A Weekend Workshop For Screenwriters In Johannesburg – Turn Fantastic Ideas Into Big Screen Spectacle

If you’re an aspiring screenwriter with a vivid imagination whose ideas are larger than life, the exciting The Write Journey weekend workshop for screenwriters takes place in Johannesburg on June 1 and 2 is guaranteed to turn words into big screen action!

Following in the tradition of 19 years of workshop throughout South Africa, including masterclasses at the Sithengi Film and TV Market’s Talent Campus, as well as the 2012 International Kunjanimation Animation Festival, community workshops at the  Ekhaya Multi Arts Centre in Kwa Mashu as part of their annual Kwa Mashu Film Festival, the workshop is presented by the Cape Town based The Writing Studio and hosted by Annie Malan Promotions.

Guest speakers writer-director Henk Pretorius (whose latest film Fanie Fourie’s Lobola has been selected to show at the 39th Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) in the US); film, theatre and television director Andrew Odendaal, whose film Lien se Lankstaan Skoene wowed local audiences in South Africa during its opening weekend; and Donovan Marsh, the writer-director of Spud 2: The Madness Continues will talk about breaking into the international market, working in film, television and theatre, and adapting a bestseller into a box office hit…

The Write Journey looks at mastering the art of plotting your story, defining and developing your premise, concept, theme and characters and taking ownership of the writing process.

The motivational and inspirational workshop explores the art of visual narrative and the fundamentals of successful storytelling.

Within ONE WEEKEND budding screenwriters will understand the principles of writing for a visual medium and what it takes to be screenwriter in South Africa.

The workshop is ideal for ANYONE with an idea for a story. If there is something or someone you want to write about this is your opportunity to turn thoughts into words.  Ideas are transformed into concepts that will be reworked into visual narrative filled with action, description and vibrant characters.

This outcome-based workshop examines the principles of writing for film or television and explores the writing process, developing characters and mastering the art of structure.

It is a basic workshop that explores the art of storytelling and the craft of writing a universal story that reflects the uniqueness, history and culture of South Africa and Africa.

It’s about writers connecting with the process of writing productively in their comfort zones and producing South African stories the world wants to experience.

The duality of the interactive workshop nurtures creativity: it allows the writer to write instinctively and take an introspective journey into story; it also stimulates writers to write stories connected to their unique cultures, communities, history and experience that reflect the universal human condition.

The workshop is ideal for novelists, journalists and writers who would like to master the art of adapting stories into a visual medium.

Following the workshop, the writers will be guided through the process of developing their screenplays through The Write Agency, and get their drafts shaped for the international film, television and publishing markets.

The trainer is local writer, playwright, movie journalist and Education, Training and Development Practitioner Daniel Dercksen. As a freelance journalist for more than 30 years, and published playwright, Dercksen is a qualified ETD Practitioner (Education, Training and Development) – accredited by SAQA (The South African Qualifications Authority) – working in accordance with the principles of the Department of Education and focusing on outcomes-based education, training and development.

Graduates of previous workshops include award-winning playwrights Neil Coppen (winner of the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Theatre, 2011, as well as the Naledi Award for Best South African Play, Abnormal Loads, 2013), filmmakers John Barker (Bunny Chow and How To Steal a Million) and Henk Pretorius (Bakgat, Fanie Fourie Se Lobola), novelists Lauren Beukes (Zoo City), Gary Hirson (The Magic That is Ours and Calm in Storm), and Consuelo Roland (Shortlisted for the Sunday Times Fiction Award and received an Honorary mention for the Olive Schreiner Prize for her novel The Good Cemetery Guide).

“If I had attended it some five or ten years ago, so many things would have changed in my career, as well as life in general.” Elelwani Ramaite-Mafadza, a  lecturer at the University of Venda, as well as a researcher in the Indigenous Music and Oral History Project (IMOHP) and involved in the CUPP project which is a project involved in rural development.

“The Write Journey workshop gave me a better idea on how to make a financially viable blockbuster. Daniel Dercksen has a practical approach when teaching the art of writing for film and this makes it easy to learn and follow through when I write my own stories.  For me it was 3yrs of film school jam packed into 2 days of insightful lessons, ” says production designer and art director Warren Gray (Safe House and Long Walk to Freedom)

“The illuminating workshop gave me insight into the birth of a script; especially the development of a front page, log line and tag line. I am still the producer at heart but with the couple of movies that I am nudging forward with development I know what I am looking for in the scripts,” says Producer Alan Lawson, Birdfilm (South Africa)

For the full agenda and registration, visit the website www.writingstudio.co.za or email [email protected]


By Andrew Germishuys

Founder of SAMDB, Andrew has worked full time in the film industry since the early 2000's. He has trained as an actor, completing his LAMDA Gold Medal, and attending many courses in Cape Town acting studios, with masterclasses with some of the international industries top directors, producers and filmmakers. Working as an actor and armourer in the film and television industry have given Andrew a great balance of skills across the board when it comes to the entertainment industry. Catch him on Twitter: twitter.com/andrewgerm_za Instagram: instagram.com/andrewgerm_za IMDb: www.imdb.com/name/nm5390453/

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