London Screenwriters' Festival

Archive for August, 2010

Rejection: Get Over It and Get On

Posted on: August 31st, 2010 by Lucy V Hay 2 Comments

Rejection is something every writer must get used to, not just newbies. Even the likes of Tony Jordan, Steven Moffatt, Shane Black, Joss Whedon, *insert your favourite writer here* gets rejected. It’s just the way of it – there simply is not enough money or space to include EVERYONE’S work, so it’s inevitable that even very good projects will fall by the wayside.

This is why I get angry when I hear writers doing one another down: “What’s s/he EVER done??” Just because you haven’t seen someone’s name on the credits or a DVD box does not mean they “haven’t been doing anything”… If you’re a professional writer, you know there’s every chance the writer in question HAS been writing – even been paid for it! – it’s just not made it out of development or distribution hell. We all hear the horror stories: the writer whose treatment gets optioned, but the feature gets dashed at the last minute because of a lack of funding for the whole thing; the team who develops a fantastic new drama series at a network, only for the very LAST  Yes man/woman to say “no”. The team that MAKES a whole TV pilot or feature but can’t get it picked up anywhere. It’s not unusual – and the last thing those hard-working people need is their peers questioning their efforts. (more…)

Learn How To Write Your Screenplay At The London Screenwriters’ Festival 2010… first event is a success!

Posted on: August 26th, 2010 by Anton No Comments

MetFilmOn Monday night, the first event of The London Screenwriters’ Festival took place at the Met Film School.

While the festival is for professional screenwriters, we know that emerging talent could also get a huge amount from it too. As such, we have designed a specific thread through the festival, tailored to the needs of new writers. This will be about 25% of the whole festival content, the remaining sessions being targeted at pro writers.

So on Monday night… we held the first of six screenwriting workshops at the Met Film School, this one run by Claire Moorsom who has over ten years experience as a development executive. There are five sessions left now and if you would like to come to them, there are still three places. Drop me a line here and I will give you a special discount code that will drop the £299 ticket price down.

OK so here is some feedback from last nights first session…

‘I have learned much from Claire’s candid insight – it’s often the small glimpses that lead to the big a-has. Her homework is now ordered from LoveFilm and I have a dozen Premises to play with – Eight from a simple photo of a family on a lawn in front of a house. I know the genres I am happy with. So as you say, onwards and upwards, towards the 120th page.’
Matt Davis

‘…the first session was really intensive and I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t just a brief half hour seminar outlining the obvious. I think the course as a whole will prove to be quite valuable and challenging. As for my own personal aims – I’m hoping the course will help me through my feature film 2nd draft by bringing me back to some essential and effective principles. I’d also like to meet some influential people at the festival who may be looking to produce my kind of work or at least make some good contacts for the future – I’m also hoping to submit some of my work for the competitions you have running with the aim of adding to my portfolio or showcasing my work. Thanks again for the package of screenwriting seminars.’
Carla G.

Stuart Wright

‘The Scriptwriter’s workshop at the Met School was a positive start to the festival. A welcome chance to meet new fellow writers and it’ll be really great on day 1 of the festival to know I’ll see familiar faces. The exercises to get us thinking were really productive’
Stuart Wright

‘I thought it was great, Claire did a fantastic job. It was very useful and I’m looking forward to next week.’

‘informative, friendly, and was much more than I had hoped for. I got some useful practical tips on brainstorming ideas, not to mention a really good understanding of how much more practice I need at writing a great premise… looking forward to the next session!

Steve Turnbull‘Valuable and useful’
Steve Turnbull
Blog review here

Remember, with your ticket you will get full access to the remaining five workshops as well as the three day festival in October, but you must sign up now. Link here.

And there is more info on the AMAZING speakers at the festival here…

Onwards and upwards!

Chris Jones, Film Maker and Author

Good Roles for Women: Where Are They?

Posted on: August 25th, 2010 by Lucy V Hay 3 Comments

After a lively debate on Twitter yesterday, it was largely agreed that female actors, particularly “older” ones (though a general consensus seemed these actresses could be as young as 32!!) got a raw deal when it comes to “good” roles.

