What is the course about?
Some of the best cinema today has been created in the short form. From the powerful tension of Matt Kirkby's The Phone Call to the humour of Jim Cummings' Thunder Road, the short film can achieve an awful lot with a little. Far from being just a stepping stone to feature length work, the short film challenges writers be creative with constraint and precision. This course can help you learn how, through guided exercises that will explore screenwriting fundamentals and unlock your creativity.
The Tutor: Sharmila Chauhan is a screenwriter, playwright and prose writer. Her plays include: The Husbands, which toured nationally and completed its run at London’s Soho Theatre (Kali and Pentabus Theatre), Born Again/Purnajanam (Kali Theatre, Jan 2012) and 10 Women (Avignon Festival, France, 2014). She has had two short films produced and written two features. Most recently, her short film Oysters was commissioned by Film London (2016) and her feature Mother Land is currently being developed by Cinestan International and has been long-listed for the Sundance Writers’ Lab.
Build reserves the right to change course tutors from those advertised in this outline. In line with our refund policy we are unable to grant a refund on the grounds of a change of tutor.
What will we cover?
- What makes a good short film?
- Different types of short film
- Generating ideas
- Basics of screenwriting craft such as dialogue and structure.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Give and receive feedback with sensitivity
- Analyse short films with confidence
- Understand some of the basic principles of screenwriting
- Start working on a short script.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
The course is suitable for all those with an interest in the short film. A good grasp of English is essential.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Interactive tutor presentation, practical exercises, reading scripts and viewing dvds of various shorts.
All writing courses at Build will involve an element of workshop. This means that students will produce work which will be discussed in an open and constructive environment with the tutor and other students. The college operates a policy of constructive criticism, and all feedback on another student’s work by the tutor and other students should be delivered in that spirit.
For classes longer than one day regular reading and writing exercises will be set for completion at home to set deadlines.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Please bring a pen and paper. You are welcome to bring a laptop or tablet if you feel it will help you.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Any course on film and TV writing.
Continue your screenwriting journey in one of our screenwriting course. We recommend Ways into screenwriting for beginners and Developing your screenwriting for those with a bit more experience. If you have a draft of a script, you might also be interested in Pitching your screenplay treatment.
All students are invited to join us at Late Lines, our regular performance night for Build writers. Students are also encouraged to submit their work to Between the Lines, our annual anthology of creative writing. For the latest news, courses and events, stay in touch with the Department on and Twitter.
General information and advice on courses at Build is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details