Advanced Diploma In Screenwriting | (2 Years)

Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development awarded programme.

1. Key Features

Objective of Course:
The objective of this 2-year, 4-semester post graduate course is to help create professional screenwriters. They need to develop writing skills that will help them write in a wide range of genres, cinema as well as television, with some basic understanding of the craft of writing short films, corporate films, documentaries and advertisement films. The deeper aim of the course is to help student-writers discover their own voice, free up their creativity, hone their intuition and impart to them the skills through which they are able to write their own original as well as others’ stories. The course makes students learn screenwriting by actual hands-on writing on a continuous basis with active mentoring from faculty, combined with a study of the widest range of cinema and narrative literature, via intensive theory classes, workshops, and interaction with many senior and experienced writers and writer-directors. Apart from this, the course offers other educational inputs from the field of culture and arts, especially from theatre, and from ancient narrative traditions like mythology and folk tales.

Overview of the Screenwriting field
Stories have eternally been a source of amusement, inspiration, education and general entertainment for human beings. In India, our ancient narratives have lasted the test of centuries, spawning a variety of performing narrative arts including mythology, folk tales, Urdu-Farsi Theatre, Classical Sanskrit Theatre and many many other forms of storytelling. Cinema is currently the most exciting and the most powerful storytelling medium known, and is like a hungry monster continuously requiring content in the form of scripts. India produces more than 1200 feature films a year, countless documentaries and short films, and has more than 500 TV channels operating 24/7. However, our cinema and TV is still considered of below average quality internationally, and the primary reason for this is a lack of well-written scripts. Acknowledging this, these industries are beginning to encourage and facilitate talented writers to offer their best work, and that is receiving much better remuneration and status than a decade ago.

Moreover, the creative bandwidth of Indian cinema with films containing unconventional plots and themes finding acceptance at the box office. This has led to writers negotiating more space for their creativity, and gaining acceptance for original ideas.

All in all, since the birth of Indian cinema, this is the most exciting time to become a scriptwriter.

Award

Duration

Advanced Diploma in Screenwriting

2 Years

SWOT Analysis of the screenwriting in the Indian Film and TV Industries

Strengths

  • The Indian film Industry is the largest film industry in the world making roughly 1200 films every year in 11+ languages, and growing @ 10 – 11 % per year for the last 10 years. This growth is predicted to continue. Ticket sales in 2012 were more than Rs. 4 billion.
  • Television industry is even bigger with 500 channels, and another 400 that have applied for a license.
  • Given the above, there is an exponentially growing need for screenwriters constantly. Unlike a few years ago, today studios and production houses are confirming film projects purely on the basis of good scripts.
  • Likewise, television programmes are largely a writer-driven process and hence the dire need for more TV writers.
  • There are very few trained qualified writers in India, given that we have only two film schools that offer screenwriting courses, with WWI being the larger one.
  • The amended Copyright Act 2012 has ensured statutory protection for screenwriter
  • Writers’ unions in India are becoming stronger, exercising greater leverage in protecting their screenwriter-members.

Weaknesses

  • Writing, by itself, is a difficult process. Screenwriting is even tougher, given that it has to operate within a strict framework of craft
  • There are too many unqualified aspiring screenwriters who have cluttered the field, driving down the average quality of screenplays in the film industry. Hence, producers tend to be skeptical about new writers.
  • While good scripts are being sought and welcomed by studios, most films are still driven by commercial props like stars and other marketable elements.
  • Even now there aren’t enough good script readers who are able to assess the quality of the work, and hence many a time even a good script has to wait to be read by an knowledgeable executive for it to be acknowledged as worthy.

Opportunities

  • Writing a script involves zero cost, and can even be done on paper with a pen. Unlike other technical fields in cinema, screenwriting requires no equipment or investment.
  • A writer can write a script in spite of having a full time job or engagement.
  • Cinema and TV and other forms of narrative entertainment (like radio programmes, documentaries and short films) are growing continuously and hence the need for screenwriters is on the rise always.
  • With the advent of multiplexes, which are increasing rapidly, niche films and non-classical scripts too are finding a growing market, opening up opportunities for unconventional writers.
  • NRI producers and many in India are now making English-language Indian films, attracting writers who may not be proficient in Hindi and other Indian languages.
  • Regional cinemas like Marathi, Bengali and Gujarati are going through a resurgence.
  • With the one-hour finite series slowly being introduced into the TV sector, the need for intelligent scripts based on substantial plots is fast going to replace the existing norm of daily soaps based on poor quality writing.

Threats

  • Given the eagerness to make pan-Indian successful films, studios tend to look for formula scripts, which will attract stars. Ironically, mega successes sometimes tend to narrow down script choices.
  • While the amended Copyright Act ensures the protections of writers’ rights and royalties, it has still not become fully operational in practice yet, as producers continue to resist the changes.
  • There are a few cases in High Courts challenging the amendments to the Copyright Act, and while the Government and writers’ unions are vigorously defending the changes, the judgment is still going to take time.
  • In spite of rapidly rising writing fees, screenwriters are still not paid as much as their counterparts in the West, and without collective bargaining to back them, new writers may get exploited in their initial assignments.

2. Eligibility for Admission

Any student who has an undergraduate degree in any discipline from any university within or outside India is eligible for admission.

3. Employability

Employment opportunities in the film, OTT and TV industries range from being full-fledged independent writers, to co-writing, joining a writing team in OTT/TV, becoming script consultants, script-readers, creative producers and screenwriting teachers. Apart from this, there are several fellowships and script labs organized in India regularly offering aspiring writers a chance at being mentored by senior filmmakers and eventually pitching their work at producers. The growing need for writers is ensured by the exponentially expanding film, OTT and TV industries as outlined above.

4. Course Structure

The first semester of the course is the Foundation Semester. In this foundation program, all students are exposed to the many disciplines of filmmaking – Screenwriting, Producing, Direction, Acting, VFX, Cinematography, Editing and Sound Design. Students receive instruction through a powerful integration of student productions, classroom theoretical instruction, motion picture screenings and analyses, workshops and interactions with global filmmakers. Along with core filmmaking courses, students also take classes in Contextual Studies (General Education). These subjects will help students understand their core subjects better and create complete filmmakers.
The film foundation semester develops within students their own unique story development and filmmaking perspectives and vision. The course also promotes individual professional conduct, communication skills and leadership qualities.
The rest of the three semesters of the course will develop Screenwriting skills in students to make them ready to become Professionals in the Indian Film Industry.

Types of Courses: There are courses in this Program, some mandated while others are chosen by students:

  1. General Education Courses: These courses offer a context to students learning, enabling them to understand historical developments in their specific areas of interest as well as allied areas such as classical and folk art, cinema, photography, urban mythology and digital art etc.
  2. Core Courses: These courses are mandated by the Program Head of a course and all students in the Program have to take them.

5. Semester-wise distribution of Credits (Curriculum)

Semester

Core Theory

Theory Hours

Core Practical

Practical Hours

GE Credits

GE Hours

Total Credits

Total Hours

1

10

150

6

180

8

120

24

450

2

5

75

11

330

6

90

22

495

3

4

60

17

510

2

30

23

600

4

0

0

20

600

4

60

24

660

Total

19

285

54

1620

20

300

93

2205

Syllabus for Advanced Diploma in Screenwriting

Semester Wise Courses:

Course Code

Course Title

Sem

Theory Credits

Practical Credits

Total Credits

Total Hours

FMGE 1102

Film Analysis and History I

1

2

0

2

30

FMGE 1105

Culture Studies I

2

0

2

30

FMNE 1101

Basics of Production Design

2

0

2

30

FMGE 1107

Music in Film I

2

0

2

30

FMGE 11022

Introduction to Filmmaking

8

6

14

300

FMGE 1114

Basics Of ScreenWriting

2

0

2

30

FMGE 1113

Film Analysis and History II

2

2

0

2

30

GE Elective (Any 2 out of 3)

FMNE 1102

Intermediate Production Design

2

0

2

30

FMGE 1109

Culture Studies II

2

0

2

30

FMGE 1115

Music in Film II

2

0

2

30

FMAS 1205

Essentials of Screenwriting – A

5

8

13

315

FMAS 1206

Writing the Short Film – A

0

5

5

150

FMGE 1111

Film Analysis and History III

3

2

0

2

30

FMAS 2103

Advanced Screenwriting – A

4

8

12

300

FMAS 2104

Art of Adaptation – A

0

9

9

270

FMGE 1123

Cinematic VR I

4

2

0

2

30

FMGE 1124

Cinematic VR II

0

2

2

60

FMAS 2203

Writing the Series – A

0

12

12

360

FMAS 2202

The Assigned Plot – A

0

6

6

180

Semester I

Courses

No.

