AISFM Film Fest Showcases Students’ Splendid Work

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It’s that time of the year again, when Annapurna International School of Film and Media (AISFM) is ready to proudly present to the world, the brilliant work of their graduating students. A festival of films in the truest sense of the word, the films were shown to an eager audience that comprised of celebrities, students, friends & families, at its preview theatre over a period of two days.

The two-day festival opened with the premiere of films made by graduating final year students of BFA, MA & MMBA degrees and the films dealt with nine diversely entertaining and thought provoking topics.

It was definitely a celebration time for all the students since it was the finale of their years of hard work. Behind the arduous and fascinating process of filmmaking were various phases like selection of stories by a faculty committee, meticulous screenwriting, production planning, shooting, post-production work with the support and guidance of their dedicated faculty.

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Films by Bachelors students included “The White Field” by Karthik Parmar, “Nitya” by Abhimanyu Kumar, “Maut ka Kuan” by Prithvi Chahal and “Understanding Moksha” by Sameer Kumar.

The films by Masters Students comprised of “Preme Madhuram” by Anil Kumar, “Bhetala” by Rohit Krishna, “Kadivalama” by Ananya Ayachit, “Talaari” by Degala Sai Akhil Yadav and “Chetak” by Gandhapuneni Nandan.

The festival was attended by industry luminaries Akkineni Nagarjuna, Founder of AISFM, Amala Akkineni, Hon. Director of AISFM, veteran actor Tanikella Bharani, famous director Indraganti Mohan Krishna, young heartthrob and actor Akhil Akkineni, well-known actors Srinivas Avasarala, Adivi Sesh, director Omkar, reputed writer Gopimohan, veteran writer and actor K.L. Prasad and Bala Rajasekharuni, Dean of AISFM.

AISFM Founder Akkineni Nagarjuna lauded the students’ efforts in making the brilliant short films and added how short films were now no less than feature films in terms of the expertise they need, and he added, people can look at options beyond Pune for film education today. “I am confident that the kind of talent that I have seen here today is no less than that of any film professional.”

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AISFM Director Amala Akkineni, congratulated the graduates and said the purpose of the festival was to create a premier environment for the students as a way of celebrating their achievements in filmmaking. “We all are very excited and eager to watch the wonderful films that will be premiered over two days by our talented graduating students. The purpose of this festival is to create a platform for the students as a way of celebrating their achievements in filmmaking. Such festivals not only recognise exceptional student work but also allow insightful feedback from the jury and variety of film professionals that enhance student skills,” she said.

Dean of AISFM, Bala Rajasekharuni, lauded the students’ efforts and said “Through this grad film festival our school is committed to linking films, filmmakers, audiences and the industry. AISFM Grad Film festival provides an opportunity for the talented filmmakers to share their work and engage with working industry professionals and gain valuable advice from the experts, which helps them shape their careers in the film industry”. He further added that apart from artistic merit, AISFM also equips the student filmmakers with the commercial realities of the industry and market expectations, in order for them to succeed in the industry.

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Veteran actor Tanikella Bharani said that in the past, “the only way to learn about the art of films was either through theatre or by watching old films. After FTII in Pune, this is the only other well established vibrant film school in the country.” He added that film schools now do the job that Telugu dramas did back then which is an opportunity to discover yourself. Eminent screen-writer K L Prasad added that he is now in a role of an educator but wished someone had educated him before he entered films. Akhil Akkineni praised the students’ work and stressed on the need of film education.

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Mohana Krishna Indraganti, an FTII product himself and Srinivas Avasarala emphasised on the importance and requirement for more film schools and the need to nurture right awareness before they enter feature films. Adivi Sesh recollected his Kshanam memories, a part of which was shot at AISFM premises and congratulated the students on their outstanding films.

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Rangmanch’s Holi, a colourful triumph!

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AISFM’s theatre club, ‘Rangmanch’, staged the Hindi adaptation of Mahesh Elkunchwar’s ‘Holi’, an iconic Marathi play at Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan, Basheerbagh. Over 400 people turned up for the play and the student event was a huge success.

Harshad Dinkar Fad, representative for ‘Rangmanch’ – An AISFM Theatre Club and an AISFM MMBA III student in his own words jots down the journey of the stage play, from conception to finish, capturing its every essence in its truest form!

Witness this wonderful drama unfurl; pre, during and post, in front of you with his words!

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When the clubs were revamped at AISFM last semester before the summer break, the newly elected representatives for Theatre Club, that was me and S. Venkat Narayan Murthy, had a clear vision of starting the new academic year with a grand theatrical performance. Our vision was supported by other clubs and most importantly Dean Bala sir, who suggested on staging a play that included various performing arts thus involving several clubs in the production. As exciting as it sounds, all the clubs agreed upon taking up this challenge. The theatre club was named ‘Rangmanch’ and we were set to paint the world of theatrics!

