Marc Pye - Screenwriter

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WHY SHOULD YOU LISTEN TO HIM…? Because he’s a TV writer working on shows we all know, love and recognise; plus he’s written two novels, three short films and a feature due to be released this year.  Prolific and successful – why should you listen to him?  Stupid question.

WHAT HE’S DONE… EASTENDERS, WATERLOO ROAD, THE STREET, HOLBY BLUE.

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Marc Pye has been writing for film and television for the past ten years. Amongst his television credits are EASTENDERS, HIGH ROAD, THE BILL, WATERLOO ROAD, THE ROYAL, HOLBY BLUE, ECHO BEACH, RIVER CITY, THE STREET and MOVING ON.

He is the author of two novels, LOLLIPOP and REWIRE (Sceptre) and his three short films – BALDY MCBAIN, LAST LEGS and INSTANT CREDIT all premiered at the Edinburgh International Film Festival. INSTANT CREDIT was also selected for the Newport Beach Film Festival, LA in 2004.

His first feature, ACT OF GRACE, starring Leo Gregory, David Yip and Jennifer Lim is due to be released this year and he is currently writing BETWEEN WEATHERS a feature comedy due to shoot in The Shetlands in September 2010.

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Q: What was your favourite film as a kid?
A: JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS.

Q: Who inspired you when you were starting out?

A: Alan Bleasdale / Jimmy McGovern

Q: What was your big break?

A: Working on THE STREET.

Q: What was the best day in your career?
A: There have been a few. Seeing my name for the first time on screen. I just kept rewinding it! My first book launch. Also the press launch for series 1 of THE STREET. Jimmy stood on stage, cracking jokes about all the writers. When it came to my turn I sat squirming, but he said "and Marc, well he's just brilliant." It made my night.

Q: What has been your most important lesson?
A: Never, ever, get complacent.

Q: If a niece or nephew wanted to be in the business, what would you advise them?

A: Run for the hills. No, I'd give whatever help I could but would advise them to get a career / trade behind them first because there will be lean times and they will need something to fall back on.

Q: What is the hardest part of your job and how do you overcome it?
A: The heart and soul I put on the page only for it to be met with what I can only describe as indifference. I tell myself it's their loss and move on.

Q: What do you feel is a writers’ or filmmakers' key responsibility?
A: Simply to move people, make them feel emotion. To make the hardest person cry and the most miserable person laugh.

Q: What mistakes do you see writers or film makers making over and over?
A: Genre hopping. Or not being true to genre and theme. I've read a lot of scripts that apart from having characters or goals we don't care about, start off as a comedy, turn supernatural at pg15, segue into an action movie at pg 30, hint at going down the thriller route at pg 45, then veer off into rom com before screeching to a halt with a horror finale. Or a combination of all of the above. Also formulaic writing which doesn't challenge, has no soul, tells us nothing and has no voice. Sadly the schedules still has more than it's fair share.

Q: What advice would you offer a writer?

A: Try and remain gracious, especially when you want to punch someone...