The Write Attitude Workshop – Explore Your Strengths And Weaknesses As A Writer

Take an introspective journey into what takes to be a writer and make the most of conquering the writing process with The Write Attitude workshop that takes place at The Writing Studio in Green Point on Saturday, February 7, 14, 21 and 28 from 10am until 1pm.

If you’re a screenwriter, novelist, playwright or not sure what to write, the workshop empowers writers to develop the write attitude, to proudly and confidently take ownership of writing a story from start to finish, and find the perfect balance between the creative self and the realities the writing process demands.

The practical and motivational workshop is ideal for writers who are looking for discipline and need to master the art of time management.

Writing story can be overwhelming, but if you map your journey and break the story down into smaller units of dramatic action, setting deadlines, writers will successfully conquer the writing process and never get lost during the creative process

The workshop is presented by Daniel Dercksen, a published playwright and screenwriter, who has been teaching workshops throughout South Africa the past 15 years, with filmmakers like Henk Pretorius (Leading Lady, Fanie Fourie se Labola) John Barker (Spud 3: Learning to Fly, How to Steal a Million), novelists Lauren Beukes (Zoo City, The Shining Girl), Gary Hirson (The Magic That is Ours and Calm in Storm)and Consuelo Roland (who received acclaim for her Lady Limbo Novel, and was Shortlisted for the Sunday Times Fiction Award and received an Honorary mention for the Olive Schreiner Prize for her novel The Good Cemetery Guide) as proud graduates of previous workshops, and who has been the most popular contributor to Biz Lifestyle in 2014.

During the workshop the writers explore seven easy steps to make the most of their talent and develop their craft, how to take control and turn passion into words that will inspire action, deconstruct the writing process from start to finish and take positive action, look at what it takes to write for different mediums, and the choice of genre that will determine and limits what’s possible within story.

Writers will also look at developing solid themes that gives stories focus and offers readers a meaningful experience, the tools any craftsman needs that will support the creative process and turn writing into a pleasant and prosperous experience, and improve their chances of success by avoiding the 29 most common pitfalls in writing a story.

At the end of the workshop the writers will map their journey and take ownership of their stories and control the process from idea to final draft..

The art of storytelling is the art of revelation. Storytelling is revealing story events, communicating essential information, provoking the imagination with a new sensibility and ultimately revealing something about the writer’s culture, history, experience and insight of the world and the human condition. Storytelling should ultimately entertain, offer escapism, and allow readers and audiences to explore new territories and discover new worlds and aspects of humanity.

The Writing Studio is an independent training initiative that celebrates the art of storytelling and the craft of writing, fostering the talent of proudly South African storytellers and storymakers.

Daniel Dercksen, the driving force behind the successful independent training initiative has been a published film and theatre journalist for 30 years and has been teaching workshops in creative writing, playwriting and screenwriting throughout South Africa the past 19 years.

During this time, Dercksen presented a Master Class for Screenwriters at the Talent Campus at the Sithengi Film and TV Market in Cape Town, facilitated a ‘Directing Actors’ workshop with acclaimed actor Eriq Ebouaney, launched an evening course in scriptwriting at the City Varsity Film TV and Multimedia School in Cape Town, presented annual community workshops the Ekhaya Multi Arts Centre in Kwa Mashu as part of the Kwa Mashu Film Festival, a course for the Cape Film Commission at the Ikapa Youth Film Festival, a Masterclass at the 2012 Kunjanimation Animation Festival, served as guest speaker and Judge at the 2013 48 Hours Film Project and presented a workshop for animators at Blackginger TV (2013).

As a qualified ETD Practitioner (Education, Training and Development) – accredited by SAQA (The South African Qualifications Authority) and working in accordance with the principles of the Department of Education – Dercksen’s workshops focus on outcomes-based education, training and development.

The Write Attitude is also presented as a correspondence course for writers who cannot commit to the dates or want to take the journey in their own space and at their own pace.

For registration or more information send an email to or visit the website for more information.

Film Review

The Imitation Game: Review

Mathematician, cryptanalyst, and war hero Alan Turing, father of of modern-day computing, arrested on a count of “gross indecency” for the criminal offence of homosexuality. Unbeknownst to authorities at the time, this man helped the allies win the war.

The Imitation Game tells two stories of Turning’s life, the story of this arrest, and the story that was declassified in 2005, about his time in the war and how he cracked the code of the Enigma machine.

Benedict Cumberbatch brings in a stellar performance as Turing, balanced by Keira Knightly as Joan Clarke. The acting, story, cinematography, and direction of this film are nothing short of spectacular, and it is clear to see why it is now receiving so much interest as we enter the awards season.

The story is engrossing, and although almost every viewer would know the outcome, one can not but help to feel the urgency and tension that must have been felt by those portrayed on screen. Not being just a serious thriller about the war, and the tragedy of a hero, there are some humorous moments of brevity in the film, leading some chuckles to break the tension.