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After a lot of brainstorming the club representatives decided to adapt a critically acclaimed film into a theatrical play. Unfortunately, the producers of this film denied us the permission citing the reason that they themselves were in the process of adapting it for stage. By the time this notification came we had already adapted the first act. With such little time left to prepare, Dean Bala sir came to our rescue and suggested we stage Mahesh Elkunchwar’s ‘Holi’. An iconic Marathi play from an iconic playwright, our responsibilities were multiplied to showcase a quality production. It was difficult to find the English or Hindi adaptation of this play and hence I asked my parents to send the original Marathi script from Pune. It took a good three days’ time to translate and adapt ‘Holi’ into a Hind-English play. The adapted script for ‘Holi’ was finally locked. It was time now to build a team.

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From just me and Venkat at the beginning, ‘Team Holi’ eventually went on to be a 42 member troupe! ‘Rangmanch’ conducted its first auditions, where we found some actors with great potential. Most of these actors were completely new to stage acting and excited to explore the medium.

‘Holi’ is a play based on a hostel where everything was as paranoid as any other hostel till something beyond paranoid happened. A group of college students gather at a hostel room to express disappointment over not getting a holiday for Holi. What begins as a fun-filled hoopla amongst friends slowly turns into a revolt and then into something outrageous.

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In all there are 19 characters in the play. The backstage crew, sound team, lights team, costumes and makeup team, finance and marketing team together took the number of cast and crew to a whopping 42 members! To manage these 42 people for three weeks and maintain co-ordination was the primary challenge we faced. At times, to maintain discipline we had to take harsh decisions like replacing the actors. A few contretemps here and there but talking about issues freely and finding solutions collectively was key to keep a healthy environment during the rehearsals. It was wonderful on the part of all the cast and crew members to do rehearsals for three long weeks after six to seven hours of a gruelling college schedule. On our side, Venkat and I tried to keep the atmosphere as fun-filled and enjoyable as possible. We all danced, did some funny exercises, meditated and laughed together. Everybody’s graph of performance in all departments only showed an upward mark.

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Meanwhile, the Dance Club choreographed an energetic performance that would open the play. ‘Aarambh’, the Events Club was constantly co-ordinating between various departments while maintaining the finances. Rohit Tkar from the Music Club was going to be the lone ranger giving live score to the play. Photography Club covered the practice sessions and also took the responsibility to cover the entire event on the D-Day. The marketing team put up posters across the city and tickets were up for sale on BookMyShow.

AISFM funded the auditorium fees and equipment. Our academic co-ordinators Ms. Abhigna, Ms. Lyzandra and Dr. Vijaya Raghava were of utmost help throughout the process. We partnered with ‘Ksheersagar Sweets’ as our associate partners and Aayat Productions as our printing partners. Everything set; ‘Rangmanch’ was ready to go on the ‘manch’ of Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan Auditorium!

19th of August, 2016. Nervous excitement. Stakes were high. First ever theatrical performance by AISFM. First ever Rangmanch performance. First ever grand event in the presence of our Dean and AISFM Director Amala ma’am. It was a day marked with the most appropriate use of nervous energy by 42 individuals collectively. Without any frenzy, the crew and cast reached the venue with all the required properties and equipment. After the lights and sounds settings, we did a final rehearsal and the team was ready to deliver!

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To our delight, more than 400-strong audience turned up for the show. Mrs. Amala Akkineni, our Chief Guest for the evening and our very own Dean Bala Raj sir arrived. It was encouraging to see some of our lecturers and officials from administration sitting in the first two rows. With such a massive turnout for the show and fire to give a memorable performance, Holi was performed. All the hard work and penance of three weeks was seen in every action and reaction on and off the stage. The play had three change of scenes where the complete stage was changed from one location to another. As the lights went off the crew had just 20 seconds to change these settings in complete dark and they, unbelievably, were on point every single time. Practice indeed makes a crew perfect! We were blessed with a wonderful audience who were responsive to everything that went on the stage. Listening to their applause after every scene was thrilling!

It was an emotional moment when the play got over and the entire cast and crew stood there to bow in front of the audience. Surpassing all hurdles and striving for the best at every moment, we finally delivered. And the audience loved it. What more does an artist want? To see the smiles on the audiences’ faces, to see them delighted, to see the effect your performance has caused in their eyes, is all the accolades and love won. Dean Bala sir and Amala ma’am presented us Directors with a shawl. It will remain as one of the highlights of my life and Venkat’s too. Truly humbled by this beautiful gesture! It was a shawl that not only recognized the efforts we put into bringing this entire act together from scratch but also a reminder of the responsibility we shouldered into making things only better and better from here. There’s always scope for improvement and we will only go forward from here. There is one thing I always told the cast and crew, which we again proved at the end of this performance, “Success is easy, all you need to do is hard work!”

As for ‘Rangmanch’, we are not a club anymore. We are family! 

Don’t miss the action! See more photos here: http://bit.ly/2bLgzia

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Film Direction & Script Writing Graduation Ceremony

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Learning a new craft, especially if you are passionate about it, is a pleasure; and learning it in the language that you most comfortable with, is even better. Many such people bursting with enthusiasm joined our Fundamentals of Film Direction (Telugu) and Fundamentals of Script Writing short courses.

