Category Archives: London Screenwriters’ Festival

London Screenwriters’ Festival 2011: The Aftermarth

It seems that quite a few of us are suffering from a huge comedown after the magnificent London Screenwriters’ Festival at the weekend. I’m only now digesting and dissecting all the emotions I’ve been through and this is my attempt at making sense of it. God help you!

For me, I think it stems from going to last year’s LSWF (2010), still very much living in a non-writing world where I knew very few writers in person and I was still solely working on my own projects. It was something that quite dramatically changed there and then and for good. I think I’m only just realising it now.

Thanks to the delegates I met and the inspiration and encouragement that the festival never fails to supply, I joined a group of delegates that, via twitter, started meeting up monthly for Script Chat drinks. This was incredibly important as it enabled me to maintain and build on a number of relationships I had started at the festival. Soon, these weren’t just other writers but collaborators, friends and some people found love (ahhh). Because twitter was at the core of this, communication with these new-found friends turned quickly from occasional to daily (writers, by definition, have A LOT of opinions and things to share!). Also, I’ve had the pleasure of working with quite a few of them on various projects.

So the difference between attending LSWF 2011 over LSWF 2010 was that I wasn’t just going to it knowing a few people that I had last met 12 months ago. I was going to it with a lot of familiar faces and friends, which is great when you want a balance between meeting new people and kicking back with friends. In fact, it was beneficial to meeting new people as “oh, you should meet…” became a popular phrase over the three days. Most of all, I realised that because I communicate with these people so regularly (and more often than a lot of my own friends) I wasn’t going to LSWF 2011 from a non-writing world any more. The connection was so much stronger and I enjoyed it even more.

So as well as missing being inspired everyday, learning priceless lessons and belonging to the asylum, I miss being around new and old friends. But you know what? I’m taking them with me and so should you.

This is really a message about the power of networking. A case-study, if you like. I hope people don’t fall into that trap of just writing a nice email to all your business card contacts only to exchange shorter and shorter emails until they fizzle out. See if they are on twitter, Skype or live nearby. Getting a group together is even better, there’s less pressure on individual relationships as you can just mingle. I don’t live in London but still come in just for Script Chat. Also, the LSWF Ning network is made for keeping in touch. It’s your delegates-only Facebook.

Whatever the case, try and find an informal way of staying in touch regularly. Make it part of the world you want to live in.

There will be more semi-delusional posts from me in the coming days, so thanks for reading.


London Screenwriters’ Festival 2011 OFFER!

There’s no doubt that last year’s inaugural LSWF was a huge success. Just visit the site and see the comments. So having taken that leap of faith last year, the LSWF team are back with experience under their belts and many new and exciting developments coming your way.

Make sure you’re part of this thriving writing community by taking advantage of their pay monthly offer (ten months x £24 = your ticket!) There is no cheaper way to get a ticket, unless you sleep with David, Judy or Chris. Not altogether at once – well I don’t know, do your own pimping.

What’s Next?

So the London Screenwriters’s Festival 2010 is over , knowledge has been absorbed, contacts have been formed, so what is next for this writer?

No seriously, I’m asking you. Answers on a postcard… bye.

Ok, ok. The truth is I learned A LOT from the sessions at the festival and my next step is to assess the projects I’ve got on the go and see if they fit with the distribution tips I picked up in London.

Then I need to finish off the scripts I have in various stages of development (if they still fit the distribution matrix). I need completed samples/spec scripts not three or four first drafts of a good idea.

I have too many ideas and get too passionate about them, dropping projects instantly just to get started ‘on the one’. Of course every new idea is the best ever. Mainly because it exists in such a small form: an idea. You haven’t got into the mess of plotting, structure, characters or (the most damaging aspect) writing the bastard thing. First drafts do suck, not all of it, but a lot of it. And it makes your genius idea very, very mortal. It’s a lot easier to move on to a fresh new idea. DON’T DO IT!

