Started trimester 2 of year two of my part-time screenwrting MA at Screen Academy Scotland yesterday. For the next four months we're delving into research for one module, and continuing with our script development in the other module. Both are preparatory to our final trimester, when we stay home and write our major project - either a feature-length screenplay, the pilot script and bible for a TV series of our own devising or an interactive project. [Unsurprisingly, nobody's rushing toward the door marked interactive - it's exactly an area with a great track record in employing fledgling screenwriters.]
We also got back the marks for our final piece of assessed work from year two, trimester 1. For the module called From Script to Screen, we had to write an essay of at least 3000 words about how we would remake a film produced before 1980, taking into account all the cultural, societal and industrial considerations both our version and the original faced. I wrote about Sleeping Dogs, a ground-breaking New Zealand film from 1977 with a Vietnam allegory at its heart. Since Iraq is the new Vietnam according to some cultural commentators [a bit like brown was the new black a few years ago], that gave me new take on Sleeping Dogs a fresh relevancy.
I thought I'd made a decent fist of my essay, but could have done more. There was a whole section on the significance of Hemingway and existentialism I choose not to include which would have been interesting, but not hugely relevant. After I submitted the essay I read the specifications again and realised I'd ignored large chunks of what I was meant to have done. Despite this, I got a D2. Grades can be F for Fail, P for Pass and D for Distinction. Within the two upper bands, there are five sub-grades: 1 is the lowest level, and 5 is the highest. So a D2 is not a bad effort, all things considered.
As a consequence, I've now completed six modules and gotten a Distinction on all them. That just leaves this trimester's modules and the final project - a case of nailing the dismount, if you will. Of course, my six modules to date still only equate of 90 of the 180 credits required to get my MA later this year. There's another 30 credits on offer this trimester, but a whopping 60 credits is attached to the final project. But that's still in the future - for now, I'm enjoying the moment.