I would highly recommend this class to anyone interested in the subject. The midterms and finals were a joke. Both take home, both three or four questions at most. The lecture is one hour and the discussion is an hour. In addition to being EXTREMELY easy, the class was also fun. We watched different movie clips and would always relate back to what we had learned. The real work you have to do is the 25-30 page screen play. It sounds like a lot, but my T.A. broke it up into weekly assignments. By the time the final came around it was more along the lines of 10-15 pages. You're not graded on content either. As long as you have all of the technical information correct (margins, spacing, font, text size, etc.) it doesn't really matter how good or bad the screenplay is. Hal Ackerman is really enthusiastic about the material, which always helps make a class interesting.
TAKE THIS CLASS! if you are at all interested in screenwriting he breaks down the structure so easily, and even if your not its the easiest A of your life. There was a one page midterm and then turn in 15 pages of a feature length screenplay - an you arent even graded on how good it is, just if you follow the correct format. We read each others screenplays in section and most people sucked and basically we just laughed for an hour. Take this class, going to lecture is basically just seeing Ackerman put on a 1 hr show!
I actually had Ackerman for 133 in Spring 2011. My one advice is TAKE THIS CLASS. Some reviews say he is hard, some say easy..here's the DL on 133. The hardest part is the project at the end of the quarter. My TA had us turn in the first 30 pages of a screenplay (which is act1). However, as long as it is in proper format, you get an A on every assignment. As long as you go to class every week, turn in the work, and complete everything at the end of the quarter, you should have no problem. One word of advice-put some thought into your screenplay. It is so rewarding to have something you are proud of at the end of the quarter. I loved this class...and I am a south campus major.
Winter 2017 - Super fun class! Professor Ackerman is very laid back and a cool guy. I'm a south campus major and just took this as an upper div elective to satisfy a couple units and it was easily one of my favorite classes I've taken. There are weekly writing assignments but they're usually only 1-2 pages and they're creative writing which is really fun. If you do the assignments on time, you'll get an A (he will tell you this on the first day). He also reads out the best stories to the class and acknowledges the authors, which was my favorite part. Again, I'm a total south campus nerd, so I didn't realize how much of a big deal he is in the screenwriting world until about halfway through. He really loves screenwriting and it was cool to learn some basics from him! He's a busy guy though so don't expect much one on one time with him. I highly suggest this class to anyone though, it's low commitment (except for the fact that the writing assignments are always due Friday at noon, so I found myself up late on Thursday night more than once trying to write a quick story) and it's really enjoyable.