“Daniel Dercksen’s edit work on the script Must Fall was clean and very professional. My script makes for an easier read because of the layout and polish work you implemented. I am more than happy with the outcome,” says Moopi Mothibeli, who was born in Sebokeng and graduated from the Tshwane University of Technology with a theatre degree in Drama. He followed this up with a Master of Fine Arts degree from The Ohio State University. (2023)
“I enjoyed every moment with Daniel Dercksen in the editing of my Screenplay, Silent Tears. His professional experience, passion, and quest for excellence transformed my story from a simple draft to a fully developed screenplay, ready for production. He also assisted me greatly with my Treatment and Top Sheet.” Writer-director Germain Atabe (2023)
“A special thank you going out to Daniel of The Writing Studio who assisted me in editing and getting my book Unbreakable ready to submit to the publishers.” In 2022 Daniel was fortunate to team up with Tracy Lee Swinson in editing her remarkable true story Unbreakable.
“I had an amazing time in Prince Albert this weekend at Daniel Dercksen’s writers retreat in December 2021. I don’t want to call it a course because it is so much more than just this. Each of us has at least one story in us, and if you feel overwhelmed with the process of pinning down your story, I strongly recommend a Karoo visit with Daniel! This was soul-enriching, and I haven’t been this inspired in a long time!” Belinda Martins / Cape Town (2021)
“Sometimes, in life, you encounter Serendipity. I quickly realised that I was sitting across a maestro who plies his art with great skill. Daniel shares his extensive experience in the writing arena, theatre and film and he is a great teacher. The four sessions were packed with information and I learnt to see the structure of a story and how characters, theme and plot all interact to shape a memorable tale or movie. I am inspired to put pen to paper and continue The Write Journey. We all have a story. Some of us are fortunate enough to be shown the way and start the journey.” Petro Lotz, Prince Albert (2021)
‘Writing books has been a long-held ambition of mine, but I never knew where to begin. Daniel’s workshop has given me exactly what I needed – the tools and the process to finally start writing books. He has a wealth of knowledge and experience and is very generous with it. The content of his workshop is rich, practical and interesting. Thank you Daniel – I’ll dedicate the first book to you!’ Tamsin Collins, Prince Albert (2021)
“We developed REN over the period of 2021 and what Daniel Dercksen gave to the process was a complete commitment and unwavering compassion for the story. REN is now at a stage, thanks to Daniel’s theoretical knowledge of the structure and the tools of screenwriting, where it is ready to seek production finance.” In 2021 Daniel was contracted for 8 months by the NFVF (The National Film and Video Foundation) to serve as story editor on the screenplay of Karen Van Schalkwyk’s Ren, which is currently in development.
“Ek het sopas n werkswinkel in Skryfkuns by Daniel Dercksen ‘Writing Studio’ in Prince Albert voltooi, en het dit uiters leersaam gevind. Die passie waarmee Daniel sy ervaring deel is aansteeklik en die struktuur en voorbeelde wat hy vir mens gee waarvolgens mens jou storie of draaiboek kan skryf is maklik verstaanbaar en prakties uitvoerbaar. Ek kan die ervaring hoog aanbeveel.” Louis Botha (2021)
“I absolutely loved The Write Journey, and I am still very proud of my screenplay! The course was so well structured, interesting, inspiring, and encouraging that it was like having someone holding your hand throughout the whole process. I went on to do your creative writing course, which was also brilliant, and which gave me the confidence to write my first cookbook and pitch it to publishers. I am now working on my fourth cookbook, which will be out in 2022. It all started here! Thank you!”🙏Sam Gates. London, United Kingdom
‘’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
“Daniel was a most valuable and expert pair of eyes recently when I had to convert a story to a short film script. I would highly recommend him to anyone looking to polish a script to be submitted with confidence. Will most certainly turn to him again with future scripts. “Many thanks. You were definitely the right person to consult. Very happy with the final outcome.” Savyra Meyer-Lippold (Illustrator, animator, copywriter & screenwriter: https://www.savyra.com/ )
“The journey with my screenplay editor, Daniel Dercksen (The Writing Studio) has been smooth sailing. In fact – it was blissful! His unique editing method – reading the script and reacting to it as if watching the movie, ensures that he: pays close attention to every factual detail and picks up any misconstruction, clarifies all fuzziness in action descriptions so that the visual image stays clear in the reader’s mind, evaluates the narrative on its level of character, story, plot, dialogue and cinematic engagement (instead of forcing the script to fit into a specific genre/structural recipe). The organic and creative nature of the collaborative process was very rewarding and uplifting. I strongly recommend Daniel as editor. He has the rare ability to see into the mind of the artist and from there navigate the writing of the script into a polished, seamless blueprint for an engaging film. Thanks Daniel! You rock! Libé Ferreira – Former Head of Drama department at The National School of the Arts / Former Writer, Casting Director, Acting Coach at Franz Marx Films (Screenplay: What’s In Your Suitcase, 2020)
‘’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
“After many frustrating attempts to try and find publishers in South Africa, I turned to Daniel Dercksen from the Writing Studio, who became possibly my first coach and mentor in my life, one which I actually listened to. His skills as a coach challenged me and forced me to think in different creative dimensions to add colour to the story line .Daniel became the eyes I could not see through, the imagination I could not change, he was in all ways plain brilliant. I cannot imagine my future writing journey going forward without the guidance of Daniel from the The Writing Studio.” Herman Van Zyl. The Expat, 2019
“A 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 of 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 the first workshop in 1998
“Thanks for being the catalyst and guide in my life story. It 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”
‘’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
“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 your workshops challenging and informative. As filmmakers, you always discover new things about the work process and think 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 the 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 into the arena of scriptwriting, 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 endeavours. 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, logline 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 on 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 of 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