The Art of Storytelling: from Page to Film

Hon 420 – Professor Jaclyn Costello – Summer 2020


This class will explore two artforms, writing & film. Over the course of five weeks, we will read and watch the following: the short tale “The Story of Your Life” made into the film Arrival; the classic “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” made into the film of the same name; the short story “Rita Hayworth & the Shawshank Redemption” made into the film The Shawshank Redemption; and the novel “The Silver Linings Playbook” made into the film of the same name. As a final project, students will have the option of either writing an academic essay or creating a short documentary, film, or commercial.


Required Books


“Stories of Your Life and Others” by Ted Chiang
“One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" by Ken Kesey
“Different Seasons: Four Novellas” by Stephen King
“Silver Linings Playbook” by Matthew Quick

A Preview of What's to Come...

Samples of Student Films from this class

Nadine's Short "magic realism" Film

Caren's Short Documentary on Filipinos in Las Vegas

Samples of Professional Short Documentaries,
Films & Commercials

Sample Documentary "Denali"

7 minutes 46 seconds

Sample Documentary "Sugar Coated"

10 minutes 52 seconds

Sample Short Film "Stray Dogs"

6 minutes 48 seconds

(click image to watch on Gorilla)

stray dogs.png

Sample Short Film "Meltdown"

6 minutes 8 seconds

(click image to watch on Gorilla)


Sample Short Film "Bad Peter"

8 minutes 56 seconds

(click image to watch on Youtube)

bad peter.png

Sample Commercial

1 minute 39 seconds

Sample Commercial

3 minutes, 10 seconds

Sample Commercial

30 seconds

Resources for Your Projects

Learn More about Various Documentary Styles Here

And Here

And Here

Below you will find a sample shooting script, a blank shooting script, and a sample screenplay page.

Lick (or click) the ice cream for the syllabus