Thursday, August 17, 2017


Creative Writing and Scriptwriting Online Workshop

The Script Writing Course is divided into two parts, the Story and the Screenplay.

Aim – The secret behind a good film is a well told story. All of us have many stories in our cupboard, but we don’t know how to tell them. In this section, we learn the art and the craft of writing a complete short story, which we will later transform into a script. So, you will be guided  towards writing a short story which is scriptable, meaning which can easily fit into the audio-visual format of a screenplay. 

 1 : Storytelling in Cinematic language.
 2 : Indian Cinema: Inspirations from the Navras and Mythology.
3 : Characterisations, the back bone of a good story.
 4 : Structuring the story based on the dramatic need.

(The classes will be referring to popular Indian films, like Sholay, Deewar, Dil Chahta hai, Pinjar, Satya, 3 idiots, Piku, Bajrangi Bhaijan, etc. So please watch most of these films if you have not seen them, before the course begins. )
Aim: Apart from the following lectures, you will be expected to write a five to ten minutes script for which I will give you feedback. 

 5 : Format of the Screenplay. 
 6 : Scene Construction.
 7:  The art of writing Dialogues.
 8 : Narrative Structure of the Script.

You will be given links to free scriptwriting softwares, scripts to read up, and some films and scenes which I would like you to watch before and during the sessions.
You will be given plenty of homework, it should keep you busy for an hour or two per day, so please be prepared to work hard if you want to really benefit from the course.


The fees for this ( nine / ten  sessions of two hrs each) online workshops is Rs 12,500/- You can pay this online. I will send you my bank account details if you want to register for the course.

Faculty : Manjushree Abhinav

Manjushree is an author and a film maker. An alumnus of the Film and TV Institute of India, she has taught scriptwriting and film making at FTII, NID, and Storygram.
You can watch her recent film, And Then The Mountain Called Her, here :
And here you can watch short films made by her students at Storygram
You can contact her at, or call 0982574664 .

Friday, April 14, 2017

Film making course on Sundays in Bangalore

 Film your dreams.  

Storygram is back in Bangalore!

Free Trial Class, 
2 pm to 5 pm, Saturday, 3rd June, 17
@ 1 shanthi road, bheemanna garden, shanthi nagar, 
 Bangalore- 95  

Manjushree Abhinav, a film-maker, novelist and teacher, is organizing the 12th batch of the course in film making, from story to youtube, in Bengaluru. Apart from Storygram, Manjushree has taught at FTII, Pune, NID, Ahmedabad, and Srishti, Bangalore.

Here is the course flow, fee structure, benefits of the course, and teachers profile.


Creative Writing 

Since this course deals with fiction films, we would first tap the biggest reservoir of stories : an unblocked storehouse of memories and emotions. We will also understand the structure of the conflict-resolution story, and we shall dip into the Navarasas. The aim of the workshop is to dig out the blocks that hamper the sprouting of the creative juices and fuel the love of writing towards an intense and natural discipline. It will help the beginner as well as the writer who is stuck in the middle of a story, a script, a film….Students will get assignments to work on during the week, and they will be expected to write a short story by the end of the module.


The story we have structured in the creative writing workshop, we will stretch out into an audio visual script. We will understand the elements of Scriptwriting: Characterization, Plot, Structure, Theme, etc. 

We shall also be watching world class films and understand how they have been structured and written. 
Students will get assignments to work on during the week, which will be reviewed in class. By the end of the course, students will write a short script in the prescribed format.

Acting workshop 
It is only when we our-self get liberated from inhibitions that we can direct others. A theater professional will conduct this workshop, which includes body work, skits, and loads of fun. Most of the times, the short films that we make at the end of the course are enacted by the students themselves.

 So students have a great time performing for each other, and this exercise basically serves as a pre-curser for the experience of directing the short film. 

Screen Grammar 

The various elements of shot-taking: Image Size, Camera Angles, Camera Movements, Lighting, colour coordination, the rule of thirds, the golden points. 
Lenses. Depth of Field and Selective Focus. Maintaining continuity, the imaginary line.

Screen grammar is the practical knowledge on which a script is made into a shooting script.

Camera Practicals 

Basics of how to use a digital camera will be followed by shooting a twelve shot exercise to apply the rules of screen grammar hands on. 
A professional camera person will conduct this class. 

