Got the last grade of my MA screenwriting course yesterday, for my final project. Had my fingers crossed for a good result, after a strong run of grades throughout the course at Screen Academy Scotland. I won't know my overall result for another week or so, but I've now got a good idea what it will be. Hard to believe it's been two years since I started this adventure, and now I'm now longer a part-time student. I've learned a lot since September 2005, both through the course and the many, many other opportunities I've pursued outside the MA.
Back in the first trimester of year 1 I grappled with the Business of Screen Project Development, eventually scratching out a D1, the lowest level of distinction available but still a pass with distinction for the module. I was much happier on the Writing and Screen Project Development module, something reflected in my solid D3 grade.
Trimester two of year 1 brought the first writing module for part-time students, Script Development 1a. I made the mistake of adapting for the screen a play I was also writing at the same time for BBC Radio. The results were a mixed bag and another D1 grade. Alongside this was the Writing for Interactive Entertainment module, which was not much of a stretch for me, securing a D2.
The part-timers got the next trimester off, returning for the first trimester of year 1. From Script to Screen introduced us to a more academic analysis of screenwriting. I did enough to get a D2. That proved to be same grade I got for Script Development 2a, the module that begat my prize-winning script for Danny's Toys.
Trimester two of year 2 terrorised plenty of students as they struggled with the academic strictures of the Research Methods module. This was the module for which I attended the least classes and yet it brought me a D3. By comparison, Script Development 2b was a disaster as I abandoned my planned final project and did just enough to scrape another D1.
Now, finally, I've gotten the grade for my last module, the Major Project. I created, developed and wrote the pilot and series bible for a continuing TV drama called Families At War. Very soapy, as much melodrama as drama in places, but a well constructed and executed piece of work. The characters need deepening, the dialogue needs a good few polishes, but it was enough to get me a D2.
In summary: three D1s, four D2s and two D3s. Overall I averaged about a D2, got a distinction for every single module and have achieved my goal of attaining a Masters in screenwriting. I guess it'll be with honours or distinction or whatever they call it, but I'll definitely be getting a piece of paper with my name on it. The challenge now is what I do with the knowledge, experience and craft skills I've gained on the course. The way I see it, this is just the end of the beginning - there's a long way to go before I can legitimately call myself any kind of screenwriter.