• BFA in Television Writing and Production Dodge College
Dodge College of Film & Media Arts

B.F.A. in Television Writing and Production

» Develop characters, write dialogue, and create on-going storylines to drive episodic television

Want to make TV shows like Stranger Things and The Good Place?  Are you a fan of Jessica Jones or The Handmaid’s Tale?  Do you want to write or direct the next great breakout show for HBO or Netflix?

You can do any and all of these things as a Television Writing and Production major.  You will learn how to develop characters, write dialogue, create a series “bible” and cultivate the on-going storylines that drive television. You will also learn about casting, directing, working with actors, and producing as well as lighting, shooting, editing, capturing sound and creating sound effects.

Students work in our 4-camera, state-of-the-art high definition television studio, use industry-standard technology like the Avid editing system, and state-of-the-art digital cinema cameras such as the Sony F65 and Canon C300.  Our students create and produce half-hour comedy and drama pilots, and Web series produced in our Short Form Television classes.

Our close proximity to Hollywood makes it easy for students to take advantage of internships.

Many of our graduates are writing, directing, producing, editing, etc., on network, cable and streaming television series. just about every major Hollywood studio has Chapman graduates employed in positions ranging from assistants to development executives. Many of these jobs were born out of students’ initial internships.  And, not to brag or anything, but the Duffer Brothers (Stranger Things) and Justin Simien (Dear White People) are graduates of Chapman's film and television program.

Our students' work has won national recognition. Work by Dodge College TV students has won notice in contests such as the Caucus for Producers, Directors, and Writers, the Directors Guild, Cinequest, Scriptapalooza, Script Pipeline and festivals such as the New York Television Festival (NYTVF) and the Independent Television Film Festival (ITVFest).  

+ - You'll Study

Along with a broad liberal arts education, you’ll learn:

  • The basics of production, including single and multi-camera shooting and directing, cinematography, editing and sound
  • How to write for episodic programs
  • The financial and social/cultural aspects of television
  • How to work in a studio environment as well as on location
  • How to create interesting characters and develop multi-part stories
  • How to produce and direct for television and how to work with actors

+ - Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will demonstrate strong writing and storytelling skills that are necessary for success in the television marketplace.
  2. Students will demonstrate the ability to analyze current TV market conditions and business models, including emerging platforms.
  3. Students will demonstrate the ability to use technology– cinematography, videography, sound, editing – to tell their stories and understand the interplay of how what is written affects production.
  4. Students will demonstrate the ability to work in the professional, collaborative environments that drive narrative, episodic television production—in the writers’ room and during on set production.

+ - Curriculum Structure

The major begins by giving you a solid foundation in two types of core courses: courses in the art of writing and producing TV comedies and dramas and courses addressing the craft, or production skills, needed to create a television show:

You learn the fundamentals of telling a story with pictures and sound in FTV 130B Introduction to Visual Storytelling for Television Writing and Production.

You learn the nuts and bolts of capturing picture and sound and putting them together in and TWP 232 Electronic Cinematography, FP 133 Audio Techniques, and FP 115 Editing I.

You acquire the skills needed to work in a multi-camera studio environment in TWP 114 Introduction to Television: Studio.

To begin to understand the fundamentals of television writing—character arcs, the story bible etc.—you’ll take TWP 127 Introduction to Television Writing: Comedy and TWP 128 Introduction to Television Writing: Drama. 

You’ll learn about budgets, scheduling and other fundamentals in TWP 345 or TWP 445 Television Pre-Production. 

You will take core courses in the business of television:

Want to be a studio or network executive (or at least know what they do)?  TWP 265 The Game of Television will get you started. 

After that, TWP 246 History of Television and TWP 310 The New Era of Television will deepen your knowledge of how television has and continues to evolve. 

Intermediate and advanced courses:

After acquiring a solid grounding in the fundamentals, you will apply these skills to the writing and production of actual TV shows.

You will have the opportunity to write a spec script for a current comedy or drama in TWP 327 Seminar in Television Writing: Comedy or TWP 328 Seminar in Television Writing: Drama and a chance to write an original half-hour comedy or drama script in TWP 497: Writing the Series.  For those interested in more directing and producing opportunities, you can take TWP 320 Narrative Television Workshop providing advanced directing experience working with actors in multi-camera and single camera studio production or TWP 311 Advanced Multi-Camera TV Production where the students produce talk/variety shows.

Combining all you’ve learned about writing and production, you will write and produce a first web series episode in TWP 495 Short Form Television I and produce several subsequent episodes in TWP 496 Short Form Television II.    

On the production side, you will have the opportunity to help produce a full-length television episode as two scripts from TWP 497 Writing the Series are selected and produced in TWP 498 Series Production.

+ - Degree Requirements

The B.F.A. in Television Writing and Production prepares students to engage in narrative storytelling in episodic form, where characters may continue over weeks, months and even years. Following introductory coursework in narrative writing strategies and production technique as well as studying the historical, aesthetic and business issues that impact writing and producing work for television, students will write and produce television series concepts and episodes.

Students pursuing a major in television writing and production may only use up to 3 credits of internship coursework to satisfy elective requirements within their majors.

Students pursuing the B.F.A. in Television Writing and Production are required to:

  • Earn an overall GPA of 2.000 for all required major courses.
  • Complete all courses in the major for a letter grade, except for independent internships.
  • Pass courses in the major with a "C–" or higher.
  • Complete a minimum of 21 credits from upper division courses in the major.
  • Complete the capstone requirement TWP 497 or 498.

core requirements (36 credits)

TWP 114

Introduction to Television Production: Studio

3

FP 115

Editing I

3

TWP 127

Introduction to Television Writing: Comedy

3

TWP 128

Introduction to Television Writing: Drama

3

FTV 130B

Introduction to Visual Storytelling for Television Writing and Production

3

FP 133

Audio Techniques

3

FP 237

Cinematography I

3

FP 239

Directing I

3

TWP 246

History of Television

3

TWP 265

The Game of Television

3

TWP 310

The New Era of Television

3

TWP 338

Directing for Television

3

two of the following (6 credits)

TWP 311

Advanced Multi-Camera TV Production

3

TWP 320

Narrative Television Workshop

3

TWP 327

Seminar in Television Writing: Comedy

3

TWP 328

Seminar in Television Writing: Drama

3

one of the following pairs (6 credits)

TWP 345 and

Television Pre-Production

3

TWP 497

Writing the Series, Senior Thesis

3

 

TWP 445 and

Television Pre-Production: Series

3

TWP 498

Series Production, Senior Thesis

3

capstone (6 credits)

TWP 495

Short Form Television I

3

TWP 496

Short Form Television II

3

electives (6 credits)

TWP 303

Producing Reality Television

3

FP 315

Editing II

3

SW 327

Feature Screenwriting I for Non-Screenwriting Majors

3

FP 333

Audio Design

3

FP 336

Production Design I

3

FP 337

Cinematography II

3

TWP 364

Editing the Series

3

TWP 367

Editing the Promo and Trailer

3

TWP 374

Art and Business of Web Video

3

TWP 397

Writing the Series

3

TWP 398

Series Production

3

FP 438

Directing III

3

TWP 440

Creating the Television Series - Non-Production

3

TWP 474

Advanced Web Video Production

3

 

total credits

 

60



+ - Faculty

+ - Program FAQs

If you know what you’re doing, your time at Chapman will be incredibly rewarding. Here are some tips on internships, graduation, studying abroad, and more, to help things go more smoothly.

» Television Writing and Production FAQs
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