Are you interested in writing for film and television? Do you think you may have a great idea for a screenplay? Maybe you have some vague ideas you’d like to develop further, or are simply interested in finding out about the process of screen writing.
This 10 module online course will teach you the essential elements that make up a screenplay: how to tell a great story, how to develop compelling characters, and rules of plotting and structure.
The course will be run by scriptwriters Michéle Rowe and Richard Beynon who both have decades of experience in the industry.
We’ll release one module a week. 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. Your feedback for module ten will be done via Skype or at a face-to-face session in Joburg and Cape Town.
MARCH INTRODUCTORY OFFER R 7 500
JUNE AND SEPTEMBER: R 9 500
1 March to mid June
1 June to mid September
1 September to mid December
To book your place please email us to request the booking form and payment details.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Creating CONFLICT. You will learn how to create and sustain tension through that rising and falling conflict between your protagonist and your antagonist.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Who should do the course?
- Anyone who is interested in writing. The easy to learn principles taught on the course can be used in all aspects of writing.
- Beginners who have never written before, but would love to learn 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.
Why should you do the course?
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.
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 local industry. He has written for – or headed the writing 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.
What past participants have said about our scriptwriting courses:
It was an altogether positive experience to learn new things (and be reminded of things that one has taken for granted/allowed to fade away with ‘experience’) regarding the making of a brilliant scene. – Nk’iru Njoku
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. Its an honour and a privilege. Amukela Moyo
I finally met Richard whom I have heard a lot of good things about – the guy is a legend in the South African TV and Film Industry. I realised what I was doing wrong as a storyliner and what I should be aware of as a scriptwriter when approaching writing scenes. Nonhlanhla Simelane