Online Weekend Course in Writing for Web Series | 6 – Month

Duration: 24 weekends (6 Months)
Eligibility: 18 + years of age.
Entrance Process: Application.
Course Commences: May 2021

Course Overview and Structure:

This is an online weekend Web Series writing course, which will be conducted over 24 Weekends, or 6 months. Each Saturday and Sunday we will have 4 -6 hour sessions, and on some days it might be 8- hour sessions. Apart from these classes, students would be expected to read study material and write during the week to prepare themselves for Guest Lectures and Feedback on their writing.

Course Objectives:
The course will be writing-intensive, with theory instruction and mentorship from leading TV/Web screenwriters, running parallel with the writing schedule.
Students will come away not only with the knowledge of episodic writing but also with
A) A pitch-ready Bible for a Finite Fiction series of 8 episodes of 40 minutes each, with
scope for the second season.
B) A pitch for a 30-min Comedy Format Web Series
C) A pitch for 12-min Episodic format Web Series

Course Features and Highlights:
Guest Faculty and Masterclasses:

During the programme, participants will go through the complete process of creating a Show Bible for a web series – starting with ideation, creating unforgettable characters, expanding the idea into a broad story, plotting it over 8 episodes and writing the screenplay of the Pilot Episode.

Renowned TV & Web Writers come regularly during the term and conduct masterclasses
with the students during the two terms. In this one-day session, the writers share their writing
practice, their inspirations, their writing technique, and show examples from their shows and
explain principles to the students.

Students also get masterclasses from screenwriter-teacher Anjum Rajabali on Mythology,
on the Mahabharata, and on Psychology.

There will also be an in-depth session on the importance of Navrasa in Indian dramaturgy by
screenwriter-teacher, independent filmmaker and script consultant Ashwini Malik.

Mentoring: Students will be mentored by industry professionals on a one-on-one basis.

Assignments:
1. Show Bible for a 40 minute, 8 Episode Web series.
2. A pitch for a 30-min Comedy Format Web Series
3. A pitch for 12-min Episodic format Web Series
4. Screening and analysis of web – series.
5. Reading and analysis of Screenplays and show – bibles of web/tv series.
6. Writing Exercises for ideation, character development and plotting of web – series.

Readings and References:
A Doll’s House, by Henrik Ibsen
The Art of Dramatic Writing, by Lajos Egri
The Mahabharata: A Modern Retelling, by Ramesh Menon

Apart from this, the students will read screenplays and show – bibles of different web series.

Course Content and Syllabus:
These modules will run parallelly with each other to help the students in better understanding of screenwriting principles.

Module 1: Salient features of Web Series writing.
The first step in writing a web series is understanding the format. How is web series writing different from Novel, Film, or TV writing? How do you know if an idea is well-suited for a Web series? How to convert the idea into a premise? And how to flesh out that premise into a long-format story?

Module 2: Characters
How to write characters that feel human and relatable enough to make viewers forget that they aren’t real? How to explore the complexities, unresolved issues and multiple dimensions of the character’s personality to ensure that his/her engagement with the plot remains vigorous and continues to expose hidden layers of the character over a long narrative? What is a character arc and how does that define the structure of the series? How to create a multitude of characters to exist and interact harmoniously with each other over the course of a season?

Module 3: Broad story and Milestones
How to write a show where the characters decide their own fate, for better or worse.
The students will learn to keep the stakes of drama high by strengthening and pressing on the intentions and obstacles of their characters that creates the friction and tension needed to create a strong screenplay.

Module 4: Episodic Structure
What is the best episode structure to effectively tell the character’s stories? How does each ensemble character in the web series relate to, or affect the main character? How to build character development naturally into the series.

Module 5: Pilot Screenplay
Pilots are crucial for hooking an audience and setting up your characters and storyline for an entire season. This module helps the students in writing a pilot screenplay that explains the story world and its characters and ends in a way to make the audience want more.

Module 6: Screening, Analysis, and Reading Screenplays of Mini-Series
Through the screening and analysis of multiple web–series across different genres, the students will develop an understanding of how characters are introduced? How is each episode structured? How do plot elements unfold over a season? What does one mean by cliff-hangers? And most importantly, how does a show create enough drama to grab the viewer’s attention for that long?

Module 7: Pitch
A great pitch is well-structured, visual, and quickly and easily conveys your show’s concept and central characters. This module helps the students to learn how to pitch their show in 5-10 minutes.