Module
descriptions

for BA (Hons) Screenwriting & Producing with Integrated Media Production Foundation

Foundation year modules

Performance and Presentation

Improvisation and theatre games provide a strong base for developing confidence and group skills for those considering working in the media. The TV and film industry requires people who can work effectively in both small and large groups, as well as having the ability to develop trust and work to deadlines. Learning how to access and enhance creativity within given parameters helps to engender these skills at foundation level as a basis for further study and future employment.

Improvisation and acting exercises will also help you to understand how different performers develop and use their skills, which can be key when working in the industry in mixed groups of media professionals.

In addition, presentation skills have become increasingly crucial in almost every field of work. We all need to speak in public, whether it is to a small group of colleagues or to a wider audience. Unfortunately, many of us find this extremely daunting. This course will help you acquire the confidence and skills to present to an audience.

Creative Writing and Presentation

In this module, students will investigate storytelling in prose form. Effective storytelling has always been an essential aspect of communication between human beings and students will investigate what it is that makes for good storytelling; the basics of cause-effect narrative, effective storytelling structure, characterisation and genre. We will analyse well known short stories and explore what makes them work. Students will develop their own narrative skills and be introduced to the task of devising original ideas in the area of narrative fiction individually and in groups. Skills will include deployment of narrative structure, plotting, relevant use of characterisation, use of arena and team working skills.

Film and Music

Production skills in the area of camera, sound, lighting, directing, producing and editing will be introduced alongside effective journal keeping, academic analysis and team-working skills. The creation of a short group project will provide students with the ability to create narratives in both visual and audio production whilst an on-line journal will introduce the ethos of using digital media wherever possible.

Screenwriting & Producing

This module is an introduction to basic skills in writing for performance. It covers styles of script formatting and layout with their rationales, together with the range of script terms and devices in common use. These are developed by use of script-writing tasks and exercises. It analyses the process of expression on the page for conversion to picture and in emphasising the nature and importance of the rewriting process it follows the journey from script to screen through a variety of examples and comparisons. It also examines the practice of a script project’s oral presentation through development and performance of character monologues. In this it explores the balance of action and words in a script and the merging of the two into a cohesive and successful performance. It commences a study of the practice of script pitch and exercises the drawing of an idea and an entire story into condensed and cohesive oral and written presentations.

Advertising & Presentation

This module is a practical, hands-on introduction to the world of advertising and the art of promoting a product to a select marketplace. Students will be divided into small groups and required to produce a promotional film for Regent’s University London. Each member of the group will be required to produce a part of the campaign, from identifying the marketplace, through the writing of the script, to the production of a 30-second advertisement for the University, up to the final presentation of the finished film.

Film, TV & Digital Media Production

Following the increase in digital television channels and Internet streamed video content in recent years, the output of studio-based production has increased, with programmes as diverse as webcast soap operas, light entertainment chat shows and current affairs filling the schedules. Students need to develop an understanding of the genres of programmes which are studio based and the phenomenon of format television. Students will also need to develop skills to accomplish their own studio production from conception to delivery, concurrently developing the group working skills needed to work within a large production unit.

First year modules

Script Adaptation, Development & Presentation

This module commences the learning of essential script craft, and introduces the student to basic screenwriting practice. This incorporates script layout, formatting and key terms, and develops an understanding of the process of story adaptation and script planning and development from conception of idea through logline, outline, treatment and scene breakdown into early part-drafting and refinement of the work. It approaches the arenas of theme, intent and expression, and covers the oral and written pitch and presentation, acknowledging the twofold function of script treatment and summary as both writer’s and producer’s blueprint and as marketing tools. The module also examines the nature of story conception and the potential of the idea as genesis of a project. And in furthering this development, the student is tutored and supported in creating a screenplay for a short script.

Introduction to Production

In order to undertake a degree as diverse and industry focused as BA (Hons) Film, Television & Digital Media Production and BA (Hons) Screenwriting & Producing students need to be introduced to the essential basic skills of narrative film production. First year students will all have a level of media literacy that needs to be not only developed but given a professionalism and academic discipline. Students will be taught the essentials of genre and narrative structure in drama as well as the principles of reportage.

Core Skills for Learning and Research

This module serves to introduce students to the core study skills required to work effectively as active learners throughout their university studies and in their careers. It helps students to assess their range of skills and to identify those capacities that need further development.

Global Perspectives

This module introduces a range of ideas and ways of thinking based around the University’s values, reflected in its learning outcomes. It encourages students to interact with the broader University community, both socially and academically, asking them to cross the physical and intellectual borders of their degree programmes. Global Perspectives aims to increase self-awareness and prepares students for their subsequent studies by familiarising them with the resources available to meet their lifelong learning needs.

