January 16, 2012

McKenna, David Silver_nugget
Script Analysis

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

I was nervous about this class having read some of the reviews here, but this is easily the most fun class I've taken at Columbia. McKenna's strength is not the information he presents (Vogler's 12 Steps are pretty basic and you could teach yourself by reading the book), but damn, is he entertaining. McKenna is funny and lively, and provides a refreshing break from other classes in the department taught by professors who tend to take themselves too seriously. Yes, he is crazy and often offensive, but if you can laugh it off and appreciate his twisted sense of humor, you will find that there is also a lot to be gained from this class. Most of what I learned in Script Analysis came from the work we were asked to do. It's surprising how much you learn from doing coverage once a week. The scripts chosen were fun (Erin Brockovich, Unforgiven, The Bourne Identity, etc.) and as usual in film classes, the TAs are awesome and an invaluable resource. Someone on here said that participation is vital to receiving a good grade, and while McKenna loves hearing students talk whether he agrees with them or not, I don't think participating is the only way to succeed in this class. I got an A and never spoke in lecture and not often in discussion. Yes, the class is a major requirement, but it is a fun one.

Workload:

- coverage on an assigned script once a week (scripts are 120 pgs)
- Director's Prep Project (a series of one page papers and little excerises on a movie of your choosing)