London Screenwriters Festival – Day one

I Started off seeing – Tim Bevan in conversation with Michael Gubbins. A very interesting potted history of Working Title going from My Beautiful Launderette to Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – and there was me thinking they only produced Richard Curtis/Bridget Jones/ Rom-coms and Bean movies. Tim Bevan also talked about the Film Councils demise and how he thought this was a regretable decision (which he would as he ran it) but he’s yet to hear from Jeremy Hunt what the alternative is going to be.

Then I saw – in conversation with Gub Neal ( ex C4 – now an indie producer) and Ben Stephenson (drama commissioner for the BBC) . It was interesting to hear about how the commissioning process worked at the various TV channels and what they looked for. Both had good things to say about the state of TV drama.

Then I went to Kate Leys workshop on script editing and process. Which had some good tips on script development – I have written up in another post.

Then meet the BBC writers room – which was all about finding your voice, and also about BBC writers room submission process. By this time my brain was pretty fried.

The day ended with Chris Jones interviewing John August over skype. It was slightly surreal seeing this projection of a big talking head from LA , Chris said it was rather like the Wizard of Oz. John had interesting things to say about working practices and being a Hollywood writer. I am already an avid reader of his blog and think he gives good down to earth advice.

Finally ended with a drink in the bar and met a few more delegates. Everyone seems very friendly and open to chat. I have met quite a few people already. A good – if mind frying first day!

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