Thirty-Minute Script

This module draws upon and develops the learning of scriptcraft in the Script Adaptation, Development & Presentation module of Semester One, and takes forward the key module learning outcomes into a process of creating an original half-hour script. It introduces students to the task of devising an original story and formulating from this, through the script developmental process, a 30-minute script which demonstrates appropriate skills in crafting an original and individually produced work for the screen. Skills will include deployment of narrative structure, plotting, relevant use of characterisation, use of arena and some aspects of genre.

Business and Law for the Creative Producer

The module aims to provide students with an overview of modern creative business and facilitate their appreciation of the variety of challenges facing individuals who opt to work in the international creative industries of the 21st century. Students will learn to evaluate the effectiveness and impact of company structures, and of culture, finance, change management and strategy within business organisations, gaining an appreciation of their potential effectiveness as managers of change in a wide range of creative disciplines. The module will further enhance students’ understanding of the job of being a creative producer through a study of media law and copyright in media production including an introduction to the legal system and legal foundations, contract law, business property and intellectual property rights.

Visual Storytelling in Drama

Narrative is essential to all visual media production, from advertisement to feature film. Indeed most students will come to a degree course such as this looking to tell a story and will be expecting to be trained how to make one. This module is, therefore, central both to your expectations as well as a central learning tenet for those who wish to learn to communicate stories via visual media. This module follows on from Script Adaptation, Development and Presentation and therefore includes deeper analysis of genre and narrative. The classical narrative text, film traditions of Asia (especially South Korea and Japan) and oppositional film genres will be examined. The development of television drama will be studied from its inception as the inheritance of the radio drama to the modern big budget series from HBO, ABC and the BBC. Students will also look at the biographical form and different ways to tell stories based on real characters.

Second year modules

Creating a One-Hour TV Drama Series

This module requires students to develop their screenwriting skills beyond those demonstrated in the Script Adaptation, Development & Presentation and the Thirty-Minute Script modules in Level Four, adapting their exploitation of story structuring, characterisation and other deployments to express their work through refined use of plots, character functions and exploration of arena, dialogue, montage, timeframe and other developments in their writing expertise. The module is designed particularly to encourage students to develop their writer’s voice.

Creating and Producing a Commercial

This module is a practical, hands-on introduction to the skills of being a producer. Here students will have the opportunity to utilise those skills learned in the Business & Law for the Creative Producer module and put them to practical use. Students will be required to package, advertise and market a product. They will have to identify the target demographic for their product and develop a coherent strategy for getting the product to market in the most efficient and cost effective way.

Study Abroad Essay and Portfolio (optional)

Students will either go on study period abroad with one of our established partners around the world or go to Vancouver Film School on study period abroad.The Vancouver Film School option extends the opportunity to students to study at a specialist partner that focuses on film and acting.

Through the writing of a critically and analytically informed essay, you will reflect upon your study abroad experience and its contribution to your personal and creative development.

If you do not wish to embark on a period of study abroad, you can remain at Regent's University London to study four second year modules.

Third year modules

Development of the Major Script Project

This module is linked to the subsequent Completion of the Major Script Project which follows in Semester Two and which, with its dual requirements of creative writing skills and fully executed production strategy, more than any other module forms the summation of the degree. Hence the double module structure and the total combined 60-credit weighting which reflects the status and significance of these two modules.

Creating and Producing the Short Film

The module calls upon the student to act in a genuine decision-making and commissioning writer-producer capacity with a directorial role in addition. Specifically the student is the director, presented with a budget to expend as wisely as possible in order to realise the film envisioned as a creatively produced and marketable entity for exhibition. The University will provide a limited budget for each film as laid out in the Assignment Brief but students are encouraged to raise further finance through appropriate avenues. The sourcing of funds and the spending of those funds will be a part of the assessment strategy of the Costed Marketing & Exhibition Strategy and will be assessed through the inclusion of a journal of income and expenditure.

Completion of the Major Script Project

It can be argued that this module is the most important of the degree, and aims to further refine to a high professional standard students’ creative and critical scriptwriting development. Its objective is to provide the graduate with a strong foundation for all scriptrelated vocational aspirations. Successful completion of this module is the pinnacle of achievement in the degree, and the completed screenplay will act as the industry’s most highly valued and respected evidence of writing achievement. It requires demonstration of a critical understanding and application of appropriate theoretical issues, frameworks, professional skills and knowledge in relation to the student’s own screenplay work and an advanced and wide-ranging understanding of current industry practice.

Production & Marketing of the Major Script

This is a companion module to the Completion of the Major Script Project in that it is the culmination of all teaching in the business of film that students will have studied through the Screenwriting & Producing degree. Here, students will have the opportunity to put to practical use all of the skills of the producer by budgeting and scheduling their major script project whilst putting together a coherent and comprehensive production strategy. Reflecting the remit of the degree the student is required to complete the detailed professional production strategy to an industry standard, which will contextualise the final script within a market framework and place it in the commercial arena, indicating the feasibility of its production.