FILM 283 Directing I: Script Analysis for Directors

Rachel Bass

Office: CDM 458
Fall 2022-2023
Class number: 24835
Section number: 402
W 1:30PM - 4:45PM
LEWIS 01515 Loop Campus

Download syllabus


Course Description:

Script Analysis informs a director’s creative decision-making.  Through a series of practical exercises, students will learn the process of analyzing a script based on the film’s narrative elements.  In doing so, they will uncover their unique vision for the story that aids in collaboration with cast and crew.

Course Objectives:

  • Determine script structure (Inciting Incident, Turning Points, Climax) and Theme
  • Examine Life and Scene Needs, Obstacles, and Subtext
  • Break down the script from multiple angles
  • Document the story’s Given Circumstances, Diegesis, and Character Arcs
  • Construct Storyboards based on Scene Structure and Beats
  • Discover one’s personal take on a story within the bounds of the script


  1. Get Out Script (PDF on D2L)
  2. “EF’s Visit to a Small Planet” (Essay on D2L)
  3. and then, you act by Anne Bogart
  4. How to Read a Play: Script Analysis for Directors by Damon Kiely


Grade Breakdown

In-Class Exercises                                           10%

Participation                                                    10%.      

Weekly Discussions (D2L Forum)                   20%

Weekly Homework Assignments                    60%

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

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.

All students are expected to abide by the University's Academic Integrity Policy which prohibits cheating and other misconduct in student coursework. Publicly sharing or posting online any prior or current materials from this course (including exam questions or answers), is considered to be providing unauthorized assistance prohibited by the policy. Both students who share/post and students who access or use such materials are considered to be cheating under the Policy and will be subject to sanctions for violations of Academic Integrity.

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