All the below testimonies have been transcribed from hand written versions (not many have computers inside there). There are some editorial or grammatical tweaks for clarity, but mostly, I have tried to keep to the authenticity of the original writing.
The Female Section was different in some ways because several of them told ‘own’ stories, whereas in the male section the tended to keep their emotions closer to their chests. Neither section was any less creative – just different.
Greetings to you. I feel blessed and highly favored and I’m wishing the same for you too! This is a Testimonial to say:- my life has been like headless chicken before the Film Script Writing then once I was in it, it’s like my brain cells opened up to the top of it’s own! So this is a letter to thank you for offering a free bursary. I will make sure that I use it to the best of my ability and to top it all, Pippa has been so amazing for us in such a way that I sometimes sit there and wonder how does she get such a big heart to work with us. This goes to say:-I’M WELL AWAKE NOW. Ready to rise to the top of my own and take this script writing to the top of it’s own. Stay blessed.
Yours sincerely Nonhlanhla
Candice P, 2016
My name is Candice xxx and I am a 31 year old female. I was arrested in September 2014 and spent 19 months in awaiting trial and then after a lot of trauma and humiliation I was found guilty of pre‐meditated murder and robbery. I was sentenced to life in prison and 15 years. I knew that sentence was coming my way and I really tried to deal with it and accept that my life was over. Let me tell you that is a very hard and almost impossible thing to do especially when you leave 3 children behind. Many painful things flash through your mind and only then do you truly understand the meaning of pain and heartache. I got sentenced in April of 2016 and shortly after that I was introduced to Pippa and the script writing course. To be perfectly honest, my confidence was already so shattered that I even doubted my ability to write a two-paged story. I PUSHED ON BECAUSE EACH TIME I WALKED OUT OF PIPPA’S CLASS I FELT A LITTLE CONFIDENCE AND COLOUR SEEPING BACK INTO MY SOUL. I had a chance to connect with other inmates and Pippa made me feel like I could achieve something and I found myself looking more and more forward to Script Writing. I HAVE HAD SO MUCH FUN AND BEEN TO PLACES OUTSIDE OF THESE PRISON WALLS. I would like to thank you Pippa for all your time and effort and for giving someone like me a chance to look forward to a simple game of “Throw the ball”. You are an inspiration and you have added colour to my LIFE!
Meet ME (before Film Script Writing):-The confident crippled black woman because of the world telling me, “I am the worst person”. I am a person who no longer believe in herself. My self esteem is gone (not low, but ‘klaar’ gone!) It is over and done with Me. I have no hope for the future … Must I go on? The list goes on and on. Huh! Well these are things of the past. Now with the help of Film Scriptwriting, I am coming out in the grave of despair. Raining freedom is brightening up the rainbow horizon of my blooming yellow future! ME IS STARTING TO LIVE AGAIN. First Year Scriptwriting is the hand that picked up messy, crushed, hopeless pieces of my life. I got to be in touch with my humankind, in a much deeper level, by making sense to my emotions. Now I know it is okay to cry and have come to terms with, that everyone has a weakness. I want to give thanks to you – Film Scriptwriting for giving me another chance in life. Job well done to you Pippa to what you are doing to me (and the girls).
First of all I would like to thank Correctional Services, IQU 2 Film, Greenlight District Project and all other parties concerned for giving us as offenders the opportunity to learn Script Writing. I especially want to thank Pippa J Dyer for her time and patience and for not giving up on us. THANK YOU FOR NOT JUDGING US AS OFFENDERS AND TREATING US WITH LOVE AND RESPECT. WITHOUT YOUR GUIDANCE AND ENCOURAGEMENT WE’D BE LOST. Pippa you have truly been amazing. May God Bless you in all your future endeavours. I never thought that one day I’d be able to write my own movie, let alone on an international standard. This course has opened up a whole new world of possibilities and opportunities. I do hope the journey does not end here. On a lighter note of things. Now I will never be able to watch a movie without identifying the MTP’s and the lack thereof (LOL).
