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 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