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The graduation ceremony for these short courses was held recently at the AISFM campus and it was a day to look forward to for the students graduating and their parents. Making it special was the Chief Guest, Hanu Raghavapudi, director and screenwriter known for films like Andala Rakshasi and Krishna Gaadi Veera Prema Gaadha. Welcomed by Dean, Bala Rajasekharuni and COO, Krupakar Reddy, the director interacted with the students.

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The three-month Fundamentals of Film Direction Telugu-medium course introduced aspiring directors to the craft of film and television production and the art of visual narrative. Additionally, this course prepared the students to work as assistant directors at a professional level and to enter their first jobs in the film and television industry.

The Fundamentals of Script Writing, also for three months, course is aimed at amateur writers who have great ideas for stories and want to learn the process of developing these ideas into film scripts.

See the photos of the event here http://bit.ly/2aP8s3Y

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Dialogues that make Bollywood filmy!

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Dialogues are the essence of any film. Whether or not a film stays with you, depends on the power of its dialogues, and Bollywood seems to never fail at delivering this to its audience. We have gathered dialogues from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s era that are enumerated even today, by adults and children alike. Let’s just say that these are a few of the many filmy dialogues from the pre-2000’s era of Bollywood. We will be back with a follow-up article kyun ki, picture abhi baaki hai mere dost!

Deewar (1975)

Most famous bollywood dialogues

 

Aaj mere paas gaadi hai, bungla hai, paisa hai… tumhare paas kya hai?” Amitabh Bachchan.
“Mere paas, mere paas… Maa hai…,” Shashi Kapoor.

Sholay (1975)

Most famous bollywood dialogues

“Kitne aadmi thhe?”asked Gabbar Singh, and a million fans stood up to applaud. To whom did Amjad Khan address this? Arre-o-Sambha!

Yaddon ki Baraat (1973)

kutte kaminey main tera khoon pee jaunga

“Kutte, kameene, main tera khoon pee jaoonga,” says Dharmendra. The first of a zillion films where the hero threatened the villain with canines!

Shahenshah (1988)

Most famous bollywood dialogues

“Rishte mein to hum tumhare baap lagte hain, naam hai Shahenshah,” Amitabh Bachchan’s famous signature line.

Pakeezah (1972)

Most famous bollywood dialogues

“Aapke paon dekhe, bahut haseen hai. Inhe zameen par mat utariyega, maile ho jayenge,” Raj Kumar in a note addressed to Meena Kumari, after admiring her feet as she sleeps in a train compartment.

Devdas (1955)

Most famous bollywood dialogues

“Kaun kambakht bardaasht karne ko peeta hai? Main toh peeta hoon ke bas saans le saku,” Dilip Kumar, playing the alcoholic unanonymous.

Namak Halal (1982)

Most famous bollywood dialogues

“I can talk English, I can walk English, I can run English… because English is a very phunny language,” Amitabh Bachchan.

Amar Prem (1971)

Most famous bollywood dialogues

“Pushpa, I hate tears… inhe ponch dalo,” said Rajesh Khanna to Sharmila Tagore; a dialogue that soon would be said across the country, every time a loved one shed a tear.

Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (1995)

Most famous bollywood dialogues

“Senorita, Bade bade shehron mein aisi chhoti chhoti baatein hoti rehti hain,” Shah Rukh Khan. The dialogue became so popular that it was a part of US President, Barack Obama’s speech when he visited India.

Mr. India (1987)

Most famous bollywood dialogues

“Mogambo khush hua,” Amrish Puri in a line that made Indian villains!

Kalicharan (1976)

Most famous bollywood dialogues

“Saara sheher mujhe Loin ke naamse jaanta hai,” Ajit.

Maine Pyar Kiya (1989)

Most famous bollywood dialogues

“Dosti ka ek usool hai madam; no sorry, no thank you,” Salman Khan to a very innocent Bhagyashree, that went on to make every youth in the country own a ‘FRIEND’ baseball cap.

Baazigar (1993)

Most famous bollywood dialogues

“Kabhi kabhi kuch jeetne ke liye kuch harna bhi padta hai, aur haar kar jeetnay wale ko baazigar kehte hain,” Shah Rukh Khan, setting the patent excuse that would be used every time somebody fails at a task.

Damini (1993)

Most famous bollywood dialogues
“Taarikh pe taarikh.. Taarikh pe taarikh…taarikh pe taarikh aur taarikh pe taarikh milti rahi hai… Lekin insaaf nahi mila me lord, insaaf nahi mila… Mili hai to sirf ye taarikh,” Sunny Deol

Don (1978)

Most famous bollywood dialogues

“Don ka intezaar toh 11 mulko ki police kar rahi hai, magar Don ko pakadna mushkil hi nahin namumkin hai,” Amitabh Bachchan

Sholay (1975)

Most famous bollywood dialogues
“Basanti! In kutto ke samne mat nachna,” Dharmendra with yet another canine mention.

