Weaving stories give you a high? Here are some courses in screenplay writing that will help you convert the written word to a Bollywood blockbuster.

Screenplay Writing Courses

“When the stories in your head find a voice, you turn into a writer". Writing true to these words is the art of storytelling; teleporting a reader into the realms of your mind, where you create an alternate reality. A make believe world of limitless possibilities. Do you also dream of visually re-creating these stories, giving those earthy characters a face people recognize by? Then you should consider screenplay writing. Screenplay writing is the blueprint for converting your persuasive pseudo-reality into a bigger sham; a movie! A movie, where the audience is conned into believing that they somehow seem to be viewing an imitation of life, in spite of the fact, that if life could ever be imitated then it wouldn’t exactly remain an enigma, would it? A screenplay writer is someone who usually guffaws at the end of it all; mocking human stupidity, his own stupidity in believing that his figment of imagination was the closest one could get from escaping reality. More stories are weaved and the cycle continues, a rather fulfilling one; finding a voice amidst a milling crowd. If you want to be part of this wonderful cycle and turn it into a lifelong career then here are some courses that will help you find a voice.
Courses In Screenplay Writing

Screenwriting is mainly a postgraduate certificate course; a candidate should have completed a graduation to be eligible. The graduation can be in any area of study. The duration of the postgraduate certificate course is one year and is an intensive program. Other certificate courses for shorter duration also exist, based on your time constraints you can enroll on to them. Fluent English and some kind of experience in writing or filmmaking to a higher standard is all that is essentially required for this course. 

Details Of The Course
The screenwriting post graduation course (M.A) begins with an overview of dramatic principles, when applied to a distinctive cinematic storytelling. These principles are also critically evaluated to see how they help in the creative process, which ultimately results in an original screenplay. Workshops on storytelling and film language, characterization, and the development of original ideas for the screen are all part of the curriculum. Film styles and film history courses give a more holistic view of the bigger picture and define the role of a screenwriter better. The first module in the course mainly deals with writing a screenplay for a short film and the production of a short film. 

The next step in the course is coming up with a first draft feature screenplay; this includes a lot of one on one mentoring and group discussions with fellow students. Class work and exercises include the Writers Gym and a National Gallery day; focusing on visualization and cinema specific aspects of screenwriting. Workshops with actors, directors, and editors demonstrate how knowledge of the filmmaking process is essential to the developing screenwriter.
The course ends with practical work, where the candidate completes his/her feature script. Two more drafts of the screenplay are written to finalize on the final draft. The candidate also has the opportunity to be part of the development of his/her screenplay.
However, in certificate courses of shorter duration screenplay writing for features is usually not touched upon. The course ends at short movie screenplays and basics of screenplay, which include making the candidate adept with the screenplay writing software. 

Skills Required
A good command over the English language or any regional language is essential in churning out good screenplays. Writing as such requires a lot of discipline and to be able to put an idea into words requires patience and perseverance. A single draft never really is enough for a good screenplay and constant working and re-working of the script is essential. Apart from this, a candidate must have an innate desire to tell stories. Without passion, any work is futile; the candidate must be passionate about the craft of filmmaking and the role of a screenwriter in that wondrous art. 

Career Prospects
Screenwriting is a tough career choice; most screenwriters begin work free of cost, eventually with time as one of their scripts, known as the spec script (specimen script) is sold their careers finally takes off. Screenwriters do not necessarily write only for the movies, they write for TV shows and documentaries too. They are also appointed as script doctors where they modify any problems in the script; problems include changes in dialogues that might be hurtful or obscene, characterization flaws etc. Some of them also find work by selling a treatment (10-30 pages long) or a synopsis (1-2 pages long). 

Some Of Institutes Offering Courses In Screenwriting
  • Film and Television Institute of India, Pune, India
  • Whistling Woods International, Bombay, India
  • Burlington College, Vermont, USA
  • California Institute Of The Arts, USA
  • Chapman University, Dodge college of Film and Media Arts, California, USA

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