I started this course not actually knowing what I was getting myself into. As the course progressed I GOT A DIFFERENT WAY OF GETTING IN TOUCH WITH MYSELF. When I started teaching I started to believe in myself. But this course has opened and helped me to start my healing process. I never knew that I could actually write. I have so many ideas. It has opened a whole new world for me. When I am stressed all I do is write and then I feel much better. I am also planning on writing Pre-AET, + Level 1 Reading Books as there is a real need for that. In the December break I am going to start on that. Now I know how to give back to the community.
Thank You So Much.
I came to prison in September 2013. I’ve had it hard since then. It was really difficult for me to process all of this, and to accept the fact that I was locked up. It took me a very long time to find myself again. THIS SCRIPT WRITING COURSE TAUGHT ME HOW TO DEAL WITH MY EMOTIONS AND TO PUT EVERYTHING ON PAPER. It somehow helped me release all the things I had kept inside all this time. I feel relieved, and a lot more confident than I was before. It has also helped me build my self esteem. There was a time when I was so insecure and didn’t feel good about myself at all. This script writing course has taught me to have a positive outlook on life, and to remain optimistic. It has given me the opportunity to feel “free” again, to start over and to be a better person.
I eagerly enrolled in the Film and Scriptwriting course, having no previous experience on this subject. I was given homework and the first of the essays was WHAT I MISS MOST ABOUT OUTSIDE. As I wrote down my list, I realized these were things I took for granted. I resolved that upon my release, I will cherish and treasure every moment as I will now look at the world around me through new eyes.
The second essay THE DAY I DIED INSIDE was my most difficult piece to write, as for the first time, I put down on paper my emotions and events that followed when I was told that my dear husband had passed on. By writing this essay, I was able to release my inner most feelings and thoughts and acknowledge how much he meant to me.
The third essay, MY HAPPY MOMENTS, took me down memory lane, reliving special memories especially those spent with my mom, who still supports me and is a pillar of strength to me and my son.
The short story of three minutes, gave me the opportunity to fantasize and THE ABANDONED BABY was written. The story addresses issues that are relevant and need to be focused on: namely teenage pregnancies, poverty etc. I am greatly appreciative to Ms P Dyer for bringing this course to DCS. The interactive discussions give me food for thought, and I am more conscious of “BEATS” etc. when watching a movie or reading a book. The course has a therapeutic effect as I can express my thoughts and feelings and use my imagination as escapism mechanism.
When I heard a film and script writing course is being offered as part of the Correctional Services rehabilitation program. I enrolled immediately. The course has been a journey of self discovery for me, as I have been able to express myself via the various assignments. The most important and life changing project is my three-minute film I am making that tells my story. By telling my story, I HAVE GAINED A SENSE OF RELIEF AND FREEDOM AS I ACKNOWLEDGED MY CRIME AND THE CONSEQUENCES OF MY ACTIONS. I have put in place a remedial plan. I now have a road map of my future goals and by using the knowledge gained on this course, my intention is to reach as many people as possible, through the short film and a publication of a book to deter people from committing crime and fraud. The course has given me a light at the end of a dark tunnel and I am now positive of a future in film and scriptwriting. I have gained confidence in my talent and by using the guidelines taught by the lecturer Ms Dyer, I eagerly look forward to learning more and fine tuning my skills in film and script writing. I am impressed by the manner in which Ms Dyer presents the course and the encouragement she gives us to further develop our skills. I had a plan to tell my story to serve as a deterrent to those involved or in considering crime. Whilst involved in crime one does not consider the consequences of one’s actions and enjoy the ill gotten gains, however, there are immense repercussions that one experiences once caught and incarcerated, such as a loss of the love and support of family and friends, and society, a criminal record that is a stigma that is attached to you, no matter where you go, the constant reminder within your conscious mind that you are a criminal, the loss of possession etc. The Script Writing and Film Course Production, gave me the outlet to put my story down in writing and whilst doing so, the opportunity to re-look at my life and plan for my future. The highlight to see my story in film format. The course was presented by Philippa Dyer, an experienced author and film critic. The information that she gave us, helped me to put my story down in a realistic way that would be appealing to a reader and viewer. The book “The Storyteller” by Mrs P Dyer gives handy tips to a first time script writer. The course has benefited me in that I AM NOW ABLE TO IDENTIFY NARRATIVE STRUCTURES, GENRES, AND PLOTS WHEN I READ A BOOK OR WATCH A FILM. I am now more critical when reading or watching a movie. The ability to identify the different beats makes the experience more enjoyable. I sincerely hope and pray that there will be a 2nd year course so that we can fine tune our skills next year.
