Entries by Satyanshu Singh

Weeks 16 and 17: Plotting (Part 2)


Four months are over at First Draft. As I write these words, the students are on a three-day holiday to Lonavala. I have advised them to stay away from their writing. I hope they do take this break and enjoy, because the last nine weeks are going to be very hectic, like the rest of the course.

Weeks 14 and 15: Plotting (Part 1)


Fifteen weeks are over at First Draft. 105 days! Time really flies when you are immersed in something that is so fulfilling. As of now, thirteen stories are being developed at the course, six feature films and seven shows, and while we apply all the learning to find the right structure to these stories, time and again we remind ourselves that the most important elements for us are characters and the emotions they generate through a difficult but rewarding journey.

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Weeks 10 and 11: Story Development (Part 1)


Eleven weeks are over at First Draft. Fifteen more remain, out of which, the last five will be spent not in any instruction, assignments or workshops, but in writing first drafts of screenplays. So only ten more weeks of instruction will follow. It is all building up – each student busy with their respective stories, each having unique struggles, and individual journeys. The instruction and the feedback process too has changed now. It is no more a uniform approach, but tweaked to suit each individual and the story he or she is developing.

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Field Trip 2 – Visual Aesthetics

The second field trip (Exercise in Visual Aesthetic) was on 25th March. A couple of days before this, we had had a lecture on ‘Visual Design in Films’ during which we discussed how filmmakers use images to tell stories. And how these images are made to look aesthetically appealing.

Week 8 and 9: Creating Your Characters and Setting (Part 2)

Two months are over at AIB First Draft! Time never flew so fast as it did in the last nine weeks. As I write these words, the ten students have completed the mammoth task of writing one page of character sketch for ten to thirteen characters per story, as well as three pages of description of the setting of their stories: the location, the time/year/season, and the socio-cultural milieu. Considering sixteen stories are being developed among these ten students, to achieve this in four weeks is truly praiseworthy.

An Afternoon with Mr. Sudeep Sharma

On April 7th, seasoned writer and the man behind ‘NH10’, Mr Sudeep Sharma stopped by the AIB First Draft classroom to talk to the students about writing and filmmaking. It was a two hour discussion, where the students got to ask him questions and gain some semblance of insight on what it’s like to really get a script into production. Their mentor, Satyanshu Singh moderated the session. Here are some excerpts from that day.

Field Trip 1 – Observation Exercise

The first field trip (Observation Exercise) was on 17th March, the third day of the course. On that day the students, in groups of three, went to five different landscapes in Mumbai and clicked ten pictures at each spot. So each one of them clicked at least 50 pictures that day. The condition was: Each photo should, for you, be a new perspective on life – either a new thing, or a new way of looking at things. In the evening, they assembled and individually selected five best pictures from their bunch and then presented them to the class, sharing why they clicked those. Here are the ten standouts!

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Week 6 and 7: Creating Your Characters and Setting (Part 1)

The ten students at our course are currently, among themselves, working on sixteen ideas - eight feature films and eight shows. In the second month of the course they are supposed to brainstorm over their ideas, research about the setting and the tone of their stories, and develop characters. This is the phase where there cannot be any right or wrong decision. You have to welcome all ideas and consider them to be used later.