London Screenwriters' Festival

Archive for the ‘Q&A’ Category

Comedy Is A.Mann’s World: Q&A With Andrea Mann

Posted on: March 14th, 2011 by Anton No Comments

Only a few weeks ago, Andrea Mann was an aspiring writer looking for a break. Now, she’s making waves at BBC radio comedy – spinning heads with her rapid rise. Read our inspiring in-depth Q&A with Andrea to see how she succeeded and how our very own Screenwriters’ Festival played a big part.

Tell us about your background before becoming a comedy writer.
I worked as a cinema manager, then a stand-up comedy promoter and then an interactive TV manager before redundancy gave me the kick up the butt to pursue a career as a ‘creative’ myself and not just facilitate the fruits of other creative people’s labour.  So I took the leap into being a professional singer (I’d been doing jazz open mic slots for a while) and while I became a freelance writer on the web to pay the rent, I actually came to realise that I love writing as much as I love making music.

When the recession kicked in, I had to take an office-based freelance job editing the homepage of a big internet provider – choosing which news stories to cover on there, writing headlines and such. For a long time, this felt like a Boring But Necessary Day Job – but actually, it’s served as the perfect environment for writing topical comedy, as I’ve never been so well-informed about current affairs! I still gig, but less so – as I want to concentrate my efforts on a writing, rather than music, career now, and realised I couldn’t have the success I wanted with my feet still firmly planted in both camps. (more…)

Paul Bassett Davies: He’s Not A Lumberjack, But He *Is* OK

Posted on: March 3rd, 2011 by Lucy V Hay No Comments

So we thought we’d let you know all about Paul – no, not the alien in the camper van on the road with Simon Pegg, but  The London Comedy Writers’ Festival’s new creative director, Paul Bassett Davies.  Lucy V caught up with him to discuss radio, The Magic Roundabout, naked boy scouts and women’s shoes… Enjoy!


You’ve worked for radio a lot. Does this mean you don’t have “a face for TV” – and which radio play or commercial was your fave and why?

There’s a lot that works better on radio than on TV. Like nudity, for example. But I love radio because it’s such a creative medium and it’s more fun than TV. People in TV, especially TV comedy, tend to take themselves very seriously. When you do radio you suspect that probably no one is listening, or they’re doing the ironing or something, so you’re a bit more relaxed. I try to take my work very seriously but not necessarily myself. If you’re asking which of my own radio plays is my favourite it’s one called The Ancient Mariner’s Wife or possibly one about Coleridge and Wordsworth called Spy Nozy and the Poets which was based on strange but true events. (more…)

Bring It On: Making LSWF A Success

Posted on: October 10th, 2010 by Lucy V Hay 9 Comments

Because it's not ALL about you...

So the fab Neal Romanek has asked this question via Twitter:

“It’s OUR fest – what do WE do to make The London Screenwriters’ Festival the biggest success possible?”

I think this is a great question. Too often writers go to an event thinking it’s all about them *personally* – I’ve been guilty of it, myself. However thinking of others as well is just as profitable to the individual too, if not more so.

But how, you ask? Here you go: (more…)

Don’t Tax Yourself

Posted on: September 26th, 2010 by Lucy V Hay 6 Comments

I’ve been asked about tax this week by three different people, so thought I would address this issue on the blog.

When people are looking to make the jump from employment to self employment, they often say they’re scared of the paperwork involved – and the notion of the taxman and the tax return can be very daunting. After all, we’ve all heard the horror stories – like your Mum’s mate’s son who didn’t add it all up properly and got whacked with a humungous tax bill, or the recent furore in the news about HMRC’s OWN mistakes.

But in reality, doing all the paperwork for your accounts couldn’t actually be easier. And if I can do it, anyone can:

1) First, (more…)

Work it, Baby: Networking at the LSWF

Posted on: September 18th, 2010 by Lucy V Hay 20 Comments

The lovely Rosie asks:

“What type of things/stuff/ideas to people take to the LSF? I’m sure people won’t want to leave with armfuls of scripts, so how prepared should I be? Treatments? Loglines? Synopsis? Or just talking about my scripts/stories with conviction and passion? I have business cards.”

As we all know, writing is not just about the actual writing; it’s about getting “out there” and selling not only your scripts, but YOU, the writer. You need to create a great first impression, make *that* producer or director WANT to work with you. It’s as hard as it sounds – but the things you need to remember are deceptively simple:

1) DO: remember your business cards. If you don’t have any, shame on you. This is the VERY LEAST you need in “working” the room. Try and ensure (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 ‘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’: Tim Clague

Posted on: August 4th, 2010 by Lucy V Hay No Comments

Tim ClagueTim Clague is a BAFTA-nominated scriptwriter and has written and directed films for the UK Film Council, the BBC and ITV. Tim also writes for video games, most notably the best-selling APB.

He is the creator of the hugely popular Mr Vista, a web series with over 1 million hits on YouTube alone, and recently launched a screenwriting podcast with Danny Stack.

Check out Tim’s bio page and his insightful ideas on his website, like his animated resumé. You can also zoom over to his blog for more.  Here’s his Q&A: (more…)

London Screenwriters’ Festival ‘Beyond the Bio’: Deva Palmier

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

DevaOriginally trained as an actress, Deva Palmier is a multi-award-winning writer/director and founder of the ICA Lab, which grew from the development assistance she received from her mentor Gurinda Chada under the Guiding Lights scheme in 2006/7.

She is currently developing three feature films and is midway through a five year documentary project.

To learn more about Deva you can click through to her bio page.  Here’s her Q&A: (more…)