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Monday, June 29, 2009

Scriptwriting Workshops in Mumbai

After the success of the first scriptwriting workshop, my sister has announced more, in accordance with the growing demand. . .


SCRIPTWRITING COURSES/ WORKSHOPS


In the beginning comes the word. A script is the ‘blueprint’ of the film. The screenwriter sees the film in his/her mind’s eye and transfers the vision on to paper. The journey from paper to the silver screen is a long one – actors have to be cast, crew members hired, sets constructed, raw stock and expensive equipment procured, the film has to shot, then processed and edited, the sound and picture have to be worked on… It’s a long and expensive journey, but never forget: In the beginning comes the word.

The Indian film and television industry is looking for good, original screenplays. With the diminishing appeal of the formula masala film, there is a demand for fresh voices and out of the box thinking, for scriptwriters who understand the art and craft of screenwriting. The audience wants good stories, well told.

Learn to write scripts for the big and small screens from Rajashree, who is an award-winning filmmaker and a bestselling novelist. She has taught at the Film and Television Institute of India, and some of the best film schools in Bombay.

Rajashree’s been a film buff since she was a kid – she once stood in a line for five hours to get tickets for Sholay. She has been working in Bombay after studying direction at the Film and Television Institute of India, Poona. She’s assisted Mansoor Khan and Sanjay Leela Bhansali. A film she wrote and directed, The Rebel, was screened at many film festivals, and won the National Award and the Golden Ten Award. Her critically acclaimed first book, Trust Me, is a lighthearted romantic comedy set in the Bombay film industry. According to figures given by The Times of India and The Sunday Telegraph, Trust Me is the biggest-selling Indian chick lit novel. http://rajashree.in


While Rajashree would be the main person conducting the workshops, there would also be guest lectures by professionals from the film industry.

CONTACT

For further information, please call 9769449556 or email rajashree.in@gmail.com



COURSES/ WORKSHOPS:

  1. 2-DAY SCRIPTWRITING WORKSHOP:

A full-time 2-day workshop

6 sessions of 2.5 hours each, over 2 days

Fees: Rs 2,900

  1. 6-WEEK SCRIPTWRITING COURSE:

A part-time course of 6 weeks beginning on 18th July.

8 sessions of 5 hours each, over 6 weekends

Fees: Rs 11,900 (Discounts available for students, etc.)

  1. FEATURE FILM SCREENPLAY WORKSHOP

A workshop in which each participant writes a feature film screenplay with the guidance of the faculty. Begins in July

34 sessions of 3 hours each, over 4 months

Fees: Rs 28,000

CERTIFICATES

The students would be given certificates at the completion of the courses/ workshops.

VENUE

The workshops/ courses would be held in Goregaon.

WHICH COURSE / WORKSHOP SHOULD YOU CHOSE?

If you would like to write a feature film screenplay or rework a screenplay you’ve been working on, the Feature Film Screenplay Workshop would be right for you.

If you would like to learn screenplay-writing, you can choose between the fulltime 2-day workshop and the part-time six-week course. The advantage of the weekend course is that it’s a short duration intensive overview of the basics of screenwriting. The advantage of the part-time six-week course is that you can learn by doing – assignments will be given every week that strengthen your understanding of the concepts being taught and you will write a full-fledged script (screenplay and dialogues) for a short film.

The details for each course/ workshop follow.


2-DAY SCRIPTWRITING WORKSHOP:

WHEN

A full-time 2-day workshop

DURATION

6 sessions of 2.5 hours each, over 2 days

CERTIFICATE

The students would be given certificates at the completion of the workshop.

FEES

The fees are Rs 2,900.

COURSE CONTENT

·Film-making: As a scriptwriter, it is necessary to understand the process of making a film - pre-production, production and post-production.

A brief overview of how films are made would be given to the students.

