SCREENWRITING \ PITCHING COURSES 2012
This week I want to tell you about the courses I am running this Spring \ early Summer with my scriptwriter friend Phil Gladwin.
Phil and I used to work together as script editors in the BBC drama series department before he left to start a career as a screenwriter. He has since built an impressive list of writing credits – The Bill, Trial & Retribution, The Sarah Jane Adventures and many more. He also runs the www.screenwritinggoldmine.com website and has written an excellent book on screenwriting (available through his website), based on his own screenwriting working method, a method that has brought him much success. Currently Phil is working on a new stage play and a new radio play as well as developing projects for the screen with various companies.
I invited Phil to come and talk to some of the writers on the Channel 4 course last summer – he really enjoyed this and so we started talking about running our own screenwriting course.
We ran the first two day ‘Authoritative Guide To Writing And Selling A Great Screenplay’ in London in July last year. It went down very well and we really enjoyed doing it, so we decided to make it a regular event.
We have received some wonderful and very generous feedback (see the training page on the website) and we do feel that these two day workshops provide a really strong creative and practical shot-in-the-arm for screenwriters of all levels of experience.
We deliberately keep the numbers low (maximum 20) to make the courses as interactive and personal as possible. The courses involve a lot of dialogue, and a lot of hands-on, creative exercises, designed to help you as writers tap into and renew your creativity.
Day 1 concentrates on the craft of screenwriting, with exercises on ideas creation, creating & building characterisations, dialogue and story structure. We also look at how the best TV series work.
On Day 2 we focus on making the most of your abilities as a writer, using our first-hand practical experience of the TV and film industries in the UK, to help you forge a career, with a range of pragmatic suggestions about how best to sell yourself and your projects, how to make your voice heard in this over-crowded industry, how to make and maintain those all-important contacts.
We give our course delegates a 60+ page folder of screenwriting information and articles, written by us and others, to which we’re constantly adding and developing, which is another valuable screenwriting resource.
Every course has one or two special guest speakers who share their knowledge of the screenwriting industry with the course delegates.
So far these guests have included:-
Julia Tyrell, leading London literary agent, who runs her own agency, Julia Tyrrell Management.
Eric Coulter, leading TV drama producer, ex Head of Scottish TV drama
Kate Croft, TV executive producer, ex-head Shed Media drama Scotland
Matt Bouch, writer, producer (Being Human series 1 + 2)
Ben Stoll, Head of Development Channel 4 drama.
And after the courses, we invite everyone who has attended to sign up to our (closed) ‘screenwriters studio’ Facebook page. This is proving to be one of the most valuable elements of the courses – the opportunity to keep in touch with your fellow delegates from the course and with all those who have attended our courses (and us!), sharing industry knowledge, tips and support.
The Facebook page has taken on a really pleasing life of its own and is an increasingly valuable – but exclusive – screenwriting resource.
We have now run the course three times in London, once in Glasgow and this Spring we will be running it in:-
Belfast – Sat/Sun 24-25 March.
Special guest speakers: Terry Cafolla, screenwriter (Law & Order UK, Best His Mother’s Son, Holy Cross, Camelot, Messiah) and Vanessa Haynes ex-development producer for Kudos NI
Cardiff – Sat/Sun 21-22 April
Norwich – Sat/Sun 19-20 May.
On March 10th in London we are delighted to announce we are running a brand new one day course –
‘How To Give A Great Pitch’ – How To Pitch A Movie Idea, How To Pitch A TV Show.
This intensive one day course will give you some pointers about how to pitch your projects to give them the best possible chance of attracting producer \ broadcaster interest.
We will look at both written and verbal pitches.
Like our two day screenwriting course, this will be relaxed but interactive. We will give you the opportunity to build, rehearse and deliver a verbal pitch in a supportive and constructive environment.
We are delighted to announce that our special guest for this one day course is Ceri Meyrick. Ceri is currently Story Producer on the BBC’s flagship show, Holby City. Before this she spent several years working alongside John Yorke running the BBC’s Writers Academy. And she has extensive producing and script editing experience.
Ceri works at the cutting edge of the screenwriting industry and her insights into the content and delivery of your pitches will be invaluable.
There is much more information about all these courses on the website.
We will also be running two one day courses in London in the coming months:-
Saturday April 7th 2012 WRITING CRIME DRAMA
Saturday June 9th 2012 WRITING FOR SERIES TV
Details of these new courses – specific content, venue, special guests, cost – will appear on my website in due course.
NB Please can I draw your attention to a new feature on the front page of my website – a box enabling you to sign up for this weekly newsletter. I realise I’m preaching to the converted here – but if you know anyone who you think may like to sign up for the newsletter, please pass this information on. Thank you!
All the best
Feb 24th 2012