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Screenplays Courses

Learn about Screenplays with Online Courses and Lessons on edX!

Why Study Screenplays

Screenwriting has had a significant influence on the lives of Americans and the world everywhere. Screenwriters use similar themes and tropes as novelists to create worlds to explore and tell stories of what it means to be human.

Movie Scripts from Hollywood to the niche studios of independent films to large global phenomena like Bollywood or Turkish cinema, screenplays bring humanity to life.

When you study screenplays, you learn what it means to tell a good story with scriptwriting, bring it to the screen with filmmaking, and understand the technical applications of things like shooting scripts. Some of the best screenplays can move us, scare us, and cause us to think. Screenplays are getting their due.

Learn about Screenplays

Reading screenplays takes a particular skill set, but you can learn the elements of effective screenwriting with courses from edX's expanded platform. These classes are designed with leaders in the field and brought to you through a world stage. You'll study on your own time and with a global cohort of fellow screenplay lovers.

Screenplay Courses and Certifications

The University of Cambridge offers a course, Building Your Screenplay, designed to open up the world of screenplay visuals and pacing. You'll learn what goes into writing screenplays and spec scripts, editing as a script reader, and the market and distribution demands of the entertainment industry.

You can also study Hollywood's history with the University of Pennsylvania or look at the impact of specific genres with the Smithsonian (The Rise of the Superhero, Start Trek: Inspiring Culture and Technology). You can even study the culture of Hong Kong through its cinema.

How Screenplays Move Us

From the surprise ending of The Usual Suspects to the mind-bending tricks of the Matrix, movies and screenplays can define a generation. Directors like Stanley Kubrick and Aaron Sorkin can put their own spin on a story, but it takes a foundational screenplay to bring it all to life. Screenplays can even reignite careers (Birdman) or prompt generations of discussion (Blade Runner, Fight Club).

It's time to dive deeper into the elements of screenplays and ignite your career writing the types of thrillers, comedies, and dramas that make Hollywood and independent studios great. You may cause a rebirth of a genre -- think Pulp Fiction and Quentin Tarantino -- or bend the rules of screenplays altogether like Charlie Kaufman.

If you've dreamed of having your name called for an Oscar for screenwriting at the Academy Awards or just want to study stories, edX's courses can help you understand your interests. Whether you're trying for a movie that defines a generation (The Godfather, Citizen Kane) or making a commentary on modern life (American Beauty), your screenwriting skills could transform your life and ours.