The CHA+DePaul Youth Partnership

Movie and TV Scripts 101

Instructor with student using a computer

Ten youth are invited to learn how to write an original screenplay from award-winning screenwriters within DePaul University’s School of Cinematic Arts. Participants will analyze a series of films studying screenplay format, visual writing style, scene craft, story structure, character development and dialogue. The program culminates with each participant writing their own short movie/tv script.

2018 FIELD TRIPS: Iron Oaks | The Art Institute | The Second City Comedy Workshop and Tour | Lincoln Park DePaul Campus Tour | Cinespace Chicago Film Studios | Museum of Broadcast Communications

Youth & Mentor Testimonials


16 yrs

"The program has opened my eyes to many new opportunities including being a part of Cineyouth’s Student Film Council and combining the two things I love the most; acting and creative writing. This program is the reason I want to become a successful screenwriter."


17 yrs

“The program taught me that there’s a hundred ways to tell one story. It’s an opportunity to build on my skills and has encouraged me to take this path further. This year, I wrote and directed my first film - in Spanish!”


18 yrs

“Since I was a child I have always enjoyed filmmaking and especially scriptwriting. Since then I have wrote numerous scripts and now that I have worked at the CHA Screenwriting Program I feel more confident about my writing. It was a great opportunity for me and I learned so much from it!”

Matt Quinn

Matt Quinn

SCA Assistant Professor

“Cinematic storytelling conventions can be learned, but it’s often the unique voice of the writer, in their approach to character and world, that brings a story to life on the page and separates novice from professional. These students come into the program with a tremendous amount of passion for the craft and it’s inspiring to see them hone their point-of-view through writing process, establishing an authentic voice that’s sure to resonate with audiences in the future.”

Student Work

The Lost On South Green

(Drama Short)

After their mother’s sudden disappearance, two siblings must ban together to search Chicago’s streets of Englewood to find her.

Stay Out

(Horror Short - Rated R)

Set in the 1980s, a young Black couple go on a hiking trip for their anniversary, only to discover they’re being stalked by a couple whose violent hobbies put their romantic getaway in mortal danger.