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!
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.
The instructor says in the first video: ”you do not need to read a book on how to write a script” – in my opinion YOU DO! Better to read a book or two than waste your time on this course; the videos are extremely short, shallow and a waste of time!
By Kamalika S•
I should suggest my fellow Coursera students not to waste their money and time for this course. You'll learn a lot more than this course has to offer if you consult some websites with screenwriting tutorial blogs, read books and write on your own.
I am a PhD student of theoretical film studies and and a fan of Coursera courses. I was eager to learn screenwriting as an interesting hands-on course. Well, it's project-based alright, but where's the real guidance??
This is a lazily designed course with poor content and almost zero guidance. The videos are very short and feels like a layman is trying to motivate you to write something, that's all. No methods explained other than some terminologies like bible, acts, outline being thrown at you. No examples, no comparisons, no detailed approaches.
Lastly, scriptwriting has a significant difference with other humanities course. Being peer-reviewed doesn't help here -- a total novice can not effectively judge another newbie's work nor give them quality feedback.
By Shawn J•
Very disappointing course offering; do not pay, do not audit, just read through the syllabus and move on.
By Ashil J V•
There isn't any real teaching happening. I guess this isn't a course for beginners.
By Barbara B•
I'm sorry, but I have taken many courses on Coursera and this is, without a doubt, the absolute worst. This isn't minimal teaching, it's practically nonexistent. Frankly, buying a book would at least give more guidance than tossing one-minute 'lectures' out there and having students blindly fend for themselves under the guise of "experimental learning".
Plus, you then have an all or nothing grade system - there is no middle ground, just pass or fail on an assignment that had little to no instruction or examples listed to begin with.
I'm truly surprised that Coursera agreed to allow this course as it is. I suggest that the instructor and team see how other instructors at universities are teaching their Coursera courses. Just because something is free, it doesn't give free reign to be lazy. If I had paid for it, I would have asked for a refund. This entire course needs a serious revamp.
By Alejandro B•
this course will make you write a script... and that's it, if you want to LEARN how to write a script, don't take this course.
This course just push you to write a script without clearly teaching you what to do, if you want to learn, look for another course (I took one from futurelearn.com while in this course, it's free, this one is a waste of money if you pay)
By Laura S•
No significant instruction/teaching provided. Appears to function only as a self-directed workshop, which doesn't teach the craft itself. Disappointing.
By Jack B•
Supremely basic and a near total lack of notes. Helpful only if you have zero experience in screen writing.
What a lazy excuse of a course. Why would you call it a course? Just call it "Start Writing" and put it on a blog. No guidance, no tips, no effort whatsoever. Without any guidelines, how does review from a fellow novice help? It's like blind leading the blind.
I'll go with the minimalist style of this course and use just one word to describe it: Rubbish.
Excellent course. The lectures are very short and to the point but they provide enough for you to start doing the most important thing of all - getting an idea down to paper and writing and writing and writing. The course does require a significant investment of time and energy - but if you provide that, you are the ultimate beneficiary as this is very much learning by doing. The peer feedback system provides and interesting opportunity to see what other members of the class are doing but unfortunately most peers do not provide much quality feedback on the work you submit. Having said that, I requested feedback from one of the course mentors and I was blown away by the depth and quality of the feedback that he provided on my final submission. This was my first Coursera course and I feel very happy with the final outcome.
By Patrick M•
This is a hands-on course. We can keep reading and studying writing books until we are blue in the face. But eventually writers have to write. It is a heavy schedule but once you have done it - you prove to yourself - that you can do it. No time to procrastinate on this one. I like the professor's style - he doesn't pussy foot around - he tells it as it is - just do it. I got so much out of this I ended up paying for it - it was well worth it. Having work reviewed by other students is excellent - you get a mixed bag of reviews - just like the reviews of your TV Series. The course is not live - although a course mentor answers questions posted to the discussion forums. The construction of the training has been well thought out - there area few areas when it could improve - but overall - it was a great experience.
By Robert G•
This was my first writing course and trust me when I say, I wasn't disappointed. In this course, I experienced and learned so much from David. These learnings weren't just about techniques and methodologies, they pushed me to look deeper into myself and the writer I want to be. Regardless of whether or not I ever have a book, script, play or poem published, I will write and continue writing because I write for me. I write because of the peace, joy and challenges writing offers. I write because I can and I write because I ENJOY it.... Thank you David for encouraging me to "Just Write!"
By Lauren V B•
This is not so much a course as a cut-throat writing incentive. If you're looking for anything beyond the basics of basics, go elsewhere. I think the rapid pace of the course is causing major student drop-offs and disengaged peer reviews. I don't think a total of five people even finished their script during my run. Jan Zurcher, the mentor, is this course's saving grace. He's endlessly patient and very helpful. He will be critical, so use that to become a better writer. This course helped my novel writing as it forces you to take a step back and look at your story's bare bones. It was a lot of fun, but it lacked the writing group kinship I'd hoped for.
By May A•
Such a great course. Jumping in and just doing it worked for me, as I tend to spend time reading up and educating myself theoretically before ever getting around to actually writing. Seeing sample scripts and discussions of form and writing criteria is definitely important, as I have managed to learn a lot through looking at many scripts and comparing, so I think there's a place for that in the course, but the actual project base was what really made the difference for me. The grading criteria points with every assignment have functioned as vital checklists in which to review not just my peers, but also my own work as well. I really learned a whole lot more about stretching my limits and what I am capable of doing by actually writing than just by dreaming of doing it one day. My confidence is at an all-time high, and now I am actively revising the pilot and working on the following episodes, as well as actively seeking opportunities for further courses, contests, and screenwriter communities and associations. Thank you, David. Before this course, I never actually thought I'd do it, and decided to sign up on a whim because I love writing and I love film and TV, but I never even considered screenwriting as a career or an option, and now this has all been changed. I am forever grateful. Please come back and give more courses on the different facets of writing for the screen, like developing compelling characters, world building, genre tips, etc. Your support has been phenomenal. Thanks to Michigan State University, Coursera, and all of my peers for the amazing encouragement and support.
