Saturday, 9 June 2012

My Day at Elstree

I’ve returned from my sojourn to the Big Smoke and my visit to Elstree Studios where I was fortunate enough to attend a workshop run by James Moran and Dan Turner, organised by Studio Five.

This eight hour workshop – whose contents I won’t divulge, you can just go and pay to attend their next session – was engaging, interactive and extraordinarily informative for someone looking to break into the TV/Film writing business.  I think I learnt more practical tactics for advancing myself as a writer than I did during my whole two year M.A.  And I paid a fortune for that.  This was just £40.  A flipping steal if you ask me.  And they were funny too.

What I will say about the workshops contents was that it was divided into how best to generate ideas for a script you’re developing in the first half, and the second half examining how best to put your ideas out there into the market place and how you sell them (and yourself) when someone’s mad enough to bite.

The session I attended was the first this they’ve run – but there will be more (keep an eye on their websitefor details of the next session).  It was attended by people on the same path as me, all at roughly the same level, and the conversations we had in the bar during, and after, were fascinating, enlightening and reassuring.  They were really smart, keen and talented (if a little insane - you really don't want to know about the Princess Diana and Camilla zombie wrestling match suggestion.)  It really helps keep the crazies at bay if you know others are treading the same path, that you’re not stumbling about blindly in the dark.

I feel doubly blessed because I got a solid, workable feature film outline from the workshop as well – which James Moran very kindly said was his favourite from all the ideas generated by the other writers in attendance – that I think, once I’ve finished up the BBC Wales Drama Award entry I might just begin writing.

So a cracking day out in Elstree, followed by a morning being a tourist in London.  I wandered the South Bank, walked around the edge of the Houses of Parliament, saw Downing Street, and finally Trafalgar Square.   I say I was being a tourist… I was actually walking the paths the female lead of my novel walks in the opening pages of the novel I’m finishing up.  I wanted to see what she would actually see.  Stand where she actually stands.  It was rather disconcerting, seeing the world in this way.

Finally, I heard back from the Dead Roots anthology.  They’ve passed on my script.  I understand.  I know they’ve been inundated with scripts and that not everyone is going to make the final cut.  But I’m glad they at least liked it enough to consider it, and I had fun working out how to write in comic book form.  I’ll certainly be buying a copy of the anthology when it comes out.

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