Damini (1993)

Most famous bollywood dialogues
“Ye dhai kilo ka hath jab kisi pe padta hai na, to aadmi uthta nahi uth jata hai,” Sunny Deol.

Deewar (1975)

Most famous bollywood dialogues

“Main aaj bhi pheke hue paise nahi uthata hoon,” Amitabh Bachchan.

Sholay (1975)

Most famous bollywood dialogues

“Itna sannata kyun hai, bhai?,” said A.K. Hangal, setting the trend of saying this dialogue to break an awkward silence.

Sharaabi (1984)

Most famous bollywood dialogues
“Mooche ho toh Nathulalji jaisi, warna na ho,” Amitabh Bachchan. Seems like Big B got all the power-packed dialogues of this era!

Special Mentions!

Most famous bollywood dialogues

 

 

 

Graduation ceremony of AISFM short courses

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The Annapurna International School of Film and Media (AISFM) recently held a Graduation Ceremony for their short courses; their 6-month short course of Certificate in Film Acting and their 3-month course of Fundamentals of Script Writing.

Renowned film actor, screenwriter, dialogue writer, poet, theatre actor, playwright and director Tanikella Bharani was the Chief Guest for the ceremony. The veteran actor who has worked in more than 750 films (including Tamil, Kannada and Hindi) and who has garnered three Andhra Pradesh State Nandi Awards, speaking at the event said that students need to work hard in this ever-changing and competitive field of film-making to make a mark for themselves. Bala Rajasekharuni, Dean of AISFM was also present on the occasion.

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The Film Acting course introduces beginners to the fundamentals of acting and provides them with the foundation necessary to start a career in film and television. As part of the course, they learnt introduction to grammar of filmmaking, acting in front of camera and on stage, spontaneous acting vs. method acting mime, imitation, improvisation amongst other things.

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The Scriptwriting course is aimed at amateur writers who have great ideas for stories and want to learn the process of developing these ideas into film scripts. Here they learnt how to identify the theme and premise of the story, plot construction and developing the treatment and step outline, amongst other things.

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Our short courses are a practical way for working professionals in the media industry to upgrade existing skills, keep up with changing technologies and to learn new skills that can help their professional development. But they are also an excellent way for non-media professionals to “dip their toe in the water” and try out the world of media.

Best Screenplay Movies of All Time

What is a screenplay? Before we answer that, let us first decode what a screenplay is definitely not. It is neither a play and nor is it a novel. Unlike the writer writing for a novel who has complete freedom to explore any point of view, shift between conscious and subconscious mind, explore a character or a story from multiple perspectives, etc., the screenwriter should at all times write in the present tense and make sure that what is written is only what the audience can see and hear. A screenplay is visual and is a written work by screenwriters for a film, video game or television program.

And what makes a great screenplay?  From Casablanca to The Shawshank Redemption, the elements of a great script are essentially the same. Here is our list of the Top 25 Best Screenwriting Works. Take some time out and do watch these remarkable movies.

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  1. CASABLANCA
    Screenplay by Julius J. and Philip G. Epstein and Howard Koch. Based on the play ‘Everybody Comes to Rick’s’ by Murray Burnett and Joan Alison.
  2. THE GODFATHER
    Screenplay by Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola. Based on the novel by Mario Puzo.
  3. CHINATOWN
    Written by Robert Towne.
  4. CITIZEN KANE
    Written by Herman Mankiewicz and Orson Welles.
  5. ALL ABOUT EVE
    Screenplay by Joseph L. Mankiewicz. Based on ‘The Wisdom of Eve’, a short story and radio play by Mary Orr.6annie-hall_blog
  6. ANNIE HALL
    Written by Woody Allen and Marshall Brickman.
  7. SUNSET BLVD.
    Written by Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder and D.M. Marshman, Jr.
  8. NETWORK
    Written by Paddy Chayefsky.
  9. SOME LIKE IT HOT
    Screenplay by Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond. Based on ‘Fanfare of Love’ a German film written by Robert Thoeren and M. Logan.
  10. THE GODFATHER II
    Screenplay by Francis Ford Coppola and Mario Puzo. Based on Mario Puzo’s novel ‘The Godfather’.
  11. BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID
    Written by William Goldman.12DrStrangelove_blog
  12. STRANGELOVE
    Screenplay by Stanley Kubrick and Peter George and Terry Southern. Based on novel ‘Red Alert’ by Peter George.
  13. THE GRADUATE
    Screenplay by Calder Willingham and Buck Henry. Based on the novel by Charles Webb.
  14. LAWRENCE OF ARABIA
    Screenplay by Robert Bolt and Michael Wilson. Based on the life and writings of Col. T.E. Lawrence.
  15. THE APARTMENT
    Written by Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond.
  16. PULP FICTION
    Written by Quentin Tarantino. Stories by Quentin Tarantino and Roger Avary.
  17. TOOTSIE
    Screenplay by Larry Gelbart and Murray Schisgal. Story by Don McGuire and Larry Gelbart.
  18. ON THE WATERFRONT
    Screen Story and Screenplay by Budd Schulberg. Based on ‘Crime on the Waterfront’ articles by Malcolm Johnson.
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  19. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD
    Screenplay by Horton Foote. Based on the novel by Harper Lee.
  20. IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE
    Screenplay by Frances Goodrich, Albert Hackett and Frank Capra. Based on the short story ‘The Greatest Gift’ by Philip Van Doren Stern. Contributions to screenplay Michael Wilson and Jo Swerling.
  21. NORTH BY NORTHWEST
    Written by Ernest Lehman.
  22. THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION
    Screenplay by Frank Darabont. Based on the short story ‘Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption’ by Stephen King.
  23. GONE WITH THE WIND
    Screenplay by Sidney Howard. Based on the novel by Margaret Mitchell.
  24. ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND
    Screenplay by Charlie Kaufman. Story by Charlie Kaufman, Michel Gondry and Pierre Bismuth.
  25. THE WIZARD OF OZ
    Screenplay by Noel Langley and Florence Ryerson and Edgar Allan Woolf Adaptation by Noel Langley. Based on the novel by L. Frank Baum.25the-wizard-of-oz_blog

