Arts and Communication Pre-College Credit Programs

Film Writing Program for High School Students

The Film Writing Program offers high school seniors and exceptional juniors interested in feature-length and short film writing a practical introduction to the field. Through the curriculum of theory and practice, which features the opportunity to develop hands-on writing skills, students engage in the digital media creative process and acquire the basics of film writing and structure from conception through revision. In addition, students study the techniques of writing the short subject. Students in this program earn 8 college credits.

The Film Writing Program focuses on the creative process of film writing.

Course Descriptions

Foundations in Visual and Media Arts Production, 4 credits
This course combines lectures with hands-on workshops. It examines the relationships among photography, graphics, audio, film, video, and emergent digital media within the context of cross-media concepts, theories, and applications. The course traces the creative process from initial conception and writing through production and post-production, sensitive to a range of aesthetic considerations. Students will proceed through a series of digital media exercises that will lead to completion of a final project, which establishes a foundation for advanced production coursework. Students will gain a basic-intermediate competency in Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Final Cut Pro, and DVD Studio Pro. Course time will be divided evenly between lecture and lab time, balancing theory and practice.

Writing the Feature Film, 4 credits
Examines the fundamentals of writing for narrative feature-length film. Investigates structure, character, conflict, scene writing, and dialogue, taking students from ideation through to the development of a detailed outline. Students will write the first 25–30 pages of a screenplay.

Writing the Short Subject, non-credit
Study of the writing of the short subject within the genres of fiction, nonfiction, and experimental concepts and scripts (including animation). Scripts range from 3 to 15 minutes and are suitable for production. Students will complete comprehensive revisions of their work.

Program Dates and Costs

Program Dates (including required orientation): July 5–August 8, 2014
Move-out day for on-campus students: August 9, 2014–by noon

Film Writing Program Costs per student:

  • Residential: $8,320
  • Commuter: $5,225

Lunch, Monday through Friday is included. The residential option includes room, linens, breakfast and dinner on weekdays, and brunch and dinner on weekends.

Non-refundable Application Fee: $30

Film Writing Program Priority Application Deadline: May 16, 2014

Who May Apply

High school students entering grade 12 and exceptional high school students entering grade 11 during the 2014–2015 academic year are welcome to apply to the Film Writing Program for High School Students.

The Film Writing Program is designed for students who want an intensive training experience, understand how to manage their time and complete assignments both in and out of the classroom, and wish to earn college credit. Students who have the desire and maturity to receive constructive criticism about their work and give helpful feedback to others during the program are encouraged to apply.

Each candidate for the Film Writing Program must submit the required application form (completed and signed), a non-refundable $30 application fee, and the following required documents:

  • Student Statement of Purpose: In one or two pages, please describe: 1) what you hope to achieve during the program, and 2) an event you feel has prepared you for the pre-college program.
  • Transcript: An official secondary school transcript
  • Test Score: A copy of your official PSAT, SAT, or ACT score
  • Teacher Recommendation: Please submit at least one recommendation, completed by a teacher who knows your work, in a sealed envelope with the teacher’s signature across the back seal. If possible, the teacher should know your work in the field to which you are applying.

Admission to Emerson's Pre-College Credit Programs is on a rolling basis. We suggest applying early, as space is limited. Admission decisions are made frequently. Applications will be accepted through June 16, 2014. The priority application deadline is May 16, 2014.

Students who apply to the Pre-College Film Writing Program will be notified via email. Students who are accepted will receive an acceptance letter along with instructions for confirming their place in the program. Students who actively participate in the program and finish all assignments and final projects will earn an Arts and Communication Pre-College Program Certificate of Completion.


Schedule is subject to change.

9:00 am–5:00 pm

Emerson College reserves the right to change any provision of this program at any time. The College specifically reserves the right to change its tuition rates and any other financial charges. The College also reserves the right to rearrange its courses and class hours, to drop courses for which registration falls below the minimum enrollment, and to change instructor assignments.


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