Lock and Load very much enjoyed the whole event. There was a multiplicity of good stuff to go and see, as you have no doubt seen for yourselves from the website.
I couldn't get there on the first day but Saturday more than made up for this. I strated with 'Being a parent and a writer' workshop chaired by your own, your very own Lucy Vee of Bang2Write. There was a great address from the Amy Walker, proprietor of Media Parents who connect media professionals with jobs in an industry where employment and families are not usually seen to mix. Screenwriter Marc Pye also spoke of the poressures of raising a young family and meeting that deadline, whilst director Rachel Gatward spoke of being a single parent and combining it with a career in Theatre and TV production.
The consensus seemed to be that it is all possible but with more flexibility within the industry, that being a parent makes you very focused and oorganised about your work (and hence, better at what you do), that there is no right time to have a child, you just have to do it and that your little darlings will soon learn that if they want something, wait until mum or dad is actually writing before you ask, he/she will always agree!
Much of this resonated with me, even though my son is 19, readers of my other blog will know that he has severe learning difficulties and autism, which in some ways is in tandem with having a young child. he is a slave to his routine and rather than fighting thios, I have to comne to embrace it, thus giving me 2 or 3 hours a day in which to write.
Next up was the 'Non-linear story workshop' with Linda Aronson which I was very keen to see as Linda is one of the few female script gurus. She was no-nonsense, very down to earth, not overloaded with jargon and backed up all of her points with examples of films. Her way into the non-linear structure was to use first and second-act turning points as a springboard. It was all head-spinning, she packed a lot in. I'll definitely be getting her book '21st Century Scriptwriting.
next up, 'Writing For Low-Budget' with Elliot Grove of Raindance. Elliot spoke about his own backgorund and several low-budget movies that he knew of. Of particular interest was a version of the first Rambo film just now re-enacted with the director playing all the roles! If I can track it down on You Tube, I'll post it here. Elliot opined that sci-fi and horror done on a low budget was the way forward, which certainly inspored some heated discussion amongst delegates.
Then off to winess the ritual humiliation that is LIve Ammo! also hosted by Elliot. About twenty brave souls put their fivers in the hat and pitched theior projects to the august panel of: Emma Rozanski, Steffen Wild, Thembisa Cochrane, and Mark Peters, who not only critiqued the project's viability but also gave tips on participants' pitching styles. The overall winner was something that the assembled audience was in agreement with. It was a series about a ghosts on the underground that sounded excellent. It was a good pitch too.
The high point of the evening was the Off The Page event immediately after Live Ammo. I had submitted an extract of a new draft of PENNY DREADFUL (check out the link on the right for My Visul Pitch. The cast was assembled, the music composed, the storyboards created! Would the auduience like it? Would I like it? Well, I'm pleased to say the answer was a resounding yes. The music was suitably creepy and atmospheric, the cast were enjoying themselves, the storyboards were superb. How lucky was I that the artisst loved Victorian London so much? He went to town!
I think it was all filmed so hopefully I can post a link to that when it becomes available. Thence to the bar, where several memebers of the cast and crew stopped by and were kind enough to say how much they enjoyed it. Lucy was the very first script editor on an early draft of PD, so I was very glad that she saw it in its present incarnation.