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Back to Script Writing: Write a Pilot Episode for a TV or Web Series (Project-Centered Course)

Learner Reviews & Feedback for Script Writing: Write a Pilot Episode for a TV or Web Series (Project-Centered Course) by Michigan State University

614 ratings
248 reviews

About the Course

What you’ll achieve: In this project-centered course*, you will design a series bible and write a complete pilot episode for your own unique television or web series, be it drama or comedy or something in between. You’ll learn to break down the creative process into components, and you’ll discover a structured process that allows you to produce a polished and pitch-ready script in just a few weeks. Completing this project will increase your confidence in your ideas and abilities, and you’ll feel prepared to pitch your first script and get started on your next. Here is a link to a trailer for the course. To view the trailer, please copy and paste the link into your browser. This is a course designed to tap into your creativity and is based in "Active Learning". Most of the actual learning takes place within your own activities - that is, writing! You will learn by doing. "Thank you so much for your direct way of teaching this course. It was encouraging for us all to creatively flow and find our own voice in writing and developing our scripts. This aspect was very important to me." Ingrid The course curriculum is simple: you’ll write, revise your work, and share feedback with your peers. I am a proponent of Experiential Learning (active learning). My lectures are short (sometimes just two minutes long) and to the point, designed in a step-by-step process essential to your success as a script writer. I will guide you but I won’t "show" you how to write. I firmly believe that the only way to become a writer is to write, write, write. “David's lecture style for this course is inspired. The videos are succinct and engaging. When I watch the lectures I feel David’s sincere desire for me to create something truly amazing. He is teaching us how to write a script, and he is providing wisdom and tools that will help us do so in a compelling way - by writing; not by watching him talk at us.” - A R Adamson What you’ll need to get started: To begin with, any basic word processor will do. During week two, you can choose to download some free scriptwriting software such as Celtx or Trelby or you may choose to purchase Final Draft, or you can continue to use your word processor and do your own script formatting. Learner Review: "I am in love with this course. Having never written a script before, or any substantive fiction since college (15 years ago) I had a small idea in my head that has now exploded into something I really believe in. David's guidance is spot on, he's his own compelling story teller, he gives you enough, and then you have to figure it out, make it happen, WRITE! WRITE! WRITE! " If you have any concerns regarding the protection of your original work, Coursera's privacy policy protects the learner's IP and you are indeed the sole owners of your work. *About Project-Centered Courses: This is a ‘project-centered course’, which means it is designed specifically to help you complete a personally meaningful real-world project, with your instructor and a community of learners with similar goals providing guidance and suggestions along the way. By actively applying new concepts as you learn, you’ll master the course content more efficiently; you’ll also get a head start on using the skills you gain to make positive changes in your life and career. When you complete the course, you’ll have a finished project that you’ll be proud to use and share. Time: 1-2 hours of study, 30+ hours of active project work...

Top reviews

Jun 13, 2016

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!

Sep 27, 2016

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.

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26 - 50 of 243 Reviews for Script Writing: Write a Pilot Episode for a TV or Web Series (Project-Centered Course)

By Advaith J

May 12, 2020

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

Oct 20, 2016

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.

By Cátia G

Jan 12, 2017

This course was a really good surprise. A nice way to end 2016 and start 2017. I was scared cause of language, once I'm not a native speaker, so that was an extra challenge for me. But everyone here helped. The mentor was great and always ready to help, the peers were nice and always giving tips of how I could improve the script and now I don't look to Celtx program like a seven heads monsters, anymore. Actually, it is really easy to work on it. I'm really glad I did this course.

By Jennifer S

May 16, 2020

Wow! I can't believe I did it. I completed something. A TV series. Thank you professor! I want to say if I win an Emmy or an Oscar I want to thank your course. It really was helpful and actually felt I was taking action on what I've always wanted to accomplish. I enjoyed reading everyone's script and giving feedback. I can't wait to see your stories come to life too! This class was very flexible yet intense and let us delve into our story. Thank you ! Thank you ! Thank you !

By Greg B

Jun 4, 2020

This was a very informative course. I finally got a grasp on correctly and consistently formatting a screenplay. AND an added bonus was that I got to use a script I'd already written for the course. It's really helped me edit my pilot down and get it to a place where I can really move forward with cleaning and adding to the story line. And I got to make my first series bible. And I'm so proud of the work I've been able to do. I can't wait to see where I go from here.

By Vikram S

Jun 20, 2020

David Wheeler's course was a brilliant course and gave all of us an insight into writing a screenplay for a Pilot episode. The strategy to make the people learning grade the peers' assignments made us learn by looking into the works submitted by others. The one line I had has been developed into a different pilot episode because of the feedback i received from my peers. Thanks Mr. Wheeler, Michigan State University and Coursera for the wonderful opportunity.

By lisa r

Mar 29, 2016

I have found this course to be well planned out, easy to follow and very informative. I have been considering scriptwriting for some time and even bought books on how to get started but this course has been much more effective than any book. This course has given me the tools and the know-how of what is required to write a script.

I am in my last week at the moment and the confidence and skills this project-centered course has given me are immeasurable.

By Krys.K

Oct 27, 2018

The direction and guidance offered in this course has improved my writing structure significantly. The course was successful in teaching professional screenwriting techniques and has encouraged me to be creative and to explore various avenues to establish my voice. Also, the feedback I received from my peers were all lovely and helpful critiques that I will reflect on when reviewing my script and when writing new ones.

Thank You!

