So I spent most of last week in a Ladies College – Awuga! However, it was for the rather more serious reason of attending the Cheltenham Screenwriters’ Festival – No-woo-girl!
I had no idea what to expect but dragged myself away at the end of it absolutely exhausted but quite pleased with a number of situations. First of all, one of the main aims of the event was to network and boy did I do that! Actually, everyone was pretty shameless in this field and there were so many business cards frantically exchanging hands that I’m surprised that no fires broke out. So I now know A LOT of screenwriters. Which is lovely. It was like being at Uni for days 3 and 4 as you could go off in most directions and bump into someone you ‘knew’ (by that I mean exchanged paper with).
The seminars were more of a mixed bag. I went to a few screenwriting ones to make sure I wasn’t missing any theories from my armory, and I was satisfied that I wasn’t. The problem lies when you go to two different seminars on the same subject and they completely contradict each other. Also, I went to one that had ‘porn’ in the title and they didn’t show any clips.
The weirdest bit was the number of people that thought I was a ‘proper’ writer. I explained I had a few radio sketch credits and felt like a newbie but they weren’t having it. Brilliant.
But probably the best thing about the festival was the meeting the agents and producers or as they labelled it ‘Speed Dating’, which is great when you are talking about in a pub full of locals. I was fortunate enough to have ‘dates’ with both agents and producers and, although I didn’t get to first base with any of them, they all liked my ideas and five out of seven of them requested me to send them scripts directly. I must point out (brag) that the producer that didn’t ask me to send him stuff was from Screen Wales and I’m not Welsh so that was always going to be a tricky relationship, and the agent that didn’t ask for stuff did say I should definitely get an agent whilst just staring at me. Weird.
So overall, good. If I didn’t meet those agents/producers it might have been a bit of a waste of money, especially as there weren’t many of them visible throughout the four days. I also got to meet some other bloggers too which was good. My new goals are to finish my comedy pilots and a synopsis for a comedy feature which all have proper interest from actual people.
For that, I thank Cheltenham SWF.