SCWR 392 Topics in LA

Zachary Hug

Fall 2019-2020
Class number: 16654
Section number: 441

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No matter what your entry point into writing for television, you need an original pilot. It’s important to have more than one, in fact. And while writing that pilot is a process unique to each writer – this course provides an industry-standard methodology for creating a compelling first draft of a one-hour pilot. Additionally, the course will focus on one of the most important aspects of being a television writer: pitching and discussing your ideas from a conceptual, thematic, or story level. In a mock writers- room, students will write and develop a 10-page pitch document, break and outline three complete (A, B, and C) stories, and create the first draft of a one-hour pilot. All the while, in-class exercises will focus on developing fully realized characters, building a story engine that will sustain a show for more than three seasons, and finding a personal thematic hook. Classes will be a blend of three-hour lecture classes, and two 8- hour intensive “writers room” workshops, with ample writing time.


  • Required Reading: Creating Character Arcs, KM Weiland. ISBN# 1944936041



Writers-Assistant Notes: 5 pts.

Written/Verbal Feedback: 10pts

Show Questions Document: 5pts

Pitch Document: 15 pts.

Pitching: 10 pts.

ABC Story Docs: 10 pts.

Act 1&6: 10 pts

Blended Outline: 15 pts. `

School policies:

Changes to Syllabus

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.

Online Course Evaluations

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.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

This course will be subject to the university's academic integrity policy. More information can be found at If you have any questions be sure to consult with your professor.

Academic Policies

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

Students with Disabilities

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
Fax: (312)362-6544
TTY: (773)325.7296