Course Code

Course Title

Theory Credits

Practical Credits

Total Credits

Total Hours

1

FMGE 1102

Film Analysis and History I

2

0

2

30

2

FMGE 1105

Culture Studies I

2

0

2

30

3

FMNE 1101

Basics of Production Design

2

0

2

30

4

FMGE 1107

Music in Film I

2

0

2

30

5

FMGE 11022

Introduction to Filmmaking

8

6

14

300

10

FMGE 1114

Basics Of ScreenWriting

2

0

2

30

Total

18

6

24

450

Credits

Hours

Core Theory

10

150

Total GE

8

120

Total Theory

18

270

Total Practical

6

180

Total

24

450

FMGE 1102: Film Analysis and History I

Theory Credits: 2
Practical Credits: 0
Total Credits: 2
Theory Hours: 30
Practical Hours: 0
Total Hours: 30

Overview
Spectatorship is an important concept all filmmaking students have to understand. For students to understand that film
viewing is not a passive activity is the main objective of this class. Also students will understand that films cannot be
analyzed without reference to the zeitgeist the film was made in. The personal journey of the filmmaker, posited in the
times they lived and worked in hugely influence the films they make. Students will also understand that any work of
cinema also has to be posited and analyzed within the ouvre of the filmmaker and not as a one off ‘product’. Finally, this
course over three semesters will walk students through the history of cinema – globally and in India.

Learning Objectives

  • To learn about various kinds of cinema
  • To get an aesthetic and historical understanding of cinema
  • To learn to ‘see’ films like a filmmaker
  • Identify filmmakers / styles that speak to individual students

Mode of Instruction

  • Film screenings
  • Analyses of films
  • Readings from texts

Course Content

Unit I: Understanding Short Films
A selection of twelve short films from different parts of the world will be shown and analysed in class. The viewing of
short films will provide a stepping stone towards subsequent exploration of full-length feature films.

Unit II: Popular Indian Cinema
Students will see three recent popular successes in Hindi and Tamil cinema and try to go beyond the lay-viewer
perceptions to closer analysis of these films with regard to visual style and thematic content. Students will also see three
classics of popular Hindi cinema of the 1950s and 70s, one film from each decade. They will try to identify the defining
features of these films and the individual style of the directors.

Unit III: Other Popular Cinema
Students will see three major Hollywood classics and try to understand how the Indian popular form of cinema is different
from the Hollywood form. Students will also see three major classics of international popular cinema – one each from
Europe, Japan and Latin America – and try to understand their unique character and distinguishing features.

Assessment

Theory Assessment – 100 marks

  • Continuing Assessment – 30%
  • End of term Assessment – 70% of a 100 mark paper

FMGE 1105: Culture Studies I

Theory Credits: 2
Practical Credits: 0
Total Credits: 2
Theory Hours: 30
Practical Hours: 0
Total Hours: 30

Course Overview
Any society’s traditions, norms, rituals and art assimilated over a period, form the basic fabric of its culture. However,
culture can hardly be an entity static in the historical process. Instead culture evolves because of a dynamic process of
social interactions across time and space within the framework of forms of life evolved in different communities. The
most important facet of culture is the way it is experienced and expressed by people in their day to day life. Through this
course, we attempt to examine how culture has shaped our contemporary consciousness and the ways in which it impacts
our everyday life.

Course Objectives
This course aims to provide students with a better understanding of themselves and the world around them. It attempts to
foster a critical mind and an analytical perspective that will enable students to make informed observations and
evaluations about their environment

Course Content

Unit I: Society and Culture
This unit will introduce students to the concept and relevance of Culture Studies. It will clarify the concepts of Society
and Culture and help foster a wider and more nuanced understanding of these terms.

Unit II: Identity and Privilege – Gender
This unit will help students understand individual identities in relation to society, how they are constructed socially and
the ways in which they impact individual experience. Students will especially learn about Gender as a social identity and
will also explore the concept of Privilege in relation to it.

Unit III: Gender and Film
This unit explores Gender in relation to film. It looks at aspects of Gender and Film ranging from choice of subjects to
representation to inclusivity. It examines the impact that Films have on Society while exploring the relationship between
Culture and Films.

Unit IV: Society and Power Structures
This unit helps students to understand the basic structure of society, the different power structures and the ways in which
they impact an individual’s everyday experience.

Assessment

Theory Assessment – 100 marks

  • Continuing Assessment – 30%
  • End of term Assessment – 70% of a 100 mark paper

FMNE 1101: Basics of Production Design

Theory Credits: 2
Practical Credits: 0
Total Credits: 2
Theory Hours: 30
Practical Hours: 0
Total Hours: 30

Overview
This semester will familiarize an entry level Filmmaking student to the world of Production Design. From the starting as
Art Direction, to the subsequent evolution of Production Design, to reach the current status of Production Design as an
integral aspect of Film making briefly discussed in this semester. Students will know the role of Production Designer
besides the responsibilities of all the head personnel directly associated with Production Design first to create and then to
maintain “The Look” consistently throughout the entire Film, on the basis of a given Script. Realization will be there that
“The Final Look” of a Film is simply a product of successful collaborative relationship between all the head personnel
from all the departments involved in the making of the Film. They will also learn about the starting of visualization
process which involves converting the given narrative as a tangible possibility. About the way visualization begins with
Script breakdown and the way it reaches the level of two-dimensional “Floor Plan”.

Learning Objectives

  • Students will learn about the emergence of Production Design
  • Students will learn its importance in Film making process
  • Enable the students to understand the general role of the Production Designer besides, the responsibility of
    Art department, along with the responsibilities of Costume Designer, Make-up Artist and Hair Stylist.
  • Enable the students to understand the collaborative relationship exists between Director, Production Designer
    and DOP to determine “The Look” for the Film.
  • Students will learn about the two dimensional Planning as the beginning of visualization process.

Mode of Instruction
The aesthetic as well as practical aspects of Production Design will be delivered through regular lectures, power point
presentations and interactive sessions with the help of showing relevant images on screen. And when it is needed the
subject will be explored through relevant video clips on screen complete with necessary analysis by the concerned faculty.
Also to gain a better understanding of the subject students will be involved in drawing “Floor Plan” from given video
clips themselves under the guidance of the concerned faculty.

Course Content

Unit I: Emergence of Production Designer
“Production Designer” as a term was coined for the first time in 1939 by David O. Selznick, Producer of ‘Gone with the
Wind’. In acknowledgement of William Cameron Menzies, who controlled the look of every scene in the Film through
detailed storyboards, which were rigorously adhered to his great Hollywood epic, Selznick credited him as the Film’s
“Production Designer”. Previously the people with almost same responsibilities were called Art Directors. The role itself
has developed over the years, whether it is studio-based teams being replaced by freelancers to Computer Aided Design.
In the First Unit, the emergence and subsequent evolutions of the discipline of Production Design will be discussed.

  • Early History:Beginning of the Art Direction, Art Direction before Production Design, “Gone
    with the Wind” in the context of Production Design
  • Production Design in “Studio Era”: Production Design in Hollywood and Production Design in Europe
  • Temporary decline:Attitude of European Avant-Garde towards Production Design, Overall consequences
  • Current Scenario:Production Design in Hollywood and Production Design in Mumbai based
    Hindi Film

Unit II: Responsibilities of Production Designer
Production Designers have one of the key creative roles in the creation of motion pictures and television.
The “Art Department” is a group of people who work with the Production Designer to implement the scenic elements of
that vision. The Art Director supervises Set Construction as well as modifications to existing locations. Set Designer
converts the Set Illustrators first impressions as plans with practical implications. Set decorator with the help of Set
Dresser “Decorate” and “Dress” the set. Prop Master coordinates with the Production Designer, but also works closely
with the Director and Actors to provide the items handled directly by the actors.
Generally Production Designer is responsible for interpreting the director’s vision for the Film, and creating a suitable
visual concept on the basis of the Script’s thematic, emotional and psychological concerns. This concept becomes the
determining factor in all the designer’s subsequent aesthetic decisions. In order to create a cohesive look for the entire
Film, all these elements must resonate with the contributions from Costume Designer, Make-up Artist, and Hair Stylist to
evoke an atmosphere appropriate to the story and the characters.

