If screenwriting is something that interests you, you might like to sign up for the free introductory course currently on offer via FutureLearn (a UK-based educational initiative that advertises short online courses from British and international universities).
The course title is An Introduction to Screenwriting and it comes from the University of East Anglia. It starts on 8 May 2017 and runs for two weeks with an estimated time commitment of three hours per week.
An Introduction to Screenwriting is an online course for anyone new to scriptwriting and for more experienced writers who wish to raise their scriptwriting to a professional level. It does not require any previous experience of studying the subject.
On the website, it says:
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.
The course is run by screenwriter Michael Lengsfield and his colleagues at UEA’s School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing.
An Introduction to Screenwriting is free of charge and open to anyone anywhere in the world. There is, though, a paid-for upgrade as well (costing 49 UKP) with a few extra features. In particular, you get a certificate at the end and can continue to access all the course materials indefinitely. With the free version you only get access for up to a fortnight after the end of the course – so if you don’t want to pay the fee you may need to do a bit of copying and pasting to keep all the materials for future reference!
For more information about the course (including a video trailer) and to register, visit the Introduction to Screenwriting information page of the FutureLearn website.
FutureLearn have lots of other interesting free courses, incidentally, on subjects ranging from anatomy to physical theatre, cyber-security to discovering dentistry!
I have taken a number of Futurelearn courses myself and always find them stimulating and thought-provoking. Another big attraction is that you get to interact with fellow students from all over the world.
- If you are interested in screenwriting, you might also like to check out Movie in a Month, a high-quality CD-based course from my publishers WCCL. As well as in-depth advice on screenwriting, this also includes over 800 actual movie scripts and treatments you can learn from.