Scriptwriting is an art that needs to be learned

Scriptwriting, as easy as it seems, has a lot more to it than what meets the eye. Ritika Saxena spoke to our scriptwriting faculty, Megha Subramanian and Ashok Jankar, who gave us the low-down on why it is important to attend a film school and learn all about the art of scriptwriting.

According to Megha Subramanian, Faculty, Scriptwriting, it is important for a person pursuing a career in scriptwriting to attend a course and learn the art.

“I believe it provides a systematic way of learning for an amateur scriptwriter as they get constant feedback from the faculty. It helps them explore a variety of views by peers and teachers alike, which would not be possible otherwise.

“Apart from that, it provides an exposure to different styles of writing that exist. It also helps them in creating sequences and set a pattern to their writing, which basically means that they learn how to analyze the screenplay and write in set sequences.”

Megha added that, “Attending a film school and doing a course in scriptwriting, helps the learner understand the nitty-gritties of filmmaking; how the screenplay is read by all departments; and why it is essential to draft a story in a way that all units understand it. A script is the only way for all divisional heads to gather their cues and move forward on a set.”

Megha also believes that if one decided to learn scriptwriting on their own, there is no way of having the opportunity of sharing ideas and categorizing genres.

“Most writers look for a setup, but the only way you get it is by being in a classroom and brainstorming.”

Megha’s 5 scriptwriting essentials

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  1. Be observant: Observe people and situations to help build your story.
  1. Always have a point of view: You do not always have to be right, but having your own view brings several perspectives to light.
  1. Serialize your thoughts: Make sure you construct serialized thoughts in your head. If the two dots in your story do not connect, you will end up with no takers
  1. Read: You need to keep reading. The more you read the more you, your ideas and your story-telling techniques evolve.
  1. Patience: You need to be patient because writing is rewriting.

Ashok Jankar, Faculty, Scriptwriting, believes that when someone attempts to master something, they need to know the essential aspects of the art or trade in depth.

“When you enroll in a film school to learn scriptwriting, you get to learn the aesthetics in a disciplined manner, which one can’t pick up through any online courses or books.

“You can learn by yourself while at home through several mediums, but that’s what it will be – by yourself. However, when you come to a film school to learn it, you get to interact with different people with varied cultural and social backgrounds that help you discover an outlook that you may not even be aware of.”

Ashok’s 5 scriptwriting essentials

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  1. Contradictions: one of the most important ingredients in a story is the drama. And that only comes about when you have contradictions in your story.
  1. Character: When you write a story, an innate part of the story is the character. While drafting your story, you need to keep in mind about how your character thinks first as all his actions stem from his thoughts.
  1. Innovation: A writer is always judged by what he says and how he says it. You need to be innovative and find novel ways to narrate your story.
  1. Theme: It is extremely important for a writer to the theme of his story and know what emotion will pull the crowds.
  1. Don’t sell stories: People do not buy stories, don’t sell them. Instead, sell the genre that your story belongs to because that what the film industry today runs on. Every production camp, works on specific genres that they are comfortable with and if you sell them the genre, you have your film.

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