It’s been a busy and exciting week –
Last Saturday Phil Gladwin and I held our first Pitching course in central London. It was a lot of fun – really entertaining being pitched to all day by some very impressive writers. At the start of the day we put them on the spot and set them an exercise, forcing them (with some visual aids!) to come up with a story idea in 5 minutes. It’s amazing how forcing time limitations and a creative exercise onto talented writers can produce the most amazing results. We both felt that this session produced project ideas that had real commercial potential and were strong enough to open doors for the writers who came up with them.
For the end of the day we were joined by the excellent CERI MEYRICK (BBC Holby City story producer, soon-to-be producer of new BBC daytime drama series FATHER BROWN) who gave some insightful and very valuable feedback to the writers about pitches they had spent the afternoon working on – in some cases extended pitches from the ideas they had generated in the morning, in other cases ideas they had been working up for some time. It was great to see the writers respond so creatively (and nervelessly!) to the feedback we had given; and by the end of the day there were some seriously good pitches.
So – a creatively energizing and fascinating day.
Yesterday (Thursday) I spent teaching a REWRITING workshop at De Montfort University, Leicester on their excellent and well-established TV Scriptwriting MA course. This two year course is run by JIM HILL and CHRIS WALKER both of whom have years of hands-on writing, directing and producing experience in UK TV. Jim created and write BOON, among many other credits, and Chris ran the script unit at Central TV and produced hit comedy shows like The Upper Hand (look out for Chris’s soon-to-be-published book ‘The Insider’s Guide : Writing For TV’).
This course has a great track record – both Jim and Chris have very many industry contacts and they get some great writers in to talk \ teach on the course – so if you’re looking for a formal screenwriting education and a long-term practical course to help give your writing career a boost, the course is well worth checking out –
I had read three of the students’ drama series pilot episode scripts before running this one day workshop – and the standard of the scripts was uniformly strong and impressively original.
And tomorrow – Saturday – I’m off to Bournemouth to run a 10 am session at Bournemouth University’s annual Southern Script Festival – talking about ‘opportunities for new screenwriters’ I’m going to be talking about the Channel 4 screenwriting course, how that works, and offer tips about the DO’S and DON’T’s for new writers trying to break into the industry; and offering other ideas about getting your foot in the door of UK film and TV.
If you’re coming down to the Festival please come and say hello, although I won’t be hanging around for too long after my session – it’s back to London for Fulham vs Swansea at 3 pm!
Just a final word too about our two day SCREENWRITING course in Belfast next weekend – there are still places available so please book NOW if you don’t want to miss out,
Until next week – get writing!
March 16th 2012