FILM 2310: Script Analysis
Fall 2012

Instructor Information

Name:  Chris Churchill, MFA
Office location: SRH 124a
Office hours:   Monday and Wednesday 9:00 – 11:00
Phone:  450-5522
Biography:  BS. Digital Filmmaking, University of Central Arkansas; MFA. Digital Filmmaking, University of Central Arkansas

Course Information

Course Title:  Script Analysis
Course Number:  FILM 2310
CRN: 16946
Course Description: Required for digital filmmaking majors. The course covers analysis, formatting, structure, and construction of the motion picture treatment and screenplay from scene to act level. Character creation and motivation are also addressed
Location: SRH 108
Meeting day(s): MW
Meeting time(s): 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm
Prerequisite(s): MCOM 1300 Media and Society; FILM 1305 Intro to Film


Course Requirements

Your grade will be determined by your level of performance in these areas:

1.    Attendance (10%):  Attendance is vital for this type of class. You will lose up to10 points for each missed class.  Any student with more than five (5) unexcused absences may be subject to a withdraw fail (WF) from the class.  Allowances will be made for unexcused absences, but you need to confirm with me that an absence is excused ahead of time.

2.    Top Ten List (5%):  You will create a list of your top ten favorite movies.  This list will provide you a list of examples to draw from as we discuss various topics during the semester.

3.    Character Biography (5%): You will write a 2-3 page character biography of a character you invent (which may or may not be the character you use for your scene and short film).

4.    Short Script I (5%): You will write a 3-5 page short movie with 1-2 scenes or so.  This movie should stand alone and not be a part of a larger story.  Grades will be assigned based on your creativity and execution of ideas and concepts discussed in class.

5.    Short Script I rewrite (15%): You will rewrite the script assignment from course requirement 4.  The rewrite should include changes discussed in the in class workshop.

6.    Short Script II (20%):  You will write a 5 – 10 page script with 3 – 5 scenes or so.  This movie should stand alone and not be part of a larger story.  Grades will be assigned based on your creativity and execution of the ideas and concepts discussed in class.

7.    Short Script III (20%):  You will write a 7 – 12 page script with 5 – 7 scenes or so.  This movie should stand alone and not be part of a larger story.  Grades will be assigned based on your creativity and execution of the ideas and concepts discussed in class.

8.    Final Exam (20%): You will have a final exam covering terminology, basic structure, and scene analysis.

Academic Integrity

The University of Central Arkansas affirms its commitment to academic integrity and expects all members of the university community to accept shared responsibility for maintaining academic integrity. Students in this course are subject to the provisions of the university’s Academic Integrity Policy, approved by the Board of Trustees ad Board Policy No. 709 on February 10, 2010, and published in the Student Handbook. Penalties for academic misconduct in this course may include a failing grade on an assignment, a failing grade in the course, or any other course-related sanction the instructor determines to be appropriate. Continued enrollment in this course affirms a student’s acceptance of this university policy.

Course Evals

Student evaluations of a course and its professor are a crucial element in helping faculty achieve excellence in the classroom and the institution in demonstrating that students are gaining knowledge.  Students may evaluate courses they are taking starting on the Monday of the twelfth week of instruction through the end of finals week by logging in to myUCA and clicking on the Evals button on the top right of the myUCA home page.

Grading Scale

Below 60=F

Class Policies

All assignments will be turned in typed.  Script assignments must follow the required format or they will not be accepted.  All other assignments should be double-spaced.


Assignments are due at class time.  Late assignments may be turned in up to a week late for half credit (unless you have an excused absence the day the assignment is due).  Excused absences include university sanctioned events, illness, emergency, or death in the family.  See evaluation section for how absences will be graded.

Access to computer labs will be given to students at the beginning of the semester. Please remember that food and drinks are not allowed in labs. Failure to comply will result in removal of access to all lab areas.
Please refer to the student handbook for university policy on academic dishonesty and plagiarism as well as on sexual harassment and other academic and university policies.

The University of Central Arkansas adheres to the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  If you need an accommodation under this Act due to a disability, please contact the UCA Office of Disability Services, 450-3135

Class Schedule (subject to change)


Topic Assignment


Intro and Syllabus  


Terminology/Tom 10 Lists Top 10 Lists due


Labor Day Holiday


Plot Design


Plot Design Script 1 Due


Workshop Begin Script 1 Rewrite


Business of Screenwriting


Basic Structure Script 1 Rewrite due


Basic Structure


Character Creation Begin Character Bio




Goals Character Bio due




Conflict Begin Short Film II Assignment




Writing Scripts  


Short Films Short Film Assignment II Due




Short Films


Workshop Begin Short Film III Assignment


Complex Scene Structure


Feature Film Structure  


Act I  


Act II  


Act III  


Acti IV Short Film Assignment III Due


Workshop Short Film Group 1


Workshop Short Film Group 2


Workshop Short Film Group 3


Workshop Short Film Group 4


Final Exam