Thank you Regards Sheral
I’m very grateful for the opportunity of doing a course in film script writing. Most times, I wrote stories of my past experiences and not necessarily what I just make up. The feeling is so much of a mixture of good and sad and I ultimately enjoy every moment of those flashbacks on happy moments and celebrations; sad, sad times and shed tears and how good it feels to have overcome the situations. Through all that I went through I now am inspiring and mentoring lots of girls in here. IT REALLY IS A REMARKABLE COURSE THAT GETS YOU TO BE CREATIVE AND OOZE WITH CONFIDENCE. WHAT I LEARNED FROM MY FACILITATOR IS TO RISE HIGH AND NEVER BACK DOWN.
Thank you so much. May God bless you abundantly
Praise For Pippa From Male Offenders
CLASS OF 2015, Medium C Section
These testimonials and course evaluations come from the Greenlight District Project Class of 2015. For security purposes their surnames have been deleted. The writing has been kept intact as much as possible, spelling mistakes and grammar included. Be aware that for many of them, English is a second language, (I can’t even speak Zulu, Xhosa, Venda, or Shona, let alone write it), so for the most part, they’re doing an amazing job.
Sabelo, Section A, 2015
The Scriptwritting course has taught me a lot especially how to use my vision and see things in pictures and story lines. The course has given me something to look forward to every Wednesday, knowing and believing that this course will benefit me in a long run or someday in future. The course has taught me how to express myself in words and writting. I for one was not a person who could stand in front of people and pitch but the course has taught me that I have also been able to interact with people freely and wisely in and outside of the course. I love the course because it has and is giving us as inmates a platform and somithing that we can use as a tool of survival when we get released. I say this because many people are unemployed outside and are looking for jobs what more for us offenders who have criminal records it will be hard to find a job but with this course we can create jobs for ourselves. For me this course is not only about writting movies but it is also a course of knowledge of what happens in the movie industry. The are many other opportunities in this industry witch have been unveild via this course. I would like to thank Mam Pipa for the love and courage she has given us because she doesn’t judge but listens to us.
Ashwin, 11 November, 2015
A blanket of night hovers around me. Stars barely visible shine their sparkly light upon me. My restricted view causes me to stare harder trying to take in every aspect of the darkness. A steel door guarded by a thick steel gate allows me a line of sight through a small flap. I stand at the flap taking in a gentle breeze and appreciating the gift of life. Fond memories of life past flood my mind. My clock radio with its beady red digits counts on as dawn approaches. The temperature drops as I continue to stand at the door, trying to absorb as much of life outside as I can. Night slowly fades as morning claims the sky. An eventual fading accross the horizon, sees the stars slowly disappear. My mouth widens into a gradual, intentional smile. Tuesday has passed and the blessing of Wednesday races towards me. My precious fish pond comes into view signaling the time to tidy up and get prepared for my film and script writing course. My spirits have been lifted. I am eager for the warden to unlock my cramped box and let me out into the open air. My philishave zooms to life. Shoes are polished and buffed. My ‘oros’ coloured clothes are ironed and adorned. Time is now monitored closely as 8.30 am approaches. The main gate to the section is observed for access to the spiral footway that guides me to the office block. The ‘coca-cola room’, my oasis is near! This is no longer just a film and script writing course, it has now become a journey of knowledge and wisdom. A new dimension of vision that has been unveiled to show me the true secrets of life, detailed in pictures, in a manner that will bring my name to the big screen. You Pippa, you have become my inherited, trusted and a very near and dear friend for life!!! Your kindness and the imparting of your invaluable lessons, causes me to remain indebted to you eternally. My most sincere, and heartfelt gratitude to you, dearest Pippa.