Where are all the good characters, played by women? Whilst the debaters posited there were still some good roles available on television – Damages, Ashes to Ashes, NCIS and UK soap opera were all raised – there seems a complete dearth on the silver screen, particularly in the last 5-10 years. In fact, one producer, Zahra Zomorrodian of FNA films felt so strongly, she even threw down the gauntlet, inviting female writers with a “microbudget script and plot-driven female bias” to submit their specs to her by 31.12.2010 (for this opportunity, please contact Zahra on jazadATfnsfilmsDOTcoDOTuk, not LSWF please).

But what *is* a GOOD role for a female actress? (more…)

London Screenwriters’ Festival Guest Blog: ‘Yes, I’m A Writer’

Posted on: August 18th, 2010 by Lucy V Hay 1 Comment

by The Kid In The Front RowI'm a writer!

When someone asks, “What do you do?” the answer is, “I’m a screenwriter.” Any other answer and you’re letting yourself down.

If you don’t identify yourself as a writer, then you’re hiding a big part of who you are. ‘I’ll call myself a writer as soon as I sell a script,’ or ‘I’m a writer as soon as I leave this job’ — they might sound logicial; but you’re saying you’re not good enough to be a writer yet. (more…)

London Screenwriters’ Festival ‘Beyond the Bio’: Gub Neal

Posted on: August 16th, 2010 by Lucy V Hay No Comments

Gub NealGub Neal has just about done it all – he’s produced Emmy-winning drama (‘Prime Suspect’), co-created much-adored series (‘Cracker‘), been Head of Drama at a prestigious UK TV channel (Channel 4) and is now the Creative Director of Artists Studio.

Read more about Gub and his credits on his bio page, but first find out how he dealt with our testing Q&A after the jump:


London Screenwriters’ Festival ‘Beyond the Bio’: Deborah Haywood

Posted on: August 13th, 2010 by Lucy V Hay 1 Comment

Deborah HaywoodDeborah Haywood is a rapidly up-and-coming writer-director and 2007 Screen International ‘Star of Tomorrow’. She has directed three shorts and is currently developing a pair of features while enjoying the success of her short film ‘Sis‘ at the Rushes Soho Shorts film festival last month.

To read more about Deborah, visit her London Screenwriters’ Festival bio page and check out the website for ‘Sis‘ after you’ve checked out her thoughts from our grilling.


London Screenwriters’ Festival Guest Blog: Tomorrow, Next Year, In Another Life

Posted on: August 12th, 2010 by Lucy V Hay No Comments

by The Kid In The Front Row

time slips awayYou’ve woken up. You’re breathing. Your arms are working. This is the day you’re starting your screenplay.

But wait; you’ve got to go into the office for that big meeting and you have to look after your cousin’s kids later. Okay, tomorrow you are starting your screenplay.


London Screenwriters’ Festival ‘Beyond the Bio’: Stuart Hazeldine

Posted on: August 9th, 2010 by Lucy V Hay 1 Comment

Stuart HazeldineStuart Hazeldine is one of a select few British screenwriters who make a living writing for Hollywood blockbusters while residing in the UK.  With huge movies like ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’ and ‘Knowing’ on his CV, Stuart is clearly a great advert for what we can all achieve from these shores if we want it enough.

This year Stuart released his directorial debut, the mesmerising ‘Exam‘.  He is currently working on an adaptation of ‘The Tripods’ for director Alex Proyas.

Read more about Stuart here, right after you check out his answers to our Q&A: (more…)

London Screenwriters’ Festival ‘Beyond the Bio’: Jurgen Wolff

Posted on: August 6th, 2010 by Lucy V Hay No Comments

Jurgen Wolff is a successful screenwriter, author and script doctor with credits including ‘Relic Hunter’ and ‘Family Ties’.  He has written or co-written four books on various aspects of screenwriting and is the founder and webmaster of

You can find out more about Jurgen on his bio page.  Here’s what he had to say when we threw our Q&A at him: (more…)

London Screenwriters’ Festival Guest Blog: Are We There Yet?

Posted on: August 5th, 2010 by Lucy V Hay No Comments

by David Bishop

David BishopI bumped into a friend earlier today who congratulated me on getting my second script commission for Doctors. “You’re really getting there,” she said. I immediately disagreed, but thanked her for the kind words and hurried away.

Setting aside the feeble inability to accept a compliment, my reaction left me pondering. Am I really getting there? Am I there yet? Where is this mythical land of milk and honey called ‘There’ that so many writers strive for? (more…)