Tuesday, January 10, 2012

UK Scriptwriters Podcast: Goals

A quick shout-out for the latest UK Scriptwriters podcast, with me and Tim Clague, where we round up the latest news (Red Planet Prize, Prequel to Cannes etc) and discuss New Year goals (goals shmoals?).

We've been doing some podcast extras over the last few months (Tim's interviewed Lord David Puttnam, I've interviewed Kill List's director Ben Wheatley & The Fades writer Jack Thorne, and other stuff), so we've put all the relevant links on the podcast's revamped Facebook page (previous group page being archived, or summink). So feel free to have a poke and a gander at all the extra goodness, or say hello, or suggest a topic, or all three! Whatevs that doth float ur boatz.

Anyway, thanks for listening, downloading, sharing, subscribing, delete as appropriate. In the cover photo, we're impersonating a pose by Laurel & Hardy. Uncanny, no?


Anonymous said...

Hi Danny,

Great podcast.

Can I ask a RRP question please? ... how long is there *typically* between the deadline and the request for the full script (assuming you make the cut)?

I know the advice is have the entire script ready before entering but I have a work-in-progress piece that I'd like to submit...

Much appreciated!!



Danny Stack said...

Thanks, Frank. I think we'll be asking for full scripts by the end of February or thereabouts. This might change, depending on the amount of entries we have to get through etc.

Anonymous said...

Hi Danny - thanks for all the useful info, it really does help. Just wondered about the RPP deadline of Jan 16 - is there a time limit on it, or just any time that day (not that I'm panicking in any way of course...!) Cheers,

Danny Stack said...

Hi Denise - I would take the deadline to mean any time during the 16th, up until midnight.

Anonymous said...

Brill, thanks for your speedy reply! dxx

Sonny Terry said...


This Podcast is the single best bit of encouragement I can think of for a lonesome writer.

Regarding the RPP. What length should the "short" synopsis be?


Danny Stack said...

Oh, flattery will get you everywhere!

Synopsis should be no more than 100 words, as detailed here http://www.redplanetpictures.co.uk/competition

Scriptpunk said...

Really interesting point about goals. Whole heartedly agree - there is no point having a goal that requires someone else to do something or to participate in your own success.

Keep "Results Desired" in mind, sure but set ACTIONS rather than goals.

For Example - how many screenwriters have the 2012 goal "Get an Agent"? I'd say a fair whack of them.

"Get an Agent" as a goal however requires that the agent, or their assistant, like your work enough to bring you in and take you on. The goal therefore is not in your hands.

Whereas, send x script and a killer cover letter to 20 agents interested in the genre would be an action you would keep as yours. And it might get you the desired result - but that is kind of by the by. It's the action that counts.

Keep up the good pod-ing!


Anonymous said...

Hey Danny,

Does having positive feedback from successful screenwriters such as yourself help you when trying to get into the business? Is it a legitimate thing to put on your CV to be acknowledged as someone with talent?

Danny Stack said...

(Thanks, Gail!)

Hi Anon, hmm, that's a tricky one. A recommendation or referral from someone in the biz is great, but using a quote of feedback or praise on your CV is an entirely different matter. That's not to say you shouldn't do it, but just be careful about it in terms of what the quote is saying, how it was said, and in what context. e.g. someone well-known could have read your script in a contest, and made a remark about it, and you could use that because people would know what context it was being made. If it's a general quote about you from someone well-known, it could generate doubt about how genuine it is, and why/when they said it.

When me and Sam adapted Conrad's War by Andrew Davies, I used his quote about our script a few times: "Perfectly captures the spirit of the book", but only a few times, when relevant, and it was in clear context.

So, tread carefully. Use a quote by all means but don't dress it up as something that it isn't.

Jon A said...

Hi Danny, I'd really appreciate your advice.

I have been writing as a hobby for years and wasn't to make a go of it as a screenwriter. From reading your blog I've decided to try competitions and radio on order to get an agent and possibly try moving on to soaps etc.

HOWEVER I've got an idea for a series drama along the lines of Our Friends in the North that I have gradually become obsessed with. Should I just write it and get out out of my system?. Or should I focus my energy and time on something more worthwhile?

Danny Stack said...

Hi Jon - write the script! It's ALWAYS the best use of your time. It's finished scripts that will get you other opportunities, like radio & soaps & so on. And if it's a passion piece, even better!

Jon A said...

As ever, very helpful, thank you. I suspected that may be the answer, but my main problem seems to be deciding what to write first and then concentrating on it rather than getting distracted by a new idea, or worrying about whether or not I'm spending my time on the right project.

By the way, apologies for the typos in the last post. It's the stupid auto correct on my phone. I meant to say that "I want to get in to screen writing"!