HOW TO WRITE A
You’ll be tutored by two passionate industry professionals, with decades of experience and many screenplays and television scripts to their credit, who will guide you every step of the way.
We will teach you the essential elements that make up a screenplay: how to tell a great story, how to develop compelling characters, and the rules of plotting and structure.
Receive full written feedback on ten assignments as well as two one-on-one sessions either via Skype or face-to-face in Cape Town or Johannesburg. Interact with a friendly community of fellow writers.
The course is designed to provide the skills, tools and inspiration every writer needs to craft a story. The outcome of the course is a treatment, the blueprint, of your dream screenplay.
Michéle and Richard, both professionals in the trade, gracefully sculpted my entire outlook on story telling… it’s a course that opens your eyes and grants you new perspective, something every writer needs.
Nadine Cloete, Johannesburg
Michéle and Richard’s feedback was invaluable and I am so grateful to have had their guidance throughout the process. It really helped to have the weekly feedback so that I could shape and develop the story as we learnt about the various aspects of scriptwriting in the course. I felt as if I had some major breakthroughs.
Shona Mitchley, Johannesburg
A big thank you to Richard for opening up your wealth of knowledge and understanding to us. As a young filmmaker, I consider that a great legacy that you are passing on to some of us. It’s an honour and a privilege.
Amukela Moyo, student AFDA
We’ll release one module every ten days.
The module will introduce the coursework and will include practical exercises to do in your own time.
Each module ends with an assignment to which you’ll receive personal written feedback from Michéle and Richard.
You’ll have a Skype call with Michéle and Richard midway through the course and feedback for module ten will be done via Skype or at a face-to-face session in Johannesburg and Cape Town.
By the end the course you’ll have a treatment, the blueprint, of your dream screenplay.
Beginners who have never written before, but are serious about learning how to craft a story for film.
Professional or semi-professional writers working in other mediums, such as journalists, playwrights or novelists, who wish to acquire an added skill.
Screenwriters who may be ‘stuck’ and are looking for a different perspective on a project, or who want to refresh themselves as to the basic rules of structure, character and story.
Documentary or magazine program makers who want to learn how to use screenwriting skills to structure exciting, dramatic content.
Anyone who has a great idea for a movie but does not know how to take it one step further in order to interest investors of producers.
Film producers seldom read scripts in their endless hunt for original and compelling material. They read the outline: the excitingly presented synopsis of the story that introduces the characters and traces the spine of the drama.
Creating an outline is a challenging and technical process. And it’s what All About Writing’s How to Write a Screenplay teaches. This involves creating striking characters, and developing and structuring a stirring and memorable story.
Despite the South African film industry being one of the of the oldest film industries in the world, with a long history of producing superb technicians, producers, directors and actors, we continue to lag behind when it comes to skilled content originators and writers.
The South African government has set aside generous funding and business incentives to kick start the feature film industry. At present there is also a worldwide boom in tv and broadband entertainment, and with it a demand for interesting content.
We are a nation of extraordinary stories, and producers and content providers are always looking for good, skilled writers to craft these into the medium of film. This course will help you to do just that.
MODULE ONE A script is simply a story, stripped to its essence, highlighting the most dramatic moments. The most important element of a screenplay is STORY. In this first module we will examine the three essential elements that make up a good STORY.
MODULE TWO The second module will look at how you can develop CHARACTERS. You will learn how to draw from your imagination and your own life experiences to create rounded memorable characters. You will learn the different character archetypes, and their roles in your script.
MODULE THREE You will identify your PROTAGONIST. In this module you will learn the difference between your protagonist and your other characters. You will learn how the needs or wants of your protagonist will drive your story forward. You will also find out how to flesh out your secondary characters in relation to your protagonist.
MODULE FOUR A story becomes dramatic when the wants and needs of the protagonist are blocked by an equally determined ANTAGONIST. It is this conflict that drives a story. In this module you will learn how to create a strong antagonist. You will also explore your secondary characters in relation to the antagonist.
MODULE FIVE This module will teach you how to craft the conflict between the protagonist and antagonist into a Three Act Structure. You will learn how to establish the ordinary world of your story. Then you will learn how to upset that order, and kick off your story with a bang through the use of an INCITING INCIDENT.
MODULE SIX Creating CONFLICT. You will learn how to create and sustain tension through that rising and falling conflict between your protagonist and your antagonist.
MODULE SEVEN In this module you will learn how the rising and falling conflict builds to the critical CLIMAX of your story at the turning point of the second act.
MODULE EIGHT The Resolution in Act Three. Creating a satisfying ENDING. How the end of the screenplay answers questions raised in the first act. How to foreshadow the ending throughout your screenplay.
MODULE NINE This module will teach you how to get down the BEATS of your story in point form. You will learn how the beats are structured into Acts.
MODULE TEN Writing an OUTLINE of your script. In this module you will learn to write an outline of your story in an exciting narrative form. This essential blueprint, is the first step in getting producers and actors interested in your screenplay.
Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, All About Writing was founded by two writing professionals, Jo-Anne Richards and Richard Beynon, who are passionate about writing. We’ve devised our courses to help communicate that passion – plus the skills that make it all much more than an academic exercise – to others with a similar calling.
Michéle Rowe is a scriptwriter who has worked primarily as a head writer and story originator for television and film. Projects Michéle has originated, written or directed have been nominated for or won various awards, including an Oscar documentary and International Emmy nomination. At present she works as a script editor, teaches screenwriting and is completing her third novel for Penguin. She has a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing from the University of Cape Town.
Richard Beynon is an award-winning film and television scriptwriter with a long and accomplished career in the film and television industry. He has written for – or headed the storytelling teams of – many of country’s most popular soaps, dramas and comedies. These include S’gudi snaysi, Going Up, Soul City, Isidingo, Scandal, Rhythm City and Isibaya. He has lectured on writing for film and television at Wits.
With Michéle and Richard’s many decades of professional writing, film industry and teaching experience you’ll be in very capable hands.