The Imitation Game is one of those films people will be talking about for years to come, and is a definite must see. It opens 23 January 2015 in South Africa.


Nominations For The 87th Oscars

Performance by an actor in a leading role

Performance by an actor in a supporting role

  • Robert Duvall in “The Judge
  • Ethan Hawke in “Boyhood
  • Edward Norton in “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”
  • Mark Ruffalo in “Foxcatcher
  • J.K. Simmons in “Whiplash” (winner)

Performance by an actress in a leading role

  • Marion Cotillard in “Two Days, One Night”
  • Felicity Jones in “The Theory of Everything
  • Julianne Moore in “Still Alice” (winner)
  • Rosamund Pike in “Gone Girl”
  • Reese Witherspoon in “Wild

Performance by an actress in a supporting role

  • Patricia Arquette in “Boyhood” (winner)
  • Laura Dern in “Wild
  • Keira Knightley in “The Imitation Game
  • Emma Stone in “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”
  • Meryl Streep in “Into the Woods”

Best animated feature film of the year

  • “Big Hero 6” Don Hall, Chris Williams and Roy Conli (winner)
  • “The Boxtrolls” Anthony Stacchi, Graham Annable and Travis Knight
  • How to Train Your Dragon 2Dean DeBlois and Bonnie Arnold
  • “Song of the Sea” Tomm Moore and Paul Young
  • “The Tale of the Princess Kaguya” Isao Takahata and Yoshiaki Nishimura

Achievement in cinematography

  • Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” Emmanuel Lubezki (winner)
  • The Grand Budapest HotelRobert Yeoman
  • “Ida” Lukasz Zal and Ryszard Lenczewski (winner)
  • “Mr. Turner” Dick Pope
  • Unbroken Roger Deakins

Achievement in costume design

  • The Grand Budapest HotelMilena Canonero (winner)
  • “Inherent Vice” Mark Bridges
  • “Into the Woods” Colleen Atwood
  • MaleficentAnna B. Sheppard and Jane Clive
  • “Mr. Turner” Jacqueline Durran

Achievement in directing

Best documentary feature

  • “CitizenFour” Laura Poitras, Mathilde Bonnefoy and Dirk Wilutzky (winner)
  • “Finding Vivian Maier” John Maloof and Charlie Siskel
  • “Last Days in Vietnam” Rory Kennedy and Keven McAlester
  • “The Salt of the Earth” Wim Wenders, Juliano Ribeiro Salgado and David Rosier
  • “Virunga” Orlando von Einsiedel and Joanna Natasegara

Best documentary short subject

  • “Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1” Ellen Goosenberg Kent and Dana Perry (winner)
  • “Joanna” Aneta Kopacz
  • “Our Curse” Tomasz Sliwinski and Maciej Slesicki
  • “The Reaper (La Parka)” Gabriel Serra Arguello
  • “White Earth” J. Christian Jensen

Achievement in film editing

Best foreign language film of the year

  • “Ida” Poland
  • “Leviathan” Russia
  • “Tangerines” Estonia
  • “Timbuktu” Mauritania
  • “Wild Tales” Argentina

Achievement in makeup and hairstyling

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)

  • “Everything Is Awesome” from “The Lego Movie
    Music and Lyric by Shawn Patterson
  • “Glory” from “Selma”
    Music and Lyric by John Stephens and Lonnie Lynn (winner)
  • “Grateful” from “Beyond the Lights”
    Music and Lyric by Diane Warren
  • “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” from “Glen Campbell…I’ll Be Me”
    Music and Lyric by Glen Campbell and Julian Raymond
  • “Lost Stars” from “Begin Again”
    Music and Lyric by Gregg Alexander and Danielle Brisebois

Best motion picture of the year

  • American SniperClint Eastwood, Robert Lorenz, Andrew Lazar, Bradley Cooper and Peter Morgan, Producers
  • Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” Alejandro G. Iñárritu, John Lesher and James W. Skotchdopole, Producers (winner)
  • BoyhoodRichard Linklater and Cathleen Sutherland, Producers
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel Wes Anderson, Scott Rudin, Steven Rales and Jeremy Dawson, Producers
  • The Imitation Game Nora Grossman, Ido Ostrowsky and Teddy Schwarzman, Producers
  • “Selma” Christian Colson, Oprah Winfrey, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner, Producers
  • The Theory of EverythingTim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Lisa Bruce and Anthony McCarten, Producers
  • “Whiplash” Jason Blum, Helen Estabrook and David Lancaster, Producers

Achievement in production design

  • The Grand Budapest HotelProduction Design: Adam Stockhausen; Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock (winner)
  • The Imitation Game Production Design: Maria Djurkovic; Set Decoration: Tatiana Macdonald
  • Interstellar Production Design: Nathan Crowley; Set Decoration: Gary Fettis
  • “Into the Woods” Production Design: Dennis Gassner; Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock
  • “Mr. Turner” Production Design: Suzie Davies; Set Decoration: Charlotte Watts

