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Screenwriting

Screenwriting

Specialisation in Screenwriting

66 Credit Hours | 18 Months

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 centred on training in writing for feature films, the specialisation also provides training in writing for television, documentaries, ad films and corporate films.

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, based on an idea assigned to the student

3. Three 4-page stories, based on the student’s own ideas

4. One 15-page Treatment for a feature film screenplay, adapted from a literary work

5. One screenplay for a 10-minute film

6. One proposal for a television series

SOPHOMORE TERM

Essentials of Screenwriting | 10 Credit hours

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 analysed by students, as are literary texts.

Workshop

Narrative Traditions Lecture-cum-Workshop

Assignment

Writing two stories for feature film screenplays

Writing the Short Film | 4 Credit hours

This module is entirely writing-based. Students draw upon theory lectures and workshops to complete the script of a 10-minute film. During this module, 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.

Assignment

Writing a script for a 10-minute film

Writing a Treatment | 8 Credit hours

Students learn to develop a story into a treatment which serves as a bridge blueprint for a feature film screenplay. They learn, further, to write a professional step-outline by breaking the treatment into individual scenes. Finally, they learn to construct effective, sharp scenes by understanding the structure and beats within a scene.

Assignments

Writing a 15-page treatment, based on one of the two stories already written by them. Developing the Treatment into a step-outline

JUNIOR TERM

Advanced Screenwriting Theory | 6 Credit hours

Students revise their step-outline & develop it 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 have sessions on writing for documentaries, advertisement & corporate films.

Assignment

Revision of the step-Outline, and its development into a fully formatted feature film screenplay.

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 module guides students through the entire process of preparing a proposal for a television series and pitching the proposal to television channels & production companies.

Assignment

Preparing a proposal for a television series.

Writing the Screenplay | 10 Credit hours

Having completed the first draft of their feature film screenplay, students now proceed to revise it, learning to understand the value of rewriting. They also submit two fresh 4-page stories for feature film screenplays, based on their own ideas.

Assignments

Second draft of feature film screenplay

Two fresh 4-page stories for feature film screenplays

SENIOR TERM

Adaptation | 6 Credit hours

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.

Assignment

Writing a 15-page treatment for a feature film screenplay, adapted from a literary work.

Writing an Assigned Screenplay | 16 Credit hours

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 screenplay based on a premise or story idea given by a producer, director or by the faculty.

Assignment

Writing a full-fledged screenplay based on a story idea given by a producer, director or the faculty.

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