The Elements of Editing

 What we have shot we will now edit on Final Cut Pro, an editing software. 

So we will experience the entire process of scripting, shooting and editing. The basics of screen grammar, like continuity, will thus become clear. 
We will also talk about how the history of Editing is synonymous with the development of language of cinema. A professional Editor will conduct this class.

Making the short film 

 The final project of the course will be to make short fiction films. The best scripts will be selected from the scriptwriting course, and students will make groups of five to make their fiction films. 

Here is a film made by past students about a facebooker who lies. Only he/she who has never ever lied on facebook may hurl the first stone!

CONTACT : , +91 98254 76446.

DURATION : The course would span across four months of Sunday classes, starting on 3rd June, to end of September, 2017. Those who miss a class for a genuine reason, an additional class will be organised on a Saturday. ( Please note, the course has already started on 28th May, but, on popular demand, we are organising an extra class on saturday for those who are joining late. So those who are joining on 3rd June, will have to come again on 4th June to join the rest of the batch. Thereafter, they can attend on sundays only.)

VENUE : 1 Shanthi road, Studio Gallery, near Bheemanna garden, Shanthi Nagar, Bangalore. 

FEES : The total fees for this course is INR Twenty six thousand and six hundred, ( 26,600/).     
  •  A 10 % discount for women. 
  • For those who bring their friends, an additional discount of Rs 2,500 for both.
  • It is possible to pay your fees through EMI, equated monthly installments.
  • You can book your seat by paying INR 4,900. 
  • We accept payments in cash, cheques, or online banking -, and click on pay your fees.

Manjushree Abhinav’s Film making Course is right for you if you are:

  • A Newcomer: The course would equip you to enter the Film and Television Industry as an assistant director or to make short films independently.
  • A Mediaperson who’s learnt on the job: You would benefit from learning the basics formally and getting your fundas clear.
  • A Professional who is already working in the film Industry in another capacity: It would help you become a full-fledged director.
  • From the Corporate Sector: The course would add to your qualifications since films are a very important medium of corporate communication & advertising.
  • Animators will understand the narrative structure of film making, which is an important aspect of animation.

The benefits of joining this Film Direction Course

  • WEEKEND CLASSES: Full-day classes on Sundays, so you can pursue your dreams without forsaking the responsibilities of your work or studies.
  • WELL-DESIGNED SYLLABUS: More than 50% of class time would be devoted to hands-on film-making, so that you learn how to transform your ideas into films that light up the silver screen. While the course is practical-oriented, the theory portion would help you develop a sound understanding of the basics of story-telling and film-making. You will also be watching many world class films to appreciate the different aspects of the teaching. The visiting faculty will be from reputed institutes like FTII, SRISTI School of Art and Design, Chitra Kala Parishad, etc.
  • STUDENT FILM: You would write and direct a short film. The cinematography and editing would be done by professionals from the Industry, which would be a great learning experience. It would also result in a well-made film which you can be proud of and use as your show-reel as well as submit to film festivals.
  • STUDY MATERIAL : The students would be given:
  1. Soft copies of important books
  1. Scripts
  1. Links to useful websites and free scriptwriting software
  • CERTIFICATE: You would be given a certificate at the successful completion of the course.
  • FILM FESTIVALS: The student films made as part of the course would be sent to film festivals.
  • DEMAND FOR FRESH VOICES: The Indian film and television industry is looking for fresh voices. With the diminishing appeal of the formula masala film, there is a demand for out-of-the-box thinking, for directors who understand the art and craft of film-making. It’s a great time to enter the field!


Manjushree Abhinav has authored a novel, 'A Grasshopper's Pilgrimage'.
She is a film maker. She is an alumnus of FTII, Film and Television Institute of India, Pune. She has made several documentary films, and taught various aspects of film making like scriptwriting, documentary films, video editing, at FTII, NID (National Institute of Design), Ahemedabad, Srishti School of Art and Design, Bangalore.
She has also conducted several creative writing workshops at the Times of India Nalanda group, Bangalore, Ahemedabad and Mumbai. 

You can watch her films and read part of her book at
Film your Dreams!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

the pyre shot

I did not go to the ghat when my grandmother died.

 Neither did my mother.

It was not done those days.

 Women didn't  go with men to see the dead burn.