JHB Correctional Centre, No 09 Main Road, Meredale, 2091 Tell (011) 933 7067
I, Bongani, a film and script writing student in Johannesburg Correctional Centre, am very grateful to be part of this amazing class. The course has helped me big time in identifying the passion I have for film industry. I’ve gain a very helpful information about the film industry. Through this course I have learn how to build a character. I can proudly say that I understand the following:
20 Master plot and how to build them
The storyteller Narrative Structure
2 Page synopsis Pitch
I would like to thank Ms Philippa J Dyer for her effort and passion for the industry, she’s such an amazing mentor. The Storyteller Workbook 1, has been very helpful. With enough material this class can go a long way, however our facilitator have not got the sponsor for this project. I wish we can get one soon to make our journey more enjoyable. I thank you a lot. Bongani
The purpose of this course is to teach, and to give skills to people like me as to how to write a good story, and to be creative as well in a process. It is an interesting skill that one can enjoy or even make a salary out of it. I join this class because I wanted to know how to write a film, so that I can start formatting my very own films that I had them going on in my mind for a very long time. Now because I know that a Film has different aspects that one need to look at, I can start creating and writing mine without doubts. Pippa is a very good teacher when it comes to teaching about Film and to be creative when doing that. She is good in everything and most of all I like her patience, she is down to earth and I don’t know how she does that, my God bless her. In a long run, I wish to see this class progressing in terms of equipment such as computers and other important tools that we need in the class and I also wish that we get more student in class next year. Last but not list, I would like to say I LOVE YOU PIPPA and please enjoy your festive season with your family.
I’m DUNCAN. On/In the outside world I’m known as ‘Sheboy’ (32). I’m an actor by nature and I believe that I am the best in the making. Scriptwriting is helping me in understanding more about my trade (acting). I’ve always loved acting from as far as I can remember but script writing has opened a whole new world and understanding about the industry. I know I’m very creative and strife to be the best in every challenge or thing that I do. I’m very grateful to MRS PIPPA for leaving her everyday life to spend it with us here (prison). It means a lot to me as you get people that don’t even think of us. The fact that you (MRS PIPPA) leave your important things in life to give me and others a second chance in life, is just amazing and I promise not to disappoint. I’m a hard worker and will show my appreciation by passing this course with flying colours. My aim is a distingtion but passing is inevitable and that is a promise. You’ve given me a purpose in life, something to wake up in the mornings and to be proud of, I just wish we had more days for script writing and I pray everyday to God to help us as a class to get more support from other people. This coarse is my fishing rod, my passion my hope and future. Thank you for your humanity and love, your kindness, time and strength. It is because of your teachings and advice that I get stronger everyday and not give up on my dreams and life.
Mam, you are my mother, my friend and my hope, you’re the stern and no nonsense teacher and mentor. Your work ethic makes me wanna work even harder even if I can’t catch up. Just thinking of all the sacrifices you make to be on time on Wednesdays makes me feel guilty when I’m feeling sick or down and that makes me push myself and forget about whats negative in my life. When I read the book, I can hear your voice and all your teachings. Man you’re a genius and a very, very intelligent person. I’m raised by a single parent (mother) and she taught me respect and for you I got a lot of respect and don’t worry it wont get finished. Your out of this world, an amazing person, please don’t ever change, I love you for who you are as you showed me respect, kindness and how a person should treat others. Humorous is an understatement when coming to you as you even enjoy jokes been made on you … lol. Keep up the good work …
The woman I’m gonna marry, is going to be lucky and happy as I am moulded into not only the best script-writer but also a gentleman of note and it’s all thanks to Me Lady … yes you MRS PIPPA. May God guide and protect you, bless you abundantly so your cup may overflow more than you ever can imagine, once again thanks you till ∞ infinity. (crying with laughter emoji) – tears of joy. Duncan “Sheboy”
Tshepo S, 2015
One could say its just film and writing. But I beg to differ. Film and Creative writing goes beyond that. For me, Film simply mean, life. Creative means innovative and bring new ideas. This course has helped me take the life experience (physical, emotional, spiritual) and combine it with the creativity that I have and bring in new ideas. Then take those new ideas and put them into writing and then visuals. So now I understand that any thought is an idea. Not just an idea, but an idea that needs to be put on paper. My level of thinking has been shifted to another better level. If film does that to me, then I highly consider film – as life.
