ABOUT THE PROJECT: I collaborated with Eric Williams, an award-winning screenwriter with a passion for storytelling. Eric is a professor in Media Arts & Studies, and we created this online course on the Basics of Screenwriting for undergraduate students at Ohio University. The course consists of seven modules, including: Genre, Three Act Structure, The Hero’s Journey, Story Structure, Archetypes, Character and Dialogue.
THE DESIGN PROCESS: We created this from opposite sides of the country. Eric was in Arizona and I was in Ohio. We communicated via Skype each week to critique the scrips and plan visuals. I recorded the Skype sessions so we could refer back to them. Eric had a camera and mic set up in a small studio in his home. We showed him a teleprompter app for his computer so he could just read the script as it rolled by.
WORKING REMOTELY: Eric wrote, “Working from different cities didn’t bother me, and in many ways it made us communicate more directly – which helped everyone because almost everything was typed and we could reference it and call it back. Working face-to-face you often lose that. I felt like you were my collaborator. You and I developed a process that worked. I needed feedback on my script and you offered that. You gave me insights on how the educational concepts were working and on the delivery. I thought it was VERY helpful that you included Jacob in the critique process because he had taken the class before! Jake offered insights from a student perspective.”
ASSESSMENT: We used a pre- and post- test to assess students content knowledge. Since the most important goal was that students would write better screenplays after taking the course, we developed a rubric for evaluating students’ screenplays. We also surveyed students for feedback on improving the course.
TOOLS USED: The motion graphics were built using Adobe After Effects. The lectures were edited in Adobe Premiere Pro. The still image and graphics were created and edited using Adobe Photoshop. We communicated via Skype and Slack. We used Word and PowerPoint for tracking notes on editing scripts.