What kind of a story are you telling?     

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“Those who tell stories, rule the world,” said the great philosopher Plato. Well, in the land of films, it couldn’t have been said rightly so! Everybody likes stories, either listening to them, watching them or reading them. But not everybody can create, rather, tell them, the way it is supposed to be told!

Whatever kind of a story you are telling, if you can do it the right way, then you know you are heading in the right direction. Follow the M.I.C.E. method and be rest assured that you have got it right.

M.I.C.E. stands for Milieu, Idea, Character, and Event, and can serve as a way to identify what kind of story you are telling and which elements you might need to spend more time fleshing out. Well-known American novelist, critic, public speaker, essayist and columnist, Orson Scott Card, wrote about the M.I.C.E. quotient in his books. It is a great way to categorize stories and is also a loose guideline on where to start and end a story based on how it is categorized; and is especially useful for writers who are tired of the traditional three-act structure.

All stories contain four elements that determine structure: Milieu, Idea, Character, and Event. While each is present in the story, one generally dominates the others.

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Which one dominates? The one that the author cares the most about. This is why we often consider the process of discovering the structure of a story as a process of self-discovery: What is your story about? Who is the central or viewpoint character? Where is your story set? What is the purpose of your story? Once you have considered each of those questions, then you can ask, which aspect of the story matters most to you? That is the aspect that will give you your story’s structure.

Let’s take each element in turn and look at the structure that would be required if that is the dominant element in the story.

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The Milieu Story
The whole point of the story is to discover this strange, new world.

Arrival – A stranger from the outside arrives (by purpose or accident); he is unwelcomed and imprisoned, but gradually proves his worthiness.

Initiation – Stranger is formally welcomed into the society; taught the culture and language; shown sharp contrast between stranger’s world and present one which challenges the stranger’s own belief system.

Departure – Stranger rejects or is torn away from society and returns home with greater self-awareness.

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The Idea Story

The whole point of the story is the process of discovering information by those who do not know.

A Question – The idea story begins with a question; and a scientist, a detective, or some other inquisitive character seeks to find an answer.

Quest for Knowledge – Central character(s) gathers information from a variety of sources; he may even employ the scientific method or a form of deduction to reduce the number of variables, but attempts to find an answer are complicated by many failures.

The Answer – Gradually, repented failure leads to vindication and the question is answered.

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The Character Story
The whole point is about the transformation of a character’s role in his community.

Crisis – Central character becomes so unhappy, impatient, or angry in his present role that he begins the process of change (either consciously or unconsciously).

Conflict – Others resist the central character’s change and attempt to change him back.

Climax – Character either settles into a new role (happily or not) or gives up the struggle and remains in the old role (happily or not).

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The Event Story
The whole point of the story is about the restoration of the proper order of the universe.

Departure – Heroic figure hears the call to adventure (and sometimes refuses call): he is called to restore order to the universe; he receives aid from a wizard, an elder, or supernatural force (usually in form of a magical weapon) and undergoes first trial by fire.

Initiation – Hero undergoes more trials; he falls for a goddess and is tempted by a temptress; he meets his dark father and is wounded; he finds great riches.

Return – Hero restores order by defeating evil king and returns home, older and wiser to empower others.

Sometimes, any given story can belong to more than one of the four categories; for example, The Wizard of Oz can be considered both a Character story and a Milieu story. Usually, the longer the story, more categories it belongs to. Short stories generally belong to one category. It all depends on how you take it forward.

Memorable movie opening scenes

The opening scene is very critical to any movie; it grabs audiences’ attention from the very beginning. It gives the viewer a sense of the film in terms of aesthetics and story. If the first couple of minutes of a film are truly great then the audience will be captivated. Mostly an audience walks into a movie theatre with expectations and those expectations are often met, exceeded or disappointed within the first moments of the film’s start.

