WRITING FOR FILM AND TELEVISION

Develop an absolute command of the craft of storytelling, and a deep understanding of the world of film and television.

For you, writing is everything. You live to create complex characters that will make an impact on audiences. You're ready to take on one intense year of putting words on the page to prove your storytelling power, and to make your passion a reality. You are a writer.

 

An Education in WRITING FOR FILM AND TELEVISION

VFS screenwriting student feedback session

build from critiques and feedback

Develop a confidence in yourself as a writer through writing, rewriting, and being exposed to constant feedback from peers and professional writers.

build from critiques and feedback

VFS writing student writers' room

Write for Film and Television

With more platforms for original programming, and more great opportunities for writers than ever before, this is the best time to be a screenwriter.

Write for Film and Television

VFS writing students, netweork event

Develop your network

Form relationships with like-minded people that will support you for the rest of your career.

Develop your network

Program Breakdown

Develop fundamental skills in visual storytelling, structure, character, format, and genre. Write and workshop your first portfolio piece with a short film script.

Commit to story and character development for your first feature screenplay. Develop your TV spec script, hone your dialogue skills, and start work on a series of comedy sketches.

Demonstrate your skills in story, character, and dialogue, through workshopping the first drafts of your feature and TV scripts.

Gain hands-on experience in producing low-budget projects. Specialize in film or TV writing, and begin work on your final project.

Broaden your skillset as a writer with electives that complement your chosen specialization. Electives include writing for comics, video games, and writing for commercials.

Complete drafts of your final projects and polish them through intense workshopping. Discover critical business skills to help prepare you for entering the industry.

  • program length

    12 months

  • Time spent with instructors

    1085.5 Hours

Specializations

Writing for Feature Films / Writing for Television

See program breakdown and full course descriptions for more information.
  • A Diploma in Writing for Film and Television
  • A diverse portfolio of your work, designed to open doors
  • Access to the VFS Alumni Directory and Job Board

Key Faculty

Our instructors are working professionals with decades of experience as screenwriters, story editors, playwrights, poets, and interactive media writers. They are dedicated to sharing their extensive knowledge and industry expertise to help you thrive in your career.

Head of Writing for Film and Television Michael Baser

Michael Baser

Head of Department

Prior to arriving at VFS, Michael enjoyed a successful career in American prime time television and film for over 35 years. He has worked as a Writer, Producer, or Executive Producer on iconic classics, such as The Jeffersons, Three's Company, and Full House.

Feature Script/Character Essentials Senior Instructor Rodger Cove first photo

Rodger Cove

Senior Instructor – Feature Script/Character Essentials

Rodger has been teaching screenwriting for 15 years. His own work includes Hair of the Sasquatch (Calgary International Film Festival, 2008), and The Patio, (the NYC Downtown Short Film Festival, 2014).

Writing for Film/Dialogue/Feature Rewrites Instructor Aaron Bushkowsky first photo

Aaron Bushkowsky

Instructor — Writing for Film/Dialogue/Feature Rewrites

Aaron has served as a resident writer at Touchstone Theatre, The Playhouse, Rumble Theatre, and the Canadian Film Centre. His short film, The Alley, was nominated for six Leo Awards.

Writing for Film/Pitch/Adaptation Instructor John Meadows

John Meadows

Instructor — Writing for Film/Pitch/Adaptation

John premiered his first feature film, Wisegirls (starring Mira Sorvino and Mariah Carey), at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival, and has worked extensively as a screenwriter and story editor in Canada, Australia, England, and the US. John has also written for video games, including Avatar and Lost.

Writing for Film/Story Editing/Marketing/Format Instructor Kat Montagu first photo

Kat Montagu

Instructor — Writing for Film/Story Editing/Marketing/Format

Kat has been a screenwriter, script consultant, and teacher for 15 years (she was VFS Instructor of the year in 2012). Kat won the SSHRC scholarship for her historical novel Emperor, and her modern play, The Bed Trick, debuted early 2015.

Writing for Film Instructor Keith Shaw first photo

Keith Shaw

Instructor — Writing for Film

As head of the writing department at Odyssey Media, Keith developed, wrote, or story edited over 25 productions for the likes of Universal and Disney. In 2004, he won the Banff Television Festival's HD Doc Competition.

Faculty Career Highlights

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie poster, Writing for Film and Television staff credits

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie

Arne Olsen — Writer

Full House poster, Writing for Film and Television staff credits

Full House

Michael Baser — Writer

James Cameron's Avatar: The Game poster, Writing for Film and Television staff credits

