Story to Screen
"Learn from the mistakes that I have made on this exciting journey of telling stories using motion pictures"
~ Ashvin Kumar.
Spend three days with Oscar® nominated writer/director Ashvin Kumar, learning the art and craft of cinema, its history, aesthetics and language; the processes and techniques of bringing a story to the screen.
From composing a story, to writing a script, directing the camera and actors, and making editing choices using examples from his own films and a cross-section of early and contemporary world-cinema that have inspired him along the way.
Learning how to think about films gives confidence to write the story, pick up a camera and go make a movie, while greatly enhancing the film appreciation and viewing experience.
To the practical aspect of his craft he brings a thought process, which serves to demystify the job of a filmmaker.
A simple and direct approach, which does not provide a formula, but a logical step-by-step inquiry, that leads to a ‘technique’; and to appreciate that this ‘technique’ is nothing new.
What is unique to Story to Screen that it expresses the method in a simple and immediately applicable manner. The course is the distillation of dramatic and artistic theories from Aristotle to Freud and David Mamet. From Joseph Campbell to Eisenstein. From Hitchcock to Stanislavski to Walter Murch.
The intention of these workshops is to harness the dense theoretical constructs of cinema, performance, mythology, psychoanalysis, drama and storytelling with that which is most relevant to the practical work of a movie-director, screenplay-writer, editor and actor.
Distilling the theories and hands-on experience of making a variety of films in various genres into a simple and easy-to-follow ‘technique’ into which the aspirant / filmmaker / artist / storyteller may channel her own institution and creative genius.
The goal is to empower the participant with a technique by which they may be able to translate their inner voice into creating compelling, coherent cinematic works from the stories that are most important and unique to her.
The application of this technique is demonstrated by a rigorous shot-by-shot examination that participants begin to create and discover the story and shot-list for themselves; the decision-making, and at-times ruthless approach required of the filmmaker / director while trying to keep the rudder steady and stick-to-the-story despite being pulled in different directions by the weighty demands, catastrophes and time pressures that are made upon the filmmaker in the chaos that is a film-set for which there are three maxims:
Hitchcock said that films were made on paper, before the first shot is filmed.
The above will be heavily illustrated with examples from world-cinema classics from the silent era to contemporary world-cinema. Ashvin will also pull in examples from his own films discussing his intentions, how they were woven into the screenplay, how they finally appeared on screen were and how, perhaps, he may have done it a different way.
Anyone who is interested in making films and seeks a robust set of techniques of how it may be done, can attend.
Useful for the aspiring film maker, film student or film professional who wishes to enhance or revise their process; take another look at their screenplay, shot-list and creative choices using a rigorous set of techniques and fresh perspective.
This course can be applied universally across short, feature, fiction and documentary films.
HOW DIFFERENT FROM REGULAR FILMMAKING COURSES?
Film courses tend to cater to a mass-market industry whose priority is to generate the maximum amount of cash in the fewest number of days. While this approach cannot be faulted from a business point-of-view, it tends to undervalue the very nature of the aesthetic of cinema not pausing to examine the basic subject of ‘how films work’.
The mysteries of why an audience would be willing to pay hard earned money to sit in dark auditorium for two hours while fully aware that what they are watching is make-believe, if understood, may help us tell better stories, make better films, write tighter scripts, give better direction to actors and so on.
Film-courses also tend to adopt a mechanical approach, how to use 'tools of the trade' (the camera / the sound equipment / the editing studio). They do this because it is the easiest and most tangible thing to teach.
In the literary world it would amount to teaching someone to use Microsoft Word and a computer in order to write a book. But now, however, with the explosion of digital means of producing and exhibiting films, the education oriented towards teaching the 'tools-of-the-trade' is also made redundant. Anyone can purchase an affordable digital camera and editing software and put a movie together.
A 'tools-of-the-trade' education tends to gloss over the fundamental techniques of telling stories: human perception, motivation, mythology, dramatic structure, cinematic grammar and how to use these tools to construct engaging pieces of cinema.
The good news is that in Story to Screen we understand that there is a ‘technique’ that can be learnt that would unlock the full potential of cinema, one that can be applied universally, whether to the next blockbuster hit or the visionary independent art-house classic.
In 2010, Ashvin and his crew trained high school boys and girls to make a feature film.
Following the success of that film, Story to Screen is a short course designed to express his technique and learning on an exciting journey of making movies to a variety of film making professionals and aspirants.
Later next year, the course will go live on www.imaginox.com, a UK based global, film-school affiliated to the National Film and Television School (NFTS) UK.
Video clips and photos from his other workshops are available on the Story to Screen website.
GLIMPSES FROM EARLIER WORKSHOPS:
GET IN TOUCH:
Email: filmalipur [dot] com