  • Responsibilities of Production Designer: Determining “The Look”, Maintaining “The Look” throughout the
    Film, and Providing the Budget
  • Responsibilities of the Art Department: Responsibilities of Art Director, Set Designer, Set Decorator and Prop
    Master
  • Responsibilities of other Head personnel: Responsibilities of Costume Designer, Make-up Artist and Hair
    Stylist

Unit III: Initiating Visualization Process
In this Third Unit, the contribution of Production Design team to visualize on the basis of a given narrative to reach the
two dimensional planning stage will be discussed. Students will learn about Script Breakdown from Production Design
aspect, about the importance of research to attain “The Look” of the Film, to figure out the advantages/disadvantages of
the constructed Set than the Real Location. Afterwards, they will learn about Floor Plan and Elevation as the starting of
visualization process.

  • The Beginning: Script Breakdown, Determining “The Look”, and Opting for Sound Stage or Real Location
  • Visualization Process: Floor Plan and Elevation

Assessment

Theory Assessment – 100 marks

  • Continuing Assessment – 30%
  • End of term Assessment – 70% of a 100 mark paper

Reference books

  • What An Art Director Does – Ward Preston
  • The Art Direction Handbook for Film – Michael Rizzo

FMGE 1107: Music in Film I

Theory Credits: 2
Practical Credits: 0
Total Credits: 2
Theory Hours: 30
Practical Hours: 0
Total Hours: 30

Overview
The importance of music in the film making cannot be overestimated.
Film makers require a solid understanding of the music making process – the sounds and moods of a wide range of
instruments and styles, music of the world in cultural and historical context – and how music has been used successfully in
cinema.
In this two semester course WWI students learn to understand and appreciate different families of musical sounds, genres
of music and the work and creative journeys of some important musicians.
Learning how to “watch films with the ears” is a cornerstone of this course.
Students will gain insights into the choices made in creating effective soundtracks by in depth analysis of iconic films.
Concepts and terminology learned in this course will enable students to communicate knowledgeably with music
specialists in order to achieve the maximum potential of their projects.

Learning Objectives

  • To recognize the sounds, appearances and effects of a wide range of musical instruments and how they are
    organized.
  • To recognize various global musical styles and traditions.
  • To be familiar with various musicians to understand more about the creative process.
  • To communicate effectively with music specialists in the film making. process.
  • To incorporate music and sound design ideas into the initial scripting / storytelling process.

Course Content

  • Students learn about the Families of Musical Sounds, including Winds, Strings Percussion, Keyboards, Vocals
    and non- conventional musical sources.
  • Students learn about the Families of Cinematic Sounds including Dialog, SFX, Ambience, Background Score,
    Songs, Stock music, Silence.
  • Students learn about iconic musicians through watching and discussing music documentaries on important artists
    including Wolfgang Amedeus Mozart, Bob Marley, Michael Jackson, Johnny Cash and Zakir Hussein.
  • Musical documentaries and feature films, YouTube clips and published articles will serve as essential resources.
  • Students learn about musical terminology, attitudes and musical communication skills which will enhance the
    process of working with music specialists.
  • Students will write papers about musicians and films of their choice among other topics.

Assessment

Theory Assessment – 100 marks

  • Continuing Assessment – 30%
  • End of term Assessment – 70% of a 100 mark paper

FMGE 1122: Introduction to Filmmaking

Theory Credits: 8
Practical Credits: 6
Total Credits: 14
Theory Hours: 120
Practical Hours: 180
Total Hours: 300

Overview
In this subject, students will be introduced to the Process Pipeline of Filmmaking. They will come to know about the 3
main processes involved in making a film – Pre-Production, Production and Post-Production. Students will also learn
about Development of a project from an idea to a viable project that can be green lit. Finally the distinction between
Producing, Distribution and Exhibition – the three arms of Cinema will be elaborated upon. Along with this students will
also get some introduction to aesthetics where they will create an individual project at the end of the semester.

Learning Objectives

  • To enable students to understand the process pipeline of filmmaking.
  • To enable students to understand the personnel that are needed to make a film.
  • To enable students to understand the equipment used in filmmaking.
  • To familiarize students with the reach, importance and the power of Cinema.
  • For students to understand the importance of the ‘image’ by hands on experiences.

Course Content

Theory Inputs:

Unit I: Producing
Who is a Producer and what are the activities associated. Who is the Producer’s team and job responsibility of each team
member?

Unit II: Direction
What are the job responsibilities of the Director and their team?

Unit III: Cinematography
What is the job of the Cinematographer and their team?

Unit IV: Editing
What is the role of the Editor in filmmaking?

Unit V: Sound Recording and Sound Design
Role and responsibilities of the Location Sound Recordist and the Sound Designer

Practical Inputs:

  • Students will work in teams in multiple exercises.
  • Students will learn how to use a camera, editing equipment and sound design.
  • Students will learn about actuality – the here and now of any location and shoot a film based on that.

Assessment

Practical Assessment – 100 marks

  • Continuing Assessment – 50%
  • End of term Assessment – 50%

Theory Assessment – 100 marks

  • Continuing Assessment – 30%
  • End of term Assessment – 70% of a 100 mark paper

FMGE 1114: Basics of Screenwriting

Theory Credits: 2
Practical Credits: 0
Total Credits: 2
Theory Hours: 30
Practical Hours: 0
Total Hours: 30

Overview
Students will be encouraged to develop their capacity for appreciating and understanding the narrative aspect of cinema.
Students discover stories from their own imagination and learn to give them cinematic expression. They learn to
understand the innate structure of a story and are made familiar with the tools and principles of the craft of screenwriting.

Learning Objectives

  • To initiate students into the craft of screenwriting
  • To help them develop their own capacity for enjoying, understanding and discovering stories
  • To make them discover and understand the innate structure of each story
  • To equip them with an understanding of the technical aspects of screenwriting
  • To teach all students to write their own screenplays using the principles of screenwriting
  • To prepare them for further specialised training in screenwriting

Mode of Instruction
The aesthetic as well as practical aspects of Production Design will be delivered through regular lectures, power point
presentations and interactive sessions with the help of showing relevant images on screen. And when it is needed the
subject will be explored through relevant video clips on screen complete with necessary analysis by the concerned faculty.
Also to gain a better understanding of the subject students will be involved in drawing “Floor Plan” from given video
clips themselves under the guidance of the concerned faculty.

Course Content

Unit I: Storytelling and Cinema

  • The importance of stories – since the birth of civilization. Stories as a means of giving meaning to life. The
    oral traditions. Myths, folk-tales and fables. The continuing importance of telling stories in modern society.
    Story-telling through different media.
  • Telling stories using cinema. The power of the medium.
  • Narrating your story using visuals. Screenplay as distinct from other forms of writing (short stories, novels,
    plays).
  • The role of the director vis-à-vis screenplay. The art and craft of the screenplay. Why there are principles – but
    no rules or formulae – in screenwriting. The nature and role of intuition. Universalising personal experience/li>
  • An overview of the screenwriting process. Introduction to different elements – premise, theme, story,
    character, structure, scene and dialogue. The importance of conflict.
  • The evolution of the Indian screenplay form.

Unit II: Story

  • Formulating the premise. Identifying the theme. Assessing the premise for its dramatic power.
  • Identifying the protagonist. POV.
  • Developing premise into story. Structuring the story.

Unit III: Character

  • Creating credible, multi-dimensional, unique characters, with universal resonances. Getting to the core of the
    characters. Character arcs.
  • Creating the antagonist, secondary characters.

Unit IV: The Nature of Drama – Conflict

  • The importance of conflict as the driving force of the screenplay. Different types of conflict.

Unit VI: Scene Design and Dialogue

  • Functions of a scene. Structuring a scene.
  • Role and functions of dialogue. Dialogue vs. conversation. Sub-text. Finding a distinct voice for each
    character.

