So I was at the launch do for the Screenwriters’ Festival last night. This was actually the second launch. We reckon they can probably fit one more in before the festival itself, which is October 26th to 29th.
In addition to a glass of free wine (which always cheers me up) and some starspotting in the BAFTA bar, we got to see a few people talk including a couple of agents, two writers who are at the end of the beginning of their careers (or possibly the beginning of the middle), and Christopher Hampton.
The common theme running through all of these presentations was this though: it takes hard work to be successful. A lot of it.
Christopher Hampton hasn’t done too badly for himself. And he’s got a pretty good hit-rate for features – fully one in three of the films he’s written has actually been made.
Both of the new writers are several features plus change (sitcoms, dramas, etc.) written before starting to get any traction at all. And even now they’re only just starting to emerge from the fray.
So: Work hard. Repeat until successful.
The helpful advice is all really in aid of promoting the festival, though. I mean, that’s what a launch is for. And what you really want to know is: is it worth the cash?
In my opinion, yes. I’ve been for the last few years, and I’d say there’s two main reasons to go.
Firstly, there’s getting to hear from writers who make a living at this. A lot of them, in the same place at the same time. Learning what they did right and wrong helps you to avoid the mistakes they made and make brand new ones of your own.
Secondly you get to hang around with other writers at the same stage as you are. It’s as much of a social event as it is a learning one. And to be honest, that’s the most useful thing of all.
Other bloggers were at the event too, and I’m sure they’ll chuck in their two’pennorth over the next few days. As of right now, the only post available is at Phill’s place. It has the advantage over this one in that it also contains a diagram of sperm.
If you’re thinking of going, don’t forget that you can get funding from your local screen agency.
Hope to see you there.