The Art and Strategy of Writing for the Screen


Course Description

Imagine you had a spectacular story for a sci-fi pic that would rival Star Wars or a biting story for a TV series about the fallout of addiction. How do you know you’ve chosen the right medium? What are the crucial differences between the big and small screens? Class by class, students will learn tools for crafting scenes, creating memorable characters, composing dialogue, constructing scripts, and sharpening pitches. Students will begin preparing an original screenplay while having the chance to critique and learn from the writing of others.

We will address, in a collegial and supportive atmosphere, many of the most basic and important questions in the business. Why do almost all films break down into three acts? Why is the question, “What do I want the audience to feel?” so crucial? How can you make your characters not only credible, but also relatable? What techniques can be deployed to generate and maintain dramatic conflict? How can the climax you envision shipwreck your whole project? Why do the majority of films have a happy ending? What do you need to know about the businesses of film and TV in order to succeed as a screenwriter?

Books to purchase:

There is no book to purchase for this course.

Please note that this course has a maximum enrollment of 10 students.

Priority is given to students who pay upon registration.

For fully registered courses, a waiting list will be created. Should vacancies develop, those on the waiting list will be contacted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Course Details

First Session: Thursday 18 March 2021

Course Length: 12 weeks, Thursdays, 6:15 p.m. - 8:15 p.m.

Instructor: Sam Wendel

Degree Credit: Yes

Course Fees: 

$150.00 (standard tuition)

$100.00 (promotion for new students)

Administrative Fee:



$185.00 (standard tuition)

$135.00 (promotion for new students)


Course fees are refundable in full before the second session. After the second session, a fee of $50 for the withdrawal will be applied. Refunds will not be issued after the third session. Please note that non-attendance does not constitute a withdrawal.

Students pursuing studies for credit are encouraged to consult with their advisers as they register for courses.

Course leaders, and students wishing to use credit vouchers, should call (514) 935-9585 to pay by phone or to schedule an appointment to pay in person.

If you are a RETURNING student

If you are NEW to TMI

Questions? Stuck? Give us a call at (514) 935-9585
or email us at