Friday, May 22, 2015

Scriptwriting in South Africa



What is that? There won’t be a TV show without scripts even reality TV shows not a movie either. Scriptwriters are the ones who come up with story-lines and ultimately writes the lines in cases of a soapie or TV series. However, they still produce script writing work different to that of a soapie for a magazine or a lifestyle show.

Script writing is probably one of the most underrated and unpopular careers in both film and TV industry. Even viewers hardly pay attention to writers of a show they watch religiously, however, that does not mean script writing is a dead end career. Just like copywriting, one needs to be creative and have strong writing skills in a variety of formats because today you might be tasked with writing a commercial tomorrow a big budget TV production. Phathu Makwarela has to be one of the well-known scriptwriters in South Africa thanks to social media and his brilliant story development acumen. According to media reports Phathu started at Muvhango then lent his creative genius to renowned Ferguson Films production, Rockville which aired on Dstv’s Mzansi Magic.

Apart from Phathu, there are plenty of trained and untrained scriptwriters in South Africa. But what I would like to focus on is mainly entertainment shows like Zaziwa. These kind of shows can be scripted by journalists, bloggers and copywriters providing they have a good understanding of what works currently. I just feel that inviting the mentioned to table reads and early stages production meetings can be beneficial to a show. Bloggers for instance are actually the new viewers in the “viewers”. They spot trends long before content producers and their writing is less complicated. It might sound risky but believe me when I say is doable.

Do you think this will work? If so, email marketing@tembisaonrecord.co.za
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