Unit V: Structure

  • Structuring the story to prepare for its screenplay. A basic familiarisation with the classical 3-act structure.
    Using the reasoning underlying the Aristotlean approach to explore possibilities of appropriate structure.
    Using principles of structure to condense vast material into viable screenplays.
  • Exploring the intuitive structures used in Indian films. Comparative studies of those with Hollywood
    conventions for a sharper understanding of both.
  • The importance of sub-plots.
  • The thesis, anti-thesis, synthesis rhythm.

Unit VI: Scene Design and Dialogue

  • Functions of a scene. Structuring a scene.
  • Role and functions of dialogue. Dialogue vs. conversation. Sub-text. Finding a distinct voice for each
    character.

Unit VII: Hero’s Journey

  • Understanding Joseph Campbell’s approach and observations.
  • The universality of mythic patterns across time and cultures.
  • The 17 stages of the Hero’s journey.

Assessment

Theory Assessment – 100 marks

  • Continuing Assessment – 30%
  • End of term Assessment – 70% of a 100 mark paper

Essential Reading

  • “The Art of Dramatic Writing”, by Lajos Egri
  • “Poetics”, by Aristotle (The Leon-Golden Edition)
  • “Story”, Robert McKee
  • “The Hero with a Thousand Faces”, by Joseph Campbell
  • “Writing the Character-Centred Screenplay”, by Andrew Horton

Semester II

Courses

No.

Course Code

Course Name

Theory Credits

Practical Credits

Total Credits

Total Hours

1

FMGE 1113

Film Analysis and History II

2

0

2

30

Elective GE (Any 2 out of 3)

2

FMNE 1102

Intermediate Production Design

2

0

2

30

3

FMGE 1109

Culture Studies II

2

0

2

30

4

FMGE 1115

Music in Film II

2

0

2

30

5

FMAS 1205

Essentials of Screenwriting – A

5

8

13

315

6

FMAS 1206

Writing the Short Film – A

0

5

5

150

Credits

Hours

Core Theory

5

75

Total GE

8

120

Total Theory

13

195

Total Practical

13

390

Total

26

585

Film Analysis and History II is a mandated GE course. Students can take any 2 of the following 3 GE courses:

  1. Intermediate Production Design
  2. Culture Studies II
  3. Music in Film II

FMGE 1113: Film Analysis and History II

Theory Credits: 2
Practical Credits: 0
Total Credits: 2
Theory Hours: 30
Practical Hours: 0
Total Hours: 30

Overview
Spectatorship is an important concept all filmmaking students have to understand. For students to understand that film
viewing is not a passive activity is the main objective of this class. Also students will understand that films cannot be
analyzed without reference to the zeitgeist the film was made in. The personal journey of the filmmaker, posited in the
times they lived and worked in hugely influence the films they make. Students will also understand that any work of
cinema also has to be posited and analyzed within the ouvre of the filmmaker and not as a one off ‘product’. Finally, this
course over three semesters will walk students through the history of cinema – globally and in India.

Learning Objectives

  • To learn about various kinds of cinema
  • To get an aesthetic and historical understanding of cinema
  • To learn to ‘see’ films like a filmmaker
  • Identify filmmakers / styles that speak to individual students

Mode of Delivery:

  • Film screenings
  • Analyses of films
  • Readings from texts

Course Content

Unit I: The Language of Cinema
Students will understand the uniqueness of cinema as a visual storytelling form through a discussion of how cinema is
different from other forms like literature, painting, etc. They will see two films with shot by shot analysis emphasizing
how every element serves the purpose of narrative.

Unit II: Evolution of Cinema: The Early Years
Students will learn about the emergence of cinema in the late 19th century and how the evolving grammar of cinema,
developed through early experiments of Edison, Lumiére, Meliès and Griffith, laid the foundation of the film industry.
Special emphasis will be laid on the great comedians such as Chaplin, Keaton, etc.

Unit III: Hollywood Up, Close and Personal
Students will learn of the factors that led to the rise of the studio system in Hollywood and its subsequent decline in the
50s, the emergence of ‘New Hollywood’ cinema leading up to the present. Great masters who have authorial status within
this system will be indicated as well as Hollywood’s relationship with ‘indie’ cinema.

Unit IV: Masters in Indian Cinema
Master filmmakers in Indian cinema and the social circumstances of their films will be elaborated here with special
mention to the works of Satyajit Ray, Ritwik Ghatak, Adoor Gopalakrishnan, Mrinal Sen and Shyam Benegal.

Assessment

Theory Assessment – 100 marks

  • Continuing Assessment – 30%
  • End of term Assessment – 70% of a 100 mark paper

FMNE 1102: Intermediate Production Design

Theory Credits: 2
Practical Credits: 0
Total Credits: 2
Theory Hours: 30
Practical Hours: 0
Total Hours: 30

Course Overview
In this semester, students will learn more specifically about the different applications of Design elements at corporeal as
well as conceptual level. First, topics like Location Scouting, Set Design, step by step Set Construction procedure, Set
Decoration complete with final Set dressing, and the importance of different kind of Props will be discussed. Later more
immediate Design topics such as, manipulation of Colour as Design element or, use of Architectural element in the field
of Production Design will be explored. Still later more application based subjects such as, the difference between
designing Sets for TV shows and feature Film or, the contribution of Décor elements in “Different Genre Films” will be
discussed at length.

Learning Objectives

  • Students will learn about the importance of Correct Location Choice.
  • Students will learn about the Set Design procedure
  • Students will learn about the Set Construction procedure in step by step manner.
  • Students will learn about the Set Dressing aspect with special emphasis on arrangement of Props within the
    given Set.
  • Students will learn the Architectural aspect of Production Design.
  • Enable the students to understand the difference of designing between a TV Show and a feature Film.
  • Enable the students to understand the contribution of Decor to create “Appropriate Look” for different kind of
    Genre Films.

Mode of Instruction
The overall aesthetic aspect of the subject will be delivered through regular lectures and interactive sessions with the help
of showing relevant images on screen. And when it is needed the subject will be explored through relevant video clips on
screen complete with necessary analysis by the concerned faculty.

Course Content

Unit I: Applications of Design
In the Forth Unit, students will learn about the Set Design complete with meticulous measurements, know the Materials
generally used in the procedure of Set construction, and finally Set Decoration complete with final Set Dressing. Later
with more immediate Design topics such as, the manipulation of Colour as Design element or, the use of Architectural
element in the field of Production Design to attain specific aesthetic goals will be duly explored. Afterwards, more
application based subjects such as, the difference between designing Sets for TV shows and feature Film or, the role of
Decor in “Song Picturisation in the context of Indian Film” to create certain emotional impacts through constructed
visuals will be discussed.

  • Visualization to Practical Execution: Set Design process, Step by step procedure of Set Construction, and finally Set Decoration complete with final Set Dressing
  • Exploring the potential of Decor elements: Application of Colour, Manipulation of Architectural elements, and Importance of correct Location
  • Different applications of Design elements: Comparing Set Design criteria for TV shows and Feature Film, and Decor in “Song Picturisation in the context of Indian Film”

Unit II: Production Design in Genre Films
In the Fifth Unit, students will be encouraged to participate in the process of critical analysis on the basis of exemplary
Film clips from the aspect of Production Design. These sessions will be mainly focussed on single premise such as, the
contribution of Décor elements in different “Genre Films”. The Films which will be thus watched by the students will be
selected, first, clearly on the merit of the complex visual character as the direct outcome of comparatively more ambitious
aspirations of the given “Film”; and second though restricted by the Genre choice, they will be chosen from the broadest
possible spectrum of Films.

  • Décor and Genre: Target Audience and Genre expectations, Period Film, Science Fiction, Fantasy Film,Mythical Film, Horror
    Film, Film Noir and Musical Film

Assessment

Theory Assessment – 100 marks

  • Continuing Assessment – 30%
  • End of term Assessment – 70% of a 100 mark paper

Reference Books:

  • Film Architecture – Dietrich Newmann
  • Production Design & Art Direction – Peter Ettedgui
  • How To Read A Film – James Monaco

FMGE 1109: Culture Studies II

Theory Credits: 2
Practical Credits: 0
Total Credits: 2
Theory Hours: 30
Practical Hours: 0
Total Hours: 30

Course Overview:
Any society’s traditions, norms, rituals and art assimilated over a period, form the basic fabric of its culture. However,
culture can hardly be an entity static in the historical process. Instead culture evolves because of a dynamic process of
social interactions across time and space within the framework of forms of life evolved in different communities. The
most important facet of culture is the way it is experienced and expressed by people in their day to day life. Through this
course, we attempt to examine how culture has shaped our contemporary consciousness and the ways in which it impacts
our everyday life.

