Screenwriting for the Web
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Division: The New School for Public Engagement
School: School of Media Studies
Course Number: NSRW 3837
Course Format: Lecture
Permission Required: No
Episodic shows were previously the exclusive domain of the major TV studios, but with bandwidth constantly increasing, the barriers to independent Internet video series have come down. Worldwide distribution at the click of a mouse button is available for any writer-creator of a series. Web series such as LonelyGirl15, Ask a Ninja, and Liam Sullivan's Kelly videos demonstrate the popularity of this new format; their creators, formerly unpaid amateurs, are now successful professionals. This course begins with a review of the essentials of visual dramatic storytelling and an examination of produced Web shows to help students understand what works and what doesn't work in this new medium. They become familiar with the unique demands of writing narratives that extend over a number of "webisodes" with a short running time. Each student writes a series proposal, a series "bible," an outline for a first-season run, and several opening webisode scripts. The production, uploading, and marketing of Web series is discussed.