Weeks 14 and 15: Plotting (Part 1)

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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)

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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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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.
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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.

Week 5: The Pitch

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If our 26-week course has a Three Act Structure, the end of fifth week is definitely when the Set-Up is complete and Act I ends. I say so, because after four weeks of lectures, analyses, movie-watching, discussions, assignments etc. (as discussed in the previous posts), the fifth week was spent only in fine tuning the film/show ideas that the students had come up with. They wrote and re-wrote the ideas, helping each other, and creating their one-page pitch documents, that comprised of log-lines, plot outlines and treatments. And for that the students had a lot of time by themselves.

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