Course Objectives:
This course aims to provide students with a better understanding of themselves and the world around them. It attempts to
foster a critical mind and an analytical perspective that will enable students to make informed observations and
evaluations about their environment.

Course Content

Unit I: Urban Spaces
This unit helps students understand the politics and structure of urbans spaces – especially cities in India. It makes
students aware of the active character of the city and the role it plays in the society.

Unit II: Identity and Privilege – Caste
This unit will help students understand individual identities in relation to society, how they are constructed socially and
the ways in which they impact individual experience. Students will especially learn about Caste as a social identity and
the ways in which it manifests in society today. It also explores Caste in relation to film. It looks at aspects of Caste and
Film ranging from choice of subjects to representation to inclusivity. It examines the impact that Films have on Society
while exploring the relationship between Culture and Films.

Unit III: History and the Nation
This unit explores our understanding of what constitutes the Nation. It also explores the significance and role of History in
Society and the process of construction of History.

Unit IV: Indian Epics and their role in Indian Culture
This unit looks the construction of Cultural Values and the role narratives (especially Indian Epics) play in instilling and
conveying Culture Values.

Assessment

Theory Assessment – 100 marks

  • Continuing Assessment – 30%
  • End of term Assessment – 70% of a 100 mark paper

FMGE 1115: Music in Film II

Theory Credits: 2
Practical Credits: 0
Total Credits: 2
Theory Hours: 30
Practical Hours: 0
Total Hours: 30

Overview:
The importance of music in the film making cannot be overestimated.
Film makers require a solid understanding of the music making process, the sounds and moods of a wide range of instruments and styles, music of the world in cultural and historical context – and how music has been used successfully in cinema.
In this two semester course WWI students learn to understand and appreciate different families of musical sounds, genres of music and the work and creative journeys of some important musicians.
Learning how to “watch films with the ears” is a cornerstone of this course.
Students will gain insights into the choices made in creating effective soundtracks by in depth analysis of iconic films.
Concepts and terminology learned in this course will enable students to communicate knowledgeably with music specialists in order to achieve the maximum potential of their projects.
In this unit students learn how impact is achieved in film by understanding how music specialists make appropriate musical choices.
How music can effectively provide momentum to a story, emotional content, transitions, define themes and characters will be explored.

Learning Objectives

  • To learn how music has been effectively used in different ways in the storytelling process. Creating a historical/cultural setting, speeding up or slowing down the perception of time, indicating the psychology of a character and creating an expectation are some of the many uses of music considered in this course.
  • To apply knowledge of the 9 Rasas to define the emotional essence of specific types of cinematic situations and
    scenes.
  • To further apply previous learning of instrumentation and genre – and their relationship to cinema.
  • Understanding of how emotional impact is achieved in film by analysing how music specialists make appropriate musical choices in specific films.

Course Content

Course Content:

  • Films including The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, The Revenant, Catch Me If You Can and Gangs of Wasseypur will be studied in depth.
  • Students will write papers analysing 2 films of their choice and other topics.

Assessment

Theory Assessment – 100 marks

  • Continuing Assessment – 30%
  • End of term Assessment – 70% of a 100 mark paper

FMAS 1205: Essentials of Screenwriting - A

Theory Credits: 5
Practical Credits: 8
Total Credits: 13
Theory Hours: 75
Practical Hours: 240
Total Hours: 315

Objective
Students learn to appreciate the importance of stories via interactive classes on storytelling. Elements of the screenplay are
studied in depth to understand how the form of the screenplay can be used effectively to tell a story. Students are
encouraged to look within themselves for stories and creatively channelize personal experience into stories that are
universal. Students begin working with stories for feature-length films and developing them towards a screenplay using a
systematic and rigourous writing process.

Learning Objectives

  • Understanding the importance of stories through the ages
  • Understanding the process of screenwriting
  • Understanding the elements of a screenplay
  • Learning to look within oneself for stories
  • Learning to assess the dramatic potential of a situation
  • Learning to explore and realize the full potential of a story
  • Learning to develop a story into a feature-length screenplay

Mode of Delivery
The classes are an interactive mix of classroom instruction, film viewing and analyses, workshops and practical
application of theoretical inputs in the form of writing exercises.

Course Content

Unit I. Elements of the Screenplay
An essential revision of what makes a screenplay. Idea, theme, premise, characters, structure, scene design and dialogue.
The process of screenwriting.

Unit II. The Evolution of the Indian Screenplay form
Unlike its Hollywood or European counterpart, the Indian screenplay form evolved as a ‘continuum’ of other older
performing art-form narratives. A brief overview of these forms with an eye on the elements which were included in the
Indian screenplay. How has that evolved further over the decades from 1913 until now?

Unit III. Theme, Premise
Formulating the premise. Identifying the theme. Assessing the premise for its dramatic power. The omnipresence of the
theme and the premise in the screenplay.

Unit IV. Story
Developing premise into story. Setting the story in milieu, time and space. Creating the plot and subplots.

Unit V. Character
Creating credible, multi-dimensional, unique characters with universal resonances. Character biographies – their
physiology, sociology, psychology. Getting to the core of the characters. Desire, strength, weaknesses, motivation,
growth. Sympathy and empathy. Character arcs. Understanding archetypes. Avoiding stereotypes.

Unit VI. Importance of Structure
Structuring the story to prepare for its screenplay. A basic familiarisation with the classical 3-act structure. Using its
underlying Aristotlean reasoning rather than its arithmetic. Exploring the intuitive structures used in Indian films.
Comparative studies of those with Hollywood conventions for a sharper understanding of both. Using principles of
structure to condense vast material into viable screenplays.

Practical Inputs:

        • Students will work in teams in multiple exercises.
        • Students will learn how to use a camera, editing equipment and sound design.
        • Students will learn about actuality – the here and now of any location and shoot a film based on that.

Assessment

Theory Assessment – 100 marks

        • Continuing Assessment – 30%
        • End of term Assessment – 70% of a 100 mark paper

Practical Assessment – 100 marks

        • Continuing Assessment – 50%
        • End of term Assessment – 50%

References

        • “The Art of Dramatic Writing”, by Lajos Egri
        • “Poetics”, by Aristotle (The Leon-Golden Ed.)
        • “Story”, by Robert McKee
        • “Creating Unforgettable Characters”, by Linda Seger
        • “The Seven Basic Plots: Why we tell stories”, by Christopher Booke

FMAS 1206: Writing the Short Film - A

Theory Credits: 0
Practical Credits: 5
Total Credits: 5
Theory Hours: 0
Practical Hours: 150
Total Hours: 150

Overview
Students use their understanding of the principles of screenwriting to write an effective short film. They learn to identify
material appropriate for a short film, to create interesting, easily identifiable characters, construct dramatic scenes and
write snappy, crisp dialogue

Learning Objectives

  • Learning to identify material appropriate for a short film
  • Learning to structure a short
  • Creating interesting characters
  • Learning to construct scene
  • Learning to use the surprise ending
  • Writing crisp dialogue

Mode of Delivery
The classes are an interactive mix of classroom instruction, film viewing and analyses, workshops and practical
application of theoretical inputs in the form of writing exercises.

Course Content

Unit I. Premise
Identifying a situation/incident appropriate for a short. Identifying the primary theme as well as secondary themes.

Unit II. Character
Identifying the protagonist. The protagonist’s defining characteristic. Characterization of the protagonist. The antagonist
or antagonistic force. Secondary characters and their function.

Unit III. Story
Developing the premise into story. Approach to story in a short as opposed to a feature length film. Developing the main
plot. Dealing with subplots and backstory

Unit IV. Structure
Structuring the story. Act structure in a short. Escalating the central conflict. Crisis, climax and resolution in a short.

Unit V. Scene Design and Dialogue
Scene division in a short. Functions of each scene. Dialogue. Finding a distinct voice for each character.

Assessment

Practical Assessment – 100 marks

        • Continuing Assessment – 50%
        • End of term Assessment – 50%

References

        • “Writing the short film”, by Pat Cooper and Ken Dancyger

Semester III

Courses

No.

