Script Analysis 2
Subject is not scheduled Not scheduled
Name of lecturer(s)
Learning outcomes of the course unit
Students should become familiar with structure, narrative and story element, such as character, theme, setup, main tension, central dramatic question, antagonist, conflict, the three act structure and its development as well as its functional deviations; techniques and specific issues of film writing and narration, difference between dramatic and literary storytelling etc. Dialogue, the dramatic use of props and costumes, staging and the creation of atmosphere as employed in the screenplay as well as realization are also covered.
Students will be expected to recognize these dramatic and narrative elements and to present a cogent analysis for a final paper.
Mode of study
Screening + lecture and discussion. Each film is screened in full length, accompanied by close analysis by the lecturer, while students are also encouraged to provide their input.
Prerequisites and co-requisites
Script Analysis 1 (recommended)
The purpose of this course is to study films from a dramaturgical perspective, to demonstrate diverse narrative techniques, dramatic structures and genre forms, and to closely examine the craft of screenwriting, with special attention given to characters’ dynamics and development.
The course is open to all FAMU students including visiting programs.
IT IS STRONGLY RECOMMENDED THAT THE STUDENTS HAVE WATCHED THE FILMS BEFORE THEY ARE SCREENED IN CLASS.
I. Class 1+2 – February 18 [different time!!! 12:20-14:45, U1]: Harold and Maude (USA, 1971, dir. Hal Ashby, written by Colin Higgins)
II. Class 3+4 – March 10: Dog Day Afternoon (USA, 1975, dir. Sidney Lumet, written by Frank Pierson, based on the book The Boys in the Bank by P. F. Kluge)
III. Class 5+6 – April 7: Blow Up (UK, USA, Italy, 1966, dir. Michelangelo Antonioni, written by Michelangelo Antonioni and Tonino Guerra, based on the short story Las babas del diablo by Julio Cortázar)
IV. Class 7+8 - April 21: Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind (USA, 2004, dir. Michel Gondry, written by Charlie Kaufman)
V. Class 9+10 – May 5: The Silence of the Lambs (USA, 1992, dir. Jonathan Demme, written by Ted Tally, based on the eponymous novel by Thomas Harris)
VI. Class 11+12 - May 19: Little Women (USA, 2019, written and directed by Greta Gerwig, based on the eponymous novel by Louisa May Alcott)
Recommended or required reading
Aristotle. Poetics. Translated by Gerald Else. University of Michigan Press, 1967.
Aronson, Linda: The 21st Century Screenplay: A Comprehensive Guide to Writing Tomorrow's Films. Silman-James Press, 2011.
Bordwell, David. Narration in Fiction Film. University of Wisconsin Press, 1985.
Field, Syd. Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting. Dell Publishing, 1994.
Thompson, Kristin. Storytelling in the New Hollywood: Understanding Classical Narrative Technique. Harvard University Press, 1999.
In addition, SCREENPLAYS (if available) for the films screened in classes will be provided to students and it is strongly recommended that they familiarize themselves with the scripts BEFORE the corresponding class.
Assessment methods and criteria
• Attendance 50%
• Final Paper 50%
Attendance – the students are required to attend at least 50% percent of the classes.
For the Final Paper, the student selects one of the films screened during the semester and chooses a scene or sequence to analyse in detail with particular focus on its role in the overall structure of the film (narrative as well as in terms of character development). Please note, solely describing the scene does not substitute an analysis!
2 pages in length (1 page = 1800 characters incl. spaces), to be delivered to the lecturer (firstname.lastname@example.org) on the date of the final class via email in .pdf titled STUDENT’SSURNAMEFILMTITLESA1.pdf
DEADLINE May 19 2020.
It is not possible to get the credit for the course without the final paper.
No schedule has been prepared for this course
The subject is a part of the following study plans
- Academy Preparation Program - Cinematography (optional subject)
- Academy Preparation Program - Animated Film (optional subject)
- Academy Preparation Program - Directing (optional subject)
- Academy Preparation Program - Documentary (optional subject)
- Academy Preparation Program - Editing (optional subject)
- Academy Preparation Program - Photography (optional subject)
- Academy Preparation Program - Screenwriting (optional subject)
- Production Team Studies (optional subject)