Instructor: Karen Gocsik, Director of Composition and Chair of English 2-3
Overview: This past year, I had the opportunity to write a screenplay with a young director and Dartmouth graduate, Serguei Bassine ’94. Together we produced his short film, Because of Mama (18 minutes). The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and continues to be accepted into festivals worldwide. Working in the film medium taught me many things about writing. Especially interesting were the lessons I learned concerning editing and revision. So powerful were these lessons that it occurred to me that perhaps I could use my experiences in the film-making process to teach the writing process in new ways.
I began to envision a Web site that would serve not only my own writing classes, but that would offer useful exercises to students taking courses in screen writing and film production. In talking with members of the film department, I have discovered a common enthusiasm for the possibilities of such a site. Students can be given opportunities to edit and revise a “real” screenplay and “real” film footage. The final product would also be available to students via video streaming. Along with the film are the actual publicity materials–graphic and written text–that we produced for Sundance. All of these materials together present interesting writing challenges (both creative and critical) and are very instructive for students interested in producing and later marketing their work.