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Screenwriting

What Is Screenwriting?

LMU's Screenwriting major helps students understand that all great movies and television shows - be they drama, comedy, action-adventure, romance or thriller - begin with a story served by the written word. The mission of LMU's School of Film and Television Screenwriting program is to provide the best possible education in the art and craft of creating those stories, and writing those words.

Faculty members in the Screenwriting program are committed to helping each student find his or her creative voice and express that voice cinematically and professionally in an environment that is supportive, constructive, and fun.  

What Do Screenwriting Majors Do?

Screenwriting majors gain a solid foundation in the liberal arts, taking classes in the University core in order to deepen and broaden their capacity to communicate to audiences their world perspective.

Majors move into more specific coursework, delving deep into their imaginations and personal lives to come up with stories that will entertain, amuse, uplift, and challenge audiences. In order to actualize these stories, students are introduced to the basic elements of screenwriting.

Students learn about character, dialogue, plotting, visual writing, and classic and alternative structures. In intermediate and advanced courses, students write and rewrite feature length screenplays, study genres, take classes in sitcom and dramatic television writing, and learn how to adapt stories to different mediums.  

Is This Major Right for You?

You might be a Screenwriting major if you:

  • Are a great storyteller
  • Have a passion for cinema and television
  • Are a talented writer
  • Seek to educate people
  • Seek to entertain people  

About Our Faculty

Our faculty members have written screenplays and scripts for scores of films, television programs, and pilots. Their work has appeared in wide release and in festivals, and has been optioned by producers. Faculty members have written plays, made industrial films, and done DVD commentaries. Others have been newspaper critics, poets, and spoken word artists, and written for print magazines and the Internet. They have been field producers, story editors, story analysts, and worked as head of story and development.

Faculty members have written screenwriting guidebooks, among them A Guide to Screenwriting Success: How to Write for Film and Television, Writing With a Conscience, and How to Write: A Screenplay.  

About Our Students and Graduates

Our majors receive valuable assistance from the School of Film and Television's Office of Industry Relations. This office is our students' lifeline to the entertainment industry. The office assists with a comprehensive set of programs that includes career advisement and help with developing portfolios. The office also connects students with key internships, industry mentors, School of Film and Television alumni, and agents, managers, guilds and professional associations.

Screenwriting alumni include the Academy Award-winning screenwriter of Mystic River and L.A. Confidential, as well as writers and producers for TV programs such as 24, ER, JAG, Melrose Place, The Cosby Show, The Golden Girls, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, The X-Files, and That's So Raven.  

Representative Courses

Our courses have included: 

  • Beginning Screenwriting
  • Intermediate Screenwriting
  • Completing or Rewriting the Feature
  • Writing the TV Situation Comedy
  • Writing for Production I & II
  • Directing for Screenwriters
  • Production
  • Adaptation: One Medium to Another
  • Elements of Screenwriting
  • Seminar in Critical Writing in the Arts
  • Advanced Screenplay Project I, II, & III
  • Writing One-Hour Episodic TV
  • Advanced Writing: The One-Hour Drama
  • Senior Writing Project
  • Independent Studies  

More Resources (Links)