Great news, Bang2writers: I think we can safely say 2013 was a good year for female characters. Why? Well check this out: And this: Aaaaaaand this: [If you want to read more, click on the pics.] The three movies above were not the only big budget fare this year to feature unusual female characters; THE WOLVERINE featured not just one, but TWO Women of Colour in prominent roles; PACIFIC RIM also featured a WoC in a prominent role: Mako Mori, who was widely praised for her representation by feminist commentators. In addition, there has been a veritable EXPLOSION of commentary about… Read More »9 Ways To Celebrate The Progress Of Female Characters, Writers & Makers
I’ve only been screenwriting since 2010 but producing and directing my own zero budget feature film in 2012 was the catalyst for taking my career to the next level. Here are 10 reasons why it may do the same for you… 1) Your voice will be heard more eloquently. People often talk about the importance of a writer’s ‘voice’, yet that voice will always be at the mercy of the individual interpretation of a reader and inevitably nuances can become lost in translation. However, once your dialogue and stage directions are played out in the exact manner that you originally… Read More »10 Reasons Writers Should Put Down Their Pens & Pick Up A Camera
“So, you’re a writer. And what exactly do you write? Ah, interesting, so you write a little like…?” OMG, has your heart just sunk? How many times have you gone into a meeting, all pumped up and ready to sell your soul? And then it comes, that sneaky little searching question, the answer to which tells the publisher or producer – whoever – whether you have that original voice that makes them want to work with you. Standing out from the writing crowd is hard. Standing out and making a living from it is even harder. So the lure of… Read More »12 Things To Think About Before Rushing Into Self Publishing
Wake Up Calls Here are 9 wake up calls I would like to have given myself years ago when I decided to pursue a career in screenwriting. Thankfully, life was around to deliver them for me. Do you need these wake calls too?? Then read on … 1) There is this thing called the audience I remember waiting for a film outside the cinema. A thought occurred to me as I was mulling over the ultra-personal script I was working on. I looked carefully at the other people gathering, tickets in hand, and thought … ‘How many of them would… Read More »9 Wake Up Calls For The New Screenwriter
I’m not a well-known writer, but I have sold eight original movie ideas from pitches, (mostly to Hollywood studios), and had many more commissions for book adaptations, re-writes and production polishes, (generally the sort of script doctoring that rarely gets your name on screen or on imdb, but can make you look like a serious contender to your bank manager). I’ve made horrendous cock-ups in pitch meetings. This is not an exhaustive list, nor are these points in order of importance, just things I learned along the way. (It was less of a learning curve, more of a “learning cliff”). 1)… Read More »14 Things I Learned Pitching In Hollywood
This week I’m turning over the blog to narrative structure goddess Linda Aronson for some tough love … She’s definitely given me a run for my money in the “smack talk” stakes! Thanks Linda 😉 1. Impersonate what you think is “writerly” behaviour. I was once in an elevator at a very prestigious film school with some students. They were unaware who I was, and quite unselfconsciously they started to discuss their major graduation piece, a short film, due very shortly. None of them had properly started it. One had an aunt who, he claimed, was quite a funny character… Read More »10 Ways To Kill Your Writing Career DEAD (And 3 Great Clues To Improving Your Chances)
So I’m off on my travels all day today to London for the fourth annual London Screenwriters’ Festival! Tonight I’ll be at the networking and registration drinks. Come and find me and practice your networking skills or pitches on me. That’s right – I ASKED FOR IT, C’MON! But before you do, watch out for these pitch killers or I’ll blast a klaxon in your face! FRIDAY Tomorrow, in the morning I will be in the Final Draft Marquee, ready to answer delegates’ questions as an LSF Roving Expert. There is a whole fleet of us, you can’t miss us:… Read More »#LondonSWF 2013 – On My Way!
FYI, B2W is now on Ask.FM as well as all the usual channels, for longer questions and for those Bang2writers who prefer to ask about writing Qs anonymously. Here is a round up of a few I’ve answered recently. See you there! 1) How do you get representation as a writer, without previous work under your belt? I have scripts that I would love to get out, but I don’t know where to start with getting my work out there. Any advice? I get asked how to get representation all the time, so here’s my post on the subject. Generally speaking… Read More »B2W is on Ask.Fm: Answering Your Writing Qs
Want to Write a Sports Movie? I hate sports. I mean, REALLY hate them. What’s the point: run up a track? Unless you’re being chased by a monster, do me a favour. Kick or throw a ball? No chance. I was the kid who had “period pain” four weeks of every month rather than do PE at school. True story. (Of course, the joke’s on me now ‘cos Mr C is OBSESSED with sports … not a week goes by without some tournament, however obscure, on the telly. THANKS COSMIC JOKER). So it may surprise you then to note I… Read More »7 Reasons You Should Write A Sports Movie
DYK? Success is NOT Accidental So, if there’s one thing that drives me batshit crazy, it’s when people think success is somehow accidental. Those people will say: “It’s DIFFERENT for you.” But yeah, okay: fine. Let’s run with that. Yes, it WAS different for me … I was a very young single Mum, with no money. I lived literally in the middle of nowhere, with no childcare. Social media had not been invented yet! There were very few books, courses or whatever … And the ones that *were* around I couldn’t afford or weren’t relevant to me anyway (waaaah). … In other words?… Read More »How To Make It As A Writer (HINT: This Shit Ain’t Accidental)
One weapon in writers’ armoury is KNOWING how best to approach agents, publishers and filmmakers – but also, how others before them have screwed up! This is why I attempt to demystify the spec pile wherever possible. On this basis, I’m a Script Magazine columnist. My monthly advice page is called – you guessed it – Submissions Insanity! Check out some of the articles posted already: The Basics Of Online Submissions Familiar Ideas To Avoid How To Win Or Place Highly In Screenwriting Contests And keep an eye on my Scriptmag Author Page, here for more articles, updated every month. Also, check out my tweets… Read More »Submissions Insanity: Demystifying The Spec Pile
Many thanks to Britflicks blogger Stuart Wright aka @LeytonRocks for recording this podcast with Assassin’s JK Amalou at the BFI recently. Enjoy!