What is the course about?
We will explore a brief history of horror on screen and investigate why, while many other cinematic genres fall out of fashion, horror is still very much in demand. By far the most profitable genre, it's also one of the most flexible, covering tropes from comedy, melodrama and thriller to mutate and create something new.
We will analyse a selection of horror films from Frankenstein and The Mummy through to current politically-charged horror satires like Get Out and The Purge. Through discussion and writing exercises, we will explore where these stories come from, how they work, and how they often tell us as much about our fears.
What will we cover?
- From zombies and vampires to haunted houses and satanic cults in sleepy towns, we'll look at the enduring appeal of these stories and why they work.
- What really scares us? From the rise of technology to what may be in our food, we will look at the relationship between the horror genre and modern social anxieties.
- The future of horror. It's a genre that can disturb and challenge an audience to think. Where will it go next and how does your idea fit?
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Understand the importance of themes in horror scripts and why they resonate with audiences.
- Recognise how strong characters ground the best horror films and why a powerful antagonist is key.
- Understand what makes a good horror screenplay.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This course is suitable for beginner screenwriters and those interested in the horror genre. You will need a good grasp of written and spoken English to participate in this course.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
- In class writing exercises
- Interactive tutor presentations and handouts
- Discussion of sample scripts and video clips
All writing course at City Lit involve an element of workshop. This means that students will produce work that will be discussed in an open and constructive environment with the tutor and other students. The college operates a policy of constructive criticism, and all feedback on student work by the tutor and other students should be delivered in that spirit.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
There are no additional costs for this course. Please bring your ideas and writing materials. You are welcome to bring a laptop or tablet to use during in-class writing exercises if it will help you.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
We encourage you to continue your screenwriting journey by enrolling on one of our core screenwriting courses. Ways into Screenwriting is for beginners; Developing your Screenwriting is for those with some experience.
All students are invited to join us at Late Lines, our regular performance night for City Lit writers. Students are also encouraged to submit their work to Between the Lines, our annual anthology of creative writing. For the latest news, courses and events, stay in touch with the Department on Facebook and Twitter.
General information and advice on courses at City Lit is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details