About this Course
4.4
321 ratings
118 reviews
What you’ll achieve: In this project-centered course*, you will design a series bible and write a complete pilot episode for your own unique television or web series, be it drama or comedy or something in between. You’ll learn to break down the creative process into components, and you’ll discover a structured process that allows you to produce a polished and pitch-ready script in just a few weeks. Completing this project will increase your confidence in your ideas and abilities, and you’ll feel prepared to pitch your first script and get started on your next. This is a course designed to tap into your creativity and is based in "Active Learning". Most of the actual learning takes place within your own activities - that is, writing! You will learn by doing. "Thank you so much for your direct way of teaching this course. It was encouraging for us all to creatively flow and find our own voice in writing and developing our scripts. This aspect was very important to me." Ingrid The course curriculum is simple: you’ll write, revise your work, and share feedback with your peers. I am a proponent of Experiential Learning (active learning). My lectures are short (sometimes just two minutes long) and to the point, designed in a step-by-step process essential to your success as a script writer. I will guide you but I won’t "show" you how to write. I firmly believe that the only way to become a writer is to write, write, write. “David's lecture style for this course is inspired. The videos are succinct and engaging. When I watch the lectures I feel David’s sincere desire for me to create something truly amazing. He is teaching us how to write a script, and he is providing wisdom and tools that will help us do so in a compelling way - by writing; not by watching him talk at us.” - A R Adamson What you’ll need to get started: To begin with, any basic word processor will do. During week two, you can choose to download some free scriptwriting software such as Celtx or Trelby or you may choose to purchase Final Draft, or you can continue to use your word processor and do your own script formatting. Learner Review: "I am in love with this course. Having never written a script before, or any substantive fiction since college (15 years ago) I had a small idea in my head that has now exploded into something I really believe in. David's guidance is spot on, he's his own compelling story teller, he gives you enough, and then you have to figure it out, make it happen, WRITE! WRITE! WRITE! " *About Project-Centered Courses: This is a ‘project-centered course’, which means it is designed specifically to help you complete a personally meaningful real-world project, with your instructor and a community of learners with similar goals providing guidance and suggestions along the way. By actively applying new concepts as you learn, you’ll master the course content more efficiently; you’ll also get a head start on using the skills you gain to make positive changes in your life and career. When you complete the course, you’ll have a finished project that you’ll be proud to use and share. Time: 1-2 hours of study, 30+ hours of active project work...
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100% online courses

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Calendar

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Clock

Approx. 28 hours to complete

Suggested: 1-2 hours of study, 30+ hours of project work...
Comment Dots

English

Subtitles: English, Arabic, Persian...
Globe

100% online courses

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Calendar

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Clock

Approx. 28 hours to complete

Suggested: 1-2 hours of study, 30+ hours of project work...
Comment Dots

English

Subtitles: English, Arabic, Persian...

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

Week
1
Clock
6 hours to complete

Develop your TV series concept

In Module 1 you will: 1. create a brief outline of your pilot episode, 2. revise your outline following peer review, 3. create a bible for the series: that is, you will develop your original idea for a series into a document that defines the concept, the major characters and brief descriptions of the episodes for season one....
Reading
4 videos (Total 7 min), 3 quizzes
Video4 videos
Creating an idea for your Series1m
Define your characters1m
The story arc a full season2m
Week
2
Clock
6 hours to complete

Write Act One of your pilot episode

In Module 2 you will complete the 1st act of your episode (or the 1st installment of your Web Series) You will: 1. create a brief outline of your pilot episode. 2. revise your episode outline following peer review, 3. create a detailed outline of your first act, 4. revise your Act One outline following peer review, 5. write your first act in screenplay format, 6. revise your Act One script after peer review. ...
Reading
7 videos (Total 16 min), 3 quizzes
Video7 videos
Your episode - the Pilot!1m
The Three act half-hour TV episode1m
Story Structure2m
Scene Structure1m
Screenplay format and film grammar2m
Becoming familiar with the Software (Celtx)5m
Week
3
Clock
4 hours to complete

Write Act Two

In this module you will complete the second act of your episode (or the 2nd installment of your Web Series). You will: 1. write a detailed outline of the second act, 2. revise your outline following peer review, 3. write the second act in screenplay format, 4. revise your second act following peer review....
Reading
3 videos (Total 5 min), 2 quizzes
Video3 videos
Write Act Two1m
Giving your characters a voice2m
Week
4
Clock
4 hours to complete

Act Three

In module 4 you will complete the 3rd act of your episode (or the third installment of your Web Series). You will: 1. write a detailed outline of Act Three, 2. revise your outline following peer review, 3. Write Act Three in screenplay format, 4. Revise your act following peer review ...
Reading
2 videos (Total 4 min), 2 quizzes
Video2 videos
Write Act Three1m
4.4
Direction Signs

14%

started a new career after completing these courses
Briefcase

83%

got a tangible career benefit from this course

Top Reviews

By AAJun 14th 2016

David Wheeler is awesome, and I love this course! I am so glad that Coursera and Michigan State University have partnered to offer this course to those of us who have a thirst for learning! Thank you!

By JFSep 28th 2016

Fantastic course, loved the way it walked you step by step through the process and the formatting. This course could have been ten weeks and still wouldn't be enough. Awesome hands on learning.

Instructor

David Wheeler

Creative Research Faculty, The Hub for Innovation
Media and Information

About Michigan State University

Michigan State University has been advancing the common good with uncommon will for more than 150 years. One of the top research universities in the world, MSU pushes the boundaries of discovery and forges enduring partnerships to solve the most pressing global challenges while providing life-changing opportunities to a diverse and inclusive academic community through more than 200 programs of study in 17 degree-granting colleges....

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Once you enroll for a Certificate, you’ll have access to all videos, quizzes, and programming assignments (if applicable). Peer review assignments can only be submitted and reviewed once your session has begun. If you choose to explore the course without purchasing, you may not be able to access certain assignments.

  • When you purchase a Certificate you get access to all course materials, including graded assignments. Upon completing the course, your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. If you only want to read and view the course content, you can audit the course for free.

More questions? Visit the Learner Help Center.