[Reader-list] Fwd: Feature Film Screenplay Workshop

rohitrellan at aol.in rohitrellan at aol.in
Thu Sep 10 01:25:51 IST 2009

Dear Friends,

Hi! I'm conducting a feature film screenplay workshop, from Sunday the
13th of September, in which every participant will write a screenplay
for a feature film over four months. Please do contact me asap if
you'd like to join, since there are just a couple of seats left.

Warm regards,
+91 97694 49556

Feature Film Screenplay Workshop

A workshop in which each student writes an individual feature film
screenplay with the guidance of the faculty.

The Indian film and television industry is looking for good, original
screenplays. With the diminishing appeal of the formula masala film,
there is a demand for fresh voices and out of the box thinking, for
scriptwriters who understand the art and craft of screenwriting. The
audience wants good stories, well told.

Most people who come to write and direct in the Bombay film industry
are interested in feature films. But a big stumbling block for a lot
of newcomers is having a finished screenplay with which they feel
confident about approaching directors, actors and producers. This
workshop would give them the discipline of writing combined with an
opportunity of getting expert guidance for their feature film

The workshop would be conducted by Rajashree, an award-winning
filmmaker and a bestselling novelist. She has taught at the Film and
Television Institute of India, Poona and some of the best film schools
in Bombay. Rajashree’s
 been a film buff since she was a kid – she once
stood in a line for five hours to get tickets for Sholay. She has been
working in Bombay after studying direction at the Film and Television
Institute of India. She’s assisted Mansoor Khan and Sanjay Leela
Bhansali. A film she wrote and directed, The Rebel, was screened at
many film festivals, and won the National Award and the Golden Ten
Award. Her critically acclaimed first book, Trust Me, is a
lighthearted romantic comedy set in the Bombay film industry.
According to figures given by The Times of India and The Sunday
Telegraph, Trust Me is the biggest-selling Indian chick lit novel.

While Rajashree would be the main person conducting the workshops,
there would also be guest lectures by professionals from the film

The students would be guided through the process of working on the
basic concept, synopsis, premise, characterization, plot, treatment,
step outline and screenplay of a feature film. The writing of each
student would be discussed in class and inputs given. While this is a
practical-oriented workshop, there would also be theory classes about
writing scripts for feature films. The concepts discussed in the
practical and theory classes would be explained by viewing and
analyzing films.

By the conclusion of the workshop, each student would be required to
submit a feature film screenplay that has been registered with the
Film Writer’s Association. I
n the Hindi film industry, sometimes the
screenplay and dialogue are written by different people. In this
context, it would be up to the student whether he/she wants to write a
screenplay with or without dialogue. The screenplay which the student
has written as a part of the workshop would be his/her property.
Equipped with this screenplay, the student can approach directors,
actors and producers in the film industry.


1. A knowledge of the basics of screenwriting and the form.

(If a fresher is very keen on writing a feature film screenplay as a
part of this workshop, he/she can simultaneously attend the 5- week
scriptwriting course conducted by Rajashree free of cost).

2. A sincere desire to work on a feature film screenplay as a part of
the workshop

3.The students would be required to become members of the Film
Writers’ Association, if they aren't already. Recommendation letters
would be given to the FWA by the faculty to facilitate the process.


Four months, beginning on the 13th of September. Workshop sessions 
every Sunday.


The students would be awarded a certificate at the successful
completion of the workshop.


The fees for this four-month workshop are Rs 28,000. They can be paid
in two ways:

1.  It is preferable if the student pays the full amount at the time of

2.  It is also possible for the 
student to pay in monthly installments,
in the form of post-dated cheques that would be submitted at the time
of registration. A one-time additional fee of Rs 2,000 would be
charged for students who prefer to pay in installments.


The classes would be in Goregaon. Participants can also attend online.

Participants who want to attend online need a good internet connection
and multimedia headphones with a mike (available for about a hundred


INTERACTIVE SESSIONS: Around seventy per cent of the classes would be
devoted to interactive sessions in which the students’ writing is

The students would be required to work on their screenplay ideas over
the course of the four months. They would write at home and then read
out their work in interactive sessions in which they receive feedback
as well as suggestions.

A student can join with just a concept for a feature film or even a
full-fledged screenplay which he/she would like to rework as a part of
the workshop. Participants can work on their screenplays at different
levels of completion depending on what they start off with. However,
even if a participant already has script he/she wants to rework,
he/she would be required to submit the synopsis, character sketches,
step-outline, etc as well. This would be of great benefit to him/her
since it would help make the base of their script stronger.

All the students would write:

1. The basic idea for their feature film screenplay
2. The synopsis of the screenplay
3. What is the premise of the film? What is the theme? What are the
socio-political and ethical ideas being conveyed?
4. Detailed character sketches of the main characters, keeping their
physiology, sociology and psychology in mind. The back story – what
has happened in the life of the character before the film begins. How
does the character change and grow through the film.
5. Research for the film
6. The way the screenplay is structured
7. The brief step-outline / one-line script of the film, in which
every scene is described in a paragraph.
8. The feature film screenplay.

THEORY: Around 30% of the classes would be devoted to teaching:

An Overview of the Basic Elements of Scriptwriting: While the students
would be expected to know the basics, we would start with an overview,
so that everybody in the class understands these terms: Plot,
Character, Setting, Theme, Structure. Protagonist, Antagonist.
Dramatic Need. The Importance of Conflict. Types of Conflict: Static
Conflict, Jumping Conflict, Rising Conflict, Foreshadowing Conflict.
Transition. Mystery, Surprise, Suspense. Premise, Theme, Ideology,
Ethical & Socio-Political Ideas. Zeitgeist, Weltenschaung. The Nava
Rasas. Genres of Films, Genre Conventions.

The Scene:  We would analyze in detail film scenes that work well (and
those that don’t) in terms of the action and dialogue and understand
why they are or=2
0aren’t working.

Structuring: Understanding the way screenplays of feature films are
structured and learning how to use these elements in one’s own work:
Plot, Sub-plot, Inciting incident, Point of attack, Set-Up,
Confrontation, Crisis, Climax, Resolution, etc.

The Format:  The format for writing the Synopsis, Treatment,
Step-outline, Screenplay and Script for a film.

Adaptation from literary works: Many films are based on novels and
short stories. Adapting a literary work into a screenplay is both
easier and more difficult than writing an original screenplay. How to
write a screenplay for a film that is interesting in itself and also
preserves the soul of the work it is based on?

Film History: An overview of the history of cinema in India and the
rest of the world.

Film Analysis: Screening and analysis of films from the following 
Contemporary Commercial Indian film
Contemporary Off-Beat Indian film
Hollywood Romantic Comedy
A film with an avant-garde non-linear structure
A classic of World Cinema
Contemporary World Cinema

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