Rachel & Pippa holding the course material book: Strike Up! Structure Your First Film
This praise below came from students in my Class of 2014. These testimonials have been transcribed exactly as written with all the spelling or grammatical errors.Considering that for most of them English is a second language I am blown away by their commitment to the project and their responses. I’m extremely happy with what they have learnt! And moreover how it seems to be helping these Offenders who have chosen to go this route to think in pictures, express their innermost creative desires and needs and inspire them on an emotional and psychological level. Long may this project continue to help many more such as what you see below. Often we are mystified by offenders, there is a mystique surrounding who they are and how they operate as human beings. Well, here it is … take a look:
To Pippa Dyer: Film-Scriptwriter-Actor – Publisher- Radio
This course was put together from information and insights collected over some time and in particular with prison inmates in mind. I feel great about myself because of the programme course, I am choosing to take responsibility my perception of myself to endure living effectively. I allow myself to express my thoughts, feelings and needs. I consider myself a risk-taker and I generally feel competent about the scriptwriter film. Even when I fail I still do not doubt my basic ability. I examine it for ways to improve and I enjoy each sign of improvement or progress. A good way to practice is to use something reasonable simple which keeps annoying us frequently because your motivation for success will be stronger. We all have the capacity to grow in understanding but if we don’t make effort we waste our talents and our lives. I enjoy new challenges and I don’t get upset when things don’t go well right. Please let’s support one another through the difficult times. Mrs Pippa Dyer you are my Leader Mother and Motivator . “THANK YOU VERY MUCH GOD BLESS YOU”.
Film and Scriptwriting – What Has this course meant for me?
I would walk around observing nature in its pure wonder! Looking at the waves lap against the shore, leaves rustle on the trees, lovers holding hands and day to day life pass me by unnoticed!
On commencement of this course, my mind was limited to what I saw, what I heard that either made me happy, or sad. I could easily put this to words, but converting those sights to images was a major stumbling block for me. However, as I progressed through this course, scenes have grown into pictures and sights and sounds have been converted and transformed into inspirational, emotive words that are now able to bring pictures to life.
My thoughts have been transmuted to understand that my daily life can be drawn and come to life in film script. Initially it was very difficult to get the gist of condensing all the elements required to write a two-minute script. I could not fathom how I was going to convey my ideas and then bring them to life in two minutes! I honestly thought that this was going to be impossible. Further, how will I get my audience to understand my message, my dramatic question, my plot!
When the course was advertised I thought, wow, this could be interesting, leave alone allowing me to watch some really nice movies! How mistaken I was to think that this was going to be one of those laid back courses where I listen, watch and then get a certificate. I failed to imagine what was in store for me and what was actually required of me. Lest the need for actually writing a movie script, in a recognized format and then being interrogated by a panel of external professionals who were going to score my prospective movie.
With due to consideration to the above, my emotive turmoil was relieved to find that my facilitator was an absolute angel. Not just her voice, but her persona, her patience and her passion for film and script writing succeeded in grooming me to a point of no return! A point of life where I leave reality behind and slip into my own secret world of imagery and sound that will convey my thoughts, my most innermost feeling and this in turn, will pass on a message to my audience. A message so profound that I become the hero, the man of the moment and the director. Is this really true? Have I come this far? The amazing answer to that question is, yes!!!!!
So what is it that caused this transformation and allowed me to enter this fantastic world of film and script writing? The simple answer to that, is my dear friend Pippa Jazmine Dyer.
Pippa, you have granted me an opportunity to rise above the moment, escape from reality, but at the same time. To make a meaningful difference to my life. You have showed me how to reach deep into my soul and surface with ideas and thoughts that have been bottled and sealed away. My mind is now a film making machine, always on the search for new ideas, new emotions and tasteful love that I will strive to impart to the world, with the skill imparted by you.
I am eternally indebted to you Pippa for honing in on a skill and talent, which I never thought was possible! You have given me a new approach to life and for this, you have my most sincere gratitude, appreciation, indebtedness and eternal thanks that I will carry with me on this long journey, we call life.
This is not a course any longer, it is now a journey of knowledge and wisdom, a new dimension of vision that has been unveiled to show me the true secrets of life, in a manner that will bring my name to the big screen.
You have become my inherited, trusted friend for life!!!!
Ashwin Barnabas (Capt)
John Lerumo – Film and Script Writing Course Evaluation Feedback
When the course started in April 2014 I was really excited and looking forward to becoming a filmmaker. I had never been exposed to any film or script writing before, although I just watched movies.
My assumption was that this was going to be an easy course, however to my surprise it has been really tough, in depth and demanded a lot from me mentally and physically. The course required me to think outside the box by pushing me to be more creative, imaginative, emotional and structured.
