Go For It!

There are a couple of really interesting MOOCs starting in February that you might be well advised to check out. No, seriously. Especially if you want to get more in depth knowledge for a future career choices (or any approaching SQA exam, possibly).

They’re both free, and both supported by industry bodies. I’ve copied the blurb for each for you to check them out (Click the title to visit the site)


Film Production: Behind the Scenes of Feature Filmmaking

Screen Shot 2016-01-31 at 13.24.04ABOUT THE COURSE
Over three weeks, The Production Guild of Great Britain, guided by respected film and television professionals, will demystify the process of making a feature film. You will discover the key stages of how a film gets made and the different types of production.

Want to start working in film production?

We will explore the different departments, and how they interact and work together. We will look at the structure of a film crew – how individual job roles fit into the wider crew – and get to grips with industry jargon and etiquette.

Each week, you will have the opportunity to test your own knowledge and understanding via multiple choice quizzes, and post your thoughts and ideas for discussion with your fellow students

Starting out as a Runner

Anyone with a more specific interest in working in the film industry will gain an understanding of entry-level jobs and potential career progression pathways. You’ll also hear hints and tips for how to get on in the industry and pursue your dream.


An Introduction to Screenwriting

Screen Shot 2016-01-31 at 13.24.15

ABOUT THE COURSE
Screenplays form the starting point for most dramatic films, the essential work from which all other filmmaking flows. All of the tender romance, terrifying action and memorable lines begin at the screenwriter’s desk. This free online course will introduce you to the basic elements and key concepts behind a professional screenplay.

The University of East Anglia’s School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing have built this course with instructors and recent alumni from their famed course in Creative Writing.

Where could this course take me?

The course is a must for anyone new to scriptwriting and for more experienced writers who wish to raise their scriptwriting to a professional level. It will establish a common vocabulary for approaching the screenplay and form the basis for upcoming courses in dramatic adaptation, the crime screenplay, and other genres and skills.

What and how will I learn?

You’ll learn from a mixture of basic theory, script analysis and practical exercises. We will explore key principles as they’re expressed in great films, then immediately apply these concepts. Videos, articles and discussion steps will offer you the opportunity to learn and engage with other learners on key concepts and ideas.

By the end of the course, you will understand the key concepts necessary to write an effective screenplay and be fluent in the language used to discuss the form.

PS: I’ve participated in one of these courses before, and they are really interesting. I’ve also just signed up for them myself!

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Screenplays

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Click to Download

Just a quickie… I’ve uploaded a ScreenplayChecklist (<= Click to download) that you may find useful. As well as outlining some of the conventions of screenplays, it is packed with loads of great advice and hints and tips about the filming process. It’s a PDF file so can be dropped onto an iPhone/iPad/Kindle/other generic e-reader… or failing that, drag it into school and print it out.

I cannot remember where I came by it, but I think I’m OK to share it. If not, I’ll warn you before deleting it. 🙂

Of Cabbages And Kings…

No post last night because I blethered about Terry Gilliam for too long yesterday! Don’t let me do that again…

So, catching up slightly, we quickly filmed a shot-reverse-shot sequence (remembering, of course, to include an establishing shot and not to break the 180° Rule). Next step will be to edit these into a sequence, which we will do in class tomorrow. This is going to be worthwhile for a particular reason that will become very obvious when you begin editing… suffice to say, there is are 2 problems that you will need to overcome – and will struggle to do so – that will change your approach to filming in future. 🙂 (Bonus points and an unnecessary sugary treat for the first person to post a comment outlining what these two problems might be!)

Just a couple of links for you today as well…

celtxLogoBigBlackThe writing software I was talking about is called Celtx. It is free for the basic version, and will allow you to write and format scripts for a variety of media. The paid versions allow you to develop your script into a full blown production package… very handy if, for example, you had some sort of product you had to make. (In reality, you should find the free version more than adequate for what you need… and you can replicate the features of the paid one using other software you probably already have).

Incidentally… and too late for this year… but Celtx offer a discount for anyone who wishes to submit a script for annual Screencraft Screenwriting Fellowships. If you have an interest in pursuing a career in screenwriting, this may be worth checking out. More info in this video. 🙂