About this courseSkip About this course
This course is part of the University of Cambridge’s MicroMasters programme in Writing for Performance and Entertainment Industries.
How can you build a secure business base for your screenwriting career? What tools do you need to start your own production company? Which techniques do you need to learn in order to pitch ideas effectively to producers and directors? How important is networking in the film and TV industries, and what skills can you develop in order to do it successfully? What is a ‘writers’ room’ and how can you learn to collaborate in time-pressured environments? In this course, we will be looking in depth at how create the best commercial platform in order that your creative work may flourish in the wider world.
We will be looking at business models for the writer-entrepreneur, and considering how other successful writers, animators and producers have found commercial outlets for their creative practice. Learn how to maintain your resilience and motivation within a demanding profession; find out how to create a market for your own work and how to use social media to build an outstanding professional profile. Expert networking and business skills are an important part of maintaining a successful career as a screenwriter. These are now essential skills in a diversifying global job market.
You will be set reflective writing exercises over the course of the module, and you will asked to keep a brief business journal to note how your creative work may have commercial value. By the end of this module, you will have reflected on your strengths as a producer of your own work, and have learnt practical tools about how to manage your career after you have finished that script!
What you'll learnSkip What you'll learn
- Specialised knowledge of histories, forms, and traditions of writing for film and TV, as well as the cultural contexts of innovative practitioners and practices within performance; of contemporary critical, analytical, and narrative theories of performance;
- developed advanced self-management skills to include working in planned and improvisatory ways, as well as the ability to anticipate and accommodate change, ambiguity, creative risk-taking, uncertainty and unfamiliarity;
- how to create effective structure within a scene; how to edit your scene and think like a dramaturg; how to create effective characters.
- advanced awareness of the relevant market and distribution demands of the film and TV industries.
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Frequently asked questions
Does this course give me a Masters degree from the University of Cambridge?
No. If on completing this course you choose to apply to the Master of Studies (MSt) in Writing for Performance – based in Cambridge UK – and are accepted as a suitable candidate, then this MicroMasters® will be considered as 30 credits of the 180 credit award.
Do I need a Creative Writing degree to take this course?
No. This course is open to all, although we believe that you will get more from it if you are already involved, or hoping to be involved in writing and associated literary professions. The entry requirements for the full Master of Studies in Writing for Performance at the Institute of Continuing Education, University of Cambridge are available on our website.
Will I be a successful YouTuber if I take this course?
This course teaches the skills involved in becoming a successful writer for different performance mediums. Honing these skills is ultimately up to you, but the guidance offered will enlighten you and provide you with a solid grounding to enter the entertainment industries as a writer.
Will I receive feedback on my writing?
We are not able to give feedback to any students auditing this course on their individual pieces of writing. For those on the verified track, the final assignment will be assessed and feedback sent. In addition, throughout the course, advice and training will be given on how to give and receive feedback to others. Ideas will be explored through discussion forums.
How long do I have to complete the course?
This instructor-led course runs for 4 weeks and it forms part of the MicroMasters in Writing for Performance and Entertainment Industries which runs over 7-8 months. There will be further iterations of the course, and therefore opportunities to work at a slightly slower or faster pace as preferred.
I want to write for YouTube, why do I need to know about pitching a script?
As writers we would always encourage you to broaden your horizons as it can only assist the creative process. In addition today’s YouTube videos could be tomorrow’s hit film. If you are not interested in other genres there is also the option of studying modules on an individual basis.
What has resilience got to do with writing?
As a writer you should be prepared to have work rejected as well as accepted. The editing process alone may involve removing treasured words and phrases. In addition, world events can have an impact on the entertainment industries. This course will give you an understanding of how to cope and respond creatively to setbacks.
Who can take this course?
Unfortunately, learners from one or more of the following countries or regions will not be able to register for this course: Iran, Cuba and the Crimea region of Ukraine. While edX has sought licenses from the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to offer our courses to learners in these countries and regions, the licenses we have received are not broad enough to allow us to offer this course in all locations. edX truly regrets that U.S. sanctions prevent us from offering all of our courses to everyone, no matter where they live.