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SCRIPTWRITING COURSES (article first published : 1999-07-6)

Ever thought you could write a powerful TV or feature film script or produce something as good as - if not, better – than the programmes on television today? Or have you written a script but know that it could be improved with guidance?

Thanks to a grant from the Department of Arts, Culture, Science & Technology, the South African Scriptwriters’ Association (SASWA) will present a course for beginners titled Scriptwriting - Discovering the Tools with an optional intermediate course titled The Art of Dramatic Writing.

“International TV and Film producers often rave about our infrastructure and locations but say our scripts are generally weak and poorly presented,” says SASWA’s chairman Etienne van den Heever. “Through these courses, we hope to enable a significant number of writers to sit down and write a decent TV or feature film script, armed with the knowledge of how to market it successfully. We know the stories and talent are there in abundance and this programme will provide writers with the necessary skills to launch their careers.”

The intensive two-day beginners’ course will be conducted by Leon van Nierop, well-known TV personality, film critic, writer and lecturer at Pretoria Technikon Film School. It will offer guidance on starting a script, synopsis and characterisation as well as script format and structure. Well-known UK writer Alby James, who has been involved in the development of many successful scripts, will present the thorough three-day intermediate course.

The beginner’s course costs R260 and takes place in Johannesburg (August 7 and 8), Durban (August 14 and 15) and Cape Town (August 21and 22). The intermediate course costs R900 and there are a limited number of bursaries available. This course will only be held in Johannesburg (August 27 to 29) and Cape Town (September 3 to 5). Fees for both courses include lunch, teas and course notes.

SASWA members will enjoy a substantial discount for both courses. Details or reservations through SASWA co-ordinator, Di McCrorie on (011) 678-3838 from 09h00 to 12h00, weekdays.


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