Course Code

Course Name

Theory Credits

Practical Credits

Total Credits

Total Hours

1

FMGE 1111

Film Analysis and History III

2

0

2

30

2

FMAS 2103

Advanced Screenwriting – A

4

8

12

300

3

FMAS 1206

Art of Adaptation – A

0

9

9

270

Credits

Hours

Core Theory

4

60

Total GE

2

30

Total Theory

6

90

Total Practical

17

510

Total

23

600

FMGE 1111: Film Analysis and History III

Theory Credits: 2
Practical Credits: 0
Total Credits: 2
Theory Hours: 30
Practical Hours: 0
Total Hours: 30

Overview
In this semester, students will deepen their understanding of cinema by positioning films in their specific social, cultural
and political contexts. Apart from analysing films and elaborating major moments in the history of cinema and its
corresponding theoretical dimensions such as notions of auteur and genre, the inner workings of individual films would be
analysed. The idea of ‘national cinemas’ and a filmmaker’s individual authorship within that framework will be explored.
Each of the screenings will be preceded by an introduction and followed by an interactive discussion.The ultimate aim of
this exercise is to enable students to articulate their responses to films and develop their own expressive language.

Learning Objectives

  • To learn about various kinds of cinema
  • To get an aesthetic and historical understanding of cinema
  • To learn to ‘see’ films like a filmmaker
  • Identify filmmakers / styles that speak to individual students

Mode of Delivery:

  • Film screenings
  • Analyses of films
  • Readings from texts

Course Content

Unit I: Italian Neorealism & After:
This Unit will involve a power-point lecture on the Italian neorealist movement followed by screenings and discussions
around 3 key films of neorealism (and its subsequent period) which are major reference points for all filmmakers. The
course will also include discussion and screenings demonstrating the impact of neorealism on Indian cinema.

Unit II: French New Wave Cinema
This course will start with a power-point lecture on the social and cultural backdrop of the French New Wave and the
theoretical ideas behind it. Screenings and discussions will emphasise the diversity of the movement in terms of style and
content and its impact on cinemas around the world including India

Unit III: Indie Films
In this course, students will see and discuss free-spirited films made outside the Hollywood studio system which
frequently defy film conventions and expand the language of cinema. Several of these films either cannot be neatly
classified into genres or belong simultaneously to multiple genres that question the validity of ‘genre’ itself

Unit IV: Contemporary Indian Cinema
This course will deal particularly with the emergence of a new sensibility in Indian cinema in the late 20th and early 21st
centuries. These films will be understood in the context of social changes such as globalisation and economic reforms in
India. They may be seen in connection with certain international films from which individual filmmakers may have
derived their personal styles.

Unit V: Contemporary International Cinema
Students will be provided an overview of contemporary world cinema (post 1990) so that they can contextualize the
cinema that they see around them, inside and outside the commercial circuit. They will be introduced to the current
masters and tendencies in cinemas coming out of countries such as Iran, Israel, Mexico, etc with special emphasis on the
multiple storyline form which is becoming increasingly popular and pervasive.

Assessment

Theory Assessment – 100 marks

  • Continuing Assessment – 30%
  • End of term Assessment – 70% of a 100 mark paper

FMAS 2103: Advanced Screenwriting - A

Theory Credits: 4
Practical Credits: 8
Total Credits: 12
Theory Hours: 60
Practical Hours: 240
Total Hours: 300

Objective
Students develop a feature film story into a screenplay. They learn to construct effective, sharp scenes by understanding
the structure and beats within a scene. They learn about the role and functions of dialogue and how to use it effectively to
create compelling scenes. They also study mythology, with a view to gaining a deeper understanding of stories.

Learning Objectives

  • Learning scene division
  • Understanding the functions of a scene
  • Learning to structure a scene
  • Understanding the functions of dialogue
  • Learning to use dialogue effectively
  • Finding a distinctive voice for each character
  • Learning to use songs effectively
  • Formatting a screenplay
  • Learning to rewrite and revise
  • Understanding mythic patterns across cultures
  • Understanding the deeper meanings in epic stories

Mode of Delivery
The classes are an interactive mix of classroom instruction, film viewing and analyses, workshops and practical
application of theoretical inputs in the form of writing exercises.

Course Content

Unit I: Conflict
The importance of conflict as the driving force of the story and the screenplay. Types of conflict – inner, external, moral,
ideological, etc. Rising conflict.

Unit II: Plot and Character

  • Creating the main plot, the important sub-plots and the back story. The value of research. Structuring the story. Its resolution.
  • Plot vs. character. Identifying the protagonist’s need. Character transformation.
  • Constructing the antagonist, secondary characters. Films with multiple protagonists.

Unit III: Story structure

  • Where do you begin your story? Setting up your story. Disguising exposition – giving information without
    halting the story progress. The world of your protagonist, the world of your story. Introducing your
    protagonist and the main characters. Revealing the main aspects of your central conflict
  • Revealing, developing and escalating the dramatic premise and/or theme. Plot progression – the need to keep
    your story moving in the screenplay.
  • Introducing the important sub-plots.
  • Structuring the screenplay along the spine of the story
  • Forcing the protagonist to plumb deeper internal levels, as the plot progresses. Two steps forward, one
    backward. The thesis, anti-thesis, synthesis rhythm.
  • Allowing space for sub-plots to trigger off and get into gear their own mini-stories. The impact of the main
    plot on the sub-plots and vice-versa.
  • Quelling big monsters only to discover bigger ones.
  • Using different devices – set-up/payoff, coincidence, macguffins, red herrings, setting up surprises, etc.
  • Reaching levels of confrontation that make resolving the plot imperative.
  • The need to resolve the plot. Complications, reversals and fatal flaws. The pre-climax.
  • Crisis, climax and resolution. The denouement.
  • Deus ex machina. The ‘false’ climax.
  • The definite or satisfying ending. The ironic ending. The open ending. Ambiguous ending. Is your ending
    ‘inevitable’?
  • Protagonist’s arc. What else has changed?
  • Sequences. Their graph, function, internal unity.
  • Linear and non-linear storytelling.

Unit IV: Scene Design
The scene. Designing a scene. Its structure. Beats. Conflict, turning points within a scene. Functions of the scene. Plot
movement through every scene. Lead in – lead out scenes. Entering late, getting out early. Scene transitions. Reversals.
Length.

Unit V: Dialogue
Role and functions of dialogue. Dialogue vs. conversation. The ‘less-is-more’ principle. Dialogue as action/reaction. Subtext. Finding a distinct voice for each character. The Indian dialogue tradition. Its uniqueness and evolution.

Unit VI: Use of Song, Dance and dance and Music in Indian mainstream Film Scripts.
The purpose of songs in the film narrative. Types of songs. Song situations. Placement of songs in the screenplay.
Evolution of the Indian film song.

Unit VII: Mythology:

  • The Mahabharata: Exploring the series of conflicts in the epic to see how different human dilemmas have
    been personified by key characters. The character arcs during the 18-day battle of Kurukshetra. The darker
    side of all the important players. Grey shades of characters becoming the determining influence in their
    decisions and actions. Krishna’s evolved strategy of using evil to fight evil, and its implications for an
    understanding the essential nature of human beings.
  • The Ramayana: The dramaturgy of the myth. The cyclical structures within. Recurring resonances of the main
    plot in the two important sub-plots. Examining the shadows of the protagonist, and how contrasts are used to
    demonstrate his heroic and near-impossible challenges. Other significant characters and their role in the main
    plot.
  • Indian Narrative Traditions: Understanding Rasa. The influence of the epics. Sanskrit theatre. Parsi theatre.
  • Hero’s Journey: Understanding Joseph Campbell’s approach and observations. The universality of mythic
    patterns across time and cultures. Examining the structure of myths, with detailed and special emphasis on the
    stages of the “Hero’s Journey”, with an eye on the internal challenges and transformation of the protagonist.
  • Archetypes. Studying Jung’s Archetypes to understand character types better. Essentially: The Self, Persona,
    Animus-Anima and the Shadow. Using examples from myths, literature as well as films to demonstrate and
    illustrate these.

