Dated: 16 October 2001

The Singapore Broadcasting Authority (SBA) is pleased to organise another Masterclass Lecture and Workshop for Scriptwriting. This time, the focus is on writing for telemovies*. SBA has specially invited experienced Australian writer, Mr John Lonie, who is Co-Head of the Screenwriting Programme at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School in Sydney to present the lecture and conduct the workshop from 22 to 25 October 2001.

In the lecture entitled <b>'Talking to the World in Your Own Voice'</b>, to be held on 22 October at the Civil Service College, Mr Lonie will build on the lessons of the Australian experience in formulating ideas on how small countries can project their unique voices onto national and world screens.

Besides lecturing, Mr Lonie has had a hand in writing for various television episodes. As a script editor, he has worked on debut feature films, namely Beneath Clouds and Dogwatch - which are currently in post-production. In his lecture, he will address pertinent questions such as : Do you need to compromise when writing for telemovies and if so, by how much? Is it a matter of the bigger the budget the more international your telemovie will be? Will you need subtitles in the US market to be understood? How much can we take from the American storytelling models and still be true to our own stories?

To bring a local perspective to the lecture, Mr Lee Thean-jeen, Director of Production at Film Formations Pte Ltd will share his perspective on what local broadcasters, producers and the public look for in good telemovies. He will also add his views on the debate: 'Should local writers write with a local voice or an international one?'

In particular, Mr Thean-jeen will share his experience in adapting the highly acclaimed AlterAsians, a series of Singapore short stories for local television screens. The series was recognised in the New York Festivals with a Finalist Award for Best Mini-series, as well as the Asian Television Awards 2000 for Best Single Drama or Telemovie. The profiles of Mr Lonie and Mr Lee are attached in Annex A.

The Masterclass Lecture is free and open to all professionals in TV production and in broadcast-related services, budding scriptwriters and enthusiasts, and members from the public. Registration will be on a first-come-first-served basis and the registration form is available on the Internet at <a href="" target="_blank"></a>

The three-day Masterclass workshop from 23 to 25 October is titled "The Art and Craft of Dramatic Scriptwriting". In it, Mr Lonie will go through the process of scriptwriting from concept to the finished work and cover all areas on the craft of scriptwriting. While the focus will be on dramatic storytelling in telemovies, it will cover all forms, be it drama, historical, romance, crime or coming of age stories. The workshop will be limited to 25 participants, to be held at the Orchard Guild House, Orchard Cineleisure. Those wishing to attend must have at least a basic knowledge in scriptwriting.

SBA has been organising such Masterclasses with the aim of boosting scriptwriting skills in Singapore and providing industry participants and scriptwriting enthusiasts the opportunities to learn the finer points of scriptwriting from experts from around the world. To further boost local talents, SBA is also organising the SBA National Scriptwriting Competition in which the winning works will be turned into programmes for airing on local television. Details are available in the SBA's website:

*Note : A telemovie is a made-for-TV movie. It is longer than the usual one-hour TV dramas, often running for one and a half-hours to two-hours in duration. It can be shot on film or video. To the viewer, it looks like a movie on television.

Last updated on: 13 Mar 2023