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FROM PAGE TO PRODUCTION (1)

Why writers should learn about production


So, a screenplay is not a work of literature, it is not complete unto itself, like a novel. Although written in words, it’s not about the words. It’s a blueprint, a set of guidelines or instructions. Imagine you’re an architect and you design a brandnew building. You draw up the plans, interiors and exteriors, front, side and rear elevations, but there’s one problem. Despite your good intentions – and you may have some truly great ideas in your designs – you haven’t learned enough about what really goes into making that building real – i.e. actually constructing it. read more


FROM PAGE TO PRODUCTION (2)

Learn the Business


Money. Well who’d want that? I mean, you’ve got some great ideas, a good laptop, your flat’s a bit small maybe, but hey – you’re a writer, and you’re writing your latest and greatest screenplay. If you get it sold, success! Or even if you just get it optioned – that could pay the rent for a few months. But come on, you might think to yourself, whether I sell my script or not, I’m still a writer, as I keep telling everyone. Does it really matter if I never sell a script? read more


THE PERFECT STORY

Notes on Screenwriting


Of all the forms of storytelling (the short story, novel, stage and radio plays) the screenplay is by far the most conscious and well-described. Volumes have been written about all aspects of the craft and some people have made very successful careers out of their publications and lecture tours, each offering special insights and new angles to screenwriters. Books by Syd Fields, Chris Vogler, Linda Seger and John Truby are likely to be found on most writers’ bookshelves, and of them all Robert McKee is still probably regarded as the ultimate screenwriting guru. read more


BREAKING INTO HOLLYWOOD

Why every writer and filmmaker should go there


You’ve booked your flight, packed your outlines and scripts and dvds of your short films, you almost forgot the sun cream – and the business cards you just got printed, you’ve checked your passport and your ESTA form for your 90 day visa waiver, fed the cat and said goodbye to your envious friends.  You’re heading off to Heathrow for a visit to Dreamland – Hollywood and Los Angeles, the Mecca of filmmaking for almost a hundred years. read more



THE PERILOUS AND INVITING PATH OF FILM PRODUCTION

A guide for writers and producers


Are you a feature writer with a good idea but struggling to shape it into a script you can sell?  Are you a budding producer with a great project but frustrated and confused where to go next?

For writers and producers there are a stack of challenges that appear on the path from page to production: what are the key elements in a successful story? What makes it commercial? When do you know if a script is developed enough and ready to show to a director, actor or financier? How do you get the project funded? What are the steps all the way to completion? and what are the pitfalls producers must avoid? read more



CROSSING THE POND


Determined to make my first feature, I wrote a low-budget, small-scale sci-fi thriller, a sort of ‘UFO Blair Witch’ about young people in a remote place looking for aliens, and sent this to a good friend of mine who was studying screenwriting at UCLA in Los Angeles. He passed the script on to a producer who loved it and was himself looking for a project of that scale and budget to produce. The timing was perfect. Serendipity. Click. read more