Friday, March 31, 2006


“Everybody knows everything”.

It doesn’t have the same ring to it or the same amusing truth as William Goldman’s infamous quote about the business but in this day and age of screenwriting training, there is a wealth of knowledge and experience out there to be utilised and processed.

Reading one book on screenwriting and attending one course will probably give you all you need to know about the process - the rest is just interesting (and not-so-interesting) variations of the same techniques. Film audiences are very sophisticated and savvy as to what’s going on at the movies and this awareness has been turned up all the way to eleven with hopeful attempts at screenplays from Lewis to LA.

It is quite easy to get weary and jaded with all the books, courses (and blogs!). But while a lot of the books and courses are just easy ways of accessing your hard earned moolah, they do offer some valuable tips and info, and it’s a good way of making new contacts. Conversely, attending a course is a good way of invigorating your sense of attachment to your peers, as well as the biz, and can provide the right source of inspiration for that block you have on page 23.

So yes, examine a course’s credentials and assess the experience of the author’s career but one thing’s for sure, there’s enough support, encouragement, insight and experience to go around. Some of these might be of interest…


Tuesday 4th April at the NPA (New Producers Alliance)

14.30 to 17.30
£25 Non Members £15 NPA Members
Essential advice for pitching your project successfully – full steam ahead to Cannes.

This session is designed to prepare you for pitching your project to producers, funders, distributors and sales agents. David will guide you through the Doís and Donít of making an approach, testing the water, making a pitch and closing. He will also help you work on necessary networking skills and methods of presenting yourself.

If you are planning to go to any of the winter festivals, particularly AFM or Sundance, it is important to work on your pitching skills. Rather than teaching you to perform one pitch, this event will show you how to learn what the subject wants, learn to distinguish opportunities and how to make every contact matter.

If you are planning to attend the Festival Marketing Materials, taking place this month, this session is an ideal partner.


Also at the NPA:
Tuesday 11th April
£5.50 NPA/Pact/Curzon Members
£6.50 Non members
NPA in association with PACT & Curzon Soho

With Cannes just over 2 months away, this seminar will prepare you early for what to expect. All in all, Cannes Film Festival is an experience not to be missed. Meetings, receptions, parties, screenings and events, with so much going on, you really do need to make sense of it all. With this annual advice seminar, we will give you the low down on the festival and tell you how to get the most out of what should be one of the highlights of your film year.

Anita Lewton, Producer & Head of NPA Training and an experienced Cannes regular will be chairing the panel including Dan San, an independent producer and Cannes veteran, Jo Maurice, UK Film Council, and a sales agent.


Four Corners- Film and Media Continuing Professional Development-Open to those from the East London Area

If you would like to be considered for the forthcoming series of film and media continuing professional developments via Skillsbase i.e where we wish to encourage the promotion of talent to the film and media industry then do contact us.

Spaces are limited and it’s FREE! Call me for more details: Sahra at Fourcorners @ 0208 981 6111 or visit the website: Four Corners Film.


Sat 22nd April - Edinburgh

DATE: Saturday 22nd April. 10.00 am to 5.00 pm.
VENUE: St Columba's By The Castle Church Hall, Johnston Terrace, Edinburgh
COST: £65 (inc VAT and refreshments)
E-MAIL: or call 0131 554 4539
WEB SITE: Mead Kerr

Award winning Writer and Director Adrian Mead presents another in his
acclaimed series of classes.

Every day overworked Film and TV execs, Agents and Commissioners receive an avalanche of scripts from new writers. Faced with the impossible task of reading them all, the first thing they reach for is the one page pitch document that should accompany the script. Of course you do always provide a highly professional and attention
grabbing, one page pitch document. Don't you?

The one page pitch doc is industry standard. Failing to provide one marks you as a poorly organised amateur and your script will hardly get a glance. A badly executed document instantly consigns your months of lovingly crafted work to the reject tray unread.

Presented by award winning writer and director Adrian Mead this class
teaches you how to grab the attention of the overworked reader and inspire them to pick up your script instead of your competitors.

Understand the function and writing of treatments. Banish forever the terrors of verbal pitching. If you are serious about getting your work noticed and breaking into the industry this is a class you cannot afford to miss.


