Thursday, May 17, 2007

Round Up of Bits and Bobs

Cannes is here! Mais non, I am not there. I’ve just finished a bit of work for a producer I met in Cannes last year, so it was definitely useful! I know a handful of people and bloggers who are going again. Tim Clague and Suki Singh, natch; Samantha Moore’s there with her new animated short, The Beloved Ones, and Sal Brown is out for more excellent adventures. I’m sure Tim and Sal will be blogging about their experience, so be sure to tune in…

There are a few interesting things happening at the moment, so I thought it would be a good idea to round them up.

Tom Green over at the Writers’ Guild blog has flagged up an interesting Channel 4 event called ‘4 Days in June’ where the channel opens its doors and commissioning editors to the public for questions and insights. It sounds good. Check out the programme, here, and register etc.

A new, free UK forum has started up as well, and that looks useful. For those in Ireland, if you haven’t checked out the Filmmakers’ Network, you really are missing out.

And if you thought the Scribosphere website was a good idea, well, Andy Coughlan has come up with Scribomatic, which is equally as nifty but he’s kept it pretty quiet, so maybe I shouldn’t mention it. Oops, too late.

And brownie points go to Paul Campbell for being the first person to spot that the UK Film Council have launched their new ’25 Words or Less Scheme’ (a couple of weeks ago now). They’ve shaken up the format a bit, and the three genres you can pitch for are Low-Fi (low budget sci-fi), Mistaken Identity Comedy and Teen Hitchcock. Deadline is 13th July 07, so get cracking.

Some bloggers have already reported about this site, Hollywood Screenplays, which lists "Screenplays Wanted" ads posted by movie producers. Might be worth a punt, or it could be a complete waste of time, your call.

Anything else? Don’t think so. How about a few questions to round up the round up? Schweeeet. Thanks for all the emails/questions. Keep ‘em coming as it helps to generate posts when the blogging muse might not be around.

“I wondered if it was feasible to get work experience in assisting a reader - that is, to get unofficial experience as a reader, or if you felt that I would get as much experience by reading through produced scripts on the script-o-rama website.”

Not really. A reader’s life isn’t glamorous at all and much as he’d like to offload the scripts to a third person, that simply is never going to happen. YOU CAN get jobs assisting a WRITER. That would be much better, and possibly less difficult than you would imagine. Write to your favourite screenwriters/authors, whatever, and ask them for work experience or feedback or an interview. As for reading, you will get as much experience by reading produced or unproduced scripts on Script-O-Rama, and the like, but only if you write a full report as well.

When did you know that writing scripts was your call?

Oo-er. Personal recollection time. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a stuntman, and then an actor, and then a director. However, when I realised someone actually wrote a screenplay, I was completely smitten with this part of the process. A defining moment came when I had read the book ‘Magic’ by William Goldman and I sat down eagerly to watch the film on TV, with the book on my lap so I could read and watch at the same time. To my surprise, the film was ‘like’ the book but it didn’t follow the same narrative. That’s when I became more aware of what a screenwriter did. When I gradually got some TV and film work, and became more exposed to scripts, I knew that I wanted to achieve a career as a scriptwriter more than anything else.

How did you manage to survive before you started living off of your passion?

I don’t. Or I do. Just about. I figured if I could earn some beans in the same area as ‘scriptwriting’ then I’d be doing okay, instead of taking on a job that would distract me from what I wanted to achieve. So I’ve been a full-time reader for the last seven years, which has helped my writing enormously, but I wouldn’t recommend the frugal lifestyle. Writing gigs have picked up in the last couple of years but it’s still a daily grind to maintain any kind of steady income. It can be completely soul destroying at times but when you’ve got a commission, and there’s money in the bank, and you’re writing a script, then it’s like walking on air.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for answering my questions so quickly.
I'm going to check those links you just posted. Especially that Screenplay wanted one. Might be interesting.


Paul Crilley said...

Hmm, Why do you need an agent to enter the 25 words comp? Surely the point is to nurture new talent?

Lucy said...

Of course,Lit Agents always want slaves. That's how I started, tho even tho I offered my services FOR FREE I still got 78 rejections and ONE "yes"!!! I learned how to write script reports, read the entire client list, got to go to lunch with clients (company paying) and once I answered the phone to CHRISTIAN BALE!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

So you have Lucy! (Answered my Q before that is). Should've checked this one first...Still, means I have now discovered it and I will come back often. Hello Danny!

From Anya