So, yes, it is right to say that the opening scene sets the tone for the entire film; and can be funny, scary or even epic. It translates into an important moment in the movie-going experience and carries even more clout in the screenwriting world.

Here, we have selected our Top 5 opening scenes; they may not be the most intense, captivating or breathtaking scenes of all time, but they definitely succeed in setting the tone for the rest of the film in a cinematic way.

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Star Wars IV: A New Hope
A long time ago in a galaxy far away, followed by exciting space music composed by John Williams with the text that starts to crawl backwards – this is the opening scrawl which is a spacecraft chased by a long spaceship, followed by a quick cut to the inside of the spaceship. A laser gun fight is going on which then shows the iconic entrance of Darth Vader, one of the greatest villains in movie history.

When it released George Lucas’ Star Wars became the most grossing movie in the box office and won several Oscars too.

Memento

Memento
In this classic breakout film, Christopher Nolan shot this opening scene in reverse order, but we didn’t realize this in the first shots of the photo. We couldn’t identify what is on the photo; it starts to fade, making the plotline more obscure.  It only makes sense when we realize the photo is taken by the man and all shots before are taken backwards. The opening of Memento is a game of revealing the truth and asking more questions about truth.

With his well-designed narratives, this movie’s opening is considered a landmark one and in a league of its own.

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Reservoir Dogs
The camera rotates 360 degrees around the table, putting us right in the middle of the conversation where we see a bunch of guys sitting around a dinner table talking about the actual meaning of Madonna’s hit song “Like a Virgin”, and whether they should tip a waitress. Unlike the usual dressing associated with gangsters, these men are dressed in white shirts and black ties. Another difference is that these men are talking a lot, about topics that are totally irrelevant to their heist plans. You end up wondering what these guys are up to and can’t wait to see what will happen next. 

This is the land of Quentin Tarantino, whose movies have always been a tad different from the rest.

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Social Network
David Fincher shot the opening scene in this movie in a rather conventional manner i.e. over-the-shoulder two-shots. What adds to the brilliance here is screenwriter Aaron Sorkin’s long dialogues which the two main characters fire at each other. The overlapping dialogues are so fast that the camera quickly moves to the other after landing on the one talking for only few seconds.

Unlike the run-of-the-mill opening scenes that are free of dialogues, this one stands apart with its rapid dialogues.

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Rear Window
Alfred Hitchcock, is not known as the master of suspense for anything. He is also the master of visual storytelling. In the opening scene of Hitchcock’s all-time classic, Rear Window, it tells us all the background stories without saying a word. First, the camera goes outside the window, spans 360 degrees to give us a whole view of the neighbourhood. Then it cuts to Jeff’s living room, using two shots to indicate the high temperature. Next the camera goes out again, giving us more details about the people living in the yard. The second time we see Jeff, the camera shows us the cause of his immobility and what he does for a living. The objects tell you everything you need to know about the protagonist.

First it’s his broken leg with his name written on it, then a broken camera he used before the accident, then the photo of the accident, more photos that reveal his occupation, last, and a pile of fashion magazines that further explain it.

Hitchcock started his career as a silent movie director and he remained that way all his career, using visuals to tell the story. This is pure cinema at its best.

Dialog about dialogues!

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Dialogue is one of the most important elements in a screenplay, for countless reasons. While great dialogue will not automatically make your script golden, weak dialogue will definitely pull down your script. It will not be an understatement to say that dialogue is the fastest and most overt indicator of a writer’s voice and craft.

When we recall our favourite movie, one of the first things we think of is the moments we love, especially the dialogues. Who can forget the iconic Kitne aadmi the from Sholay or Ja Simran ja, jile aapni zindagi from Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge! There are some dialogues that we love and some we hate, which is why you have get it right. Want to know more about how to write fabulous dialogues, read on!

Listen to what’s around you
Listen to people very carefully, what they are saying and what they are not saying with equal interest. The world is full of dialogues, if you can hear them. We tend to think of dialogue as back and forth between speakers. But when you listen, you realize that people talk over each other constantly and rarely finish a thought completely.

Dialogue reveals
Dialogue reveals what characters hide, what people try to conceal. Since you are writing the character, you become the characters you are writing. You hear it in your head as you write it. The best thing you can do is sit with your actors, do a dry run and make adjustments according to the requirements of the character or the actor.

Flow of your dialogue
Figure out the flow, the how, the when, the why and it will be words in the right order. Movie conversations mostly involve exchange of information (“the fingerprints match”). Figure out how the characters would tell each other the information. Well written dialogue subtly gives the facts, while badly written dialogue tends to give information in every direction.

Write the draft
You might come up with some punch lines the first time, but for the rest of the dialogues, it is best to write the first draft of a scene, without any punctuation. Next step is to write the final version, when you have the blueprint for the scene. Read each line aloud, over and over again, fine tuning it as you go, with better words.

