Jump to: Screenwriting | Production | Studies

Only offered in Spring semesters


The class is run like a graduate screenwriting class where students will develop and write either a feature-length screenplay or an original tv pilot and pilot bible. This course is an advanced class for undergraduates who have already taken a 369 Screenwriting class.   Applicants should submit a sample (a feature or pilot) and a one-page statement as to why they are interested in this class.  The instructor will also be reaching out to the applicant’s former or current instructors to find out how they performed in their workshop.  

Undergraduate Screenwriting Thesis Class – how decisions are made:  

Must submit either a completed PILOT (half-hour or hour-long) or FEATURE SCREENPLAY.  Pilots are preferred, but specs of an existing show will be considered.  If the student is currently writing this project in their class, they may submit the first ten pages along with the outline.  

We will be contacting previous instructors. You'll need to include on your application a complete list of screenwriting classes, including final grades, and the names of your instructors and TA’s.

One-page statement completed by the student as to why they want to take this class.  What previous screenwriting workshops have they taken that makes them feel that they are ready for this challenge? 

APPLY by October 25 at 5:00pm. 

Consent decisions will be made by 5 pm on Weds, October 30, in order that you can register by Nov 1st, which is the last day for early registration.

Questions: Email Tom Willett.

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Only offered in Spring semesters


This course is for filmmakers wishing to create a narrative or documentary film that demonstrates and showcases advanced filmmaking skills. 

The class accepts DIRECTORS and PRODUCERS only (exceptions to this rule noted below), and students should apply in two-person directing/producing teams with the intent of working together to shepherd the project from beginning to end.  From pre-production to sound mix, students will complete a short film (under 12 minutes in length) with the most advanced equipment available to RTF undergraduates. Emphasis will be placed on storytelling, strong cinematic style, and production values.  Teams should plan to enter the class with considerable story work already completed.  Know that the directing/producing teams are responsible for assembling their own crews and that all regular crew roles must be filled by current UT students or UT students who graduated within the last two years.

IMPORTANT: The class historically takes a max of 12 projects.  With a max of two projects shooting simultaneously, six production weeks are required to get everyone shot out.  With April reserved for post and backtracking six weeks from March 31, some projects will have to shoot in late February.



    Must be a currently-enrolled RTF major with a University GPA of at least 2.25 and have upper-division standing.

    Narrative Directors:

    Have completed one of the following courses before applying:

    • RTF 343 – Advanced Narrative Production
    • RTF 367L – Narrative Filmmaking – 16mm


    Documentary Directors:

    Have completed the following course before applying:

    • RTF 343 – Advanced Documentary Production


    Producers (narrative or documentary):

    Have completed or be concurrently enrolled in:

    • RTF 367K – Producing Film and Television


    NOTE #1:  If you are a director or a producer but do not yet have a collaborator, go ahead and apply, and Prof. Lewis will do his best to match you up. You will have the final say with regard to who your collaborator is (i.e., no forced collaborations), but you must be in a director/producer team to be in the class [See exceptions below]. Know that director/producer teams are like marriages – choose your partner very carefully.

    NOTE #2:  While directors are only allowed to direct one film, producers may produce two. If you are a producer producing two films, every attempt will be made to put some space on the calendar between your two productions.

    NOTE #3: You CAN take undergrad thesis twice for credit as long as your role changes:  i.e., once as a director and once as a producer.

    • There should be ONE application per TEAM.
    • If you are not yet in a director/producer team, please use this same form to apply individually.
    • If you are applying as other than a director or producer, please do NOT use this form; instead, email Prof. Lewis separately.
    • You MAY edit the application form after you submit it (up until the deadline).
    • Submit your application no later than 5 pm on Friday, October 25

    Apply here by 5 pm, Oct 25.

    Consent decisions will be made by 5 pm on Weds, October 30, in order that you can register by Nov 1st, which is the last day for early registration.

    Consent will be based on:

    • Whether you have the proper pre-reqs
    • Your experience level and the quality of your previous work 
    • Whether you are in a producer/director team [See Exceptions below]
    • The quality of your thesis project logline (and synopsis, if you provide it)
    • The instructor's perception of your ability to complete the project (through final sound mix) by semester's end. Note that your prior instructors and TAs will be contacted about your timeliness, work ethic, attendance, ability to meet deadlines, etc.
    • Your flexibility on shoot dates
    • Your seniority (seniors are given preference over juniors)

    Professor Lewis will consider exceptions to the “Directors and Producers only” rule for non-director/producers, but you must make a case as to how your work in this class will truly equal a semester’s worth of work. For example, DP’ing one film is not a semester’s worth of work.

    Previously granted exceptions typically fall into one of two categories:

    1. Multiple roles on one project.  One student, for instance, was part of a project team where he did locations in pre-production, DP’d during production, and edited in post. That’s definitely a semester’s worth of work.
    2. One role on multiple projects.  One student, for instance, did location sound on five different projects. That’s definitely a semester’s worth of work. Note that if this is the route you want to take, you’ll have to wait until after the consent period to see which projects get selected, then make your case to those directors and producers, then present your proposal to me for approval. I.e., you likely wouldn’t be able to register until January. This is not a problem, and you shouldn’t worry about space not being available in the class.

    Students must attend the first class day or make prior arrangements with the instructor. Students who do not attend the first class meeting may be dropped from the class.


    Contact Professor Lewis via e-mail:

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An independent research project based on primary data, resulting in a written summary of theoretical foundations, methodological approach, results, and a discussion.  All Media Studies thesis must have a faculty thesis supervisor in RTF. Exact hour(s) to be arranged with faculty thesis supervisor.

PREREQUISTES (in addition to instructor consent)
Must have before applying: Upper-Division Standing

All applications should be submitted to Marisela Campos in the RTF Main Office by Tuesday, January 21st (First Class Day) at the latest.

Interested students should visit the RTF Main Office (CMA 6.120) to obtain a Media Studies thesis application.

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