Reviews / Feedback

Daniel Dercksen in Conversation with Jans Rautenbach during The Wriitng Studio’s masterclass for storytellers at the Artscape Resource Centre on November 22, 2015

  • ‘’You are amazing – an independent creative force in a world of one liners – a lonely soul driven by the magic of the word and the honesty of a true intellectual. I salute you for all that you are …and I honour you for all that you are not!” Jans Rautenbach, veteran filmmaker, Katrina, Jannie Totsiens, Die Kandidaat, Abraham
  • Very interesting course which is far more about the mental approach behind writing than a step-by-step formula for a successful screenplay. There are no time constraints so on one hand you have plenty of time to consider your assignments carefully but you also have to learn to motivate yourself (not a bad thing to learn if you’re planning to ever be a writer)Richard Starkey. Film Editor/ Post Supervisor/ Colourist
  • The Writing Studio’s screenwriting course is intensive and inspiring. Watch your story idea unfold and become a screenplay. Daniel is part wizard, part genius, part teacher, and part man-with-big-stick who keeps prodding you to focus, focus, focus. Dorothy De Kock
  • Last year I did an introductory course with Daniel. Today I have a screenplay – what more can I say about this inspiring and life changing experience. Trevor Davies
  • ‘’’After The Write Journey I had a much better understanding regarding the basic principles of writing for film.  With a good foundation you give yourself the opportunity to explore any genre.  I’m for that reason extremely grateful for what I learned at your workshop.” Producer, writer and director Sallas de Jager, Free State, Roepman, Verraaiers, Musiek vir die agtergrond and Stuur Groete aan Mannetjies Roux
  • ‘’I started my “formal” training at a short course in writing from The Writing Studio at fifteen. It gave me a better understanding of how visuals are used to tell a story. No one dreamed or thought I am going to be making films.” Writer-director Henk Pretorius, Leading Lady, Bakgat! Bakgat 2, Fanie Fourie’s Labola, Producer of Modder en Bloed  – attended first workshop in 1998  
  • ‘’Daniel Dercksen’s course offers an insightful and inspiring introduction into the craft and art of storytelling. Great motivation to help one begin that rather daunting and solitary task of transferring one’s story from the imagination to the page.” Writer/director Neil Coppen, creator of Tin Bucket Drum, Tree Boy, and Abnormal Loads and winner of the Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Theatre, 2011, as well as the Naledi Award for Best South African Play (Abnormal Loads), 2013 
  • Thanks for being the catalyst and guide in my life story. The Write Voice was an amazing journey. I’ve emerged seeing the world differently.Full of voices, ideas, characters, and stories.From feeling uninspired and lazy, I now find that I can’t turn off my brain.I have many new tools to use to explore, practice and hone my writing.From practical suggestions on how to develop and organise ideas,to structuring a story so that it reads like music, I have come away excited, inspired and raring to write.” Ruth Tearle, strategy and change  management consultant, a trainer and a motivational speaker, who is the author of “Blackboards, Bubbles & Cappuccinos, ““Ride the Wild Tiger” and “Mastering Personal Change” www.ruthtearle.com
  • “The Writing Studio workshops for me were very vital in understanding how to write stories for film, I learnt how to tell our own stories in a universal language of film and thinking back, all those weekends spent under the instruction of Daniel were not to waste. ‘’ Bonginhlanhla Ncube, producer, writer and director, Safe Bet 
  • ‘’I always find you workshops challenging and informative. As filmmakers you always discover new things about work process and thinking when you get to share these things with students and colleagues. I also feel that there weren’t many writing studios around at that time in SA – so it was a great learning curve for me as it was the first time I got the opportunity to really discuss writing in detail. I did not attend film school so your workshops formed a significant part of my film education.’’ Writer-director John Barker, Wonder Boy for President, Spud 3: Learning How to Fly, Bunny Chow, How to steal a million. 
  • “…everyone has a story. The door that The Writing Studio opened for me was my first introduction to my love and appreciation for film. Today I am a Director and a Scriptwriter. My call to adventure has just begun but in order to know where I’m going, I have never forgotten my roots… I have to say thank you to Daniel Dercksen for introducing me to the world of scriptwriting. For it has opened so many doors for me, my family and friends, since my first writing lesson.” Ross Van Leeve, shortlisted in Kevin Spacey Jameson’s First Short Film Competition.
  • “For anyone looking to venture in to the arena of script writing, this course is a must.” Andrew Germishuys, SAMDB (South African Movie Database) www.samdb.co.za
  • ‘’I’m a writer learning the process of film making and production, with the goal of building an international film production company. The Write Journey is quite encouraging, straightforward, and easy to understand. While it was challenging in certain areas, Daniel encourages his students to ask questions, and think critically and creatively. To anyone who’s looking to better hone their skills in writing, I would recommend his courses.’’ Sam Mann ,  Tucson, Arizona
  • “It enriched my limited knowledge of screenwriting and I’m looking forward to applying the skills/knowledge I picked up with future endeavors. I found the course really insightful, constructive and informative. You equip students with a structure to hang their ideas on and start to build. Your supportive attitude also helps people get their ideas into sharper focus.  I think people feel much more prepared to tackle projects after completing The Write Journey.”  Stephen ‘Spling’ Aspeling,  Movie Critic Online… 2Oceansvibe | All4Women | SPL!NG | Techsmart  Spling.co.za Radio… CapeTalk 567 | Fine Music Radio | Chai FM | Radio 702 Print… Techsmart Mag | Weekend Post  www.spling.co.za
  • “Thank you for an illuminating workshop. For the insight that I now have in the birth of a script; especially the development of a front page, log line and tag line. I am still the producer at heart but with the couple of movies that I am nudging forward with development I know what I am looking for in the scripts.”  Producer Alan Lawson, Birdfilm (South Africa) 
  • ” The thought of “screenwriting” always seems so complex and complicated, the workshop unpacked it and classified everything into separate manageable boxes. Daniel Dercksen knows what he is talking about, so he is able to zoom in certain things, break complex issues into smaller understandable chunks. The workshop was inspiring and it confirmed to me that I’m on the “write” track — I’m on the path of what I want to do.” Refilwe Thobega, Assistant Editor: South Africa Yearbook (Government Communications) 
  • “The course has given me a clearer understanding of how stories are told for the big screen or television. Structured lessons also gave me a better idea on how to make a financially viable blockbuster. Daniel Dercksen has a practical approach when teaching the art of writing for film and this makes it easy to learn and follow through when I write my own stories. For me it was 3yrs of film school jam packed into 2 days of insightful lessons. ” Warren Gray- Production designer and Art Director (Assistant Art Director on History of the world – BBC & Film Afrika) 
  • If I had attended it some five or ten years ago, so many things would have changed in my career, as well as life in general.  Elelwani Ramaite-Mafadza, a  lecturer at the University of Venda/ Researcher in the Indigenous Music and Oral History Project and involved in the CUPP project which is a project involved in rural development