Assessment

Theory Assessment – 100 marks

        • Continuing Assessment – 30%
        • End of term Assessment – 70% of a 100 mark paper

Practical Assessment – 100 marks

        • Continuing Assessment – 50%
        • End of term Assessment – 50%

References

        • “Writing the Character-centered Screenplay”, by Andrew Horton
        • “Story”, by Robert McKee
        • “Mahabharata”, by Kamala Subramaniam
        • “The Hero with a Thousand Faces”, by Joseph Campbell
        • “Ramayana”, by Arshia Sattar
        • “Natyashastra”, by Bharata (Adya Rangacharya edition)
        • “Oedipus Rex”, by Sophocles

FMAS 2104: Art of Adaptation - A

Theory Credits: 0
Practical Credits: 9
Total Credits: 9
Theory Hours: 0
Practical Hours: 270
Total Hours: 270

Overview
Students learn to respond to a book as screenwriters, and then write a feature film screenplay based on that using a
cinematic approach. They learn to rearticulate the central premise, uncover what appeals to them about the original work,
reinterpret the characters if need be, and eventually turn it into their own fresh piece of work while retaining spirit of the
original.

Learning Objectives

  • Understanding the narrative intention of the book
  • Identifying key characters and their storylines
  • Learning to discover the central conflict
  • Learning to externalize characters’ inner voices in dialogue and action
  • Learning to choose events, invent incidents, create scenes from those
  • Learning to condense
  • Learning to remain faithful to the spirit of the book

Mode of Delivery
The classes are an interactive mix of classroom instruction, film viewing and analyses, workshops and practical
application of theoretical inputs in the form of writing exercises.

Course Content

Unit I. Choosing a literary Work

    • Identifying the appropriate literary work. Pitfalls of various forms. Identifying key characters and their
      storylines. Creating the premise. Identifying the protagonist. .
    • The importance of structure. Discovering the innate structure of the original work. Culling and shaping from
      the original work for cinematic presentation. Condensing, selecting, omitting.
    • Developing the main plot. Charting the protagonist’s journey. Choosing secondary characters. Orchestration
      of characters. Choosing and developing the necessary subplots.
    • Writing for action. Dealing with ‘internal’ material – feelings and thoughts. Using screenplay techniques to
      express inner voices into dialogue and action. Adapting dialogue.
    • How important is it to be faithful to the original work. Subtext. Creating new material. Modifying existing
      material.

Unit II. Copyright laws and other legal Aspects

    • An overview of the laws that concern screenwriters.
    • Protecting your work – in India as well as abroad.
    • Optioning existing literary and other works.
    • Copyright laws and agreements.
    • Contracts with producers and agencies.
    • The essential and the negotiable.

Assessment

Practical Assessment – 100 marks

        • Continuing Assessment – 50%
        • End of term Assessment – 50%

References

        • “The Art of Adaptation: Turning fact and Fiction into Film”, by Linda Seger
        • “Adaptations: A Guide to Adapting Literature to Film”, by Denise Faithfull (with Brian Hannant)
        • “Broken Nest”, by Rabindranath Tagore

Semester IV

Courses

No.

Course Code

Course Name

Theory Credits

Practical Credits

Total Credits

Total Hours

1

FMGE 1123

Cinematic VR I

2

0

2

30

2

FMGE 1124

Cinematic VR II

0

2

2

60

3

FMAS 2203

Writing the Series – A

0

12

12

360

4

FMAS 2202

The Assigned Plot – A

0

6

6

180

Credits

Hours

Core Theory

0

0

Total GE

4

90

Total Theory

2

30

Total Practical

20

600

Total

22

630

FMGE 1123: Cinematic VR I

Theory Credits: 2
Practical Credits: 0
Total Credits: 2
Theory Hours: 30
Practical Hours: 0
Total Hours: 30

Overview
This course is geared towards equipping film students with the knowledge, understanding, aesthetics, skills and tools
required to work professionally in the field of Cinematic VR and create high-quality content and experiences.
It is intended for people who already have a basic understanding of filmmaking.
In order to give students a comprehensive understanding and experience of VR filmmaking, this course will be delivered
as a series of lectures and case studies.

Learning Objectives

The objective of the course is to educate, equip, and empower the students to become Cinematic VR content creators. The
students will learn:

  • To define and differentiate between AR, VR, 360 VR, and MR
  • To understand immersion, experience, and human response
  • To learn the terminology and technology required
  • To learn scripting and storyboarding for VR
  • To learn team building and management
  • To learn VFX workflow and Post-Production pipeline
  • To understand business and distribution for VR and 360 content
  • To understand the historical context in which VR developed
  • Surface knowledge of current science within the medium

Mode of Delivery:
The course will be delivered via a series of lectures, workshops, and screenings.

Course Content

Theory Inputs:
This part will involve a basic grounding in every aspect of VR filmmaking. The instruction will take place over several
classes in the following subjects

Unit I: Producing for VR

  • Introduction to 360 filmmaking and Virtual Reality.
  • Understanding human interaction, experience and response to VR
  • Overview of the pre-to-post production pipeline.
  • Team building and management.
  • Challenges, rewards and viabilities of creating VR content.
  • Understanding the distribution and monetisation possibilities.

Unit II: Writing for VR

  • Art and storytelling
  • Understanding the process of writing and scripting for VR.
  • Learning to storyboard for VR.
  • Linear and non-linear storytelling.

Unit III: Directing for VR

  • Art of Directing Attention
  • What is Captive Immersion – meaning of a truly infinite frame.
  • Visualising in 360 VR
  • Ideating in VR – scale, duration, experience, space & design

Unit IV: Shooting VR

  • History of VR Technology
  • Cameras & Headsets
  • Lighting for 360 – Best Practices
  • Stereoscopy, Volumetric capturing, & Room scale VR

Unit V: VR Audio Recording and Reproduction

  • Fundamentals of audio and acoustics
  • Capturing sound for 360 VR
  • What is xSpatial Audio – Ambisonics & Binaural audio
  • Sound Designing & Mixing

Unit VI: Editing in VR

  • Aesthetics of VR Editing
  • Technique of VR Editing
  • Data Management
  • Stitching & Stabilisation
  • Formats of Delivery

Unit VII: VFX for VR

  • Interface and process overview
  • Previz
  • Rotoscoping and clean-up for stereoscopic 360 VR
  • Compositing, and Chroma keying
  • Finishing and Rendering

Assessment

Theory Assessment – 100 marks

  • Continuing Assessment – 30%
  • End of term Assessment – 70% of a 100 mark paper

Recommendations and References:

Books

  • Storytelling for Virtual Reality: Methods and Principles for Crafting Immersive Narratives, by John Bucher
  • Ways of Seeing, by John Berger
  • The VR Book: Human-Centered Design for Virtual Reality, by Jason Jerald
  • Virtual Reality and the Built Environment, By Jennifer Whyte, by Dragana Nikolić
  • Virtual Reality Filmmaking: Techniques & Best Practices for VR Filmmakers, by Celine Tricart
  • The 360° Video Handbook: A step-by-step guide to creating video for virtual reality (VR), by Michael Wohl
  • Defying Reality: The Inside Story of the Virtual Reality Revolution, by David M. Ewalt

Films/Series

  • Introduction to Virtual Reality – Felix & Paul Studios
  • Van Gogh’s Starry Night in VR – Motion Magic
  • Notes on Blindness – Arte Experience
  • Invasion – Baobab Studios
  • My Mother’s Glass – WWIJioVRLab
  • The Prey – WWIJioVRLab
  • The Kumbh in VR – WWIJioVRLab

FMGE 1124: Cinematic VR II

Theory Credits: 0
Practical Credits: 2
Total Credits: 2
Theory Hours: 0
Practical Hours: 60
Total Hours: 0

Overview
This course is geared towards equipping film students with the knowledge, understanding, aesthetics, skills and tools
required to work professionally in the field of Cinematic VR and create high-quality content and experiences.
It is intended for people who already have already completed VR GE I.
In order to give students a comprehensive understanding and experience of VR filmmaking, this course is where students
will receive hands on experience of the various tools and technologies involved in making Cinematic VR films.

Learning Objectives
The objective of the course is to educate, equip, and empower the students to become Cinematic VR content creators. The students will learn:

  • To understand immersion, experience, and human response
  • To learn scripting and storyboarding for VR
  • To learn team building and management
  • To learn VFX workflow and Post-Production pipeline
  • To understand business and distribution for VR and 360 content.
  • To conceptualise, pitch and produce a 360 VR Film
  • To create an original 360 VR Experience.

