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Screenwriting

Screenwriting

Specialisation in Screenwriting

66 Credit Hours | 18 Months

Over the course of their study, students will have classes in theory of filmmaking and its various specializations, along with hands-on practical instruction. There are multiple projects during the course - some individual, and many in groups. Students are also introduced to works of master filmmakers through screenings and analysis. Frequent Master Classes conducted by practicing filmmakers, round out their learning.

Every screenwriting aspirant is a unique storyteller who wants to learn the craft in the cinematic medium. To this end, in addition to receiving intensive training in screenwriting principles, students also receive education in the universal practices of storytelling as found in age-old myths, fables and classics that have stood the test of time across cultures. Although primarily centered on training in writing for feature films, the specialisation also provides training in writing for television, documentaries, ad films, corporate films and new media.

During the specialisation, students will be expected to submit the following:
1. One fully formatted feature film screenplay, based on the student’s own idea
2. One fully formatted feature film screenplay, adapted from a literary work
3. Three 4-page stories, based on the student’s own ideas
4. One 8-page Treatment for a feature film screenplay, based on an idea assigned to the student
5. One screenplay for a 10-minute film
6. One complete proposal for a television series

SOPHOMORE TERM
Essentials of Screenwriting | 13 Credits
Students learn to appreciate the importance of stories via interactive lectures 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 study Joseph Campbell’s ‘The Hero with a Thousand Faces’ to understand mythic patterns across time and cultures. Students also start working on their own stories, which are discussed rigorously during class workshops. Screenplays of existing films are analyzed by students, as are literary texts.
Assignments:

  • Two 4-page stories for feature film screenplays
  • One 8-page Treatment for a feature film screenplay

Writing the Short Film | 5 Credits
Students draw upon theory lectures and workshops to complete the script of a 10-minute film. During this course, students learn to identify material appropriate for a short film, to structure a short as opposed to a feature film, to use the surprise ending, to create easily identifiable characters. Students learn to construct short and sharp scenes and write crisp dialogue.
Assignments:

  • Script for a 10-minute film

JUNIOR TERM
Advanced Screenwriting | 12 Credits
Students develop the Treatment written in the previous term into a step-outline, which they develop further, into a screenplay. They learn about the role and functions of dialogue and how to use it effectively to create compelling scenes. They learn about the role of song, dance and music in Indian mainstream film scripts. Students also have sessions on writing for documentaries, advertisements, corporate films & new media.
Assignments:

  • A fully formatted feature film screenplay
  • Two fresh 4-page stories for feature film screenplays

Writing for Television | 6 Credit hours
Students are acquainted with fundamentals of writing for television. Students learn how television writing is a specialised form, distinct from writing scripts for films. This course guides students through the entire process of preparing a proposal for a television series and pitching the proposal to television channels & production companies.
Assignments:

  • A proposal for a television series

SENIOR TERM
The Art of Adaptation | 12 Credits
Students learn to tap the essence of a book and adapt it for cinematic presentation. They learn to discover the central conflict, identify the appropriate events and to externalise characters’ inner voices in dialogue and action. Students are also familiarised with copyright laws and other legal aspects.
Assignments:

  • Screenplay adapted from a literary work

The Assigned Plot | 6 Credits
Students are now familiarised with the real world. They are given an insider’s view of the industry via interaction with leading industry professionals - screenwriters, directors, and producers. Pitching sessions are held and career management classes are arranged. Each student is assigned to write a Treatment based on a premise or story idea given by a producer, director or by the faculty.
Assignments:

  • 8-page Treatment, based on a story idea given by a producer, director or the faculty

* Changes in curriculum, fees & policy are subject to management discretion.