Join SA’s big film writ­ing in­dus­try

Have you ever sat watch­ing a movie and thought: ‘I could write bet­ter di­a­logue than this’? Why not give it a try by en­rolling for a short course in screen­writ­ing? Now is your chance...

CityPress - - Careers -

With 33 lo­cal films re­leased this year, it has never been a more promis­ing time to be a screen­writer in South Africa. If you are a first-time screen­writer, the Write Jour­ney work­shop ex­plores the fun­da­men­tals of what it takes to be a screen­writer in South Africa, and ex­am­ines the fine art of writ­ing vis­ual nar­ra­tive, mas­ter­ing the skill of plot­ting and struc­ture, and de­vel­op­ing and fine-tun­ing ideas and char­ac­ters.

The course is ideal for first-time writ­ers who would like to de­fine their writ­ing skills, and is also rec­om­mended for sea­soned writ­ers who are trapped in the web of rewrites and un­fin­ished projects or lost in the maze of the daunting writ­ing process. Play­wrights, or nov­el­ists who would like to adapt their sto­ries into a vis­ual medium, should also ap­ply. Af­ter four ses­sions, writ­ers will know what it takes to be a screen­writer and how to con­quer the daunting writ­ing process, how to read and eval­u­ate film, what to write, who to write about and how to write it.

Writ­ers will look at the unique na­ture of their sto­ries that re­flect their cul­ture, his­tory and ex­pe­ri­ence, push their ideas to their max­i­mum dra­matic, comedic or tragic po­ten­tial, and learn how to drama­tise ideas, bring char­ac­ters to life and learn the art of plot­ting a story ef­fec­tively. Writ­ers will com­plete the first 10 pages of their screen­plays at the end of the work­shop, and they will be re­viewed and de­vel­oped through fur­ther one-onone ses­sions.

The coach is Daniel Der­ck­sen, who has been a pub­lished film and theatre jour­nal­ist for 30 years and The Write Jour­ney work­shop is ideal for as­pir­ing screen­writ­ers who would like to sharpen their sto­ry­telling skills. It takes place at The Wa­ter­front Theatre School in Cape Town on Sun­day af­ter­noons from 2pm to 5pm on March 6 and 14, and on April 10 and 17. The cost of the course is R950 per per­son and in­cludes ex­ten­sive notes. The work­shop is also avail­able as a cor­re­spon­dence course.

For more in­for­ma­tion or to reg­is­ter for the course, go to writ­ingstu­ has been teach­ing work­shops in cre­ative writ­ing, play­writ­ing and screen­writ­ing through­out South Africa for the past 19 years.

Grad­u­ates of the Writ­ing Stu­dio in­clude wri­ter­di­rec­tor An­thony Sil­ver­ston (Khumba, Trig­ger­fish An­i­ma­tion Stu­dios); pro­ducer, screen­writer and film maker Sal­las de Jager (Free State, Roep­man, Ver­raaiers, Musiek vir die Agter­grond and Stuur Groete aan Man­netjies Roux); writer and di­rec­tor John Barker (Spud 3: Learn­ing to Fly, Bunny Chow and How To Steal a Mil­lion); di­rec­tor Bong­inhlanhla Ncube and screen­writer Carl Rod­dam (Safe Bet); writer-di­rec­tor and pro­ducer Ed­mund Mh­longo (founder and di­rec­tor of Ekhaya Multi Arts Cen­tre); and Tenda Madima, whose col­lec­tion of short sto­ries, Ri Khou Dzedza, won the African Her­itage Lit­er­a­ture Award in 1997, and whose A Vic­tim of Cir­cum­stances won the South African Trans­la­tors’ In­sti­tute Lit­er­ary Award in 2000.

– Staff reporter


Screen­writer Sal­las de Jager on the set of Free State with ac­tress Leleti Khu­malo

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