James Cameron's Avatar: The Game

John Meadows — Writer

Alienated poster, Writing for Film and Television staff credits

Alienated

Kat Montagu — Writer

Good Times poster, Writing for Film and Television staff credits

Good Times

Michael Baser — Writer

Cop and a Half poster, Writing for Film and Television staff credits

Cop and a Half

Arne Olsen — Writer

MacGyver poster, Writing for Film and Television staff credits

MacGyver

Rick Drew  — Writer

Road to Avonlea poster, Writing for Film and Television staff credits

Road to Avonlea

Rick Drew — Writer

Malibu Shark Attack poster, Writing for Film and Television staff credits

Malibu Shark Attack

Keith Shaw — Writer

Crash Test Mommy poster, Writing for Film and Television staff credits

Crash Test Mommy

Tihemme Gagnon  — Story Editor

Holiday Switch poster, Writing for Film and Television staff credits

Holiday Switch

Gayl DeCoursey  — Writer

Early Edition poster, Writing for Film and Television staff credits

Early Edition

Laura Doyle — Writer

The Jeffersons poster, Writing for Film and Television staff credits

The Jeffersons

Michael Baser — Writer

Three's Company poster, Writing for Film and Television staff credits

Three's Company

Michael Baser — Writer

WiseGirls poster, Writing for Film and Television staff credits

WiseGirls

John Meadows — Writer

Half of the Sasquatch poster, Writing for Film and Television staff credits

Hair of the Sasquatch

Rodger Cove — Writer and Producer

Snowmageddon poster, Writing for Film and Television staff credits

Snowmageddon

Rudy Thauberger — Writer

The Twelve Disasters of Christmas poster, Writing for Film and Television staff credits

The Twelve Disasters of Christmas

Rudy Thauberger — Writer

The Immortal poster, Writing for Film and Television staff credits

The Immortal

Deb Peraya — Writer
Rick Drew — Writer

1001 Nights poster, Writing for Film and Television staff credits

1001 Nights

Victor Nicolle — Writer

Campus Life

Your year inside Writing for Film and Television will put you in close contact with students in a host of other VFS programs, from actors and filmmakers to makeup artists and animators. This downtown campus features near round-the-clock access to computers, production space, and an extensive library of screenplays. You'll also be surrounded by the city's best cafes, restaurants, and cultural attractions – not to mention some of the leading film and television production studios.

Students working at the VFS Writing for Film and Television Campus

YOUR SCREENWRITING CAREER

As a graduate of Writing for Film and Television at VFS, you’ll be ready to work in a variety of writing and production roles in film, television, and production studios.

Screenwriter for Film

As a Feature Screenwriter, you'll work long hours on original spec scripts and, in collaboration with a producing team, usher them through development to production. Whether you're focused on working with big-budget studios or independent producers, you'll need to be able to demonstrate a strong understanding of story, screenplay structure, and character.

TV Writer

Television is a writer-driven medium and experienced writers in this field also take on producing roles in addition to their writing duties. When starting out, you'll be focused on joining a TV series' writing staff as an assistant or intern, which requires taking part in story meetings and pitch sessions.

Story Editor

Story editors are typically experienced screenwriters and excel at championing a writer's vision from early draft stages to the final shooting script. Outside of Hollywood, many feature film productions may use your services to help the screenwriter apply notes from the producing team or funding agencies. 

Explore Your Other Career Options

Development & Production

Grad Career Highlights

Hanna poster, Writing for Film and Television alumni credits

Hanna

Seth Lochhead - Writer
 

District 9 poster, Writing for Film and Television alumni credits

District 9

Terri Tatchell - Writer

 

Chappie poster, Writing for Film and Television alumni credits

Chappie

Terri Tatchell - Writer
 

Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts poster, Writing for Film and Television alumni credits

Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts

Ryan Galletta - Writer

 

Gracepoint poster, Writing for Film and Television alumni credits

Gracepoint

Gemma Holdway – Script Coordinator

Need for Speed: Most Wanted poster, Writing for Film and Television alumni credits

Need for Speed: Most Wanted

Ryan Galletta – Writer

Motive poster, Writing for Film and Television alumni credits

Motive

Julie Puckerin - Writer

Cole poster, Writing for Film and Television alumni credits

Cole

Adam Zang – Writer
 

Some Assembly Required poster, Writing for Film and Television alumni credits

Some Assembly Required

Jennifer Siddle – Writer

Mr. Young poster, Writing for Film and Television alumni credits

Mr. Young

Jennifer Siddle – Writer

Riese poster, Writing for Film and Television alumni credits

Riese

Miguel Valdez Lopez – Writer

Last Man Standing poster, Writing for Film and Television alumni credits

Last Man Standing

Richard Brandon Manus – Writer

Arctic Air poster, Writing for Film and Television alumni credits

Arctic Air

Derek Thompson – Writer

Cedar Cove poster, Writing for Film and Television alumni credits

Cedar Cove

Derek Thompson – Writer / Story Editor

When Calls the Heart poster, Writing for Film and Television alumni credits

When Calls the Heart

Derek Thompson – Writer

Admissions Info

To make sure you have accurate admissions information please select your region based on country of citizenship.

Tuition

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Start Dates

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Requirements

You will be asked to submit one of the following along with your application. Your advisor can help with selecting the best option.

Write a one-page (maximum) synopsis. Provide the film genre and use references to other movies to explain how you would make the film. Explain the concept, vision, or idea. In addition, provide a minimum of two and maximum of four other creative writing samples in their original form (no more than 20 total pages should be submitted). You'll find information on how to send your work in the application form, or you can ask your Advisor.

When you talk to your Advisor, let them know that you've completed the Foundation program and they will put a copy of your diploma in your file for you.

For more about language requirements and other information for international students, visit the International Students page.

We Can Help

We’re here to help you submit an application that best reflects your abilities, and gives you the best chance of being accepted. We've helped thousands of people complete a successful year at VFS by answering questions like these: 

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