By Bonojyotsna K•
It has been a wonderful experience working on this project. This was my first attempt at scriptwriting and I learned so much, coming in terms with concepts I was unaware of before. Also, being a girl who procastinate a lot, this course brought out a completely different side of me as I was completing my assignments before deadline for five weeks. Plus, I've come across so many talented writers while reviewing their works which enlightened me of the abundant creative talent in this field as well, whose reviews also helped me improve my writing.
Lastly, thank you coursera, my mentors, and my peers who helped me in completing this course as I was not sure at the very beginning whether I will be able to make it till the end or not. Thanks to all of you for making it possible.
By Mankevich I•
Hello! I really liked the course and I am surprised that everything worked out. I finished the pilot! Thank you very much for your work. The only thing I didn’t like was the questions for the reviewers: “Do you like the script and do you want to read / look further?” and the estimates themselves. And assessment and performance of work depends on this. Questions of this kind do not help to improve the project, but upset and reduce self-esteem. Personally, I was very upset and almost dropped off course. It was hard to get back. People’s tastes are different and you can’t please everyone. Moreover, we live in different countries and we have different living conditions. Otherwise, everything is wonderful. I hope that I will have time to finish another David course. Hooray!
By Prashant K•
This course helped me a lot. Anyone who want to start writing a script will get benefit form this course. For long I had thought of writing and developed few ideas for movie or web-series but all of those remain in my mind, I never wrote them down. This course helped me to prepare frame work for the script and break it down into Acts. There is still a lot to learn but this course gave the required impetus to begin. One area where this course need an improvement is peer-review, we get the grade but we don't get to know where to improve and what was strength of our script, giving feedback should be made compulsion in peer-review.
By Elizabeth H•
When I started this course, I was already a little familiar with the format as I have experienced auditioning before. However, I have zero idea on how to write a script. Neither do I have relevant knowledge in the arts. I'm an independent visual learner, so I appreciate very much the style of instruction: very short videos, almost no prescription for supplemental reading, then just being thrown into the water. I perused the materials I believe I needed to create my intended output. Indeed I have produced a manuscript from scratch. It's been a thoroughly satisfying journey. Thank you very much for this opportunity!
By Mariia S•
This course is very practical, it's not about theory how to write - it's a direct message to write right now.The lector gave a lot of useful hints about writting for TV. The main task is divided into several parts with different deadlines, so there is enough time to make it. Also reviewing the peers was interesting and valuable, it gave me a chance to compare my own work with others, to think what might be improved. Probably the only regrettable thing is that the "comments" graphe in peer review is optional. Sometimes I'd really like to get different comments and straigth opinions more than just good point score.
By Diane B•
I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of expanding my world through this Scriptwriting course. It's opened my mind in so many ways to creative aspects I never knew I had: dialogue and storytelling. I found the images and story an ever-expanding adventure that was somehow concocted from within my own imagination.
As a nonfiction writer of reference material, copy and poetry, I appreciated some of the very insightful feedback from both classmates and mentors that I received in exploring this new writing genre. I was excited to 'meet' my characters and could clearly see different people I've known in each of them.
By Brainerd P•
I thoroughly enjoyed doing this course. I really learnt how to write a script for digital media. The sessions were really well crafted and kept us moving a step at a time towards the final goal. I was also very impressed by the sincere feedback I got from my peers. It was indeed a bunch of us learning together, a scriptwriting skill and it was a fantastic experience. I am thoroughly pleased that I am able to exit this course with 30 pages of script that have been peer-reviewed! I highly recommend this course to all budding screenplay writers!
By Marianne E•
I really appreciated the open structure of this course - there's no dogma around how scripts should be written, (other than the formatting thing - and quite right too!), and I saw my peers, and my own writing grow in originality and quality as the course progressed. I think it takes a bit longer than advertised to write the actual piece, but the vidoe's had the advantage of being both astonishingly brief, and very rich in insight and knowledge. Huae thanks to my mentor Jan Zurcher, who provided extremely high-quality feedback.
By Allison M•
I had a wonderful time completing this course. This was my first time writing a script and I learned so much along the process, especially by getting reviews from my peers. Having assignments week by week also made it better since I was committed to finish before due date. However, there were occasions when I couldn't finish on time so I resubmitted and then waited to be graded. I feel incredibly happy to have learned so many important aspects about writing a script and even happier to be a writer.
By Advaith J•
I loved the fact that the instructor David Wheeler explained exactly what's required. A lot of courses have instructors going on and on about things and making creative processes very mechanical and unnatural. Here, the priority was given to actually doing something while adjacently getting the necessary inputs on what to keep in mind. I would, however, recommend one thing - would be great if few trusted links could be included as reference material to further our understanding on a few topics.
By Dominique W•
As a professional actor I knew the ability to write my own material would be an invaluable skill. I've been writing tv/film ideas for years without a the slightest clue as to go about creating a full story in script form. Having no formal training, this class was the perfect introduction into the craft. Professor David Wheeler simplified the intimidating feat of writing a tv pilot into a realistically executable series of steps. I will definitely be revisiting this course in the future.