Making A Scene Scriptwriting Workshop
Ronald Goh and Tang Kang Sheng attended "Marking a Scene Scriptwriting Workshop" held at Marine Parade Public Library on 8th Jan 2017

Making a Scene was a 4-hour workshop by IMDA’s Story Lab initiative that introduced participants to the basic principles of scriptwriting. Facilitated by Ng Swee San and Derek Judge, the President and Secretary of the Screenwriters Association (Singapore) (SAS) respectively, participants benefited from their extensive scriptwriting experience in both local and international film and television projects.

Those in attendance benefited from lecture slides, short film screenings, group work and discussions, and also got to flesh out a rough structure (beginning, middle and end) for their story ideas and write their own scenes! They also learnt the importance of working out their story beats before beginning their scripts, how characters should have active goals and not be passive victims and why complex characters and simple plots can make a story more interesting.

Making a Scene saw around 30 people in attendance, a fairly diverse group with students, engineers and people already working in the television and film industry showing interest. While majority had some form of previous writing experience in areas such as short stories, academic papers, books, and even scripts, there were a handful who had none. 

Tang Kang Sheng, a freelance videographer, had never written a script before. As an aspiring director, he recognizes strong scriptwriting skills as an essential part of the filmmaking process. Some of the things he learnt was to stick to the foundations of scriptwriting, so as to not lose sight of the overall story line. He also remarked that in order to tell better stories, “sometimes it’s better to look inside, rather than outside… to find them within yourself.” He wishes that more Singaporeans take up roles as scriptwriters as it is “a meaningful long-term career choice that spurs individual growth.”

Another participant, Ronald Goh, is pursuing literature, theatre and film in NUS. He was drawn by the technical aspects of scriptwriting that he could gain from the workshop. As a freelance actor who also writes online articles and music reviews, he found the session to be very detailed, all-rounded and yet easy to digest. He recalls how the seven points of what makes an interesting character stood out for him, and the importance of recognising that “stories should be character-driven, not event-driven.” A firm believer in self-expression, Ronald feels most locals lack the initiative to search for good stories, and are content with what the media feeds them. However, he sees the potential for more Singaporeans to share and develop their original stories through workshops such as Making a Scene

Creating original and compelling stories is vital in an evolving and competitive infocomm media landscape. As media platforms converge, the Story Lab initiative aims to bring together talents from different backgrounds to incubate story ideas and explore innovative ways to tell stories across various media platforms, from film to broadcast and even games. If you’re interested, visit Story Lab to find out more.