What is the course about?
A practical introduction to writing cinema screenplays.
The Tutor: Alan Nixon is one of Britain’s top independent media professionals. His recent productions include directing the award-winning R4 sitcom Reluctant Persuaders. He has been Creative Consultant to broadcasters and renowned independents, including Aardman Animations (Wallace & Gromit), Grant Naylor (Red Dwarf), and Absolutely Productions (Armstrong & Miller / Trigger Happy TV). He was one of the founding controllers of Channel Five, has worked with Alexei Sayle, Victoria Wood, Caroline Aherne and Simon Day, and teaches courses at the BFI, the National Television and Film School, and the London School of Film, Media and Performance.
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?
- Deciding what to write - generating ideas
- Formatting, presentation, accepted norms
- Genre & theme
- Approaches to structure for film
- Creating believable characters
- Approaching dialogue
- Plot development, pacing, set ups and payoffs
- Differences in writing between different media
- An introduction into how the industry works.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Respond to and use screenwriting jargon
- Apply the basic principles of screen/scriptwriting
- Appreciate the differences in writing for different media
- Develop story-telling techniques
- Present a script in standard industry format
- Structure a script.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
Beginners to screenwriting/creative writers/those from other creative disciplines. Ability to write and speak fluent
English is essential.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Through discussion, presentations, viewing of film and TV extracts and use of the internet. Also exercises both during and outside the class evaluated by tutor and peers.
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 notebook and pens.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
You may wish to consider Developing your screenwriting if you have a first draft to work on. We also have a number of one-day courses at the weekend on specific genres.
All students are invited to join us at Build Talks Back, our monthly performance night for Build writers. Everyone is welcome, admission is free and there's no need to book in advance. Visit bildutrapagaran.info/citylittalksback for more details or if you're interested in reading your work. Students are also encouraged to submit to Between the Lines, our annual anthology. Learn more at bildutrapagaran.info/betweenthelines. 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