MA Screenwriting and Producing
The programme is currently not recruiting. For further information, including alternative courses, do contact the course director, Stephen May, at [email protected]
“I came out with two projects picked up by producers who had been a tutor and mentor - and who both won Oscars during the course. So I guess the benefits of the course and the quality of the teaching go without saying."
Patrick Woodward (Class of 2006)
In six short years, since its birth in 2005, the staff, Visiting Lecturers and students on our MA in Screenwriting and Producing have accumulated a remarkable roster of achievements in the Film and Television industries. These include more than a handful of Oscars (Tim Bevan, alone, has produced films that have won 9 Oscars and 20 Baftas), billions of dollars worth of box office business and a near one hundred per cent employability record.
This MA programme is uniquely designed to develop skills and experience in screenwriting, producing and script-editing.
Our priorities are to:
- Maximize the potential of our students
- Produce rounded professionals
- Help students get jobs
- The emphasis of the course is script/story-development and creative producing to high professional standards, working in partnership with the film industry.
We learn through:
- Workshops with writers and producers
- Industry seminars with Sales Agents, Distributors, Exhibitors, Film Finance
- Pitching verbally and on paper
- Analytical screenings
- Scripting (from shorts to full-length features)
- Re-writing and more re-writing!
- Casting, shooting and editing several of your short scripts (working with the teams on the MA in Directing)
We're confident that the skills that we instill are those that are most valued by ALL employers, namely:
- The ability to communicate with clarity and elegance - in person and on paper
- An enthusiasm for collaboration
- A dogged determination to be pragmatic and "glass half-full"
- A healthy balance of humility and chutzpah
- The ability to improvise and be original within set parameters
- The stamina to revise work again and again
- Good time management
- The ability to develop a logical argument and counter argument
- A lifelong commitment to analyse human psychology (with an expertise in the reading of text and subtext in language).
We develop work in small collaborative groups, pitch direct to production companies (including Working Title / Universal, Ealing Studios / Icon, and Film 4. Partnerships between writers and producers on major projects are actively encouraged.
Our teaching staff are all professional writers and producers in the film/TV industries. They include Chris Auty (exec producer of "Crash", "Stealing Beauty", "My Summer of Love"), Nick Goldsmith (producer of "Son of Rambow" and "A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy", Justin Trefgarne, until recently Head of Development at Working Title Films, and Mia Bays who won an Oscar in 2006 for producing "Six Shooter".
We have an umbrella deal with the leading literary and media agency, Curtis Brown, to provide representation for writers on the course where both we, as tutors, and the agency have enthusiasm for a project.
We also have a wide industry network in the United States (on both coasts), with pitching/first look arrangements with over 50 companies including; HBO, Participant, Plan B (Brad Pitt's co.), Anonymous Content, Beacon Pictures and the leading agency Gersh.
In addition we have close connections, including some reciprocal training deals, with the leading Masters Courses at UCLA and USC in LA, and Columbia and Tisch NYU in New York.
Storytelling for the Screen
Visiting Lecturers and Mentors
Co-Chairman of Working Title Pictures 70 films, 4 Oscars, 20-odd Baftas, over 2.5 billion dollars gross of business.
Producer of "Wayne's World", "Ideal Husband" with Cate Blanchette, "Valiant", with Ewan McGregor, Ricky Gervais, and the “St. Trinians” franchise etc. Barnaby is owner of Ealing Studios/Fragile Films and a powerful development partner with Icon in Europe.
Oscar-nominated writer for "The Killing Fields", writer/director of the cult classic "Withnail and I", and “The Rum Diary” with Johnny Depp
Oscar-nominated writer for "Gladiator", "Shadowlands" and “Elizabeth”
Oscar winning producer this year for "Tsotsi"
Oscar winning producer for "Shakespeare in Love"
Oscar-nominated writer; "The Wings of a Dove", also worked with Martin Scorsese, Curtis Hanson, John Madden
Director, "Othello" with Laurence Fishburne, "An Ideal Husband", “Johnny English Reborn”)
Frank Cottrell Boyce
Writer; "24 Hour Party People", "Code 46", "Millions"
Writer/Producer: "Onegin" with Ralph Fiennes and Liv Tyler, "Kinky Boots", “Unmade Beds”)
Producer; "A World Apart", "Ratcatcher"
Agent; record-breaking deals on "The Horse Whisperer", "Jonathon Strange"
Producer; "Notting Hill", "Elizabeth", "The Big Lebowski"
Actress/Writer; "Bhaji On the Beach", "Anita and Me"
Production Designer on Woody Allen's "Scoop", "Vanity Fair", "Sylvia", "The Hours", "Billy Elliot", “Mamma Mia”)
This should give you an idea of the sort of connections we are making and the industry standards that we are setting for students.