Monday Starters #6

A collection of links, fun and serious, on film and culture, to start the week.

London Screenwriters’ Festival 2012 Special

See also: LFS2012 Highlights: the best tweets on writing

Character

Writers Masterclass with Angeli Macfarlane at LSF2011

Comedy Writers

That’s (not) Enough Female Comedy Writers

by LSF speaker, writer, Huffington Post comedy editor and jazz singer Andrea Mann

Digital

Write for The Digital World Phil Parker at LSF2010

Knowledge

Lucy V Hay (@Bang2write):

Things I took away from #LondonSWF, part 1: UK TV people want to hear your enthusiasm for UK shows as much as US TV. If you don’t like UK TV, ask yourself what you would change and how you’d do it differently but KNOW those UK shows you’re so quick to dismiss.

Things I took from #LondonSWF pt 2: knowing your genre + audience is about finding your project’s identity and communicating it when pitching. Know your logline – and don’t undersell it. Know “upside”: how much your project costs to make and what that return wld be for Execs and investors … What do THEY get out of it? And most of all: remember to ALWAYS tell people you’re pitching to the END of your project.

Things I took from #LondonSWF pt 3: short film isn’t just for directors trying out arty camera shots or writers doing whatever to build credits. Shorts can be real, emotional character-driven vehicles for writers to really express themselves. Characters can be memorable; themes can be complex and the storytelling out of this world. You can do things in shorts that aren’t possible in other formats – don’t play safe!

Things I took from #LondonSWF pt 4: female characters + true stories are in demand, but the same old problems rear their ugly heads … Women are frequently dead wives + girlfriends, or just the “girl character”; or they are described by their looks, their sexiness or as a “strong woman” with no indication of what this *really* means. Throw away the usual, boring labels. Women are people. WHO are they?

What I took from #LondonSWF pt 5: There are no closed doors, but you do have to open them yourself … Create those relationships and enjoy it, you’re in this for the long haul. Don’t be cynical, others can tell. Be passionate, but be realistic; don’t try to run before you can walk. We’re all learning – so listen and give more than you take. It will pay dividends.

What I took from #LondonSWF pt 6: don’t mistake a reality check for pessism. Can you recognise concrit and what it means? Can you appreciate why someone *seems* to be getting in your way? Don’t be defensive. Ask the people doing what you want to do – and don’t then tell them how it works.

What I took from #LondonSWF pt 7: ANYTHING is possible. Yes, it’s good to have an agent. Yes there are shows that don’t *normally* take entry level writers. But there are ALWAYS wild cards. You are not locked out. It’s all about relationships and great writing.

What I took from #LondonSWF pt 8: we don’t just write scripts in isolation. Don’t *just* a writer; be a creator, a writer-producer. You study your own work; no one knows it as well as you – you can sell it best. KNOW what goes in to MAKING films – know how budgets work; how important casting and the right actors are; know how funding options work.

Lucy V. Hay is a script editor, novelist and LSF organiser. Find Bang2write on Twitter (@Bang2write), Facebook and LinkedIn. Her blog is a great source for writing tips and industry advice.

Mid-point

LFS speaker, script consultant, teacher Julie Gray on those mid-points:

The Midpoint Mind-Melt

Networking

Face to face:

Networking by Hayley McKenzie (@HayleyMckenzie1)

And online (something to do between the festivals)

Networking Online – How One Screenwriter Optioned His Screenplay By Networking Online by Michael G. McLarty

Passion

Chris Jones is a filmmaker, author of The Guerilla Film Makers Handbook series, he runs filmmaking workshops, and he’s the main force behind the London Screenwriters’ Festival.

Chris on Twitter @livingspiritpix

His blog: http://www.chrisjonesblog.com

Pitfalls

20 Common Pitfalls of a Writer – a panel at LSF2011

Podcasts

UK Scriptwriters

A screenwriting podcast for screenwriters by screenwriters, hosted by Danny Stack and Tim Clague who were both speakers at the festival.

On the Page

A screenwriting podcast hosted by LSF speaker – Pilar Alessandra.

Quote

“In a Billy Wilder film, the theme is everywhere, from camera angles to costumes.”

Kate Leys, Script Editor, LSF speaker

Read more snippets from the festival here.

Reports from the festival

The London Screenwriters Festival 2012 – A life changing weekend by Craig Malpass

If anything the weekend turned my cynical perception of what ‘networking’ was from being ‘false to people you need to impress’ into the attitude of ‘making friends with people I like and want to work with in the industry I want to work in’.

London Screenwriter’s Festival Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 by Judith Cooper

– always search for the thing that gives you the edge over any other writer on a project ie what can you deliver that helps the “heart” of any project not just technical expertise.

London Screenwriters’ Festival by Steve Ince

Re-writing

On re-writing and animationJohn August at LSF 2011

Social Media

Are You a Digitalmediaholic? 

by Paul Bassett Davies – LFS Creative Director, director of Euroscript, comedy writer, social media embracer.

“For one thing, I never sit at home all day and write. I mostly sit at home all day and don’t write. And sometimes I go out and don’t write. And even when I do write, I don’t do it all day. Anyone who claims to write all day is a liar or a speedfreak, or someone scribbling scary occult gibberish on the walls of their apartment for the cops to find while they’re out committing the latest in a series of elaborate slayings based on the seven deadly sins, or the book of revelations, or some other text traditionally popular in the homicidal psychopath community. “

Treatments

Writing Treatments that Sell  by Julian Friedmann (@julianfriedmann)

Twitter

@teenierussell

Teenie Russell is a writer and Euro scriptchat moderator. Have a look at her Twitter timeline for lots of LSF goodies!

Watch

BBC and Channel 4 Drama Commissioners on individuality and genre from LSF 2010

And finally…

7 Lessons on the Creative Life from the U.S. Forest Service

from Brainpickings

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