminders over three weeks. Students do not receive reminders once they complete the evaluation.
Students complete the evaluation online in CampusConnect.
This course will be subject to the university's academic integrity policy. More information can be found at http://academicintegrity.depaul.edu/ If you
have any questions be sure to consult with your professor.
All students are required to manage their class schedules each term in accordance with the deadlines for enrolling and withdrawing as indicated in the University Academic Calendar. Information on enrollment, withdrawal, grading and incompletes can be found at http://www.cdm.depaul.edu/Current%20Students/Pages/PoliciesandProcedures.aspx.
Students who feel they may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact the instructor privately to discuss their specific needs. All discussions will remain confidential.
To ensure that you receive the most appropriate accommodation based on your needs, contact the instructor as early as possible in the quarter (preferably within the first week of class), and make sure that
you have contacted the Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD) at:
Lewis Center 1420, 25 East Jackson Blvd.
Phone number: (312)362-8002