Screenwriters Lab in Patmos Greece

Screenwriters Lab in Greece

May 29 - June 28, 2015

The remote island of Patmos, Greece located on the beautiful Aegean Sea, is the setting for this 4-week intensive screenwriting course. While the Department of Visual and Media Arts offers many media writing classes, students don't often have dedicated allotments of time to focus solely on their writing. This program offers students the opportunity to concentrate on and improve their film and television writing skills. A select number of VMA/WLP students will participate in this screenwriting lab comprised of discussion, workshops, writing exercises, cold readings, and focused blocks of time set aside for writing.

The program is open to VMA and WLP students. Rising juniors and seniors may apply. Enrollment is limited to 12.


Patmos, the "sacred island."

During any given semester Emerson students take on a myriad of activities including feature writing and television writing courses, production projects, exams and papers. Creativity cannot always happen on demand during a busy semester. But with obstacles removed, creativity can explode. During this program students can completely immerse themselves in the world of their stories stimulated by a peaceful and inspirational setting.

Known as the "sacred island" Patmos is the place where Saint John wrote the Book of Revelation. The island is located off the west coast of Turkey and dominated by St. John Theologian Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Students will have plenty of time to participate in group excursions; students can also explore the island's wild beaches, remote tavernas, blue coves, rocky mountain pathways and and the stylish city of Skala, its harbor town.

Students will come to the program with a screenplay project and their own laptop with wireless capability. The screenwriting lab will adopt a professional writing approach with an intensive syllabus, work strategies and strict deadlines. Writers will have a minimum of 5 hours day to write on their own. Early mornings and late afternoons will allow students to have their pages work-shopped, then go back and make revisions, based on notes received. Emerson students will receive 8 VMA credits. Professor Manuel Basanese will teach the course.

Students must arrive to the program with the following equipment:

  • Laptop with wireless capability.
  • Screenwriting software equipped with the most recent version of Final Draft (although Celtx or Movie Magic Screenwriter are acceptable)
  • Notebooks
  • Two thumb drives
  • A portable printer with spare print cartridges (recommended)
  • A ream of paper (recommended)
  • Bring your original software disks. If you have a hard drive or software issue while in Greece, you might not be able to fix it if you don’t have the software.
  • Mac users should bring their own VGA adapter if they think they might need to hook their laptop to a projector for a class presentation.

Summer 2015 Estimated Costs

Type of Expense

Estimated Costs Included in the Program Fee

Additional Costs Not Included in the Program Fee

Tuition (8 credits) $767 per credit  $ 6,136
Registration Fee $ 30

This cost includes: Housing (double room in a 3-star hotel with en-suite bathroom), daily breakfast, some ground transportation, a welcome and farewell dinner, all scheduled group excursions (including boat trips around the island), admission to cultural sites and specialized guided tours, and entry to select programs at The Patmos International Film Festival

$ 3,600
Round Trip Airfare (est.) $ 1,200 -  $ 1,500
Passport $ 135
Transportation to and from Athens Airport to Pireaus to catch the Ferry to Patmos + Cost of round-trip ferry boat (shared sleeper cabin) from Athens to Patmos (estimated travel time = 9 hours) $ 250
International Health Insurance MANDATORY - check with your insurance company to see if you are covered in Europe
Personal Spending Money - includes cost of most meals, local transportation, cell phone and sim cards and entertainment Varies by personal habits - (plan for $ 1,000 +/- )
International Student Identity Card [ISIC] $ 22
Total Estimated Cost $ 9,788 $ 2,585

Current as of 5/2/2014 - subject to change until finalized

  • Health Insurance Coverage in Europe: Participants in the Screenwriter's Lab in Greece must have an insurance plan that provides coverage while in Europe.
  • If you have the EC Aetna Student Health Plan you are covered in Europe (as required) for participation in the program.
  • If you feel your current insurance is not adequate, please research a plan that is. View the Health Insurance Requirements section.


Students must plan to arrive in ATHENS BEFORE 1PM local time

Thursday May 28 Depart USA for Athens Greece
Friday May 29

Arrive to Athens International Airport in Greece. Students must plan to arrive in ATHENS, Greece BEFORE 1PM local time so they enough time to travel to the Port of Piraeus to catch a ferry to Patmos.

Students must then take transportation to the BLUE STAR Ferry Docking Station in the Port of Piraeus in order to catch the 7:00 PM (19:00) ferry to the Island of Patmos (this is a 8-hour overnight trip). Students will arrive in Patmos at 3:15 AM on Thursday July 10. They will be met by program leaders and taken to the hotel.

Saturday May 30 Arrive at Patmos at 3:15 AM. Students will be met by program leaders at the Patmos ferry port and taken to their hotel.
Sunday May 31 Settle into accommodations and orient yourself with your surroundings
Mandatory Orientation Program with Professor Manuel Basanese (details TBA)
Monday June 1 Screenwriting Lab begins at 9am
Saturday June 27 Screenwriting Lab Program ends.
Sunday June 28 Depart Patmos and take 11:55 pm (23:55) ferry boat back to Pireaus (8 hour overnight trip)
Monday June 29 Arrive to Port of Piraeus at 08:05 AM.

*As of 02/10/2015. Subject to change