Writing for Radio, Television, Film

Writing for Radio, Television, Film


Spring 2012
01/17/2012 - 05/13/2012

Course Information

Section 001
MW 15:05 - 16:30
EVC8 8103
Susan Busa

Office Hours

  • W
    2:00 - 3:00
    EVC 8, 2nd Floor Adjunct Office
    or by appointment.

Course Requirements

WRITING FOR TV is a workshop-style class where students participate through writing, viewing, reading, and class feedback, which includes reading and commenting on each other’s work in a positive and constructive manner.  The student will learn the basic fundamentals of script writing, including concept, pitch, proposal, format, techniques, analysis, organization, workflow, and presentation. Students will create a project package for multiple outlets, including TV program, web series and commercials. There will be in-class writing assignments designed to improve both your writing skills, style and ease of writing.  At the end of the course, students will have completed a short script, design for web series spin-off, commercial for the program and prepared a pitch.


Writing for Television, Radio and New Media by Robert L Hillard 9th edition,
ASSIGNMENTS:  Additional readings, assigned class materials, viewings and assignments will be made available on line via Blackboard.

Course Subjects

This course will instruct the student in basic script formats, terminology, and writing techniques for radio, television, cable, and video. Writing for news broadcast, promotional announcements, and spot announcements and documentary, dramatic, and experimental television will be covered. Students will learn to communicate using the verbal elements of radio and both the verbal and visual elements of television.
Skills: Prerequisites: ENGL 1301.

Student Learning Outcomes/Learning Objectives

• Conceptualize story ideas and learn and apply workflow, writing and revision processes and practice.
• Learn and apply script elements, techniques, various structures, and formatting for TV, web and commercials.
• Create scripts for a television, web and commercial package.
• Learn to give and use constructive feedback in order to creatively evaluate  and revise writing. The student will use feedback sessions as a tool in learning self- assessment of their work.


Synopsis                                                                        10 points  
Character Analysis                                                         10 points   
TV Screenplay ( 2 drafts @ 20 points each)                  40 points  
Web series synopsis                                                      10 points
Web series script ( 2 drafts@ 20 points each)               40 points              
Commercials                                                                  20 points
Project Pitch                                                                   20 points
Log Line                                                                         10 points
Attendance*                                                                    20 points
Participation                                                                    20 points

A = (200 - 180 pts)
B = (179 - 160 pts)
C = (159 - 140 pts)
D = (139 - 120 pts)
F = (119 - 0 pts)


1/18/12                                     Syllabus/Class Project overview
1/23/12                                     Creating the Story
1/25/12                                     Screenplay -  Structure
1/30/12                                     The Story Spine,The Plot Driven Story vs. The Character Driven Story
2/1/12                                       Synopsis, The Master Scene Outline
2/7/12                                       Anatomy of a Scene, Subplots
2/9/12                                      Writing Visually            
2/13/12                                    Types of Dialogue - "Reel" vs. "Real",
2/15/12                                    Subtext
2/20/12                                    Readings and Workshop
2/23/12                                    Readings and Workshop
2/27/12                                    Polishing the script
2/29/12                                    Polishing the script
3/5/12                                     Group feedback and discussion
3/7/12                                     Group feedback and discussion
3/12 - 3/16                              SPRING BREAK
3/19/12                                   Telling a story across platforms,
3/21/12                                   Creating the architecture for engagement
3/27/12                                   Commercials and PSA's - appeals, formats and sells
4/2/12                                     Documentaries
4/4/12                                     Creating the  Web series - programs with participation
4/9/12                                     Identifying audience niches, Creating Community
4/11/12                                   Web series development
4/16/12                                   Class feedback and discussion    
4/1812                                    Class feedback and discussion
4/23/11                                   Educational and training programs
4/25/12                                   Designing the education script        
4/30/12                                   The Pitch and the Log Line    
5/2/12                                     Creating and practicing the pitch
5/7/12                                     Pitches and feedback
5/9/12                                     Pitches and feedback