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Writing a Location-Based Short Drama Script

Using observational research to generate script concepts and write a screenplay, this Build your own MA (BYOMA) short course introduces students to the importance of research prior to the writing of a screen project. You will undertake non-factual & observational research, focusing primarily upon location, the experience of which will give you an understanding of setting, deriving material from real life, & the importance of evoking atmosphere.  It also introduces the idea of arena as character – locations being characters in their own right. 

Having carried out observational research, you will go through a selection process, learning the importance of creative editorial judgement in sifting raw material. Having generated a concept for a drama derived from your research, you will write a 10-minute location-driven screenplay based upon this concept.

Key information

Next start date:

Not currently scheduled, please enquire

Location:

Bournemouth University, Lansdowne Campus

Duration:

2 day retreat followed by 7 weeks online learning

Relevant subjects:

Media production, media

Entry requirements:

This course is open to media professionals with an undergraduate degree and the required work experience in a relevant industry and to non-graduates with significant and relevant work experience who can demonstrate an ability to both complete and benefit from the course. If English is not your first language you'll need IELTS 7.0 (Academic) with minimum 6.5 in writing and 6.0 in the other 3 components or equivalent. For more information check out our International entry requirements.

Course details

Integral to our courses is the belief that people improve their professional practice by taking time out to reflect on and reassess what they currently do in the workplace and by sharing their real life experiences with the other like minded professionals. As a result each course is unique and geared to the experiences of the individuals that are participating, which may result in the course content altering slightly from course to course.

This short course will examine topics such as:

  • The importance of arena
  • Mood, atmosphere, sound
  • Evoking a sense of place
  • Arena as character
  • Methods of observational  research
  • Collecting notes and impressions
  • The distillation and selection process
  • Generating character and story from observational research
  • The controlling idea
  • Character-specific dialogue
  • Dialogue rhythms, pauses and silences
  • The frisson of dialogue, image and sound
  • Character-driven narratives
  • Character and structure

Programme Specification

Programme specifications provide definitive records of the University's taught degrees in line with Quality Assurance Agency requirements. Every taught course leading to a BU Award has a programme specification which describes its aims, structure, content and learning outcomes, plus the teaching, learning and assessment methods used.

View the programme specification for Build Your Own MA (BYOMA) - Media Short Course Framework.

Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the programme specification, the information is liable to change to take advantage of exciting new approaches to teaching and learning as well as developments in industry. If you have been unable to locate the programme specification for the course you are interested in, it will be available as soon as the latest version is ready. Alternatively please contact us for assistance.

How you study

Designed to be flexible to the needs of working professionals, this course minimises your time away from the workplace. You just need to join us for a two day creative retreat, typically a Friday and Saturday in Bournemouth which kick starts the course and gives you a chance to meet your fellow students and engage with the academic team. It will be an intensive two days but a valuable learning experience, giving you the opportunity to share ideas with like-minded professionals.

The retreat provides a firm foundation for the following seven weeks during which you will further develop your knowledge and explore the concepts in more detail - using our online learning environment and discussion forums. The supported online study helps to prepare you for the academic assignment (equivalent to 5000 words), the specific subject matter and content of which is determined by your interests and professional context. On successful completion of this assignment you will be awarded 20 academic credits (level 7 - Masters/Postgraduate level) which you can use to build your own tailored postgraduate qualification by undertaking other Build Your Own MA (BYOMA) media short courses.

With BYOMA courses available in the areas media management, creative media, journalism, computer animation, marketing communications and creative education, you can mix and match courses to suit your own needs and interests. Complete three of these courses (60 level 7 credits) to achieve a Postgraduate Certificate, six courses (120 level 7 credits) for a Postgraduate Diploma or go on to take the Masters Project (40 level 7 credits) and Exhibition (20 level 7 credits) for a full Masters (180 level 7 credits).

Additional information

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