India is full of storytellers. But too often, their stories go untold due to a lack of training, exposure and opportunity. At AIB, we believe that nothing should hold back a talented writer willing to work hard.
That's why we started First Draft, India's most intensive screenwriting bootcamp in Mumbai. In its first edition in 2016, 10 writers from across the country got to attend lectures, interact with top industry professionals, learn the skills essential to screenwriting and leave with their own first draft of a movie or series – with all expenses covered by AIB.
And First Draft is back in 2018!
Picture it. Ten creative minds handpicked from India - Living, learning and growing together.
This could be the year that changes your life.
AIB First Draft is an intensive course. Beginning March 2018, we’re going to pack six months of your life with 200 plus hours of lectures aside from film screenings, discussions, workshops, set visits, and reviews. You’ll spend any remaining hours staring at your Word document, tearing your hair out, buckling down, and writing.
Over the course of this time, your mentor will guide you through the processes of ideation, character development, story development, plotting, structure, scene design, dialogue-writing – the works. You’ll leave knowing the basics of film appreciation, filmmaking, and film and TV history as well.
Top industry professionals will step in as guest lecturers to lend you their expertise on various aspects of storytelling (so this is your chance to not only learn from the who’s who of the writing world, but also to impress them). Through the course, you’ll get critical and constructive feedback from your mentor on your story at every step. But more importantly, you’ll walk away with the support and feedback of your 9 classmates.
Six months later, you will have a first draft of your script.
This National Award-winning filmmaker, screenwriter, professor of cinema will be your captain, boss, creative guru and everything in between.
An MBBS from AFMC - Pune, Satyanshu gave up his job as a doctor in the army and came to Mumbai. Here, he started his career with the poems in Vikramaditya Motwane’s Udaan and continued to work as a screenwriter and lyricist for films and TV. His directorial debut, a Kashmiri short film – Tamaash, won awards the world over, including a National Film Award. Satyanshu’s love for writing is only equalled by his love for teaching. Since 2011, he has taught cinema at Mumbai University, conducted screenwriting workshops, and designed the filmwriting course at Anupam Kher's school, 'Actor Prepares', where he taught five batches between 2014-15.
Through the course of First Draft, Satyanshu will be spending over 20 hours a week with you, helping you write your own scripts. There are few better initiations into the craft of storytelling available in the country today.
Apart from him, you will also have top industry professionals as your guest lecturers. In 2016, guest lecturers included Varun Grover (writer – Masaan, lyricist – Gangs of Wasseypur), Sudip Sharma (writer - NH10, Udta Punjab), Shakun Batra (Writer/Director - Kapoor and Sons), Hansal Mehta (Director - Shahid, Aligarh), Rajat Kapoor (Writer/Director - Aankhon Dekhi, Mithya), Hardik Mehta (Writer - Trapped), Satyajit Pande (Cinematographer - Dangal, Kahaani, Taare Zameen Par), Meenal Agarwal (Production Designer - Dum Laga ke Haisha, Aankhon Dekhi), Bishwadeep Chatterjee (Sound Designer - Bajirao Mastani, 3 Idiots), Siddharth Roy Kapoor (MD - Disney, India) among others.
Just because it’s AIB doesn’t mean this is restricted to comedy writers. You can write drama, romance, horror, thriller, action or a genre that’s purely yours.
Not an internship, no. You won’t be working on AIB projects directly, but you will be interacting with the AIB folks through the course.
You could apply if you’re any or many of the following.
A closet writer.
A nobody writer from nowhere, willing to work hard and make it in the industry.
Someone who used to enjoy writing, but is now at a corporate job, looking for a reason to quit.
Someone who writes for clients but wants to write for themselves. Someone who watched a kickass show and wished they’d come up with that plot.
Someone with a head full of characters but a Word doc. without words.
Someone who took a Facebook aptitude test, which said "You’re most suited to be a writer." (Actually, no, not you.)
So basically, anyone. In fact, you need not already be a writer. We’re looking out for first timers as well.
Anyone who can only spare a month or two.
Anyone who wants to do the course part-time.
