Jessica Rotondi

BFA (Drama) New York University Tisch School of the Arts, MFA (Film) Columbia University.  Rotondi wears a few hats but also has a tunnel-vision focus on everything on which she works. She's a screenwriter, director, actress, and comedian who has always been true to her heart…as well as to her sense of humor. She loves creative, honest expressions of all kinds and genres but has always had a special place in her heart for comedy. At NYU, she studied acting and directing for theatre and minored in screenwriting. She later went to the Columbia University's Graduate Film program, where she wrote, directed, and produced a strong body of film and TV projects. Many of the films, pilots, and web series that she’s written and directed have been honored in a variety of festivals and script contests, including PAGE Screenwriting contest, TV Guide Pilot Writing Contest, Hollyshorts Film Festival, The Harlem Film Festival, LA Comedy Shorts Festival, and World Of Comedy Film Festival. One of the web series for which she was a staff writer was optioned by multiple TV networks. Some career highlights include: semifinals in the Sundance Writers Lab, a Student Academy Best Short Film nomination, an Audience Choice Award in the Harlem Film Festival, Columbia University Film Festival, and an award at the New York TV Festival (NYTVF). SLC, 2022–

Undergraduate Courses 2022-2023

Filmmaking and Moving Image Arts

Writing Fantasy Scripts

Open, Seminar—Fall

This class will involve learning how to write the fantasy genre for film and TV, as well as learning the necessary components of a strong script for both short-form and feature scripts. The class will cover the essential elements of a well-written fantasy script. In addition, we’ll explore how to create scripts that mix genres and use fantasy elements, which many popular films and TV shows do. After learning about the format for short- and web-series scripts, students will have the option of pitching and developing ideas in either the genre or subgenre of fantasy. They will then learn how to further develop the plot, characters, theme, style, and tone of their scripts through discussion, exercises, and outlines. We will workshop the scripts with readings in class, which will be followed by notes given by myself and fellow students. Students will revise their scripts and finish the class with a completed and polished draft of their short- or web-series scripts. This class is designed to help both beginning and experienced screenwriters understand how to create strong fantasy elements in their scripts while finding his or her voice as a screenwriter. Having the fantasy genre and effective techniques of visual storytelling as the main focuses of this class will particularly support these goals and will also inspire students to delve into their imaginations to create distinctive and well-structured fantasy scripts or scripts where fantasy is a subgenre, such as comedy, drama, horror, etc.