Scriptwriting: All Media Spring 2014

DMS 535/435 Script Writing: All Media

Center for the Arts Room 232

SCHEDULE: Please check regularly – schedule may change.
ASSIGNMENTS:

TEACHER: Josephine Anstey, jranstey at buffalo, office hrs Mon 1:30-2:30, CFA 231

DESCRIPTION: In this production workshop students will concentrate on writing and editing text/script elements for their media projects. The course will explore both traditional and experimental methods for generating and structuring text for fictional and documentary work. Texts may include original writing, interview material, collaged or found fragments, that will be performed, heard or displayed in the final piece. The texts may be linear, non-linear, interactive, poetic …

This opportunity to focus on the text is for students at any stage of a project (conception through finishing); in any media (film, video, animation, performance, interactive); and those working with English as a second language or with translated material. However all students will work through three basic writing stages: creating/generating material; assembling/structuring material; editing/restructuring

Syllabus subject to change to accommodate student interest.

SCHEDULE: This schedule will be updated as the semester progresses. It is your responsibility to check the schedule so that you are completely prepared for that day’s class. Failure to do so will result in loss of participation points for that day.

Learning Outcomes Assessment
1. Students will explore standard and experimental methods of generating script concepts and organizing conceptual material. project assignment 1, readings Stafford, Burroughs
2. Students will create first draft of a short script using appropriate script format. project assignment 2
3. Students will discuss techniques for script editing and write a second draft of their scripts. project assignment 3, readings Mateas, Delany
4. Students will learn methods for de-constructing and analysing scripts. analytic exercise in project 1 & 2, readings Barthes, Bruner

TEXTS

NOTES ON STRUCTURE AND ORGANIZATION

ONLINE RESOURCES

GRADING

  • Participation, reading texts and own material,mini-assignments, feedback 25%
  • project 1 25% (description 5, presentation 15, analysis 5)
  • project 2 25% (treatment 5, draft1 15, analysis 5)
  • project 3 25%

REQUIREMENTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

Participation:

  • Reading: BRING COPY OF TEXT TO CLASS. Please make notes about readings: comments and questions. Bring your notes to class so that you can join in the discussion.
  • Reading own material: Please practice beforehand. You are responsible for finding class members to read with you.
  • Mini-assignments: Individual or class assignments in response to class process.
  • CRITICISM: we will discuss how to give and receive criticism constructively in the class, and you are expected to follow the criticism guidelines we co-evolve.

Projects:

  • 1: Creative/Generative Project. ‘
    • Description: one sentence + one page description DUE FEB 24
    • Presentation
      • storyboard, diagram, map DUE FEB 26
    • Analysis: Each student will choose an inspirational piece of material and submit it and a one page account of why this piece inspires them. DUE FEB 17
  • 2: Assembling/Structuring Project.
    • Treatment:  2-5 pages  DUE MAR 10
    • First Draft: 10-20 pages minimum DUE APRIL 9
    • Analysis: Each student will choose a piece of inspiration material and submit it and a short one page account describing how it is structured. When talking about structure, please refer back to the ideas and texts about structure that we have discussed. DUE MAR 24
  • 3: Rediting/Restructuring/Redrafting Project.

ATTENDANCE Class attendance is mandatory. You are allowed a total of three unexcused absences. Absences are determined both on your physical presence in the room and your mental and emotional presence as a member of the class. Being absent from more than the allowed absences (3), will result in final grade deduction, up to and including failure of the course, at the instructor’s discretion.

    • Being late by 15 minutes or more constitutes an unexcused absence.
    • Sleeping, doing work for other classes, or causing disruptions may also result in an unexcused absence for the day.

    Please contact me in advance if you are missing a class for an excused absence. All excused absences must be documented in writing and received preferably before the start of class. All absent students (excused and unexcused), are expected to make up any work or assignments for the given day missed.

ACCESSIBILITY STATEMENT

  • Any Student with a diagnosed disability (physical, learning, or psychosocial) that will make it difficult for him or her to carry out the course work as outlined, or requires accommodations such as recruiting note takers, readers, or extended time on exams and/or assignments, should contact Accessibility Resources, 25 Capen Hall, 716-645-2608. Accessibility Resources will provide students with information and review appropriate arrangements for reasonable accommodations. Qualified students should contact the course coordinator as early as possible within the course.