Advanced Screenwriting with Richard Krevolin and Jeff Arch
London, 29-30 April 2006

Advanced Screenwriting is a special and unique 2-day event offering participants the rare opportunity to meet and learn from a master teacher (Professor Richard Krevolin – USC Film School) and an Academy Award nominated screenwriter (Jeff Arch – ‘Sleepless in Seattle’).

You will learn in a lively and interactive environment the fundamental principles, practical tips and little-known secrets behind writing dynamic dialogue, creating surprising plots, devising characters that come to life and surviving as a writer.

Further information on The Screenwriters’ Store, contact Johanna for enquiries and bookings:
Tel: 020 7261 1908


Arista Announces 3rd 2 day Business of Development Conference in London – 25th and 26th April 2006

Stephen Cleary of Arista Development says: "This is our third Business of
Development Conference, the only concentrated examination of Development in all its aspects undertaken within the UK industry. The past few years have
seen many changes in the way development is organised and undertaken. The time has come to take stock and measure progress. And Arista's new research, presented at the Conference, may make many people stop and think."

Reno Antionades of Lee & Thompson says: "We are delighted to be supporting the Business of Development conference again and are looking forward to providing some insight and solutions to the complex questions faced by producers when developing and financing feature films in an increasingly tough marketplace”.

To Book:
By phone - 020 7323 1775
By email -

The conference will take place at the Brunei Gallery, SOAS, Thornhaugh
Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG

For more information please visit: Arista Development


Single Shot Short Film Competition – 11th April 2006
Single Shot: A film in one take or your take on Single Shot
Capture your idea in one single shot, or let the title capture your imagination!

Are you an artist or filmmaker? Is the film in you fighting to get out?
If you have a visual idea that you want to put before the widest possible audience, send it to us, and we can help you to make it. Set it free with Single Shot.

Single Shot provides fresh money for fresh talent to make exciting and innovative works for national distribution, and is being supported by Arts Council England and UK Film Council’s New Cinema Fund. Anyone with creative aspirations can submit material inspired by the concept of a Single Shot at any length between 15 seconds and 5 minutes.

Breaking out of cinemas and galleries and hitting the streets, the works will be shown across a range of new media platforms; from outdoor screens to bookshops, from coffee shops to websites, and from projections on buildings to mobile phones!

Whether you shoot from the hip on a digicam, grab it on a mobile phone or catch it via a webcam, we want to see it. Burn it to a disc and get it to us. We’ll then select the best and, with you as the director, post-produce it professionally ready for exhibition alongside other Single Shot works by established artists.

So download the form…. and fill it in.
Copy off your film and….
Send both your shot material and entry form to us
….before the deadline of 5pm, April 11th 2006.

For more info go to Single Shot


Coming Up

Coming Up is the only talent scheme currently in the UK where new film-makers have the opportunity to make an authored drama with a guaranteed network broadcast. The scheme is run by Channel 4 and IWC Media in partnership with Skillset. Coming Up is looking to make 8 challenging and individual films from the best new talent in the UK.

We'll be looking for bold ideas, strong voices, originality, ambition and wit. Each film will be for a ½ hour C4 slot and must: push boundaries in a way that wouldn’t / couldn’t be done in mainstream drama; be contemporary; be shot in 4 days on a limited budget; and be largely, but not exclusively, young and urban. The closing date for applications is 18 April 2006 – see the following links for more details:

Coming Up




Dominic Carver said...

We know WHO you are, Danny, which is why those of us who appreciate your blog visit it everyday.

James Moran said...

Couldn't agree more. This is my first port of call in my procras- er, in my important research stage of the day. Keep up the good work, geezer.

"Reno Antionades of Lee & Thompson"?? Lee, are you setting up dummy companies again?

That pitching thing sounds pretty cool, I could definitely use some help in that area. Only 25 squid too.

Anonymous said...

Hi Danny

You mentioned pitches and pilots in your last post. Care to expand on who to but more so how you pitch?

Just thought it would be intertesting to know



Danny Stack said...

Hi Terry

I spoke about pitching recently, check out the post.

And I've just finished two children's animation pilots recently, along with co-writer Sam Morrison; one for Greenlit Productions (who produce Foyle's War) the other for Star8 who are based in Bristol.

Anonymous said...

Cheers for that Danny!

Keep up the good work on the blog!!