By Sunny B

May 27, 2020

AMAZING!!! Thank you, Mr Wheeler, for being an intriguing teacher. Always clear, concise and straight to the point, but you do it interestingly. I hope you will take a look at my pilot script because I'd like you to see what your course has helped me to produce! In addition, a special thanks also to all the support staff that helped guide and answer questions throughout the course on the forums. This is fantastic! Keep it up.

By Belozerova I V

Mar 11, 2021

A very good course! There is just the most important information and nothing more. What I liked the most, that there you can get a really good reviews on your work. Even if you non-English speaker and English is not your native language it's easy to take this course, all your peers is kind and gives you a really good and helpful reviews and tips. I think the teacher did a great work making this course! Thank you very much!

By Irene P

Dec 27, 2016

Through this course, I transformed a scene I wrote for a full length movie into a pilot for TV. I'm happy I learned the process and I'm working on the series episodes to follow. Thank You for developing this course. The lessons were explained well and the videos were very helpful. I'm especially glad this course was presented through Michigan State University. That was a deciding factor in signing up for it. Go Spartans!

By Misi Z C

May 17, 2020

I really like this course, really like Mr. Wheeler weekly videos, it seen short, but is enough, it already have all what you need to know. And I really like the sentence he said on the first class "The best way to learn about writing is just to write." After that I start writing on it, and I really like it. At the end I really want to thanks my peers give me all the advice, after the course we can start on our own.

By Meghan L

May 15, 2018

This course is not for the faint of heart in that unlike some other online courses, you will be expected to write... a lot. And participate... A LOT. And while it's work, there is a ton of satisfaction to be had from writing your own completed script and getting the feedback of your classmates. It's been a great learning experience overall and highly recommend it to anyone motivated or interested in this subject!

By Denzel O

Jul 14, 2017

The idea for peer review is great because we're all students of this course and so we can learn from each other while being inspired. David Wheeler's methods work because they don't only teach, they encourage. And there's a lot to do to keep your mind busy through assignments. And anybody from everywhere in the world can start from no knowledge of script writing to full understanding. Great. 5 stars. Thank you.

By Erin S

Nov 1, 2017

This course is great! I've been wanting to write a web series, and this class taught me how to make it happen. I learned how to create the overarching plan (called a bible) for the first season of the show, and I learned how to write scripts. I finished the class with a plan in hand and scripts for the first three episodes. I would recommend this course to anyone who wants to create a TV or web series.

By Nicole N

Aug 24, 2020

The course was an amazing hands on an informative course. It was very practical and I got to learn not only through my work and the professor but through the work of others. Getting feedback from my peers and giving it back was very helpful and educational. I 1000% recommend this course. I plan to use the skills from this course to write more on my current story and even make a new one

By Amaan H K

Apr 17, 2020

This is the first ever online course I have ever done, and I must say it has been such a lovely experience. The interactions with the peers, the feedbacks, and constantly improving my skills has been a major boon, especially for the times we are living in. Thank you so much for keeping us sane under this lockdown. I didn't believe I could finish this course, much less write a script!

By Jon N

Jul 21, 2020

It did exactly what it promised. Helped me write my first TV Pilot and show bible, and I'm now developing the other episodes with the hope of pitching it soon! Highly recommend this course. My only suggestion where the course can be improved is the peer critique. Didn't find that helpful, in that the feedback on my work was very general and non-specific. Otherwise, great course!

By Salti S

Feb 24, 2016

I am in love with this course. Having never written a script before, or any substantive fiction since college (15 years ago) I had a small idea in my head that has now exploded into something I really believe in. David's guidance is spot on, he's his on compelling story teller, he give you enough, and then you have to figure it out, make it happen, WRITE! WRITE! WRITE!

By Annette C

Jul 15, 2020

Excellent course for the novice screen writer! I took the course as a means of expanding on an idea for a novel. In addition to producing a 30 minute screenplay for a TV episode, I was able to take what I had learned back to the novel and there, incorporate the "visuals" for far richer text experience. (Now, if only I can recreate the magic for some of my backlist.)

By Kannan V

Jun 30, 2020

After completing Write a feature length screenplay, I wanted to explore this too. Was pleasantly surprised to see the mentors here. David was fantastic, as before.

I would strongly recommend people interested in writing to take up this one too, this throws a new challenge and when you’re able to complete....Boy! The satisfaction is immense... Go for it !

By Teresa E

May 5, 2018

This course is very fast paced and challenging but I really loved it. It doesn't leave enough time for self doubt and really forces you to actually do some writing. I would recommend this course for first time writers but also for more experienced writers who need a deadline and a structure to get them to write and to finish something. Love the course!

By Simran K

Feb 13, 2020

This was my first course on coursera and I am so glad I started with this. I have learned how much effort is put into making a script and this journey couldn't have been easy without the efforts of the mentor. I loved how we were given the basic guidelines and asked to work through things, really made me feel like i have truly earned the certificate.

By Kathy J

Aug 25, 2020

this was something I have never done - creative writing. It was fun. I enjoyed the videos and the work was just enough to keep it fast paced. I really enjoyed reading other submissions, so unique. Loved the different takes on episodes. there is a lot of talent, wish we could get something other than cop and medical shows on network tv.

By Deepanjan P

Apr 20, 2017

A great course to wake yourself up and get running in the world of script writing. I recommend this course to every individual who is ready to work and earn rather than just buying a online certificate. Finally David sir small but powerful video sessions are excellent. Do not go by the length of the videos. They are absolutely to the point.