The purpose of this course is to offer fundamental skills to encourage creative writing and give insight to writing scripts for movies. The course is highly informative, educational, empowering and most of all it is a new language to some of us to learn and understand. However, we willing to stay the course to achieve our goals in the world/film industry. I was longing to be in such a course long back but due to my family background it wasn’t easy for me; at times I do struggle to come up with great ideas as it is a new concept but with the love, support and encouragement of Ms Pippa I believe that I will crawl and gain momentum until the end. The course for me its positive, constructive and productive. Today I can confess that I am no longer the guy I was before I met Ms Pippa.
Pippa’s facilitation is very high, good and well structured, she has her own unique format in presenting Film and Script Writing. Furthermore, she is a loving and caring mother, Pippa means a lot to me I have been in her class since 2014-2915 and still looking forward to work with the lady. I wish that some of my fellow could also join and grab this opportunity so that we may overcome recidivism in South Africa.
My Name is Chix, an Inmate in Johannesburg Correctional Centre (JHB Prison) doing a “Scriptwriting” course. I am one of the 11 students who were allowed to do the course after managing to pass the “Scriptwriting” aptitude test out of 70 Inmates who started with the course.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the “Scriptwriting” course for the impact it has in my life as a person (inmates/student) at Johannesburg Correctional Centre in Medium C facilities. Under the care of Supervision of both Department of Correctional Service and “Scriptwriting” facilitator honourable Pippa Dyer managed to open my eyes to the visual world and that is of the outmost importance. The “Scriptwriting” course serves as a valuable role in the life of many Inmates doing the course and also affects those wishing to do it in the near future. The course manages to build the skills and attitudes of personal competence within Inmates to be able to cope with problems while in incarceration, work out conflicts and distractions from the consequence of the current environment, and be able to determine where and when to seek assistance. Obviously, skills gained from the “Scriptwriting” course must be acquired by all Directors, Writers, Producers, Actors/Actresses, and those publishing documents based in the Movie making industries.
The “Scriptwriting” course can also serve valuable role by guiding the students to possess intellectual maturity, psychological and emotional capacity to physically put their knowledge into test and grasp the practical use of it. It is important to note that the good scriptwriter must be able to deal with outward things uncoloured by opinions or feelings not impartial or literal; especially philosophy of individual consciousness or perception; imaginary, partial, distorted and external to the mind in form of appropriate to object.
I do consider many factors in dealing with the evaluation of “Scriptwriting” course and would like to take this opportunity to raise an important issue that a person is born with a “Scriptwriting” and Acting talent and possesses discipline but most of the time due to lack funds and support are unable to nurture it. It is only those students who study “Scriptwriting” course and possessing family financial background who are the one most of the time succeeds to write stories but lacking imaginations and innovations, especially in South Africa where most of the time Movies written are boring and failing to let the viewers to use their own discretion as all Movies made are obvious all the times.
Dear Mama (Philippa J Dyer) Mama firstly, I want to thank you for believing in me and for not judging me for why I ended up in here. Its almost a year working with you and I don’t remember you in any day asking me about my detention. These teaches me that you view life in an analytical-way, you don’t capitalize on the individuals mistakes or weakness, instead on once hidden-potential to be unleashed. Remember that “Mama” when you help someone to be aware of their talents and pushes them to grow and realize their purpose in life, these lives a life time mark deep-down into their hearts, that no circumstance or person can replace it or take it away from them.
