DISC222-24S1 (C) Semester One 2024

Feature Screenwriting: The first act

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 19 February 2024
End Date: Sunday, 23 June 2024
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 3 March 2024
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 12 May 2024


The primary purpose of this class is to facilitate and develop a fiction screenplay with emphasis on Act I. Structured as a workshop, students develop a flexible model of a feature script that draws upon the widely used "W" approached developed by Sid Field (see below). While the W approach is flexible and applies to many mainstream and independent movie narratives, it is not the only way of structuring a feature film and should not be taken as such. Students will be expected to learn, master and adapt this model to their own ideas, pitching those ideas, and writing Act I of a script to industry-standard format.

Learning Outcomes

  • Develop cinematic stories suitable for feature film.
  • Identify traditional screenplay structures, explore alternative structures and recognise when and how to use
  • Apply technical knowledge of formatting and presentation in the production of professional screenplay
  • Develop competencies in oral presentation and constructive story critique.
  • Develop and apply personal voice and writing style, as appropriate to screenplay form


Timetable 2024

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Monday 13:00 - 14:00 Otakaro 236 L2 Lecture Theatre
19 Feb - 31 Mar
22 Apr - 2 Jun
Optional A (Optional)
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Friday 09:00 - 11:00 Otakaro 122
19 Feb - 31 Mar
22 Apr - 2 Jun
Workshop A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Monday 15:00 - 17:00 Otakaro 122
19 Feb - 31 Mar
22 Apr - 2 Jun
02 Wednesday 11:00 - 13:00 Otakaro 122
19 Feb - 31 Mar
22 Apr - 2 Jun

Course Coordinator

Gillian Ashurst


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Screenplay Analysis 14 Mar 2024 20% 1200-1500 words
Story Synopsis 12 Apr 2024 20% Table discussion and written synopsis
Treatment Draft 10 May 2024 10% Written and Visual Story Treatment
Treatment Critiques 17 May 2024 10% Written Critique
Screenplay Treatment & Writers notes 14 Jun 2024 40% Original screenplay treatment

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $942.00

International fee $4,663.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Humanities .

All DISC222 Occurrences

  • DISC222-24S1 (C) Semester One 2024