Characters listening or speaking?
Once you have the scene finished, read the lines again to make sure the characters are not just speaking because they have to. Sometimes, they might just need to listen and sometimes just nod or express without dialogue. Write these finer nuances in it too to highlight the key dialogues.

Improve dialogue
Similar to writing a story, many a times, the best way to improve dialogue is to cut it. After the draft is complete, let it be for a couple of days; then revisit it and if a piece of information is not important, cut it out. Develop the cut instinct. There might be instances where there is a scene with 10 lines of dialogue, and you cut it to five lines, then the five liner becomes two lines, and yet again the two lines might end up with zero lines.

Tight screen dialogue
Screen dialogue is different from real-life dialogue, which is often uninteresting for an outsider, and contains small talk. Whereas screen dialogue is tight, interesting and engaging while being realistic and authentic. So, keep your dialogue interesting, engaging and tight. If you want your screenplay to click, keep your dialogue interesting, engaging and tight, which comes with effort and a good amount of rewriting.

Include conflict where needed
Include as much drama and conflict as possible as it keeps audiences engaged and makes them wonder what’s going to happen next.

Read every line out loud, and ask yourself whether that line is realistic for that character at that time. See if it could be made any tighter. Make sure every character has a distinct voice, since most scripts have multiple characters. Every scene exists for a reason, so be sure that what you’re doing is writing out the scenes that are integral to telling your story.

Effective dialogue
Effective dialogue is not an exact reproduction of real-life speech but rather a condensed form that cuts out verbiage while retaining the flavor of authentic, natural speech. Good dialogue imitates the natural rhythms of everyday speech; it contains nuances, overtones and original turns of phrase that bring out the individual personalities of characters.

  • Do you need dialogue in every scene?
  • Do characters have to use words to respond to a question?
  • Do characters have to have something to say in response to every comment or situation?

The answer is No!

So what is the Purpose of Dialogue?

  • To reveal character
  • To move the story forward

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Sometimes only dialogue can expose the real motivations and secrets of a character in all their complexity. It’s especially effective when it exposes the character in an entirely new way from what we as an audience expect. We use dialogue to establish relationships.

  • Dialogue reflects feelings and attitudes.
  • There may be subtext. What is really being said?
  • Direct dialogue drives people apart: “You’re always late!” Indirect dialogue draws people together: “I know you had to help your sister before you could come.”
  • Conflict in dialogue can reveal information.
  • Dialogue should move the story forward & serve the plot.

The mood of the story

  • The type of dialogue must be appropriate for the genre of that specific film. Set the tone and style of the story right away. This is especially important in comedy, so that we know that it’s all right to laugh.
  • Good dialogue has a beat, a rhythm, and a melody. It’s affected by time, place, the weather, and so much more. It’s intangible like mist, and it depends on your characters and who they are, their relationships, the situation, and the genre.

Writing Dialogue

  • Sometimes you might to set up the story in the first few words of dialogue.
  • From the start, keep in mind your final end point, and build the dialogue toward the climax.
  • Write less than you think you need. See and hear it as you write. Act it out in character.
  • See who is dominating the scene, shifting dominance and apex.

Every word should have a purpose
Consider:
Chinatown: Jake Gittes is relaying an off – color joke to his male employees. The joke is not important, what is important is Mrs. Mulwray is listening without Jake’s knowledge. The dialogue purpose is to cause an awkward moment and put Jake off-guard.

In Pulp Fiction, Jules gives his opinion of hamburgers. He is not trying to instruct the young men in the apartment about beef patties, he is making it clear that he is the most dangerous, unpredictable and powerful person in the room.

Making dialogue sound natural

  • Use contractions (“don’t”, “shouldn’t”, “can’t”) unless a character is very stuffy or speaking in a very formal context.
  • Let characters break off sentences, or speak in phrases rather than sentences. (You might think of these as verb less sentences, they’re great for dialogue.)
  • Have characters interrupt one another.
  • Use the occasional “um” or “er”, if a character is being particularly hesitant.

Dramatic Dialogue
Find the character’s voice.

  • How your character speaks will bring him or her to life. The dialogue you construct for your characters needs to be specific. Let the dialogue help clarify characters.
  • What area of the world is the character from?
  • Is he foreign? Local?
  • What part of the country is he/she from?
  • Use of colloquial (not formal or literary used on ordinary or familiar conversation) slang can reveal roots of character.

What is the educational level of the character?

  • Big words or small words?
  • Grammar?
  • Syntax?
  • Malapropisms (the mistaken use of words in place of a similar-sounding one. Often with unintentionally amusing effect.)
  • Understanding of the world.
  • Ability to make their point of view.

What is the personality of the character?

  • Violent? Meek? (Quiet, gentle) Timid? (Showing a lack of courage) Insecure? Proud? Egotistical?
  • Finds humor in every situation?
  • Chip on his shoulder?
  • Seduces with every word?