·Storytelling: The audience is looking for a good story told well. Fiction films are basically about telling stories through visuals and sounds. Where do stories come from? Life as a source – memory, imagination, experience – yours & others. The nature and role of intuition. Universalising the personal experience. Importance of research. Adaptation from literary works. The difference between actually being inspired and stealing ideas.

·Audiovisual Writing: Films are an audiovisual medium, so a script is basically a description of the visuals and sounds that will be seen and heard in the film. What are the elements of visual story telling? The discipline of writing a screenplay. The ‘outer manifestation of inner reality’ which Satyajit Ray talks about.

· Characterisation: How to create 3 dimensional characters.

How to establish characters on screen. The Protagonist and the Antagonist. Dramatic Need of the protagonist & its relation to the plot. The way the character grows and changes during the film.

Establishing characters on screen. “Show, don’t tell.”

· The Format: The format for writing the Synopsis, One-Line Script (Brief Step-Outline), Screenplay / Script for a film.

· The Elements of Scriptwriting: Scriptwriting is an art, but there’s also a craft to it. The students would be taught the elements of screenwriting: Action, Character, Setting, Theme, Structure.

· The Importance of Conflict: Drama comes from conflict. We would analyse the types of conflict: Static Conflict, Jumping Conflict, Rising Conflict, Foreshadowing Conflict. How mystery, surprise and suspense are used.

· Structuring: Understanding the way screenplays of films are structured and learning how to use these elements in your own work: The 3-act structure. Set-Up, Confrontation, Climax & Resolution.

Plot, Sub-plots, weaving them together.

· What does the film ‘say’: Films reflect the Zeitgeist, the spirit of the times when the film was made and the Weltenschaung, the worldview of the film-maker. We would discuss the Premise, Theme, Ideology, Ethical & Socio-Political Ideas conveyed through films.

6-WEEK SCRIPTWRITING COURSE:

WHEN

A part-time course of 6 weeks beginning on 18th July.

DURATION

8 sessions of 5 hours each, over 6 weekends

CERTIFICATE

The students would be given certificates at the completion of the workshop.

FEES

The fees are Rs 11,900. They would be paid at the time of admission.


COURSE CONTENT

The students will be taught scriptwriting by interactive sessions and theory classes.

INTERACTIVE SESSIONS: The students would write at home and then read out their work in interactive sessions in which they receive feedback as well as suggestions. They would be required to work on assignments that strengthen their understanding of the concepts being taught, a full-fledged script (screenplay and dialogues) for a 10-minute film and finally, a feature film step outline.

Assignments:

  1. Writing concepts for 4 films and brief character sketches of 3 characters every week.
  2. A scene - One Character, One Space - in which situations, characters & states of mind are depicted by audiovisual means
  3. One-page character sketches of a fictional character & a real person the student knows personally
  4. A detailed character sketch of one person who can be the protagonist of a film
  5. Writing a scene in the international format, in which the character of the protagonist is established.
  6. A scene-by-scene analysis of a classic Indian commercial film in the form of a step-outline / one-line script
  7. Scene-by-scene analysis of a feature film the student likes
  8. Visiting a place for an hour, taking notes and writing an actuality trip report in audiovisual terms
  9. Interviewing a person and writing a report about that

Script for a Short Film

1. The basic idea

2. The synopsis

3. What is the premise of the film? What is the theme? What are the socio-political and ethical ideas being conveyed?

4. Character sketches of the main characters, keeping their physiology, sociology and psychology in mind. The back story – what has happened in the life of the character before the film begins? How does the character change and grow through the film.

5. The Step-Outline of the film, in which every scene is described in a paragraph.

6. Screenplay with dialogue for the short film

Workshop on the Step-Outline of a Film: Starting from scratch, the teacher and students would write a brief step outline for an original film screenplay in class.

THEORY:

Film-making: As a scriptwriter, it is necessary to understand the process of making a film - pre-production, production and post-production.

A brief overview of how films are made would be given to the students.

