SCREENWRITING LESSONS FROM EVENTS OF THE WEEK

Posted by admin  /   April 27, 2012  /   Posted in Thoughts on Screenwriting  /   1 Comments

Hi There,

 A mixed bag this week…

 What is DRAMA?

 If you wanted to learn how drama works there were two (non-fiction) events that I was really struck by this week –

 Apologies to all you football haters out there but, if you want some fantastic, dramatic story ideas then you should look no further than Tuesday night’s Barcelona v Chelsea match. It had the lot – triumph for the underdog defying great odds; the panto villain (John Terry – for an added twist on the side of the underdogs!); a fallen hero redeemed – for now (Fernando Torres – not only has he forgotten how to score, he’s forgotten how to celebrate – poor chap looked thoroughly bemused) and the twisting tale of two managers – the now triumphant but not so long ago unemployable Roberto Di Matteo – and the soon-to-be unemployed God of pure football Pep Guardiola.

 What a wonderful dramatic confection it was, so many rich, compelling stories in 2 hours of entertainment!

 2nd best drama of the week : Rupert Murdoch at the Leveson Inquiry. He really said nothing of much note during his two days on the stand but this was the best example you could get of sub-text. His burning contempt for the whole set-up, his defiance, his determination to deflect the blame onto the shoulders of anyone who wasn’t a Murdoch, shone through every word and gesture. Appalling but compelling. And what’s the betting he has the last laugh? I’m sure Jeremy Hunt thinks he already has…like ‘The Godfather’ but more chilling…a wonderful example of how seemingly tedious dialogue can actually produce a great scene – it’s about the story, about what’s really going on under the surface, not necessarily about what is actually said.

 The Syndicate – was it good? Hmm. It had some great moments. But for me it was essentially plot-driven rather than character-driven. I felt a little bit manipulated by it rather than completely involved. OK so who am I to be telling Kay Mellor how to do it? But what it said to me was: let your characters dictate your story not the other way round.

A film I caught up with last week, one of those many excellent films of which all trace disappears within about 10 days of its initial UK theatrical release, The Messenger – really strong premise \ set-up. Excellent acting by Woody Harrelson, Steve Buscemi, Samantha Morton. And a great script. Bleak, but compelling.

 It’s true though – so many good feature films disappear without trace in the UK – superseded by so much multiplex pap. The UK distribution system needs a serious shake-up in my humble opinion!

 

INTERN NEEDED

 I’m looking to hire a part-time marketing/PR intern, someone to help promote the screenwriting and pitching courses I run with screenwriter Phil Gladwin.

 We’ve been promoting the courses ourselves so far, and though it’s been fun, it’s not really our area of expertise. We’re going to be doing courses every couple of months, and we want someone to work alongside us on the marketing.

 We think this means that, among other things, you will be:

 – Based in the UK, preferably in or around London so we can meet semi-regularly.

 – Able to give us a regular, sensible, witty, informative presence on social media.

 – Happy to liaise with our existing publicity partners.

 – Capable of getting us regular press coverage in traditional press/media.

 – Able to research partnership and funding opportunities.

 We’ve got ideas, but we also want to hear your perspective.

 If you’re interested then email me before 5th May:

 Philip.shelley@script-consultant.co.uk

 Include a CV with work experience and background, interests, and some links to relevant work you may have done.

Generally we’re looking for a creative, active person, rather than a Blue Chip CV. We’re most interested in hearing about any existing public profiles you have helped build, or finance you have helped raise.

If you’re one of the likely candidates we’ll ask to meet you for a coffee in central London. At that meeting we’ll give you a particular task to see how you manage it.

After seeing what happens with that we’ll select the best candidate to go forward.

Our next courses

 ‘The Authoritative Guide To Writing And Selling A Great Screenplay‘ London June 16-17,

 ‘How To Pitch‘ London June 30th.

 http://www.script-consultant.co.uk/training/

 

 Until next week,

 Happy Writing!

 Phil

 

Phil Shelley

April 27th 2012

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