Dialogue is also about attitude. Characters with sunny dispositions may find the silver lining on every storm cloud. Characters who view the world as a dark and menacing place will find words, images and ideas to reflect that.

Carving his own little niche!

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When a dream becomes a passion and that passion becomes life, nothing else matters; you start living and loving life! For dreams and passion are more powerful than facts and reality. It takes guts to achieve glory and conviction to stick to your dreams.

Well on this path to achieving his dreams, carving his own little niche is our very own Hari Mrutyumjaya, who worked as the Assistant Director in Nagarjuna’s latest blockbuster film Soggade Chinni Nayana.

An alumnus of AISFM, who had pursued his Masters in Film & Media, Hari is from the first batch of this school. Speaking about what motivates him and what his inspiration is, he says, “Since my college days i.e. intermediate I would keep writing stories on paper and tell my friends about it. I even sent some stories to a local film magazine. I continued writing stories even while I was doing my B.Tech in Sri Vasavi Engineering College, Tadepalligudam. I then joined AISFM to pursue my M.A. to know and learn more about other aspects of filmmaking. My M.A. project was Pranam, based on the stageplay called ‘Kuka’ by Yandamoori Veerendranath. I read about him a lot.”

So where does your passion lie; have you always wanted to become a director? To this he says, “I love writing but I will not leave direction at the same time. If the writing is good then the film is good. If writing is perfect then 80% of the job is done, the remaining 20% would be, to shoot the film. Without a proper story, even a big director’s movie will be a flop.”

Speaking about his experience on being a part of the trendsetting record-breaking big blockbuster movie Soggade Chinni Nayana, he says “When I saw the characters I liked Nagarjuna Sir’s character a lot, especially the differentiation between the dual roles and the whole essence of the movie. I had a feeling that it would do well, but it is such a big blockbuster! The fantasy and nativity of it all, is very unique. On the first day of the film during pre-production the director, Kalyan Krishna, gave me the script and asked me to read it and involved me in the whole process.  AISFM involved us and taught us all aspects of filmmaking and this helped me a lot. Even though it was such a big production I felt very comfortable working and being part of it. Initially I was scared but later on it was all fine. On the last day of shooting, we all felt that the final output was really good and were very happy.” Making the most of his break before he starts working on his next project, Hari has a story in mind and will be working on its screenplay.

At AISFM we learnt each aspect of filmmaking. It was easy for me later, since I learnt about everything in the school. Even though we worked on small projects we looked into each department; whereas in the industry it is divided into each department, so the knowledge and prior experience helped. It didn’t feel new and it was easy working. We learnt what to do and what not to do. We learnt that planning is very important in any department, then there is clarity,” he said about his learning at AISFM.

What are you friends and family saying about your recent laurels? With a smile on his face, he says “They are very happy. It is because of my B.Tech friends, Maruthi Kiran and Narendra Kumar, that I am here. They paid my fees when I could not afford it and made sure that I got into a really good school like AISFM to realize my dream. They helped and supported me a lot and encouraged me at all times. Initially I tried my hand in the industry and got small offers but then I wanted to learn more about the craft, so they helped me by paying the fees to get into AISFM. At AISFM, Krupakar Sir encouraged me a lot and introduced me to the director of Soggade Chinni Nayana Kalyan Krishna. If not for his help, I would not have got a break so soon. Kalyan Krishna asked me about the course and what they taught me and once he was sure that I was good for the job, he took me as his assistant director. My specialization was scriptwriting, so the director asked me for suggestions and was always open to any that I suggested. Kalyan Krishna supported me a lot and was always helpful.”

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Any interesting anecdotes that he would like to share with us? To this, reliving his fan moment he says, “Kalyan Krishna is like a brother not just with me but with everyone. So, for a small scene in the movie he asked me if I would like to play the brother of Hamsanandini in it. I am a huge fan of Nagarjuna Sir, so I readily agreed. My most memorable moment is that, I have a scene with Nagarjuna Sir in the movie and even share two dialogues in that scene. Cinematographer Siddharth was also very funny and helpful.”

When asked if he told Nagarjuna that he is from AISFM, to this he said, “I did not because it will be good if I introduce myself to him after I make a name for myself and then make him proud by saying that I am from AISFM.”

So in three years from now, where does he see himself? To this he confidently says that “I would definitely have directed a movie by then. And I want to direct my own story, only then I will be able to realize it completely.”

Sharing his experiences and lessons learnt for future aspirants, he said, “People who take up the job should work according to the job requirement and satisfy them and should not brag. We should do our job to the best and respect all crew, be it in any department. It will also help if we are involved in pre and post production work also, so that the learning is complete. For example in AISFM we learnt about sync sound also but in the industry dubbing is followed majorly, so being involved in post production also helps you learn a lot.”

Ending the discussion on a philosophical note, he said, “We should always keep learning and should not think that we know everything, since filmmaking in a continuous learning process. One lifetime is not enough. Writing is also important; we should keep writing and develop it further.”

Here’s wishing Good Luck to Hari for his upcoming movies and in everything that he does!