I also had a meeting about a ‘dream writing job’ last week. Unfortunately, that bubble has been burst. The director, who has written the script, wasn’t interested in someone clearing up a far too messy, unfocused and busy script. He wanted a jokes-smith to heighten the comedy. We had completely different visions for the script. A shame but I wish the project well.

On the upside, I’m free to crack on with my scripts so good day!

London Screenwriters’ Festival 2010. Done.

I’ve held off writing this post as I’m still trying to digest what the hell just happened for four days in London. Like many, I’m still feeling a magical buzz from being part of a new, exciting and talented community.

So how to tell this story? I’ve decided not to go all Memento on your ass and do it back to front with flashbacks and tattoos. So let’s just try and start at the beginning shall we?

Even before the festival I had a great meeting with a rising comedy actress and agent who are putting together a stand-up/sketch recording to pitch to the channels. It’s all very promising and I liked their ideas and they liked mine so: exciting!

Then off to the pre-festival drinks in a bar that was… yeah, can’t describe it. A throwback? It certainly had character and characters! There was also a launch going on for a book called Looking At Uranus. Although it was announced the author couldn’t make it because they had gout. It was going to be that sort of night! Anyway, I met some ‘very interesting’ people and it was a nice way to ease into the networking.

I was going to do a day-by-day break down but they’ve all merged into one fantasy-like dream. I’m not even sure some memories happened. Did we have a hot-tub? Anyway, the Skype chat with John August was definitely one of the highlights of day one. I think most people I spoke to had a different favourite session of the weekend, which is a good sign of a festival with something for every one.

To be honest, I didn’t go to a bad session. Other highlights were Distribution in the UK, What the Buyers Want and Writing for the USA and European markets. All very specific and brutally honest.

Of course, what made this event extra special for me were the people I met. A lot of whom I hope to build strong relationships with on both a work and social level. It was all very inspiring and I can see the creative cogs starting to turn with more vigour as the days went by. After all, it can be a lonely place being a writer. I feel the buzz is partly down to being in a world full of other writers. And I thank everyone that I met for their time and company.

So what next? Well, I’m working on keeping those relationships going and a master plan, based on what I have learned over the weekend. The main thing will be to finish my existing projects. There is a lot to gain from having many samples of work. There are also some doors I need to shoulder charge but more as an Arnie rather than a Pee-wee.

So to completely bastardise  Vogler, I feel like I returned from the special world to the ordinary world with the elixir. Although, of course, this is the start of a new movie not the end. OK, let’s just call it a multi-million dollar franchise, shall we? Excellent.

Networking at the London Screenwriters’ Festival

We are just days away from the hugely anticipated London Screenwriters’ Festival and people have been putting together some great guides on how to make the best of the event.

There will be some great and insightful events this weekend, the timing couldn’t be better with the future of film-making being a hot-topic at the moment. But one of the key components to having a successful festival really is your attitude to networking. Continue reading

Networking at the London Screenwriters’ Festival

Not long to go before the London Screenwriters’ festival and tickets are running out fast! Make sure you get yours or you will miss out on the screenwriting event of the year.

For those already going here is a nice article about networking: click here

London Screenwriters’ Festival Discount

Discount codeSo! We were one of the first blogs to announce the launch of the London Screenwriters’ Festival, now let’s be one of the first to point you in the direction of the all important What’s On page!

Yes, Tony Jordan. Yes, Tim Bevan. Yes, a shed load more!!!

Look at these names and look at these events! Having seen and spoken to the festival organisers you won’t believe how much work they have put into making this the best festival on screenwriting there has probably ever been.

Remember, these are changing and challenging times for all film-makers. New strategies have to be formed and new funding opportunities have to be sought. It’s so important to find the best ways to break into and stay part of the film-industry. This is a huge focus of the festival.

What’s more, the discount code of: comedy is still available if you want to get a £37 discount. Remember, currently, the RRP of £299 doesn’t include VAT, but if you leave it too late it will do (tax rules). Take advantage of this tax break. You have no reason to not do so!

What’s on Page