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Monday, 3 August 2009

Script Writing Workshop

I am a late bloomer so there are many things that I am doing for the first time because I missed it when my friends were doing it. Script writing is one thing that I decided to do but had to do in a group of much younger generation but what the heck, if I have to learn then I guess there is no age for learning. I attended 2-days workshop on script writing that was conducted by Rajashree, a National Award-wining filmmaker who has assisted the film personality like Mansoor Khan and Sanjay Leela Bansali. On the first day, we were five of us who were present for this workshop. To break the ice, Rajashree asked us to write an audio-visual script of any scene. The morning session started with the long discussion on process of making a film that included pre-production, production and post production. As a writer, we have to see the trends that are popular before writing a script. During the second half of the session, she discussed the international format of writing the script. We read the audio-visual script that we had written earlier and then were guided in writing our script in a correct format. Films are an audiovisual medium, so a script is basically a description of the visuals and sounds that will be seen and heard in the film. The ideas for the story can be sourced out from our experiences, or from topical news or by research and interviews. For a 2-day intensive workshop, I found the pace on the day one rather slow. The next Saturday, when I went again, I was surprised to see that all had shifted to 7-week course (Sundays only) which costs Rs3000 more and I was alone with one more person who had missed his class on another day. Together, we discussed the character analysis of protagonist and antagonist, the psychological, physical, emotional and social attributes of a character, and the back story of the character. The protagonist must have a goal to reach and there will be hurdles posed by antagonist. In the afternoon after lunch, I was alone attending this workshop. (hilarious!!) anyways, Rajashree reported ill, was having bad cold and requested me to come the next day and do the rest of the course with other up-graded group. So here I was, with a bonus extra-day at no extra cost, attending on Sunday. Normally, Sunday is the day of saints, and it is reserved solely for my family, but sometimes I make exceptions, though unwillingly. Ahem! We were nine in this group, chirpier with excellent ideas. During the morning session, assignments were read out that included sights and sounds of Juhu beach and the mall, character analysis of a protagonist, a scene of an act and the break-up scene-by-scene analysis of the film ‘Sholey’. It is amazing how two people have a different perspective of the same scene at the same time. During the afternoon session, she discussed the structure of the story and how it can be used in the story. A Syd Field’s 3-Act structure story has set-up, confrontation and the resolution. The plot point is when dramatic action takes place and there is climax. In a structure of 120 minutes, 0-25 is the set-up point, 25-30 is the plot point, 30-85 is the confrontation point, 85-90 is the second plot point and 90 to 120 is the resolution point. On the other hand, Shakespeare normally has 5-Act point in which Act 1 is the exposition/establishing, Act 2 is the introductory of a conflict, Act 3 the conflict deepens, Act 4 there is climax and Act 5 is the resolution. During the third session she discussed ‘Bharat’s Natya Sashtra which is actually the flavors of emotions that are seen in every film with which you succeed in creating the emotion in the audience. The nine Ratnas of emotion are Shant (peace), Shringar (love), Hasya (humor), Krodh (anger), Karu (sadness), Bhaye (fear), Ver (courage), Adbhut (wonder) and Bibuksh (disgust). Some film strips were then show to get some insight on the message of the film.. While the rest of the group will be busy for next four week, doing the intensive workshop on script writing, I shall do self-study and improve my skill. Whether I succeed or not in writing a script for a film, I am content that I have explored yet one more field.

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