COURSE POLICIES:

  • NOTE: If you begin to experience extreme difficulties with the course or having any issues or problems regarding the class please see the instructor immediately. If notifying the instructor does not seem appropriate, seek assistance from the Academic Advisor for the Department of Media Study. The longer you wait to get help (the instructor, the writing center, academic tutoring etc.) the less likely these methods will be successful. Everyone should be able to master the principles and materials of this course if they are open and communicate.
    • Students are expected to exhibit the highest form of respect for the instructor, their class peers, individual experiences, the readings, the films, and the class discussion. Rude or obnoxious behavior will not be tolerated and may result in expulsion from class and subsequent loss of credit for that day. Further disciplinary action at the discretion of the instructor.
    • Student athletes must provide an official letter with the dates of their meets and travel days during the first two weeks of classes. Make up assignments and exams that fall during those days will be rescheduled and must be done so with the permission of the instructor. In general we will try to arrange for you to make up material prior to leaving.
    • Students are expected to turn off and put away cell phones, pagers, iPods and MP3 players, e-readers, iPads and other tablets, laptop computers and other small electronic devices. Failure to follow this policy may result in loss of credit for the class day.
    • The class room in which our lessons, screenings and discussions take place has a strict no food, and no drink policy. Please eat before or after class.
    • Students are expected to follow the guidelines for appropriate behavior outlined in the University catalog.
    • If you need to depart early do so quietly after having cleared it with your instructor at the beginning of the class session.
    • Grades of incomplete will be given on a extremely rare basis. All other measures will be taken to avoid an incomplete. Those students seeking an incomplete must have some serious, well-documented medical condition or in cases of family tragedy who have satisfied the attendance policy and are missing one major assignment. No incomplete will be given as substitute for a poor or failing grade or any other reasons. A written agreement must be drafted and signed by the instructor and the student. The Instructor reserves the right to request completion of the incomplete prior to 12 month maximum set by the University.
    • Final grades are final. These grades will not be changed. You should refrain from bothering instructor about final grades as this goes against University policy.

    ACADEMIC INTEGRITY:

    Students who are suspected of academic dishonesty will be dealt with severely in according to the Department of Media Studies and University Policies. This may include a grade of 0 for an assignment and/or failure in a course. Plagiarism and cheating come in many forms. When you have doubts please contact the instructor for any help regarding ethics of course work and/or how to cite or use material. Some examples of academic dishonesty include, but are not limited to the following:

    • Submission – the use of material previously submitted in whole or in substantial part in another course, to satisfy academic requirements, without prior and expressed consent of the instructor.
    • Plagiarism – copying material from a source or sources and submitting this material as one’s own without acknowledging the particular debts to the source (quotations, paraphrases, basic idea), or otherwise representing the work of another as one’s own.
    • Cheating – receiving information from another student or unauthorized source or giving information to another student with intention to deceive while competing an examination or individual assignment.
    • Falsification of academic materials – fabricating materials, notes, and all forms of data and reports; forging an instructor’s name or initials, or submitting a report, paper, or any other material prepared by any person other than the student responsible for the the assignment.

    WEAPONS AS PROPS:

    IF YOU ARE PLANNING A STUDENT PRODUCTION WHICH INVOLVES PROPS THAT MAY BE INTERPRETED TO BE A WEAPON AND YOU ARE PLANNING TO SHOOT ON UB CAMPUS OR IN PUBLIC YOU MUST OBTAIN WRITTEN PERMISSION FROM UNIVERSITY POLICE OR EQUIVALENT AUTHORITY BEFORE YOU SHOOT. FAILURE TO DO SO WILL RESULT IN SERIOUS PROBLEMS INCLUDING EXPULSION FROM THE UNIVERSITY.

    SEXUAL HARRASMENT:

    Sexual Harassment of employees and students, as defined at http://undergrad-catalog.buffalo.edu/policies/conduct/nondiscrimination.shtml , is contrary to universe policy and is a violation of federal and state laws and regulations.

    Please Note: This syllabus is a living document and is subject to change at the the discretion of the instructor and pace of the class. Students will be notified when significant changes are made.