WRITING & SELLING A GREAT SCREENPLAY
My two day screenwriting course with Phil Gladwin, running in London on the weekend of Oct 10-11 with guest speaker ESTHER SPRINGER (Head of Development, BBC DRAMA).
This is my last newsletter before my summer break – a break from writing my weekly blog, but not from reading scripts! – as I have a bit of a script backlog that has built up over the last few months of my script-editing course tour and the 2015 Channel 4 screenwriting course. If you’re due to receive script feedback from me – it will be with you shortly!
As above, we are now booking for our 2PHILS WRITING & SELLING A GREAT SCREENPLAY course on Oct 10-11 in London.
The last version of this course that we ran was in May, and was the first time we’d done the course for almost two years. We were both reminded how much we enjoyed running this course. And we both feel bullish about its virtues. And we also got a load of really generous, positive testimonials from the May screenwriters. If you’ve been mulling over whether to sign up, hopefully these will give you a nudge –
‘I learnt so much on this course – it really helped me understand how I can structure my writing process and taught me so many valuable lessons in how to develop plot, character and good dialogue not to mention practical tips like how to network without feeling awful. Both Phils have such a wealth of experience and are so approachable and supportive they really create an environment where you feel you can discuss and develop your ideas. You leave feeling you have an invaluable support network – essential for any writer.’
Sian Harries (writer, MAN DOWN, C4)
‘I can’t recommend this course enough. Fantastic value for money. Well managed, packed with information, anecdotes and practical advice. Above all, the two Phils share their passion for stories and create a warm and inclusive atmosphere. A mix of new and established writers, a great new network of writers to touch base with. What’s not to like?’
‘What a weekend. Several days later and I’m still catching my breath. The Two Phils screenwriting course is a true gem, and unlike anything else I’ve seen or experienced out there. It combines honest, frank and generous insight into not just the craft of screenwriting, but also the business. From two great people that are in the business. This is a rare thing, and for any screenwriter, aspiring or otherwise, this course represents an invaluable opportunity that’s worth grabbing with both hands.’
‘I dithered about whether to sign up to this course – partly because of the money – but now I just wish I’d signed up years ago. It’s a brilliant mixture of craft and industry savoir-faire, which makes you realise how much both aspects combined are important to a writer. And it’s money well spent.
One of the best things about the course was the non-competitive, supportive atmosphere the two Phils managed to establish, which allowed us to be much more creative, and to share ideas, pitches, uncertainties and advice quite openly.
The mix of writing/collaborating exercises and guidance on structure was inspiring – I came away bursting with ideas and the desire to start writing, and I know many of us felt the same way. All of it was offered, not imposed, and all of it was greedily lapped up by us all.
The sympathetic manner in which we were encouraged to start getting serious about making contacts and putting ourselves and our work out there was just as galvanizing. It was particularly effective coming from people who understand all the feelings of reticence, discomfort, even terror that the words ‘network’ and ‘sell yourself’ inspire. Again, the positivity was so encouraging – to be reminded that the industry is not a faceless, hostile, closed shop, but instead full of human beings – and nice ones at that – who might one day enjoy reading your script.’
I found the course hugely enjoyable and informative. I met some interesting, highly talented people and heard some interesting stories and pitches. The course left me feeling inspired and bursting with ideas. I’ve got a lot of work to do, but at least I know what it is I need to do. It was fascinating to listen and learn from people who work in the business and know the process first hand. I can recommend this course to anyone with an interest in writing screenplays.
‘A highly energised and motivational weekend. Great insight into all components of the screenwriting, including craft as well as shedding light on the business side too. A great catalyst for my screenwriting career and current projects too.
Thanks for a great weekend, really enjoyed it.
‘Informative, stimulating and packed with real world examples and exercises, this Two Phil’s course covered a huge amount of ground from character creation through story development to pitching. With guest speaker Julia Tyrrell’s invaluable take on the world of the agent and the Phils’ own tips and insights flavouring every session, the two days were real value for money. Highly recommended!’
Thanks again for a terrific weekend.
‘Thank you again for such a great weekend. Screenwriting is something which I really enjoy and that I also want to do professionally.I picked this course as I’ve heard Philip Shelley speak a few times and I read his blog every week with interest. I thought that a two day course would allow me to really immerse myself into this world and meet people who are also in the same boat.
I ended up coming away with more than I could imagine and a sense of achievement and belief in my own work and how I will take it forward.
This course is essential for anyone who is interested in pursuing their career in screenwriting. I can honestly say it’s one of the most enjoyable and interesting courses I have ever been on.’
‘The 2 Phil’s Guide to Screenwriting weekend course was hugely enjoyable and informative. Everything Philip Shelley and Philip Gladwin promised to cover was covered in depth and detail – from how to repeatedly come up with ideas for an industry that demands a constant supply, through to a study of sub-text. It was really interesting to learn Phil Gladwin’s journey as a scriptwriter because it really brought home the importance of connecting with others in the industry, something I think we all took home with us.
Particularly relevant to me was the verbal pitching session we did and the session on how to construct a script. Coming from a background of writing fiction I struggle not to internalize my characters’ emotions, which you just can’t get away with doing in a drama. For me, being reminded to think in images, use as little dialogue as I can get away with and always to make my antagonist the personification of whatever it is my protagonist is fighting against, rather than just an abstract idea, is something I know I will be able to work into my own writing much more easily now until it just becomes instinctive.
There was a great atmosphere in the classroom and that was a lot to do with the two Phils’ relationship – easy and respectful of each other – which rubbed off on the group and set the tone immediately for the way we all related to each other too. The after- course sessions in the pub with the two Phils were a real bonding exercise, I think we’d all agree.
Julia Tyrrell, Literary Agent, gave her time graciously and shared her experience generously. All in all a good time was had by all in a very convenient central London venue.’
‘The weekend was very fast paced and energetic – it was great to be in a room with so many creative people and to bounce ideas off each other. The two Phils were always available with insights and advice – both during class time and it the pub afterwards! I certainly learned a lot about the craft and business of screenwriting and found the course to be jam-packed and excellent value for money.’
‘The course was excellent value for money, probably the best of all the screenwriting courses I’ve been to. There was a constant flow of immediately-useful insights into both the craft and business of screenwriting, with lots of up-to-date practical examples and advice you won’t find elsewhere. The two Phils very quickly created a real sense of community within the group, as a result of which we were buzzing all weekend from sharing experiences, encouraging each other, and working together to develop ideas. I left the course massively energised about writing and much more knowledgeable and confident about taking the next steps in developing as a screenwriter.’
‘I would thoroughly recommend this course for people who want to get into film and – especially -TV writing in the UK. It is run by two people who have been deeply involved in the industry for many years. They are not just academic tutors – they are working writers, script editors and developers with loads of impressive credits. As well as receiving lots of invaluable insider info about the industry, you will do several practical exercises and have a go at pitching a project in front of the whole class (with honest, professional feedback from tutors who hear pitches every day.) You will also meet people from all walks of life who are at various points in their careers (from relative newbies like myself to people who have already acquired agents and others who already have or have had scripts in development.) These contacts could prove invaluable, as much of the industry seems to work on people helping each other and then passing on the favours down the chain (as the Phils will tell you themselves on the course.)
The two Phils are also generous with their free time after each day’s learning: Much useful information came directly during evenings in the pub with the tutors and most of the class. And, as they will tell you, this is another good introduction into how the industry ticks: You need to socialize, meet people, make contacts. Just sitting at home at your computer and writing brilliant scripts won’t swing it. This was a big wow moment for me – as I hadn’t realized quite how important this factor was. I now intend to change my behaviour a bit.
On Sunday you go home more than satisfied and carrying a thick booklet full of handouts on every aspect of the industry. This is given to you right at the start so you don’t have to make copious notes and can concentrate on listening. All in all, it’s great value to money, there are a limited amount of spaces, and it only runs a few times a year (I believe) so stop thinking about it and sign up.’
(aspiring) Screenwriter, Playwright
NB The Newsletter will return on FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 4th – until then, have a great summer,
All the best
July 31st 2015