Anyone who doesn’t want to write but just wants to work at AIB. (For that email email@example.com)
Anyone who just wants to come to Bombay for fun. This course is serious business.
So basically, anyone who doesn’t care about learning how to tell a story.
Anyone born on or before 31st December 1996 can apply. No exceptions will be made.
Just go to the Application section on the website and register with your email address. Once registered, you can view the assignment questionnaire. You will have 10 days to submit your completed assignment. Last date to get the questionnaire is 20th October 2017.
Once all the applications are in, the best ones will be chosen by
our mentors and professors. If selected, you will be notified via
email or phone by mid-January 2018. If you don’t hear from us, it
means you did not make the cut. We’re expecting a heavy traffic of
applicants, so we might not be able to give you individual feedback
on your test. Sorry about that.
When we’ve shortlisted, Team AIB will fly down to cities around India to personally meet our candidates. We’ll get to know them through a round of interviews, and then we’ll select our 10 students. The programme will start in March 2018.
Either is cool. Just make sure you have a good command over the language you choose to write in.
No. You must have an impeccable command over spoken and written forms of at least one of these two languages. Ideally, you should understand both.
Good question. You won’t be attending lectures every day but this course demands a lot of discipline and hard work. It is imperative that you make your time in Mumbai count. We’re trying hard to provide you with the best of opportunities and facilities. We’re investing our time and money in you. So slacking is a punishable offence. You could actually be booted out of the programme.
Your answers are: No. No. NO. And NO.
You can take a maximum of 7 days off during the course after applying at least two weeks in advance. If you desire more leave, then this is not the course for you.
It’s absolutely free. All tuition fees are borne by AIB.
This is strictly a residential program. The students, including any
from Mumbai, will share the accommodation provided by us. Don’t
expect a swanky fancy bungalow (for that try
But don’t expect to be living in rat
infested squalor either. We’ll get you a place that’s comfortable
for those 6 months.
No. All course material will be provided to you by us.
Not to AIB. Maybe to your nearest wine shop or cafe.
Not a salary, but a stipend to take care of your travel, food et cetera. The amount may not be sufficient to take care of any preexisting major financial commitments you have.
Yes, everybody from writers to directors to agents to cinematographers to background dancers. Last year's guest lecturers included Varun Grover (writer – Masaan, lyricist – Gangs of Wasseypur), Sudip Sharma (writer - NH10, Udta Punjab), Shakun Batra (Writer/Director - Kapoor and Sons), Hansal Mehta (Director - Shahid, Aligarh), Rajat Kapoor (Writer/Director - Aankhon Dekhi, Mithya), Hardik Mehta(Writer - Trapped), Satyajit Pande(Cinematographer - Dangal, Kahaani, Taare Zameen Par), Meenal Agarwal(Production Designer - Dum Laga ke Haisha, Aankhon Dekhi), Bishwadeep Chatterjee (Sound Designer - Bajirao Mastani, 3 Idiots), Siddharth Roy Kapoor(MD - Disney, India) among others.
Once you have a first draft of your movie/web series screenplay ready, we will evaluate the ones with the most potential. The scripts that show the most promise will have a chance to be produced by AIB. And of course, you’ll get full fees as a writer on the production along with credit for it. If we don’t see potential in the script, we’ll pass. So at the very least you’ll have a movie script, a bunch of industry contacts and most importantly - you’ll be trained as a writer. If all goes well, each and every writer will have enough employment opportunities in TV, film or web by the end of the course. Not bad, eh?
Absolutely. You’ll be compensated well, probably better than industry standards. And you’ll get full credit for the work you’ve done.
No course in the world can guarantee that, and we are no different. If you are good, chances are you won't need to look for jobs elsewhere.
Seven out of the ten students from the first batch are now developing fiction projects for us professionally, the first couple of which go into production soon.
We’ve tried to address almost all the practical concerns that a parent would have. If that isn’t enough – well, you’re planning on becoming a writer. You’ll think of something.
We’ve always wanted to start a school – this is a first step towards it. We get to meet and groom a whole bunch of awesome writers and in our very small way, give back to the creative industry. And we have the potential to produce great content. It’s a win-win situation.
More questions still? Ask away.