Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Rocliffe Notes - A Professional Approach For Screenwriters

Darling ones,

this excellent book is slightly different to its fellows in the Creative Essentials canon in that Farah Abushwesha has included many words of wisdom from eminent people in the film industry. In this way the book acts (certainly for me) as a go-to manual when I'm stuck on anything. As Farah says in the introduction, her book is a compendium of the many different routes a writer or writer-director might take to get into the film industry.
I also liked reading about Farah's own journey as a writer/producer. Her down to earth, humorous approach to the process of finding yourself as a writer is a million miles away from more mystical tomes on the subject. To say that the book is exhaustive is an understatement! From ideas to creating an online presence to understanding the festival process - it's all here. Anyone who has had the pleasure of meeting her in her official capacity at the Bafta Rocliffe New Writing Forum will recognise her style. Informal in tone but also bang on the money in terms of the reality of film, what is also clear is her passion for writing and writers. An indispensable addition to the writer's bookshelf.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

London Screenwriters' Festival 2015

Darling ones,

I am live-tweeting as many sessions as I can and catching up with friends. I will be using an iShine Power Bank 5200mAh to aid me in this fell purpose... #LondonSWF

Hopefully see some of you there!

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Udemy infographic

Darling ones,

here's an interesting infographic about screenwriting from the lovely people at Udemy - thanks Samantha! Check their site out here!

Wednesday, 23 September 2015


Darling ones,

it's been my gory pleasure to read many short stories entered for the Twisted50 initiative over at Create50. You can submit up to three drafts of your bone-chilling/disgusting/spooky/sick story and redraft according to your peers' feedback on your glorious prose. But hurry - Cristina and I are soon to draw up a shortlist with which to entice a publisher!

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Thumbs of Fire!

Darling ones,

not long ago I had the pleasure of attending Lucy V Hay's two-day course on script reading. Myself and the very lovely Michelle Goode live-tweeted the whole shebang. You can read what we tweeted here. And it got me to thinking that I'd like to do some more of that. So, if you have a film or writing event that you'd like live-tweeted, get in touch. No charge, just get me a ticket.

Friday, 10 July 2015

Review: Writing and Selling Drama Screenplays by Lucy V Hay

If, like me, you have the good fortune to know Lucy personally, or you’ve had the sense to check out her excellent Bang2Write blog, you’ll know that she’ll have no truck with jargon or unnecessary mystification of the dark art of screenwriting. This book cuts - as ever - to the chase, decoding the elusive drama film. I must confess I’m more of a genre freak than I realised! I haven’t actually seen that many drama films, shying away perhaps from the emphasis on emotion and internal conflict.
Lucy lays out the difference between dramas and other genres in a friendly humorous way that doesn’t make your eyes bleed. I think her exhortation to make a character’s life challenging rather than full of unmitigated misery is the thing that stands out for me. Also the way in which she identifies the various types of drama story and how to write good, believable characters without resorting to clich├ęd stereotypes.
I particularly enjoyed the case studies, some of which I’d seen and some not. I watched ‘Hours’ and ‘Blue Valentine’ with Lucy’s words very much fresh in my mind. I also admired the unflinching way in which she acknowledges that it is difficult to write a great drama script that producers will want to make, but she is also endlessly encouraging to the writer. Like I said earlier, she demystifies the process.
In keeping with the other titles in the Creative Essentials series, this is a book for writers at every stage of their development and is a must-read for anyone finding their way through the financial maze of production. I think film students will find it very approachable, due to its common sense. Lucy writes about drama as though she’s sitting in the room talking to you about it, and you can’t get better than that.