Blog Archives

Quarter 1: Winter 2011

(OK, and some of December 2010. I’m excited, and I can’t help it!)

This week, I’ve been researching the required coursework at several top film schools: NYU, USC, UCLA, AFI, and Chapman. What I have done is create a curriculum of 5 quarters, consisting of about 5 courses each. Some quarters will have more courses in them than others, but each will have a cross section of categories: writing, directing, producing, tech, theory/history/analysis.

This first semester is all about laying my foundations. While I would say I am probably more generally knowledgeable about the industry than the average American adult, so is everyone else who is trying to be the next Carl Reiner. With that said, I definitely know more about television (a shout out to my people at Nick at Night for providing programming for me when I was a young’n) than film (my dad liked a lot of movies where things blew up…). Either way, I am really looking forward to this first quarter, which I’m going to begin as soon as I hit “publish.”

The courses:

– UCLA Extension: Writing a Half-Hour Comedy Spec Script
I’m registered for this class at UCLA Extension, and it is the second part of the 2-part core requirement for the writer’s certificate: Beginning writing (outlining, cough cough) the 1/2 hour comedy spec script, and then this one, where we actually write it. I don’t know if there will be a book assigned with this class, but if not, I will also be using The TV Writer’s Workbook by Ellen Sandler as a guide to help me write my Modern Family spec script. The prerequisite class did not have a book to reinforce the stuff we learned and while it wasn’t 100% necessary, it probably would have helped a hell of a lot, since we just spent a lot of time workshopping this ONE GUY’s story over and over again.

– Creating the Short Film
Re-reading Writing Short Films by Linda J. Cowgill, and Stand-Out Shorts: Shooting and sharing your films online by Russell Evans
Evaluating five successful web series (I’ll post more on that later)
Producing one quick-and-dirty web series

– American Film History
Reading A Short History of the Movies by Mast and Kawis, while also using this online resource guide. Final Project: TBD

– Television and Society
Reading and re-reading This Business of Television by Blumenthal & Goodenough. I was only assigned to read parts of it for my producing class last spring, so I’m going to revisit some chapters, and read others for the first time. Final project: analysis and critique of about 15 landmark TV shows. I’ll post more on that later.

– Entertainment Law
Reading and re-reading The Biz by Schuyler Moore. Same as above — revisiting some chapters, and reading others for the first time. Final Project: TBD

– Women and Medicine
Reading The Female Brain by Louann Brizendine and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. The extracurriculars, just to spice things up a bit.

And then, at the mid-point, and at the end, a self-evaluation.

So, we’ll see how all of this goes. I definitely have to work out a schedule to handle all of this learning between the months of December and March. I do have a full-time job, you know.

%d bloggers like this: