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Guest Post: Four Corners by Sarah Donald

Many thanks to Sarah, who was at the Four Corners Script Development Workshop, an event for film students and trainers in London recently for screenwriters and producers. Take it away, Sarah!

Given the opportunity to write a review up for Bang2write I jumped at the opportunity! So let me explain about this unknown mystery world of Four Corners…

Every year the pitter patter of feet can be heard coming…but fear not! It’s only young screenwriters, producers and (deep breath) directors!

From across Europe they come together for the annual feature film programme run across several countries in Europe to develop, finance and produce new films that will thrive and prosper in the European and international marketplace. To you and me, it’s Four Corners. From intense workshops and one-on-one tutoring, it ensures that ideas can take flight and grab those developers and distributors! Funded by LSFMP and the European Union’s MEDIA Programme, partnered with two highly prominent European films schools (Spain’s ESCAC and the Nationals Film & Television Academy in Bulgaria) all rolled into 9 months of project development.

Now while you take a breath, let your mind handle the fact that not only are some of the teams pulled from around the UK, (from Bournemouth and London) add on Germany, Denmark, Czech Republic, Spain, Poland, Greece, and Bulgaria (breath) you’ve got yourself this year’s mix of Four Corners candidates.

Going back to 2008 it all kicked off, the only difference being that the UK location changed from Bournemouth to London. Twelve groups are accepted on the programme. Each group consists of 2-3 people and each will contain at least one writer and one producer. Eight of the groups will come from the four main locations, while places for the remaining four groups (i.e., up to twelve people) are open to applications from other European film schools and countries. The four workshops then will take place in England, Spain, Bulgaria and Greece. As an additional yet equally exciting element there will be the possibility for project teams to produce a short teaser trailer for their film. Four Corners will be offering awards of up to €5000 each towards the production costs of the three best trailer proposals developed on the course (Incredible!).

A fly on the wall or eye in the sky (however a non participant may be called), I was lucky enough to be involved in the London events for the week. As a student at LSFMP I was brought on board for the London session to assist with interviews, sound assistant, and camera operator to capture all the sessions and pitching workshops. Already in full flight the students have already kickstart their idea, having a treatment underway and in discussion of their next step of development with their tutors, to name a few Christian Routh and Miguel Machalski (familiar face Chris Jones also acted as an extra tutor on his session day) before it was down to the nitty gritty of pitching.

In between group writing sessions and tutor time there were specialist sessions. The weekend was kick started with ‘My Week of Marilyn’ and a follow up session with Adrian Hodges, writer of the screenplay. To keep with the different and ever changing palette of the ground of students a documentary was next. ‘The Bengali Detective’ a documentary about a real detective, handling real cases, in the heart of one of India’s biggest cities. Himesh Kar produced the documentary which premiered in Sundance 2011 where Fox Searchlight acquired the fiction remake rights (so keep your eyes peeled for a cinema near you). He shared his journey from on set explorer to discovering where his real passion lay and has since launched his own company Frequent Flyer Films.

Chris Jones talking about Social Media and how to use it to your advantage. Being people of the 21st century computers are the new way in which to contact the masses so use it to your advantage people! The next showing was of ‘Deviation’, which had the group on the edge with the psychotic thriller by JK Amalou. JK filled the room with the trials of trying to film around London not only in the tiny hours of the morning but also with Danny Dyer’s ever following and loving fans. As the sessions and week came to an end the groups pitched their hearts out, received their feedback and are already typing to their fingers bones to finish their scripts for the next week in Bulgaria!

So for all the inspiring writers, directors, and producers out there if you can take anything away from these rambling words it is this. Be sensible about your work, feel the passion and creativity but know when you need to put aside that film for your soul to focus on that feature that is realistic right now. Write for you but don’t underestimate the development part and find yourself a team that not only supports you and each other but the vision as well. So go creature Internet readers and don’t think anything is impossible!

If you want to be involved or find out more about Four Corners here.

BIO: Sarah Donald – Screenwriter and Producer in training, chatter and traveling student. I have lived in a variety of countries, ramble on my blog and have tried to grab hold of every opportunity that comes my way. So onward and upward as they say!
And if you feel like it follow me on Twitter.

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