Sunday, 3 November 2013

London Screenwriters Festival - 7 days after and 7 points.

This year was my first year I've been to London Screenwriters Festival, it was a great experience, a learning experience, and rather than a long winded blog about every nano second of it, which I could easily self indulge in, here instead are some bullet points.

  • Pitch - Why not? You have the industry there. I was nervous about pitching, but loved it. Got caught up in the excitement. Even when who you're pitching to isn't after what you write you can still chat and find out what they want exactly. and when it goes well, it's a buzz.
  • Great advice from Reece Shearsmith & Steve Pemberton whose new ANTHOLOGY show sounds amazing. Room for more of those I think :) Anyway to their advice - "Human element will make people empathise with even the most monstrous of characters" and also "Don't put the audience in charge, they don't know what they want."
  • Some more good advice which I've heard before but always worth remembering from Henry Swindell, BBC Writersroom, "Put your strongest arguments in the mouths of your antagonist".
  • From Julie Gray's session I saw the light in regards to Mini Sluglines. Never used them before, but they speed up a script brilliantly, and read so much better. I'm a new convert.
  • Write more than you ever think you need to. 
  • So many great dialogue tips from Pilar Alessandra - Use verbal strategies, ban key words to avoid being on the nose, dream cast your role to find distinctive character voice.
  • Finally; chat, be open, make friends. Writers spend so much time inside our own heads, and aren't used to scripted conversation, but with our fellow kind there is nothing better than soaking up writing stories, TV & film chat and laughing a hell of a lot.
The comedown from it has been strange but I enter this week 10 pages away from finishing a new draft zero with two rewrites waiting and a TV idea as well as a film idea waiting to be planned. And my mind keeps thinking about a pitch that from my point of view went exceptionally well, and all the great friends I made.

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