I kept on asking myself before we met a question, which was why am I in prison? And not finding an answer, but since meeting you my question has been answered. I know realize who am I and these helps me to relate and be in connection with my life.
Once more, thank you for believing in me and contributing into my future success. I promise you that you won’t regret the hard-work you are instolling in me, you are grooming on of the greatest film and script guru writers that South Africa has ever produced. Watch the space “Philippa’s” product is on the way. You have teached me not to be in the comfort-zone, that I should always work extra hard in life. That I must read every book that my hands touches, in order to improve my grammar, hence in the film-industries poor grammar and punctuation annoys the readers. Lastly “Mama” you have teached me that My Voice is in my work.
Mama, I wish South Africa to be blessed by people like you, whom don’t just talk but puts action. My wish is to see more unprivillaged South African youths been involved in these sector and I pray that these project to even grow to other correctional-centers, hence writing helps one to be in connection with the nature, one forgets where there are and it promotes free-zone stress environment. Thanks a lot Mama, you would always be remembered in our hearts … don’t give up on us, I’m fully aware of the hard work you’re doing … keep it up. We love you too … Mama Joseph
First and foremost I would like to thank the opportunity that I have to be one of the part of the script writers. As I saw some of the inmates receiving their script writing certificates in the one of the event, I told myself that I want to be part of them. I am passionate in reading motivational, biography books, newspapers, novels and watching movies. I am more interested in the work that is done by Producers, directors and writers more especially those movies that wons the Oscars awards since from the cour, se, more especially from our teacher, mother Mrs Phillipa J Dyer, I have learned a lot from you about the script writing, it easy to understand the way you teaches us, it mean a lot and I improved on my writing gramma and spelling,
You have to think out of the box, In script writing there is no right you have to be better all the time, you have to free up your creative mind and film is about collaboration and the power of words can do great things even before the actor have got to performance. The terms and the language of the film industry to understand the movies more better when watching about the 20 master plots, genres, narrative structure, synopsis pitch, M.T.P, and seeds ideas, formatting.
The heroes journey, every person in this world is in his own hero quest and the audience must be interested in the movie that they will be watching from the opening sequence to the resolution. The massage you send to the audiance.
First and foremost I would like to thank you MRS PHILLIPPA. J. DYER for believing in us. And for waisting your expensive time and your luxurious effort coming us as offenders and the opportunites you gave us to develop ourselves.
To me you are a noble spirited minded person and your excellency deserves and award ,And I wish to ‘BLESS YOU’.
As I am since I have started attending the script writing course,my biggest breakthough I had as a new writer is to understand this concept, I have experiences a lot of thing in terms of language and the terms of the film industry ,And a lot of information I did not know. And that had made me to grow.
As a first year student I would like to further my script writing course till i finish it to the last level, I believe in what I have started I have to finish it ,And my wish is to reach the sky. And I never thought one day I will be one of the script writers. Its an huge opportunity to me and I see it as an blessing in disguise. And I sometimes read about some of the script writers, directors and producers how they have started their journeys that are successful around the world.
I sometimes visualize myself written one of the best script that will breakthrough and make it to the top script and make one of the best film that will win an OSCAR AWARD. And be best around the world and meet some of the best actors, actress, directors and producers and I pray all the time so that god can bless me so that I can reach my destiny.
CLASS OF 2014, Medium C Section
Praise For Pippa from Offender Students Greenlight District Project, Class of 2014, April 2014 – November 2014. These testimonials have been transcribed more or less exactly as written with all the spelling or grammatical errors (unless for clarity purposes it might be slightly edited). But considering English is a second language to most of these students, I am blown away! (Names have been omitted in full, as they are not permitted to be revealed to the public at large for obvious reasons).
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.
Tshepho M, 2014
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.
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 you 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.
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. Regards Mr L. M
The Thug Poet, 2014
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.
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 S, 2014
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
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”.
(Capt.) Ashwin, 2014
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!!!!
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!
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.