WRITING FOR SCREEN & TELEVISION

cinema.usc.edu/Writing
writing@cinema.usc.edu
213.740.3303
School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) 335

CTWR 303g From Page to Screen: Adapting Stories for Film & TV (4 units)
Section 19152R
An investigation into the choices TV and film writers make translating source material to your favorite series or feature film. Through lectures, special guests, and readings, we’ll examine how material changes and what liberties Hollywood takes in that process. Potential screenings/readings to include Hamilton, Watchmen, Little Women, Perks of Being a Wallflower, and others. This course counts towards the GE-A “The Arts” category and the Screenwriting Minor.

CTWR 430 The Comedy Writing and Influence of Judd Apatow (2 units)
Section 19409R
From his breakthrough TV series Freaks and Geeks to his classic comedy features Superbad and The 40-Year-Old Virgin to Bridesmaids and Trainwreck and to his ode to stand-up comedy, Funny People, Judd Apatow is arguably the most influential name in film comedy of this century. He has launched the film careers of some of the biggest comedy stars and creators in their own right, including Seth Rogan, Jonah Hill, Amy Schumer, Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig, Paul Rudd, Steve Carrell, Jason Seigel and Ron Burgandy's alter ego, Will Ferrell. This course will highlight Apatow's unique comic voice, but more importantly his storytelling skills built around deeper themes of sexual awakening, the empowerment of women, and the politics of romance.

CTWR 431 The Labor Struggle: Unions on Screen and in Life (2 units)
Section 19350R
In-depth analysis of the structure of television. Through lectures and guests, we’ll examine the elements of good TV from premise to character to structure to story engine. Potential Screenings: Grey’s Anatomy, Breaking Bad, Insecure, Atlanta, The Americans, This is Us, The Sopranos, Succession, Fleabag, Maid, Bridgerton, Normal People, and others. This course will be taught by Michelle Denise Jackson who is currently a Producer on The Morning Show and past credits include Queen Sugar, Maid, Generation, Pieces of Her and others.

CTWR 431 Sharks, Tornados, and Asteroids: Writing the New Antagonist (2 units)
Section 19181R
The temperature is rising, the sharks are circling, and it’s cloudy with a chance of meatballs. How do you write a film where the antagonist is Mother Nature? We’ll look at how these stories act as a call to action to fight against climate change and how they emotionally connect with audiences around the world. From action films (Jurassic Park) to animation (Wall-E) to comedy (Cocaine Bear, Don’t Look Up) to drama (Life of Pi), we’ll come together to examine why nature is such a mother…

CTWR 432 Women Showrunners: Changing the Prime-Time Narrative (2 units)
Section 19410R
That glass you hear cracking? It’s the small screen. In 2023, almost a third of all television shows —32.5% — are being created and run by women showrunners. We’ll look at the evolution of this change and the stories that have gone from niche audience to prime time must watch TV and discuss what might deliver the final blow that shatters the glass screen completely. Scheduled guests include Marta Kauffman (Friends), Liz Meriwether (New Girl), Jenji Kohan (Orange is the New Black), Amy Sherman-Palladino (Gilmore Girls, The Marvelous Ms. Maisel), Angela Kang (The Walking Dead), Marty Noxon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Nahnatchka Khan (Fresh Off the Boat).

CTWR 509 Understanding the Process of Film Making (2 units)
Section 19212R
An in-depth look at what it means to be a writer/director in the independent sphere. Through lectures and guests, we will cover the nuances of writing a script to get the attention of financiers, and the journey from production, post, and festival circuit. CTWR 509 is taught by Kerem Sanga, a writer/director whose credits include The Violent Heart, First Girl I Loved, The Young Kieslowski, and more. His films have been a part of the Tribeca Film Festival and Sundance Film Festival. He won the Sundance Audience Award for his film First Girl I Loved.