Writing from Location
The first assignment introduces the student to the necessity of research prior to the writing of a script project. The research undertaken will be non-factual and observational, focusing primarily upon location. The experience of this research will give the student an understanding of setting, teaching him/her to derive material from real life, and emphasises the importance of evoking atmosphere. It also introduces the idea of arena as character – locations being characters in their own right. Following a substantial period of observational research, the student will distil the research material and collate it into a free-form impressionistic résumé and presentation, from which the student will write a 10-minute location-driven screenplay. This script will be produced by students on MA Directing. Writing students will also independently produce an impressionistic radio documentary based on his/her observational research, which will be mentored by students on MA Radio Production.
This unit establishes a social, cultural and intellectual context for scriptwriting issues. In combination with the other practical and professional engagements, the unit offers a strong critical foundation for the effective realisation of scripts. Teaching enables students to engage collectively with narrative theory in a critical and analytical forum.
Approaches to genre
The unit introduces the student to the use of character voiceover in the screenplay, radio drama and new media artefact. The purpose of this unit is to instruct the student in the widely used technique of interior monologue, and to prepare him/her for writing dialogue through the development of a character-specific voiceover. Characterisation is created through the specifically interior, psychological nature of interior monologue.
The unit introduces the student to such issues as the ‘unreliable narrator’ and the relationship between image, voice and sound. There will be teaching in image, voice and sound montage and an emphasis on the importance of relating voice and sound to image and their interdependence in the interior monologue narrative.
The media industry is constantly changing. This unit aims to ensure students graduate with a set of skills to enable them to prosper and succeed in the industry. Students study the current debates and trends in the industry in relation to cross-platform commissioning, writing and production. Students will evaluate a range of theoretical and practical tools by applying them to brands that can be explored and exploited across different media platforms.
Followed by either:
The Masters Production Project
All the other taught areas of the course are in preparation for this unit: the Masters Production Project. This is where you can create a calling card for the industry – evidence of your authorial approach, thematic content and style. The assignment offers the student the option of developing film, television, radio or new media script projects, and this may either be a single full-length piece of work or a portfolio of material drawn from one or a combination of these forms. For instance, the student could write a feature-length screenplay, or two shorter pieces – perhaps a radio drama and a television script. The student may develop a cross-media project, utilizing audio and new media for example.
The Masters Research Project
As an alternative to the Masters Production Project, students can choose a research-focussed option, where they produce either a practice-based research artefact, supported by a written analysis, or an individual or collaboratively written paper. Both practice-based research and research papers will be the basis of a presentation of research findings at a final exhibition.