1st Class, Ba Economics and Philosophy, University College London (UCL)

CREATIVE WRITING

CASE STUDY

This is an outline for a bespoke 1:1 tuition programme suitable for English Literature, Language, Creative Writing, Film, Television or Drama applicants.

 

The syllabus will be based largely around the student’s personal tastes as well some important classics. We will analyse why the texts they like work so well and how they can apply this to their own practice. The student will also gain an understanding of the history and evolution of dramatic writing.

 

What is Drama?

(3 hours) 

 


What do Aeschylus’s Oresteia and Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight have in common? In this module we’ll look at the age-old building blocks of dramatic writing. The student will read Aristotle’s Poetics and learn to apply Aristotle's principles to modern theatre, film, and television.  

 

We’ll look at how stories are driven by characters’ intentions, obstacles, and tactics.

 

The student will then begin to develop a pair of characters and write a selection of scenes between them, using a variety of intentions, obstacles, and tactics each time.

European Theatre

(2 hours)

 

The student will explore a series of significant European theatre movements, starting with Ancient Greece and ending with the present day.

 

Focusing on areas of interest to the student, these lessons may focus on Greek tragedy, Shakespeare and the Renaissance, late 19th-century naturalism, theatre of the absurd, or post-dramatic theatre. These sessions will be taught through a mixture of analysis and creative response.

 

This module offers a degree-level understanding of how drama has developed over the last 2500 years, and will allow the student to show a breadth of reading and understanding that goes far beyond A-level or IB curricula. 

 

Storytelling in Pictures
(2.5 hours)  

 

 

The student will look at how screenwriters and directors use pictures, rather than dialogue, to tell dramatic stories. Through studying a diverse range of films, such as Pixar’s WALL-E and Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will Be Blood, the student will examine how images and actions are used to build three-dimensional characters and detailed cinematic worlds.

 

Using this new understanding, the student will conceive and write a short script without using dialogue.

 

This module will help develop an awareness of how dramatic writing can adapt to new mediums. This in-depth and individualized knowledge will help the student to stand out in interviews.

 

Episodic Storytelling

(3 hours) 

 

The tutor will introduce the student to some of the best television programs of the last 10 years and analyse how writers build stories that work on both an episode-by-episode basis and contribute to a longer story arc. These sessions will explore the difference between story-of-the-week and serialised structures, how the sitcom is constructed differently to the drama, and how pilot episodes set up their characters, conflicts, and imagined worlds.   

Using this new understanding, the student will prepare a pitch for their own television drama.

 

These sessions will also give the student an understanding of how the ancient rules of drama are applied to current art forms. 

 

 

Genre

 (3 hours) 

 

The student will investigate genre conventions in cinema, how they can be used productively, and the ways in which they can be restrictive. Guided by the tutor, the student will examine horror, sci-fi, romantic comedy, and coming-of-age stories, identify their signature elements, and explore films that use these generic traits in surprising ways.

 

These sessions will give the student a strong understanding of genre conventions, allowing them to analyse how texts are adhering to and diverging from generic conventions in order to manipulate their audiences.

 

 

Final Project &

Personal Statement 

(1.5 hours)

 

 

Building on the texts and materials they have studied, the student will work closely with the tutor to develop an idea for a short script. The student will write a draft of the script, which the tutor will critique, with reference to the texts and ideas covered during the course. 

 

We will then integrate the student’s new degree-level understanding of the history and evolution of dramatic writing into their personal statement, with direct reference to their own creative practice.

All of our programmes​ are entirely bespoke: what you saw above was just an example. 

 

Our tutors will speak to you to understand your precise needs, and build a programme that feels right and is exciting.

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