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Courses | B.A. in Writing for Film and Television

Below are some of the courses you'll have an opportunity to take as a student in this program. Take a look at the list below to get an idea of the types of available courses. Also, be sure to review core curriculum requirements and the official program requirements in the Biola University catalog.

Note: This list is intended to give you a quick glimpse into the program's academic offerings, and should not be used as a guide for course selection or academic advising.

Program Courses

An introduction to the building blocks of storytelling: character, setting and plot. Students will read and study the steps of the Hero's Journey as used in current Hollywood films. They will analyze story structure, write short stories and create film ideas and short screenplays. Special emphasis will be given to the history, art and aesthetics of storytelling. Grade Mode: A.

Creative teams discover the building blocks of media: the writing, directing, shooting and editing of pictures and sound to create short films. Notes: Open to non-CNMA majors with departmental permission. Grade Mode: A.

Creating historians via a survey of the development of the motion picture including the evolution of motion pictures as an art form, classic Hollywood narrative structure, technological developments, communication medium, and industry. Films screened in the course will be analyzed from perspectives of auteur theory, genre theory and thematic criticism. Special emphasis will be given to cultural criticism locating films in their unique time and place. Grade Mode: A.
An introductory course to the art of writing for film and television. Includes emphasis on structure, especially the hero's journey, archetypes, genre and story outline. Students will develop a detailed treatment before creating a feature screenplay. Grade Mode: A.

A survey of current industry practices and careers in film, television, music and emerging technologies. Students will learn to research and analyze the career and business choices of current professionals in the industry and create long-term strategies for entering into and succeeding in the entertainment business. Special emphasis will be given to the unique ethical questions and biblical applications that arise within the Hollywood context. Grade Mode: A

This intermediate-level course guides students through the development of a synopsis and treatment and completion of a feature-length screenplay with instruction in theme, structure, plot, character, mise-en-scene and utilization of cinematic elements. Grade Mode: A.

An advanced workshop in which students write an original one hour-long dramatic series pilot script and TV show bible that includes a summary of characters and storylines. Grade Mode: A.

Classic and contemporary award-winning films will be screened along with critical analysis to reveal the hidden story structure within them. Emphasis is on the principles of screen storytelling by identifying key story concepts, elements of the eight-sequence structure, and character development. This course does not require previous writing or production experience. Grade Mode: A.

An exploration of characters and dialogue in TV and film, utilizing various techniques to create unique, unforgettable characters and rich dialogue. A variety of scenes will be written throughout the course with an emphasis on creativity and imagination. Grade Mode: A.

This course will cover the effect of visual media on society and the noticeable absence of learning the grammar of visual language within the educational process. Instead of relegating the study of media to a simple inoculation against negative images, this course seeks to understand and celebrate the quite human process of media creation and consumption with the hope of restoring agency to the audience and accountability to the creator. Grade Mode: A.

Taught in the mode of a TV writer’s room in which the instructor is the showrunner, students will each write an episode of an existing dramatic television series within the hour-long format with an emphasis on conception, pitching, characterization and structure. Grade Mode: A.

Taught in the mode of a TV writer’s room in which the instructor is the showrunner, students will each write an episode of an existing half-hour comedy series, with emphasis on the anatomy of a joke, comedic structure, and character. Grade Mode: A.

A practical workshop in adapting material from other media, such as novels, comic books, graphic novels, short stories, magazine and newspaper articles, and biographical materials into scripts for TV and film. Grade Mode: A.

A course in learning to perform coverage of scripts and in rewriting and polishing dramatic scripts for television and motion pictures. An emphasis will be placed on critical analysis of story structure from classic films to contemporary works. Includes identification of key story concepts and elements of three-act structure. Grade Mode: A.

A real-world learning experience beyond the university classroom. The focus is working in a media-related organization such as a production company, network, studio or media ministry. This course will test students' commitment, aptitude and stamina for work within the entertainment industry. Includes on-campus sessions designed to strengthen and expand professional skills. Notes: Sixty hours of internship is required for each academic credit. May be taken multiple times for a maximum of 6 credits. Grade Mode: A.

Student creates a capstone project with advice and guidance from faculty. The project will represent the student's highest achievement in media creation. Projects can include scripts, recordings, films, and other emerging media. Projects premiere publicly at the end of the semester. Grade Mode: A.

Student writes a senior thesis feature screenplay, learns pitching techniques and polishes previously written works in order to create a final portfolio of their best work to take to the marketplace.

Fiction workshop. Students will read and critique each other's work, study selected modern and contemporary short stories and investigate the creative writing process.

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