Best animated short film

  • “The Bigger Picture” Daisy Jacobs and Christopher Hees
  • “The Dam Keeper” Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi
  • “Feast” Patrick Osborne and Kristina Reed (winner)
  • “Me and My Moulton” Torill Kove
  • “A Single Life” Joris Oprins

Best live action short film

  • “Aya” Oded Binnun and Mihal Brezis
  • “Boogaloo and Graham” Michael Lennox and Ronan Blaney
  • “Butter Lamp (La Lampe Au Beurre De Yak)” Hu Wei and Julien Féret
  • “Parvaneh” Talkhon Hamzavi and Stefan Eichenberger
  • “The Phone Call” Mat Kirkby and James Lucas (winner)

Achievement in sound editing

Achievement in sound mixing

  • American SniperJohn Reitz, Gregg Rudloff and Walt Martin (winner)
  • Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño and Thomas Varga
  • Interstellar Gary A. Rizzo, Gregg Landaker and Mark Weingarten
  • UnbrokenJon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño and David Lee
  • “Whiplash” Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins and Thomas Curley (winner)

Achievement in visual effects

  • “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” Dan DeLeeuw, Russell Earl, Bryan Grill and Dan Sudick
  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett and Erik Winquist
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Stephane Ceretti, Nicolas Aithadi, Jonathan Fawkner and Paul Corbould
  • Interstellar Paul Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter and Scott Fisher (winner)
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past Richard Stammers, Lou Pecora, Tim Crosbie and Cameron Waldbauer

Adapted screenplay

Original screenplay

  • Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” Written by Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. & Armando Bo (winner)
  • BoyhoodWritten by Richard Linklater
  • Foxcatcher Written by E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel Screenplay by Wes Anderson; Story by Wes Anderson & Hugo Guinness
  • “Nightcrawler” Written by Dan Gilroy
Film Review

Taken 3: Review

Bryan Mills is back. After having his daughter taken in the first film, he and his wife being taken in the second, he is now accused of a vicious murder that he never committed.

Taken 3 takes the serious in a different direction. and thankfully avoids the over-the-top violence of the previous film, rather going for the more relevant action of the first film. For those who take note, the cinematography is not the best, but, you’re likely to be too wrapped up in Bryan keeping ahead of those chasing him, both good and bad guys.

Regulars are back, with Famke Jansen and Maggie Grace, with newcomer Forest Whittaker.

Taken 3 is a great escape, and a thrill ride, for audiences. It’s action packed, while not being overly violent. A good story to carry the on-screen action, and of course, Liam Neeson delivers his usual “A game”.

Taken 3 opens 16 January in South African cinemas, and is sure to thrill viewers.


Guardians Of The Galaxy (Blu-Ray): Review

The Film

Guardians of the Galaxy, the story of Peter Quill (or as he likes to be known, Star Lord). Another mega-epic from Marvel. Peter is chased by a bounty hunter after he finds an orb with the power to destroy the entire universe. Along the way he meets up with Gamora, Rocket, Groot and Drax.

In this band of misfits, each has their own personal interests, but, can they work together for the great good?

Read the full Guardians of the Galaxy review.

For those who saw this in the cinema, many returned time and again to see it on the big screen, so the rewatchability of this on Blu-Ray is very high, and is sure to keep younger viewers occupied for many hours, and older view spotting new bits of detail they missed before.

Disc And Bonus Features

The disc is encoded at a high bitrate, and boasts a 7.1 surround soundtrack, giving any theatre system a full workout.

Bonus features include:

  • Guide To The Galaxy With James Gunn – taking us on set (through the magic of an old arcade game intro, in line with the 80s nostalgia of the films music. This featurette details the attention to detail, and the amount of planning, and hard work that went into creating the look and feel of the film, from the colour palette of each planet, to the looks of the various characters. A great insight.
  • The Intergalactic Visual Effects For Guardians Of The Galaxy – Rocket and Groot, characters create by the magic of visual effects. We are shown how these two integral characters became such a seamless part of the group of five guardians. How the characters were represented on set, how do the actors interact with them when they are not there? For the more technically minded viewer, but of great interest to all.
  • Exclusive Look At Avengers: Age Of Ultron – The next chapter in this epic series, shot in part here in South Africa, including local cast and crew. Something to keep fans excited until the eventual release of the film.
  • Gag Reel – Want to see the bloopers? Have a laugh? See some of the more fun aspect of life, and hard work, on set.
  • Audio Commentary With Director James Gunn – One for budding filmmakers and fans alike. A great insight into the various aspects of the film. Learn how various scenes were imagined, created, gain insight into the thought and creative process.
  • Deleted And Extended Scenes – Some scenes that, for various reasons, pacing, or relevance, were shortened, or cut from the final film. See why these were changed.

Guardians of the Galaxy is available to buy now in South Africa.