Not much information to share with you this weekend. Seems to have gone a bit quiet in the build up to Cannes and with the weather getting nicer.
There’s the update on the Screenwriters’ Festival regarding accommodation, how to get there and the New Writers’ Day (which takes place the day before the festival officially starts).
Mark Huckerby (who will be on a panel discussion at the festival) gave me this link which is an interesting article about how the film industry is looking to writers outside of the field of screenwriting to write future hits at the cinema because the “common screenwriting talent” (inverted commas my own) don’t seem to be quite up to scratch. I’m particularly annoyed in the article’s apparent assumption that TV writers aren’t screenwriters, or not as skilful as the writers who fill the wide and wonderful canvas of film.
Occasionally, the TV and film industry likes to lay the blame and point the finger at writers for the lack of quality projects available but sometimes when they get a brilliant script across their laps, they don’t know what to do with it, or seem incapable of raising the required budget to fund the project! (ahem, Aliens FC) And then the script goes to waste. I believe passionately that there are a lot of talented screenwriters out there (I’m including TV writers and myself, modesty aside).
While there is unarguably a lot of dross and poorly written scripts in circulation (one reader recently said to me: "there's only so long you can read scripts without developing the urge to axe someone"), the industry shouldn’t be so quick to lay the blame at the struggling writer’s door because the internal politics and stumbling machinations of the film industry can be just as prohibitive as having a bunch of mediocre scripts on your development slate.
Let’s go into the weekend on a positive note however. The sun’s out so I’m off down to the beach to read a few scripts that will provide me with a handy bit of cash for Cannes. (Am I the only person who goes to the beach and brings scripts to read?). It’s a glorious day on the south coast. Hope you enjoy a beer and a barbie wherever you are in the world.
Submissions are now open for the McLaren Award for New British Animation which continues to support animation produced at all levels of the British Industry. Information can be obtained at the Edinburgh Film Festival’s website.
Past winners include Tim Webb, Tim Hope, Phil Mulloy, David Anderson, Peter Peake and Elizabeth Hobbs. Winning films have included student work, first films, studio productions and music videos. As Britain's most prestigious animation award (ed: is this true? Surely not. Bafta. British Animation Awards etc), it carries a trophy and cash prize of £1000. Dedicated to the memory of Norman McLaren, the award aims to nurture a spirit of experimentation and innovation within British animation production.