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...
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 writingstudio.co.za. 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