I have learnt the following from the course:
- That it requires a lot of hard work to write scripts and make films.
- It is financially costly to plan and produce any films, from 2 minutes films to 2 hours films.
- It made me appreciate films and it made me realize how much piracy is affecting the film industry.
- To structure my scripts and films.
- To understand each of the 13 beats of storyteller narrative structure.
- To be the best filmmaker, I need to show more that I tell in my scripts.
Lessons learnt from Ms Pippa Dyer:
- Nothing is impossible when I put my mind and effort to it.
- Life is harder for those outside prison.
- The positive comments to all my assignments and tests really kept me going during times when I felt like quitting the course.
- That my current situation must not cloud my mind (i.e. I must free my mind from the environment I am in)
- To be patient and persistent – during the prison lock down I thought you will be discouraged to come back and eventually abandon the course, but my assumption was definitely wrong!
In conclusion, this course confirmed the saying that FEAR is False Evidence Appearing Real!
I THANK YOU!
Tshepho Molaolwa – Script Writing
This course mean a lot to me:-
- Firstly it inspired me and encourage me about (IP) – is Intellectual Property and Brain Capacity. It involves my Mind, it involves my Soul, Making emotions in mind, everything that is on mind. And learning narrative structure and everything has meaning in Film, and all I need is Play. And reel is what it happened, reel is what I create and the major turning point. This course mean a lot to me, and it motivate my brain. And I discover and apply the dynamics of the renewed mind, Guidance inspired. Scientists call the human mind the most complex living mechanism in the world.
And I have learned MTP, Mid-point, crisis, climax, Resolution – Brave New World, Vitality, Vacuum, Prototype, Architype, Mentor, Shapeshifter, Brave New World, Act 1, Act 2, act 3, Special World, Climax, Resolution, working title, Genre, Format, Target, Tagline, Logline, Synopsis, Dramatic Issue. This course teaches me how to be perceverence and persistence, Focused, being positive like think wisely. And a specific skill that is in high demand or require expertise, the practical use of abstract knowledge. And capable of becoming or developing Qualities abilities that lead to Future – success. The skill to do something well, and the power of using my mind to reason and understand, and characteristics way of thinking. The quality of being well Planned and organized. The image of something in mind.
The power of excellence is within me.
Darlington Setseta – THE GREENLIGHT PROJECT EVALUATION
Doing nothing but staying in this hell hole and thinking is enough to make a man stark raving mad. So when I heard about this course, it was like mannah from heaven because I have so much love for films and the arts industry in general, mainly to be behind the scenes, because I believe there are so many social issues that I want to tell people about. I believe that the point of sending a man to prison is to shorten the part of his life that he can be free in, to bring his death nearer. But, the first day of the course, liberated my inner-self, my mind and soul. I began to see things around me through the lense of the video camera. Instead of just telling people whats on my mind, I see myself moving in a direction when I can show it, usually through film. The course has taught me so much, the movies we watched, especially those based on true events made me to be conscious of my emotional side, in-fact, they taught me the importance of writing movies that people can relate to. I can never thank you enough Pippa, for everything, especially not judging us. You’re a great mentor for me. I hope I thank you in my speech at the Oscars 🙂
Well, firstly I would love to appreciate for your love, time and kindness. Dear you doing a lot for us, I have been longing for this course years back. Honestly, to be one of your students will never be a worst thing. This course is an eye opener, keeps me busy and compels me to read, write and edit most of the times, which improves my English. True! Sometimes I do struggle there and there, what I love is that you always there to keep me going and understand the concepts. I now have the light that will show me the way. I believe if I might get study material my understanding will improve and make more pictures out of my writing. I did love the challenge on the assignments, exam and pitching session. All in all I love you because you always put your record straight; there is no favouritism in most of your comments. Wish to learn more and work with you when we meet again next year. I believe that God will grant us that opportunity.
Vuyo Ngaba: WHAT I HAVE LEARNED FROM THE COURSE!!!
It is a great honour and privilege to write this letter to you office, predominantly giving feedback with regards to the scrip writing course since its inception, in the parade hall at Johannesburg Medium C Centre.
As anticipated the course was ushered properly, it was knowledgeable and exceeded our expectations on the part of Brand Joburg. In particular with regards to interaction with students, it allowed space for flow of information amongst the facilitator and the student. However, the program was highly educational, informative and empowering, most of all it was a new language to some of us to learn and understand.
Although Short comings were experienced via language as some of other participants dropped out because of English and not able to keep up with the work which you gave us every Week on Wednesdays, but for me it was worth it as it improved my grammar and be able to express myself very well.