The pyre shot was seen only in the cinema.

maybe we started going to the funeral,

we gave asthi to our dad,


they have stopped showing the famous pyre shot

in todays cinema.

if and when i make a film,

i will definately

shoot a pyre shot.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Seven day Film-making workshop in Ahmedabad

Storygram announces a seven day film making workshop for young kids (7th, 8th and 9th Std students)

Monday : From a story to a script.

The basic graph of storytelling, and how to adapt a story into a script.


Writing a script : We can chose a moment from History and construct a screenplay.

Wednusday : Acting workshop

The kids can audition for different roles from the screenplay and practice dialogue delivery.
Thursday :  Basics of Cinematography

Friday : Rehearsing for the shoot.

Saturday : Shooting the short film

Sunday : Editing the short film. Certificates.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

The masala formula : The charm of its origins

Notes on Script-Writing

Introduction of the Navarasa theory : the origin of the masala formula

So you want to make films. If your ambitions go beyond the glamour, you will realise that it is the script that is the driving force behind any fiction film or tv serial. Writing for films is a deeply satisfying process, and it can be learned by anyone who is passionate about cinema.

And lastly, Ras is a drink. ;)
We are familiar with this word, Shringar, as we have seen it on many a beauty parlour. How much we strive to look good for the other. Shringar was born when the other came into existence. Prior to which, all was one. Advaita, which means not-two, claims that All Is One. However, life as we know it, is overflowing, overpopulated with the many.
(to be continued )
The secret behind a good film is a well told story. All of us have many stories in our cupboard, but we don’t know how to tell them. I begin my script writing course by teaching the Navrasas, which form the elementary basis of storytelling.
The Indian art scene, traditionally, is formulated as a sadhana, a spiritual path. The path of  devotion is  strewn with artists and the art force. Sculpture, architecture, instrumental music, classical vocal music, dance, storytelling and theater. Our great ancestors of cinema. Our forefathers of scriptwriting. Let us begin our learning with turning back and listening to their wisdom.

The Natya Shastra, literally translated as the technique of drama, is a big fat book written by Bharat Muni, in the twelfth century. Outdated, you may say, but it’s a gem because it encodes the secret of the box office success of the Indian cinema all over the world. The overused but magical term, the masala formula, is none other than a modernised, trivialised version of Bharat Munis' concept of the Navrasas.
Which is why, if you want to write a script for an Indian movie, fillum in short, it is imperative to begin by tapping into our immense wealth, the Navrasas, .
So what exactly is a ras? Let us not be hasty in understanding the term. Because haste will swallow the mystery. Let us, like a cow, chew on the term.
Literally, ras is juice. Juice that a fruit or a vegetable is crushed to release. A juice is relishable, nutritious and quickly absorbed. It is intense. It is the essence.
Ras can be equated to bhava, but not with emotion, for the word emotion has gone astray. Like the rupee, its value keeps going down. A baby crying from hunger is an emotion, but a Devdas yearning for a Paro is a ras. The baby will stop crying when fed, but Devdas will die outside Parvati's door. Devdas is eternal grief, a grief so relishable that our film makers cannot keep themselves away from wallowing in this devdas-ras, not even in a single fillum.
So Ras is a sthai bhava, a permanent state made relishable and developed by attendant emotions.
The natya-shastra mentions nine rasas: Shringar, Adbhuta, Hasya, Shanta, Rudra, Veer, Karun, Bhaya, and Vibhatsa. The charm of this analysis is that the interpretation of the rasas is by default a personal reflection. The ras that intrigues you the most is the ras you can work with.

Shringar Ras

Shringar is a ras that relishes duality, in all its forms, in sukh and dukh. The intense attraction and the heart wrenching animosity between polar opposites, the dance and the drama that ensues between the male and the female, Shringar includes all. The totality of life between the two shores of milan and viraha, all is Shringar.

Girl and boy meet, a few sparks light the sky, they separate, they yearn to meet again, they meet in ecstasy as fireworks light and sound the sky, they become three, they are insanely possessive about the third, but the third grows out of the nest, they learn to love her distant mode, then one of them becomes dust, then the other becomes one with the first. All are stages of Shringar. 

Even when woman and man don't meet, but yearn for the other.
Devdas is Shringar of virah, the bittersweet pain of yearning. Bhakti is also Shringar, as darshan is the word for meeting the Beloved. Vatsalya, parental love is again a strong bond with the other.
On a base level, the sentiment in this ras, Shringar, is Erotic.

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