Mode of Delivery:
The course will be delivered via a series of workshops, demos and practical exercises.

Course Content

Practical Inputs:
In this part of the course, students will execute a VR project, from inception to final VR film. This will give them handson experience in VR production, make them well versed with the VR filmmaking workflow, and prepare them to make VR films of their own.

Assessment

Theory Assessment – 100 marks

  • Continuing Assessment – 30%
  • End of term Assessment – 70% of a 100 mark paper

Reference Books:

  • Film Architecture – Dietrich Newmann
  • Production Design & Art Direction – Peter Ettedgui
  • How To Read A Film – James Monaco

Recommendations and References:

Films/Series

  • Introduction to Virtual Reality – Felix & Paul Studios
  • Van Gogh’s Starry Night in VR – Motion Magic
  • Dear Anjelica – Oculus Story Studios
  • Invisible (6-part VR Series) – 30Ninjas
  • Lincoln in the Bardo – Graham Sack
  • Miyubi – Felix & Paul Studios
  • Blindfold – Verite VR
  • Notes on Blindness – Arte Experience
  • The Protectors: Walk in the Ranger’s Shoes – Catherine Bigelow
  • Ghost In The Shell – Oculus Story Studios
  • Clouds over Sidra – United Nations VR
  • Henry – Oculus Studios
  • Allumette – Penrose Studios
  • Jurassic World Blue – Felix & Paul Studios
  • Welcome to the Family – Silver Screen Production
  • Vader Immortal – ILxM Labs.
  • The Interpretation of Dreams – Graham Sack
  • Ashes to Ashes – Veer
  • Invasion – Baobab Studios
  • My Mother’s Glass – WWIJioVRLab
  • The Prey – WWIJioVRLab
  • The Kumbh in VR – WWIJioVRLab
  • Travelling While Black – Felix & Paul Studios
  • Gymnasia – Felix & Paul Studios
  • Marshall from Detroit – Felix & Paul Studios
  • Strangers with Patrick Watson – Felix & Paul Studios

FMAS 2203: Writing the Series - A

Theory Credits: 0
Practical Credits: 12
Total Credits: 12
Theory Hours: 0
Practical Hours: 360
Total Hours: 360

Objective
Students get acquainted with the fundamentals of writing series. They learn about how series writing is a specialized form,
distinct from writing scripts for films. They learn to appreciate the power of the medium and how it can be used to reach
wide audiences. Students are also guided through the entire process of preparing a Bible for a finite series.

Learning Objectives
The objective of the course is to educate, equip, and empower the students to become Cinematic VR content creators. The students will learn:

  • To understand the difference between film and series screenwriting
  • To understand the distinctive features of soap operas, sitcoms, thrillers, talk shows, game shows, travelogues
  • Understanding the mechanics of a series screenplay
  • How to imagine a series story
  • Breaking up the story into episodes
  • Writing dialogue for series
  • Preparing and pitching a proposal (Bible)

Mode of Delivery
The classes are an interactive mix of classroom instruction, film viewing and analyses, workshops and practical
application of theoretical inputs in the form of writing exercises.

Course Content

Unit I: Fundamentals of writing series
Series writing as distinct from writing for feature films. Fiction vs. non-fiction. The script format. The basic idea for a
show, premise, theme, developing a story from an idea/premise. Creating the main plot, the importance of subplots and
back story. Different kinds of shows, half-hour soap, one-hour drama, half-hour sitcom and 1-2 hour film. Non-fiction
shows and how to create them.

Unit II: The One Hour Drama Series
Creating the series story. The story arc. Structuring the story. Identifying milestones. Identifying the key characters.
Importance of subplots and their creation. Writing the individual episodes. Creating the ‘hook’. How to weave in plot twists and turns. Importance of cliffhanger episode endings.

Unit III: The One Hour Comedy Series
Structuring a sitcom, how is it different from a soap? The elements that go into creating a successful comedy show.
Treatment of the sitcom show. Humor lies in treatment and not only in the dialogue. Creating the sitcom characters.
Theme is king in a sitcom. How to write episodic stories with characters remaining constant.

Unit IV: Non Fictions Shows: Game Show and Reality Show
How are non-fiction shows created? Are they scripted or are they structured for an end result? The important principles of drama that non-fiction shows aim to exploit, with the participant being the key element. How to identify and select participants.

Unit V: The OTT Film
The telefilm structure. The three act plotting of the film. The factoring in of time constraints: how to structure a story of
limited duration. How it is different from the regular full length feature film. They key elements of story that differ from a
soap and a feature film.

Unit VI: Preparing a Bible
Preparing a proposal for a series. Writing the Concept Note, the Treatment Note, the Character Sketch, the entire story,
the episode synopsis and the pilot episode. Pitching a proposal.

Assessment

Practical Assessment – 100 marks

  • Continuing Assessment – 50%
  • End of term Assessment – 50%

Book references

  • “How to Write for Television”, by Madeline DiMaggio

FMAS 2202: The Assigned Plot - A

Theory Credits: 0
Practical Credits: 6
Total Credits: 6
Theory Hours: 0
Practical Hours: 180
Total Hours: 180

Objective
As students approach the completion of the course, it is time to orient them towards becoming professional screenwriters
who will be called upon to write scripts which are not based on their own ideas. Hence, each student is assigned to write a
Treatment based on a premise or story idea given by the faculty. In this course, students also learn the art of pitching.
Finally, an insider’s view of the industry is given to students via interaction with leading industry professionals –
screenwriters, directors, producers.

Learning Objectives
The objective of the course is to educate, equip, and empower the students to become Cinematic VR content creators. The students will learn:

    • Learning to make someone else’s story idea one’s own
    • Understanding industry practices
    • To understand the position of the screenwriter within the film industry
    • Learning to manage one’s career
    • Learning to have realistic expectations
    • Learning to work with industry producers and directors
    • Learning to pitch
    • Learning to tailor a pitch to a given duration
    • What to emphasize
    • What to leave out
    • The importance of conviction

Mode of Delivery
The classes are an interactive mix of classroom instruction, film viewing and analyses, workshops and practical
application of theoretical inputs in the form of writing exercises.

Course Content

Unit I. Pitching your Script (The Art of Narration)
Learning to tailor your story to a fixed-duration narration – 5-minute 10-minute, 30-minute and full length. Hanging your
condensed version on the drama of the premise and the central conflict of the protagonist. Powering your longer
narrations with the uniqueness of the characters, the universal emotionality of their dilemmas, and the surprise elements in
the plot. The indispensability of subtext.

Unit II. Industrial Aspects
An overview of the film industry and its practices. The changing status of the professional screenwriter. Different kinds of
employment – in-house salaried/non-salaried, the associate writer, the re-writer, the script-doctor, the script consultant, the
free-lancer. The route to the director/producer of your choice. How to survive the chaos and the lack of script literacy.

Unit III. Managing your Career
Working the ropes to showcase your writing talent. Keeping abreast of reigning trends. Interpreting a brief. Writing spec
scripts. Creating employment opportunities for yourself. Enhancing one’s professional skills, including the fine art of
negotiation. Belonging to the fraternity. Reassessing one’s position and redefining professional goals.

Unit IV. Writing Methods, Maintaining Self- Discipline
Discovering one’s own process. Breaking the rules. Research methods. Documentation. Dealing with writer’s block.
Objectivity. Rewriting. Tools of writing. Software. Getting feedback from others. Working with the director, producer or
star. Maintaining self-discipline.

Unit V. Evolving and growing
Digging deeper continuously for stories; keeping the hunger alive. Avoiding burnout. Watching, reading, studying,
discussing cinema and literature. Updating technological skills. Discovering fresh concerns and stories.

Assessment

Practical Assessment – 100 marks

  • Continuing Assessment – 50%
  • End of term Assessment – 50%

Reference books

  • Copyright (Amendment) Act 2012
  • Copyright rules, 2013
  • “Adventures in the Screen Trade”, by William Goldman
  • “The Craft of the Screenwriter”, by John Brady
  • “The Screenwriter Looks at the Screenwriter”, by William Froug
  • “The Screenwriter Looks at the New Screenwriter”, by William Froug
  • “Screenwriters on Screenwriting”, by Joel Engel
  • “Oscar Winning Screenwriters on Screenwriting”, by Joel Engel