Storytelling: The audience is looking for a good story told well. Fiction films are basically about telling stories through visuals and sounds. What are the elements of a good story? Where do stories come from? Life as a source – memory, imagination, experience – yours & others. The nature and role of intuition. Universalising the personal experience. Importance of research.

Adaptation from literary works. The difference between actually being inspired and stealing ideas.

Audiovisual Writing: Films are an audiovisual medium so a script is basically a description of the visuals and sounds that will be seen and heard in the film. What are the elements of visual story telling? The discipline of writing a screenplay. The ‘outer manifestation of inner feelings’ which Satyajit Ray talks about.

Characterisation: How to create 3 dimensional characters.

How to establish characters on screen. The Protagonist and the Antagonist. Dramatic Need of the protagonist & its relation to the plot. The way the character grows and changes during the film.

Establishing characters on screen. “Show, don’t tell.”

The Format: The format for writing the Synopsis, Step-outline.

The format for writing the Screenplay and Script for a film.

Learning from tradition: The art of dramatic writing has been written about for thousands of years. We would talk about Bharat’s Natyashastra, Nav Rasas & their relationship with Indian films. Aristotle's ideas about drama have greatly influenced Western theatre and cinema.

The Elements of Scriptwriting: Scriptwriting is an art, but there’s also a craft to it. There are principles but no rules or formulae in screenwriting. The students would be taught the elements of screenwriting: Action, Character, Setting, Theme, Structure.

Structuring: Understanding the way screenplays of films are structured and learning how to use these elements in your own work: The 3-act structure. Set-Up, Confrontation, Crisis, Climax, Resolution, etc

Plot, Sub-plot, weaving them together.

The Structure of commercial Hindi films

The Importance of Conflict: Drama comes from conflict. We would analyse the types of conflict: Static Conflict, Jumping Conflict, Rising Conflict, Foreshadowing Conflict. How mystery, surprise and suspense are used.

What does the film ‘say’: Films reflect the Zeitgeist, the spirit of the times when the film was made and the Weltenschaung, the worldview of the film-maker. We would discuss the Premise, Theme, Ideology, Ethical & Socio-Political Ideas conveyed through films.

Film Analysis: The concepts discussed in the practical and theory classes would be explained by viewing and analyzing films. Films from the following categories would be screened and analysed:

Classic Commercial Indian film

Short films

Contemporary Multiplex Indian film

A documentary film

A classic of World Cinema

Contemporary World Cinema


FEATURE FILM SCREENPLAY WORKSHOP

A workshop in which the students write a feature film screenplay with the guidance of the faculty.

Most people who come to write and direct in the Bombay film industry are
interested in feature films. But a big stumbling block for a lot
of newcomers is having a finished screenplay with which they feel confident
about approaching directors, actors and producers. This workshop would give them the discipline of writing combined with an opportunity of getting expert guidance for their feature film screenplays.

The students would be guided through the process of working on the basic concept, synopsis, premise, characterization, plot, treatment, step outline and screenplay of a feature film. The writing of each student would be discussed in class and inputs given. While this is a practical-oriented workshop, there would also be theory classes about writing scripts for feature films. The concepts discussed in the practical and theory classes would be explained by viewing and analyzing films.

By the conclusion of the workshop, each student would be required to submit a feature film screenplay that has been registered with the Film Writer’s Association. In the Hindi film industry, sometimes the screenplay and dialogue are written by different people. In this context, it would be up to the student whether he/she wants to write a screenplay with or without dialogue. The screenplay which the student has written as a part of the workshop would be his/her property. Equipped with this screenplay, the student would be ready to approach directors, actors and producers in the film industry.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS

1. A knowledge of the basics of screenwriting and the form.

2. A sincere desire to work on a feature film screenplay as a part of the workshop

3.The students would be required to become members of the Film Writers’ Association, if they aren't already.

DURATION

34 sessions of 3 hours each, over 4 months

CERTIFICATE

The students would be awarded a certificate at the successful completion of the workshop.