In the midst of everything, the course was a huge success as all parties’ involved showed interest and commitment. It helped place the name of our organization on the map within the centre and attracted more new members to our shores. Mrs Pippa Dyer we are grateful for the opportunity as Brand Joburg Medium C and hope our contribution to IQU 2 Film will be appreciated by many.
I hope that everything is in order and meets your favourable consideration.
Written by: Vuyo Ngaba
Lucas L. Mahlangu
Att/The Editor: Course Evaluation
Dear the editor: (Activities reflected during script writing sessions)
I hereby reflect on my journey throughout class sessions and re-evaluating the course as a whole. When I first met Ms Pippa in the beginning of 2014 I had no idea whatsoever about script writing let alone pitching. But through her hard and smart way of teaching, today I am able to critically think, write and narrate my story in film format. Ms Pippa introduced me into a brand-new World of possibilities and opportunity and to this day I cannot go to bed without writing a story. And for me that is creative thinking needed by most youth in our country. I therefore pray that God bless my special teacher Ms. Pippa in her endeavours, as she continues to teach others. I cannot wait to finish my third year and get my reward. The reward though is not the most essential part of this course but the knowledge thereafter.
Teacher God Bless You Whatever resolutions or changes you may Make
whatever new directions or paths You’d like to take …
May God bless your endeavours and guide you to success, and
Fill the coming years with all that brings You happiness.
Enjoy whilst lasts.
Mahlangu L. Mr
R. D. Coetzee A.K.A. The Thug Poet
I always choose my days to remain silent ‘cause I have come to a realization that meaningful silence is better than meaningless words. And as I jot down my thoughts, I hope it brings you to a clearer understanding into why I broke the silence. ‘Cause at times I feel like the former and my words are seeds, people are the soil and my hope for them is to grow like trees ‘cause I am trying to inspire those that admire my efforts of trying to make a difference, and like a good farmer, would always choose the perfect season. This course helps me in a great deal, where I myself have come to appreciate what I possess, which once I just thought as being circumstance of chance. At every attendance with dedication, I learnt more about we as inmates and objectively people are more similar than we are different, if only we take a second to listen. The cream always rises to the top so above all, this course has given me a platform to express my innermost feelings and thoughts with no prejudice and to me that’s my freedom, thanks Pippa.
What I have learned from the course
This course is about English language. This IQU 2 Film course is about life stories. I write shit in this course because is long time out in school. I will write true stories next time. This course is about English language, culture and art. This is about eKasi life style. But I will pass this course next year. I did not mourn my sister’s death, that I was not right in this class. Thankx you for this course. This production is huge.
Tshepo Skhosana – Course Evaluation
During the time of my attendance of the course, I’ve learnt the true meaning of the phrase ‘Think out of the box’. I’ve learnt that every thought counts. I used to have many thoughts and ideas that I couldn’t put on paper. It made me put things on paper that I never even knew I had in me. I’m able to explore and share ideas. The two-minutes movie that we did made my love for movies grow. I am now able to analys, even though I am still growing in that field. I’ve learnt about the important beats. I now see movies in a different perspective. I now know that everything that we see and hear on the movie is for a reason. This course also improved my creative writing skills. I’ve taken my writing skills to another fascinating level. I know that I still have to learn more and grow within the industry. So my road does not end here …
My feedback to the course is that it is extremely empowering and interesting. I’m not even close to being well skilled with film making, but I can now break down the different stages of any film. We were faced with different challenges like early lock-up and complete lock-down, by despite these were managed to get through with it. I just feel that we needed more days in the week to attend the course. I have also taken a very keen interest in script writing and publishing, but have no clue whatsoever how to go about doing it. The course should be customized to fit the culture of the prison environment, and with that in place, the course can be completed in record time without anything left behind. I enjoyed it very much and hopefully will continue with it to the next level if I will not be acquitted by the Appeal Court or be transferred to another prison. But I will be making films in future, come rain or shine. Thank you for your time, love, patience and professionalism. May God Bless you, and take care. Much love.
Seleke ♥ xxx
What Scriptwriting has done for me?
This course has taught me a lot, it has taught me how to look at things differently. It has taught me to always find a solution to a problem. It has shown me how to express myself in words and in pictures and to try and foreseen the outcome of any situation. Today I can proudly say my visual sight has improved because of this course. Scriptwriting is a good course because not only does it teach us how to write scripts but it also teaches us to be confident. I thank the person who teaches us, you Mama, Mrs Pippa Dyer because you are the one who brings out the best in our writing and give us the confidence to believe in our stories. This course is giving us another chance in life and another place to change our lives for the better. I personally am very gratefully for this course because today I can say one day I believe I can be a successful writer because of this course and the things my mentor has taught me. They say being a good writer can take up to 20 years, I say my journey heading towards that advancement has already begun.