I went to some really interesting sessions at the SWF, outlined for you below. Here are my immediate thoughts on the whole thing: Women in film MUST be included next year. I was surprised and pleased to see loads more women than I expected and there was a consensus this needs attention next year. This made most obvious at the Son of The Pitch special when the fact there was only 1 woman out of 10 pitching was noted. Unfortunately none of the speakers from the floor complaining about it put the case particularly well I thought and I was… Read More »SWF09 In Brief(ish)
About a week ago, I needed some cash, but being a writer of course I didn’t have any. So I did what anyone would do – I asked my eleven year old son for some, since he seems to be freakishly rich thanks to guilty relatives on his absent father’s side. Son said no problem, subbed me a tenner and wrote it down in his little book. So last night I was brushing my teeth and Son wanders into the bathroom. “Mum, you owe me a tenner.” He declares: “I may start charging you interest soon.” Interest?? Little bugger. So… Read More »Male Spawn Strikes Again
[Kept updated as much as possible] All About Software One question new writers always ask in the B2W Facebook group is whether they should buy screenwriting software. So hello to Michelle who asks: “I’ve heard mixed advice from everyone on the screenwriting software issue… Some advise getting it, others say there’s no need for expensive software, at least not until you’re in the thick of it. What’s your take?” Biiiig question! Ready? Let’s go … There’s lots of software choices now Some people like screenwriting software; others see it as an excuse for a company to make shedloads of cash.… Read More »Which Screenwriting Software Is The Best? (Paid-For & Free)
Last week I was listening to a major international film financier talk about how tough the market is now due to disappearing funding sources and too much content that isn’t selling. He gave the best piece of advice I’ve heard in ages – a real lighbulb, kick-in-the-goolies moment: “Ask yourself, “If my film didn’t get made, would anyone actually miss it?”” For me, it was a simple and powerful litmus paper test for your projects. Is it… … Already packaged with stars or a name director? … Using a new and innovative storytelling method? … Highly controversial? … Deeply moving?… Read More »[Guest] Thought For The Day: My Lightbulb Moment By Adrian Mead
The Scribefather aka Adrian Mead has asked me to post this on the blog about his latest class on July 4th… I’ll be there! Will you? Let us know in the comments, via Twitter or email me. —————————————————————Okay, here’s a confession. I’m busy putting the final touches to the class I’m teaching next week and incredibly excited about sharing all this new material for the first time. However, I’m certain that for some of you this will be a day of uncomfortable truths… as I intend to crush any hope you have of a career in the film and TV… Read More »Hopeless New Screenwriters
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?
Here’s the final instalment of the marvellous Helen’s notes – some interesting realities about the industry here in particular. Read on…————————————————————————————–My First Feature (sponsored by Northern Lights Film Festival) David Lemon discusses his experience of writing Faintheart with Brian Gordon, the director of NLFF. David Lemon – writer of Faintheart He won the myspace movie mashup competition. He wrote it in 2005 and developed it through taps.org. Slingshot Studios had a £250-£500K microbudget but the Director got in touch with Vertigo Films and eventually Film 4, the Film Council were also involved. There were 12 producers, some had more input… Read More »The Story Engine, Notes, Pt 3: Features, Training, Scriptreading, Simon Beaufoy
Your Honour, members of the jury: we are gathered here today to discuss the impact of feature length dramas on an audience… Though drama is indeed my favourite (yes, possibly even above my beloved Horror), it has long been my belief such fare has no impact whatsoever in changing the attitudes of their viewers. Why? Because the very viewers such films attract already possess the beliefs and values explored by the drama in question – hence the audience watching said dramas in the first place: like attracts like. But don’t take my word for it; I will demonstrate. [Box Office… Read More »Preaching To The Converted? 6 Of The Best — Drama
Following a comments thread over at Michelle’s about budgets and then Potdoll’s about Commercial vs. Mainstream film recently, I thought I’d give my thoughts on money stuff in film an airing. I should mention first it’s not something I’ve ever been specifically taught; more picked up on from various conversations, meetings, articles and books I’ve read, talks I’ve attended. Also, on many script reports including Scottish Screen’s, they will ask about budgetary considerations/restraints, so it’s something I’ve had to learn a little about “on the job” so to speak, but I’m certainly no expert. As with all things scriptwriting and… Read More »Money Talks: Film Budgets
Following my post back in August about indie film funding via asking members of the public, it would seem this tactic is now making it on to the likes of Facebook too. What interested me about this one was the relatively low figure asked for (£25) and the big talent involved, though there is much detail on what your £25 gets you – though presumably if you email they will tell you. If you’re interested in funding the next potentially big indie film then, check out this initiative by Sheffield-based Warp Films:———————————————————————–CHRIS MORRIS JIHADI COMEDY £25 to fund and appear… Read More »Warp Films: Want To Be In A Feature?
My Dad got a letter from Carnaby International Films Plc recently. Given that my Dad is a retired jewellery maker, this was more than a little surprising since he knows absolute zilch about filmmaking, though I suppose he must have ended up on some sort of mailing list from something or other. Since they’re sending out letters to random people like my Dad whom they’ve never contacted before, I can only suppose they won’t mind me reproducing the letter here: Dear Lucy’s Dad (arf), Carnaby, named by Screen Finance magazine as one of the UK’s most prolific film production companies… Read More »The Future Of Feature Film Funding?
Agents are much maligned: you don’t have to go far to find a professional writer who will say all theirs does is take their commission, leaving the writer to do all the donkeywork. I know one guy who insists that he hasn’t heard from or even met with his in fifteen years except at Christmas where she sends him a card… And spells his name wrong every year without fail. So why have an agent, if you have to find your own work? Not only are you in the same position you were previously, you’re now actually WORSE OFF: if… Read More »Agents, Part 2: What Do They Do?