From Script to Screen

Alison Barlow, Staff

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The History of Screenwriting.


Last year in screenwriting many students were furiously typing scripts.  The class was a success and students wanted more, however there was not an opportunity for students to enhance their knowledge in that field until this year. This upcoming school year the new class will be offered to Tahoma High School students who have already taken Screenwriting 1: Screenwriting 2. Students who enjoy acting, writing and are interested in the entertainment industry will have a chance to gain additional knowledge in this class.

THS teacher Allison Agnew wanted to create a class to enhance students’ creativity and interest.  Students loved the first year class so much that she decided to propose another screenwriting class.  Mrs. Agnew pitched the new class to the school board and the school board was very supportive. With Mr. Haag’s help, she was successful in launching the new Screenwriting  class.

The class that Agnew created is an English elective that teaches students how to write believable characters and how to structure a script.  Then, they practice writing over and over again, “because you’re not going to get any better at anything if you don’t practice.” says Agnew. In Screenwriting 2,  there will be longer projects and an opportunity to pursue documentary filmmaking, which a number of students expressed an interest in learning.

Freshman Jennifer Lennon took the class first semester.  “I feel like that would be a lot more fun than learning about movies and short films. Screenwriting will help students because it will give them some background on that type of writing and how to format.  It will also give students a feel of what it’s like to write in that style.” says Lennon. Furthermore, this style of writing is not what people generally think of when they think of writing, they generally think of books, poems, or diary writing.  Both of these classes will give students a completely new perspective on writing and what it’s all about.

Students who have a love for acting, writing or filmmaking and have taken the first year class should consider taking the new class.  They will have the opportunity to expand on what they learned in Screenwriting 1, and to explore new areas of screenwriting, such as documentary filming techniques.  This class can give students the extra experience and knowledge they will need to develop good story ideas and enhance their writing ability.