Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Building your Screenplay—Cambridge University edX—MOOC Classes


This week I completed the online screenwriting class Building your Screenplay offered by Cambridge University. It's part of their Micromasters program in Writing Performance & Entertainment Industries. I took it online without enrolling in the masters program. From what I learned in one of our live lessons, I think you'd have to attend the university in person to finish the offered micromasters, and complete an English exam that could silence some of the diverse and varied online voices.

It's a four week class. It took me four or five hours a week to complete that week's lessons, that's half the recommended time but I write daily and have for years. I've also already completed one version of the screenplay I'm working on so when it came to theme, character, and story, I could summon my take on the assignments instantly. 

Compared to the other MOOC classes I've taken, I found this one easier and spent less time on it. That said, I found it a very valuable class and it gave me a lot to consider in regards to my screenplay. Part One with award-winning film-director Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese and his take on image taking precedence in screenwriting was especially provocative. 

My favorite part of the class was our live ZOOM meeting. There's just nothing like getting together with a group of other writers for inspiration, networking, and simple camaraderie even if it's online. We split into breakout rooms for an assignment. It was both brilliant and surreal to chat writing with screenwriters from Peru, Spain, and Montana. Our discussion topic somehow morphed into movie scores, but I promise it was time well spent and I wouldn't have missed it.

During these online classes, I take notes while I listen to lectures, and I save my assignments to refer back to. I will be referring back to these notes as I continue working on my screenplay. This class is available for free or with edX's verified track. 

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