History of Film for Screenwriters with Andrew Day

05/11/2019 - 10/12/2019



Six-week series (£150+VAT). From Tuesday 5th November until Tuesday 10th December, 7:30-9pm.

This is an introduction to the History of Film over the last century. It looks at technological changes in the recording and distribution of films, also changing fashions and styles. We will explore writing lessons from in each phase of cinema:

To be a great writer for film you really have to understand the medium. The complexity of modern film editing often obscures the core visual grammar that always underpins it. One way to develop your understanding of what film-making is, and how it works, is to watch the classics. By tracing the development of the art of cinema, it’s easier to spot the key ingredients of cinematic story-telling. Does your screenplay exploit the unique opportunities of film: things like the juxtaposition of contrasting action; motion & spectacle; the close-up? A director reading your text will always be looking for places to use them. We can learn about these techniques by tracing them back to their invention and their earliest exponents.

The course will be fun, thought-provoking and guaranteed to open up new perspectives on any script you are working on, or considering.


SILENT – What did writers do before dialogue? Film Clips from The Gold Rush

TALKIES – The microphone didn’t move, so neither could the actors. Film Clips from All About Eve

COLOUR – What could film-makers do with colour? Film clips from The Wizard of Oz

EXTRAVAGANZA – In response to TV, cinema went spectacular. Film clips from Spartacus

NEW WAVE/EXISTENTIAL – The liberated camera freed the director from the sound stage, and the strict moral codes. Film clips from The Graduate

Other topics will include NEO-CONSERVATIVE FILM, DIGITAL EFFECTS, and DIGITAL REALISM, including clips from Star Wars, Titanic, and Sex, Lies and Videotape.


Tuesday 5th November, 7.30-9pm
Tuesday 12th November 7.30-9pm
Tuesday 19th November, 7.30-9pm
Tuesday 20th November, 7.30-9pm
Tuesday 2nd December, 7.30-9pm
Tuesday 10th December, 7.30-9pm

Andrew Day

Andrew Day is Writer in Residence at Big House Theatre, a highly acclaimed theatre project that works with young adults who’ve been through the care system. He is the author of The Numberverse, an exploration of the world of mathematics for teachers, and the co-author of Thoughtings, a collection of philosophical poems for children. He’s collaborated on screenplays for Channel 4 and Working Title. His first radio play has just been commissioned. His teaching experience includes adults, children of all ages, and various countries.


Tuesday 5 th November 2019



2 Charlotte Road, London EC2A 3DH

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