Last weekend saw the latest running of our ‘Authoritative Guide to Writing & Selling A Great Screenplay‘ course in London. Once again, it was a lot of fun and we’ve again received a lot of great feedback. We’ve now scheduled two further courses for January & March 2013 – and you can see the testimonials from this course and our previous courses, as well as in-depth information about what the course involves and how to book here –
Details about our SPECIAL GUESTS for both of these courses will follow shortly!
One of the subjects raised by a delegate on last weekend’s course and addressed very interestingly by our Special Guest, literary agent Matthew Bates (Sayle Screen) was whether it is a good idea for a budding screenwriter to do a Screenwriting BA \ MA.
From my POV – there are undoubtedly some very good courses out there. But the conclusion we came to was that you’re not getting to get writing gigs based on where you went to university OR indeed based on the fact that you studied screenwriting at university.
There are some courses with very strong reputations – the TV scriptwriting course at De Montfort University, Leicester, writing and producing courses at Royal Holloway College, University of London, screen \ script – writing courses at Bournemouth University, Edinburgh Napier University, Bolton, East Anglia, Bath Spa…in fact it’s an increasingly long list. And an increasingly tough business for the various courses to attract the relatively small pool of budding screenwriters with the money to spend on one of their courses.
Where these courses can help – if you can afford it – is in giving you the formal structure and discipline to enable you to write a number of scripts which you may not have found the space and time to write if you hadn’t got the course and its deadlines. Courses like the Leicester DMU course also enable you to make a number of useful industry contacts (I’m speaking there in March 2013!).
But we did come to the conclusion that there is at least ONE course in the UK where the writers do attract the attention of the film and TV industry. This is the 2 year screenwriting MA at the National Film and Television School. For graduates, they hold readings in the West End which are always packed with industry people – and they have a track record of many of their writers finding agents before they graduate.
One of their graduates was on this year’s Channel 4 screenwriting course and was outstanding (Don’t blush Gina).
One of the big things you should look at if considering doing a BA or MA in scriptwriting is the track record of previous graduates. The NFTS list of graduates is very impressive.
This is a growing area in the way new screenwriters can build a portfolio \ career – and I would love to hear more from all of you about YOUR EXPERIENCES – if you’ve done one of these courses and rate it highly, please let me know. I’d love to pass this information on and be able to inform screenwriters more fully of the realistic options open to them.
Finally, 2 things –
a link that was sent to me in the wake of last week’s newsletter and my Nick Clegg link, that will hopefully raise a smile!
‘Talking of political satire – did you see the Mitt Romney redub clip Armando Iannucci used? http://youtu.be/e9L9A1IMTQo (maybe you were in the audience 😉‘
And a reminder not to forget to apply for my ‘Creating Drama Series’ Script Lab at this year’s London Screenwriter’s Festival Oct 26 -28. Details here –
Until next week
All the best
Sept 29th 2012