With the explosion of the local film industry and countless foreign films being made in South Africa, It has never been a better time to be a screenwriter.
Following in the tradition of 19-years of workshops throughout South Africa, The Writing Studio’s A Weekend Workshop for Screenwriters takes place in Cape Town at The Writing Studio in Green Point on Saturday, April 11, and Sunday, April 12, from 10am until 6pm.
Graduates of previous workshops include filmmakers John Barker (Spud 3: Learning to Fly, Bunny Chow and How To Steal a Million) and Henk Pretorius (Leading Lady, Bakgat, Fanie Fourie Se Lobola), producer screenwriter and filmmaker Sallas de Jager (Roepman, Verraaiers, Musiek vir die agtergrond and Stuur Groete aan Mannetjies Roux), award-winning playwright Neil Coppen (Abnormal Loads) and Jeremeo Le Cordeur (Tannie Dora Gaan Bos), 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).
Within one weekend you will know what it takes to be a screenwriter and how to write your screenplay.
The workshop looks at how to make the most of what you want to write about, how to conceptualise your ideas, and conquer the daunting writing process to take your idea from a blank page to a sellable draft filled with captivating visual narrative that will inspire the imaginations of prospective producers and filmmakers.
The workshop explores the art of plotting your story and understanding the journey of dramatic action, bringing the people who live in your story to life, and turning dull and meaningless story events into memorable actions.
The workshop is ideal for anyone who has a story to tell and want to turn inspiration into big screen action.
Following the workshop writers will receive one-on-one assistance during the process of writing their screenplays, and completed drafts will be promoted through The Write Agency to potential investors.
The trainer is Daniel Dercksen, the driving force behind the successful independent training initiative The Writing Studio, who 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.
The Write Journey weekend workshop takes place at The Writing Studio in Green Point, Cape Town, on Saturday, March 28 and 29 from 10am until 6pm.
The Write Journey is also available as a correspondence course for writers who would like to write in their own space and in their own time.
Andrew Of SAMDB Attends “The Write Journey Workshop”
The Write Journey workshop is a must for anyone who wishes to seriously consider writing screenplays (and while my intent at the workshop was for films, both feature and short, the principles we were taught certainly translate to stage, television, and even a novel).
The workshop begins with an introduction to what a screenplay is, so that students are familiar with terms and conventions.
From here, the workshop moves to teaching about planning your writing, and how to lay out your story well before you even put pen to paper, covering not only the all too familiar three act structure, but going far deeper, to the many differing plot points, which will translate to not only a better screenplay, but better audience understanding when the final product finally gets to the cinema big screen.
Daniel presents the workshop in a very interactive way, drawing on student participation, so that classes are in part tailored to the various individuals, allowing everyone to also learn from each other.
The workshop consisted of four sessions in a classroom setting, along with a few film screenings, during which various aspects of story, and filmmaking were discussed. Once the classroom sessions are completed, we were invited to attend a one-on-one with Daniel, where we could present story outlines (formulated according to what we’d learnt in class) and engage on any specific points relevant to our stage in writing and learning.
For anyone looking to venture in to the arena of script writing, this workshop is a must. You can learn only so much off the Internet, and while there are great resources available, they are often hard to understand, contain a great deal of reading, and and sometimes not be comprehensive enough.
The Write Journey Workshop (see more information above) is also offered as a correspondence course.