Writing for Film and Television - Theatre Arts 006AB (3 units)

Instructor: James Callner MA or

Office Hours: Wed 6:00 -6:50 and 10 -10:45pm or via: Email or Spype jimcallner

Office Phone: 741-2456


Recommended Text

Book: Syd Field The Screenwriter's Workbook at WVC bookstore or on Amazon.

Note: It is crucial that you rent or buy the DVDs Shawshank Redemption. They are both repeatedly used as examples in this course


Course Description:

This course covers the techniques and formats of writing for a great treatment and beginning of a screenplay. What is a Screenplay? Screenplay Structure, The Paradigm Acts 1,2 & 3, Context, Set up, Confrontation, Resolution, Plot points, Developing Characters and Situations, Treatments, and formatting a screenplay. This course is a beginning. A 'get your feet wet' course for both 6A and 6B students. You will be assigned writing assignments leading up to developing a treatment and finally wring the First Act in screenplay form. More is Explained in class .The intent of this course is to give you a starting basics and a starting point for writing screenplays with structure and most importantly a great story!


Course Content: You will be guided through this course by brainstorm writing circles, watching Syd Fields DVD in class and Syd Field's Screenwriting Workshop, book, Inter-active lectures by instructor and the assignments.

We will cover: Structure, Acts 1, 2, &3, Characters and Situations, Plot and Plot points, Back-story, Formatting a screenplay.


Reminder: Your job is to follow the assignments and participate in class. Lea e your ego at the door! This is a class about imagination and collaboration. The class and I will critique your writing in writing in “brainstorming circles” and keep you on tract. Both 6A&B students will be writing the same assignments (with YOUR imagination and storylines) until the final assignment where there are options depending on your time. The most important aspect to this course is that you write and develop great stories!


Grading: Assignments/Exercises/Participation - 60 points (10 points per assignment) Final assignment - 40 points Pass/no pass Option is Available to this Class


Reminder to ALL Students:

I do NOT drop students .It is your responsibility to drop yourself if you choose to. Please try to stay with the class though.


So, keep up with the assignments or reading, participation is part of your grade and you'll not only have the potential for a great grade but a great salable story.



SLO - Student Learning Outcome: Students prepare and develop an original treatment and screenplay for a one minute television commercial or a short treatment and screenplay for a narrative film.

Assessment: Examinations. Satisfactory completion and evaluation and critique of material by instructor of Final student screenplays.



Disability Statement   West Valley College makes reasonable accommodations for persons with documented disabilities.  Students should notify DESP (Disability & Educational Support Program) located in the Learning Services building (408-741-5085) of any special needs.