Dive Into Screenwriting Techniques With a Digital Film Degree
Films can be informative, entertaining or inspiring. They can both reflect and become part of cultural ideals and values. If you have a passion for film and screenwriting, you can build a strong foundation by fueling your creative aspirations and honing your storytelling skills with the Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Digital Film with an Emphasis in Screenwriting from Grand Canyon University.
Delve into film and screenwriting competencies and prepare to pursue a potential career in preproduction. Whether taking these screenwriting classes online, on campus or in the evening, you will explore effective strategies in story development, practice creating authentic dialogue, and build characters that audiences can connect with.
Earn Your Digital Film Degree at GCU
This bachelor’s degree in film: screenwriting emphasis is offered by the College of Arts and Media. The comprehensive film and screenwriting curriculum covers genre-specific screenwriting techniques, as well as other types of writing styles for a well-rounded education. You will explore the adaptation process for transferring a story from another medium into digital film.
The screenwriting classes can also provide opportunities for you to develop an in-depth understanding of the business side of film creation and the various movements within cinema throughout history. Additionally, you will explore aspects of film creation in the production stage, such as cinematography and directing.
Each screenwriting course integrates the Christian perspective and values into the curriculum. As a private Christian university, GCU encourages you to grow into a mindful servant leader who actively evaluates ethical dilemmas and searches for moral solutions.
GCU’s digital film degree, offered online, on campus, or as evening classes, can prepare you to work toward making your mark on the arts and entertainment industry.
Examine Digital Film and Screenwriting Competencies
Become a student of human nature by transferring authentic experiences and genuine interactions to the written word. Immerse yourself in the world of professional film and screenwriting with classes that cover topics such as:
- The principles of motion picture production, emphasizing the technical and aesthetic aspects of small-format digital production
- A survey of genre tropes and conventions through script analysis and screenwriting exercises
- The craft, technologies and aesthetic principles of cinematography, lighting and set design techniques
- Nonlinear editing, with a look at editing theories and techniques such as montage, fast cut, long take, jump cut and more
- The role of character development, how characters relate to the overall story and how to develop dynamic, believable characters
You’ll also explore strategies for writing meaningful dialogue that encompasses each character’s unique voice, as well as the process of adapting various forms of media to screenplays.
Gain Practical Screenwriting Experience
During your senior year, you will take a capstone course in which you will be asked to demonstrate your understanding, skills and creativity by cultivating a screenplay project. The capstone screenwriting course can help bring together what you have been taught, including:
- Character and place development
- Film structure
- Expressive storytelling
Upon completion, you may have multiple well-developed screenplays in your professional portfolio, which is intended to highlight your career qualifications as you pursue your professional ambitions.
Career Paths for Graduates With a Digital Film Degree
Screenwriters pursuing a career in the film industry may choose to be generalists or to focus on a particular genre of film. For example, some screenwriters prefer to write comedy, science fiction, drama or horror movies. Others may focus on adapting writing from other forms, such as novels into screenplays.
Screenwriters often work out of a home office, as most of them are contract-based, self-employed professionals. They may be commissioned by production companies or write scripts “on spec” (speculation) with the aim of getting the scripts picked up by production companies. Some screenwriters are represented by a talent agency or booking agent, who represents the screenwriter’s best interests and helps connect them to jobs.1
Earn Your BA in Digital Film Degree From an Institutionally Accredited University
Our Christian university is proud to be institutionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 1968. The College of Arts and Media shares the university’s commitment to upholding the principles and standards established by our accrediting bodies. With a focus on guiding students toward achieving their dreams, GCU is pleased to provide a quality education via a comprehensive curriculum and engaged instructors who are knowledgeable in their fields.
BA in Digital Film: Screenwriting Emphasis FAQs
While you are reflecting upon your potential career pathway, it can be helpful to conduct some additional background research on your options. You can use the following frequently asked questions and answers as a starting point for your research to guide your decision-making process.
Pursue your passion for creative storytelling in screenwriting classes taught by experienced instructors. Apply today to earn your digital film degree online, on campus or through evening classes at GCU.
1 The Art Career Project. (2021, July 20). Screenwriter. Retrieved on Dec. 7, 2023.
2 COVID-19 has adversely affected the global economy and data from 2020 to 2022 may be atypical compared to prior years. Accordingly, data shown is effective September 2023, which can be found here: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Producers and Directors, retrieved on Dec. 12, 2023.
3 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2023, Sept. 6). What Writers and Authors Do. Occupational Outlook Handbook. Retrieved on Dec. 12, 2023.
4 COVID-19 has adversely affected the global economy and data from 2020 to 2022 may be atypical compared to prior years. Accordingly, data shown is effective September 2023, which can be found here: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Writers and Authors, retrieved on Dec. 12, 2023.
General Education Requirements
General Education coursework prepares Grand Canyon University graduates to think critically, communicate clearly, live responsibly in a diverse world, and thoughtfully integrate their faith and ethical convictions into all dimensions of life. These competencies, essential to an effective and satisfying life, are outlined in the General Education Learner Outcomes. General Education courses embody the breadth of human understanding and creativity contained in the liberal arts and sciences tradition. Students take an array of foundational knowledge courses that promote expanded knowledge, insight, and the outcomes identified in the University’s General Education Competencies. The knowledge and skills students acquire through these courses serve as a foundation for successful careers and lifelong journeys of growing understanding and wisdom.
Upon completion of the Grand Canyon University's University Foundation experience, students will be able to demonstrate competency in the areas of academic skills and self-leadership. They will be able to articulate the range of resources available to assist them, explore career options related to their area of study, and have knowledge of Grand Canyon's community. Students will be able to demonstrate foundational academic success skills, explore GCU resources (CLA, Library, Career Center, ADA office, etc), articulate strategies of self-leadership and management and recognize opportunities to engage in the GCU community.
- UNV-103, University Success: 4
- UNV-303, University Success: 4
Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to construct rhetorically effective communications appropriate to diverse audiences, purposes, and occasions (English composition, communication, critical reading, foreign language, sign language, etc.). Students are required to take 3 credits of English grammar or composition.
- ENG-105, English Composition I: 4
- UNV-104, 21st Century Skills: Communication and Information Literacy: 4
- ENG-106, English Composition II: 4
- COM-263, Elements of Intercultural Communication: 4
Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to express aspects of Christian heritage and worldview. Students are required to take CWV-101/CWV-301.
- CWV-101, Christian Worldview: 4
- CWV-301, Christian Worldview: 4
Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to use various analytic and problem-solving skills to examine, evaluate, and/or challenge ideas and arguments. Students are required to take 3 credits of college mathematics or higher.
- MAT-144, College Mathematics: 4
Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to demonstrate awareness and appreciation of and empathy for differences in arts and culture, values, experiences, historical perspectives, and other aspects of life (psychology, sociology, government, Christian studies, Bible, geography, anthropology, economics, political science, child and family studies, law, ethics, cross-cultural studies, history, art, music, dance, theater, applied arts, literature, health, etc.). If the predefined course is a part of the major, students need to take an additional course.
- PSY-102, General Psychology: 4
- INT-244, World Religions: 4
- SOC-100, Everyday Sociology: 4
* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.
* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.