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Online Course

An Introduction to Screenwriting

University of East Anglia via FutureLearn


Learn how to be a successful screenwriter

Can you see yourself writing an award-winning screenplay in the future? If so, you’ve come to the perfect place. This 2-week screenwriting course will introduce you to the basic elements and key concepts behind a professional screenplay.

Screenplays are at the core of dramatic films, and all of the tender romance and terrifying action begins at the screenwriter’s desk.

Instructors from the University of East Anglia’s well renowned department of creative writing have built this course for both new scriptwriters and more experienced writers wanting to improve their scriptwriting skills.

The cinematic story and Three Act Structure

Learn about the cinematic story and form of a screenplay as you read a number of professional scripts. You’ll discover how to develop a basic storyline and create a five-finger pitch.

We’ll discuss story structures such as the Three Act Structure, where we divide the narrative into three sections. You’ll learn from a mixture of basic theory, script analysis and practical exercises.

Creating a character for your screenplay

Listen to a panel of experts give their thoughts on character creation and try an exercise to help you develop character outlines. You’ll learn how to write powerful dialogue, create a voice for your character and construct scenes to tell your story.

At the end of the course, you’ll think about workflow for writing your first draft of a feature film and discover screenplay formatting.

This course is for anyone interested in screenwriting, film or creative writing. There are no formal requirements for taking this course.

Taught by

Michael Lengsfield

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4.7 rating, based on 3 reviews

Start your review of An Introduction to Screenwriting

  • Zoe Aukim

    Zoe Aukim completed this course, spending 2 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.

    The course had some really useful information for budding screenwriters. The highlights included some interesting discussions on character, different ways of approaching the first draft and information on how to correctly format a script.
  • Pilar Reyes completed this course.

  • Profile image for Michela Perversi
    Michela Perversi

    Michela Perversi completed this course.

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