James went to Doug Chamberlin’s seminar, Mastering Hollywood last weekend and has very kindly written up some notes for all of us who couldn’t go (sob). Enjoy…———————————————-So I was lucky enough (read: my wallet hates me) to attend ‘Mastering Hollywood for Writers’ by Doug Chamberlin on 27th and 28th November. I thought I would share my thoughts with y’all. Whether you like it or not. Firstly, I should address something here, as I feel it’s something to consider: when one looks at Doug’s imdb page, perhaps the only credit you’ll recognise on there is a co-writing credit for Toy Story… Read More »Guest Post: Mastering Hollywood Seminar, Notes by James
I’ve been saving this to post up when the wind went out of my sails on Nanowrimo – which is right now. If you are too, check out Julian’s thoughts below, might give you the push you need!———————————————-Novelists turn to screenwriting and vice versa, but this often fails. Why? We are all STORYTELLERS. But to write a 100,000 word novel typically takes 6 – 9 months, which can be very off-putting. Nevertheless, Julian believes writing prose is a very serious compliment to screenwriting. Six Reasons to Write Books As Well As Scripts: – You’ve probably read more novels than scripts… Read More »Nanowrimo Special: Julian Friedmann at the SWF 09 "A Novel Approach"
The Stackmeister often says it best and this is how the system works when you send your baby off: – You send a script to exec/producer/prod co.– It’s received and logged.– A reader gives it a once-over.– The reader writes a script report.– Exec/producer reads the report.– A rejection is sent in the post, with thanks. [From “Gimmick Submissions“] It might to be a trifle depressing, but it’s a fact: you’ll get rejected far more than you will ever get accepted. What’s more, this will never change. Even Tony Jordan, Quentin Tarantino, *insert big name screenwriter here* gets rejected. No… Read More »Blame It On The Reader?
So I went to Adrian Mead’s class yesterday – as usual it was a pleasure to see Adrian, who was on great form despite the fact the venue hadn’t delivered so much as a flip chart for him; plus the likes of the marvellous David Bishop, Michelle Goode, Laurence Timms and all the fabulous Athena Laydeez were there too – hi girls! For those of you who don’t know, Athena is a mentoring scheme run by Initialize Films specifically for women screenwriters. Funded by Skillset, the aim is to get women on the feature “ladder” so to speak and secure… Read More »Adrian Mead, "The Screenwriter’s Career Guide", July 04 09
Updated So, You’ve Written A Screenplay ‘I’ve written a screenplay, now what?’ is one of the top Google searches that leads writers to this blog. Plus Bang2writers write to me, asking me for ideas on what to do / where to send scripts they’ve written, so I thought it was time I put my thoughts on this in one place, once and for all … Enjoy! 1) Get Some Screenplay Feedback i) Getting it – do peer review You don’t have to pay for this, though you can if you want to. Alternatively, you can do peer review aka a… Read More »I’ve Written A Screenplay. Now What?
So, as I said in the last post: I was done with writing, I was moving to Exeter, I was gonna be a teacher. Ha ha. I applied – too late as it turns out – for a PGCE that August, so I could start at uni the moment I got to Exeter in September. It didn’t work out; they were full, though they said I could start September after. Brilliant: I had a whole year to fill. Being a single Mum though meant I had plenty to occupy my time; I had to find my kid a school, for… Read More »My Writing Story, Pt 2: Beyond
Miss Read has been writing about her own experiences at university doing a scriptwriting degree, which has got me thinking about mine. I’ve had a roundabout journey in scriptwriting, falling into script reading on the way and giving up on this whole lark more than once in pursuit of a more “sensible” job. But it seems I just can’t keep away, ‘cos I’m still going… Let us know how you got into it in the comments section.————————————————————————————-When I decided to become a writer, I was 18 and had dabbled with the creative arts my whole life. I’d done a journalism… Read More »My Writing Story, pt 1: University
Here’s Helen’s excellent insights again – this time featuring the Blogosphere’s very own James Moran and some VERY interesting stuff about agents and pitching. Enjoy!————————————————————————————————- Screening: TORCHWOOD – SLEEPER Writer James Moran gives a live commentary to his episode of the popular sci-fi series. Followed by Q+A. Has carved out a niche in horror/sci fi He wrote Severance but got pigeonholed after this. However then Dr Who was relaunched. He wrote the Fires of Pompeii episode. Sleeper for Torchwood as well as writing for Primeval, Spooks Code 9 and Spooks. It’s cheaper to blow up a car than have several… Read More »The Story Engine, Notes, Pt 2: Agents & Pitches
A great philosopher once said: “The best kind of luck is the kind you make yourself.” Okay, it was The Care Bears. But it’s true. When you’re a screenwriter, it’s easy to fall into the thinking the THE WORLD HAS IT IN FOR YOU. Initiatives don’t shortlist you? They must hate you. Agents don’t want to read more of your work? They must be trying to destroy you. You haven’t won a contest or got an option? Why, that is blatant sabotage. It’s hard, after multiple knockbacks, to not wallow in self pity and/or stick a fork in your leg.… Read More »Good Luck
Still busy… But still got other people expelling wisdom on this blog’s behalf! (“My people” will write this blog for me in fact, arf). So here is an interesting response from the marvellous Dublin Dave to Adrian Mead’s post yesterday in which he posed the analogy of hiring two architects:—————————————————————————–None of what Adrian’s saying is incorrect. Every writer finds their own path, but let’s be really clear about one thing: what matters is the work. Since 1999, I’ve been making a living as a TV writer. That career began with a feature length script, my fifth. I didn’t go to… Read More »Writers Write: A Response To Adrian’s Post
You should do your preparation! Bang2writers often ask me what is the “best” way to go about writing a screenplay or novel. My answer? There is no “best” way. But it’s definitely going to help if you’ve done your preparation first in the form of an outline, beat sheet and/or treatment. Here’s why preparation work helps you get rid of all the obvious pitfalls and crap FIRST, as it … GIVES your brain time to “breathe” and work out all the machinations of the plot and the character motivations and themes etc concurrently STOPS you writing a load of junk… Read More »Do Your Preparation: How To Write Outlines, Beat Sheets And Treatments
In a business like scriptwriting, when there are so many writers (new and more experienced) desperate to attract the eyes of agents, producers, managers et al, it’s not surprising there are nasty people out there wanting to cash in on this. Knowing how agents work can be the difference between getting scammed or not, quite literally. More than once I have been contacted by Bang2writers wanting to engage my services as a reader after being asked by a so-called agent to get coverage to ensure their script is “ready for market”. Why would this be a problem, you might ask?… Read More »Agents, Pt 3: When An Agent Is Not Really An Agent