Qalam continuum - Vyas runs budding scriptwriters through their paces

In December 2001, Indian Television Media Information & Publishing (which runs the website organised Qalam 2001 - a two-day scriptwriters forum and workshop - along with 14 renowned scriptwriters and producers. At the forum, the company made a commitment that it would shortlist promising attendees and continue to provide them with a training and interactive platform even after the two-day pioneering effort concluded. 

The promise was kept on 23 February when the first of these sessions - under the Qalam umbrella - got off the ground at its office in the northern suburb of Andheri in Mumbai under the able guidance of veteran scriptwriter BM Vyas, who took a select bunch of them through the rudiments of scriptwriting. 

"The writer should relate to the story," said Vyas, who took out three hours of his time to give the lowdown to the wannabe scriptwriters. He spoke about scriptwriting starting from the concept to the actual shooting of the script. 

He explained getting the right concept can lead to the story and from there on to the script. He also cautioned attendees about the points that should be kept in mind while writing. "Each scene should lead to the other and there should be an emotional growth in the story, which should be entertaining," he explained. 

At his wittiest best, he gave examples from daily life, making the process easy to understand. He even acknowledged the fact that if a writer has the airs of him being a writer he can never be a good and a successful writer.

Eight of the 14 (six were unable to come) selected writers - shortlisted by the jury consisting of Joyce Thierry, Rekha Nigam and Sandhya Divecha from the 70-odd scripts received during Qalam 2001 - attended the first of what is planned to be a series of weekend interactive training programmes over the next two months. The exercise is planned to culminate in scripts, which will be ready to be given to producers. 

Star India executive & participant Gayathri Rajan said: "He (Vyas) is just amazing. The way he spoke was just great." 

Said Indian Television Media Information & Publishing CEO Anil Wanvari: "My vision is that all of them get a chance to write scripts which are translated into television work. At least two of them should go on to become scriptwriters the industry will treasure. We are trying to get other reputed writers to nurse the budding scriptwriters, apart from the speakers who helped make Qalam 2001 a success."

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