FEE STRUCTURE

There are two plans for paying the fees:

1. It is preferable if the student pays the full amount at the time of admission. The fees would work out to Rs. 28,000 for this plan.

2. It is also possible for the student to pay in installments. The installments would be:

At the time of admission: Rs. 5,000

Before the batch starts: Rs. 7,000

Within one month (as a post-dated cheque): Rs. 7,000

Within two months (as a post-dated cheque): Rs. 7,000

Within three months (as a post-dated cheque): Rs. 7,000

The fees would work out to Rs. 33,000 for this plan.

COURSE CONTENT

There would be a total of 34 classes of 3 hours’ duration.

INTERACTIVE SESSIONS: Around seventy per cent of the classes would be devoted to interactive sessions in which the students’ writing is discussed.

The students would be required to work on their screenplay ideas over the course of the four months. They would write at home and then read out their work in interactive sessions in which they receive feedback as well as suggestions.

A student can join with just a concept for a feature film or even a full-fledged screenplay which he/she would like to rework as a part of the workshop. Participants can work on their screenplays at different levels of completion depending on what they start off with. However, even if a participant already has script he/she wants to rework, he/she would be required to submit the synopsis, character sketches, step-outline, etc as well. This would be of great benefit to him/her since it would help make the base of their script stronger.

All the students would write:

1. The basic idea for their feature film screenplay

2. The synopsis of the screenplay

3. What is the premise of the film? What is the theme? What are the socio-political and ethical ideas being conveyed?

4. Detailed character sketches of the main characters, keeping their physiology, sociology and psychology in mind. The back story – what has happened in the life of the character before the film begins. How does the character change and grow through the film.

5. Research for the film

6. The way the screenplay is structured

7. The brief step-outline / one-line script of the film, in which every scene is described in a paragraph.

8. The feature film screenplay.

THEORY: Around 30% of the classes would be devoted to teaching:

An Overview of the Basic Elements of Scriptwriting: While the students would be expected to know the basics, we would start with an overview, so that everybody in the class understands these terms: Plot, Character, Setting, Theme, Structure. Protagonist, Antagonist. Dramatic Need. The Importance of Conflict. Types of Conflict: Static Conflict, Jumping Conflict, Rising Conflict, Foreshadowing Conflict. Transition. Mystery, Surprise, Suspense. Premise, Theme, Ideology, Ethical & Socio-Political Ideas. Zeitgeist, Weltenschaung. The Nava Rasas. Genres of Films, Genre Conventions.

The Scene: We would analyze in detail film scenes that work well (and those that don’t) in terms of the action and dialogue and understand why they are or aren’t working.

Structuring: Understanding the way screenplays of feature films are structured and learning how to use these elements in one’s own work: Plot, Sub-plot, Inciting incident, Point of attack, Set-Up, Confrontation, Crisis, Climax, Resolution, etc.

The Format: The format for writing the Synopsis, Treatment, Step-outline, Screenplay and Script for a film.

Adaptation from literary works: Many films are based on novels and short stories. Adapting a literary work into a screenplay is both easier and more difficult than writing an original screenplay. How to write a screenplay for a film that is interesting in itself and also preserves the soul of the work it is based on?

Film History: An overview of the history of cinema in India and the rest of the world.

Film Analysis: Screening and analysis of films from the following categories:

Contemporary Commercial Indian film

Contemporary Off-Beat Indian film

Hollywood Romantic Comedy

A film with an avant-garde non-linear structure

A classic of World Cinema

Contemporary World Cinema

6 comments:

SmartPumpkin'sMom said...

Wow! Sounds interesting!

Rajashree said...

Thanks a ton, Mangutai! I'd got a participant in last weekend's workshop thanks to your blog. I'm hoping this brings many more.

Lots of love-shove,
Raju

Rajashree said...

Wow, cool new picture and cool green background!

renaye said...

so cool. if only malaysia has these kind courses!

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