Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Other Cheltenham Festival

The Screenwriters Festival is coming, which will mean drunken screenwriters wandering the streets of Cheltenham unsupervised. Actually that my have just been Mr. Arnopp last year. I heard rumours of a bottle of whisky being consumed, but I'm sure that's all lies knowing what a sober person Jason is.

The Festival takes place in Cheltenham from Tuesday 1st to Thursday 3rd July 2008.

After a disappointing experience the first year I decided not attend in 2007. I now regret this, as whatever failings the festival had in 2006 everyone I've spoken to has said 2007 was much improved. They've done away with the beginners days this year and provided all writers, of all levels, with three days of networking and seminars.

Am I going? I've got to. I can't afford to let another year slip by, I have to be there to pimp myself and my work. So I intend to go fully ladened to the festival, with copies of my CV, outlines, series bibles and scripts; not to mention a bucket load of business cards. I'm gonna chat my arse off for three days, just plonk myself down uninvited next to people and charm my way into their thoughts.

Any networking tips will be gratefully received.


Lucy V said...

Getting to know people, swapping business cards, email addresses, chatting about common interests, pitching ideas when ASKED is good. Loads of writers think thrusting their work into the faces of producers is the way to go -- it's really not IMHO. Not saying this is what you intend Dom btw but handing out random outlines/scripts/slips of paper is makes the writer look over eager at best and at worst, unprofessional. All the best leads I've ever got have started because I was having a "normal" conversation [within the realms of "we both know why we're here"], not doing the weird "Look at meeeeeeeeeee" scriptdance. Which I have done, to lacklustre results. Though rumours I was nude whilst doing the scriptdance are grossly exaggerated.

potdoll said...

I wouldn't give out outlines and stuff either Dom. Just swap business cards and then send a follow up email asking if they would be interested in seeing some of your work.

Good luck! Still not sure if I'm going or not... the agony of decision making!

Jason Arnopp said...

The festival environment makes networking about as easy as it gets. People will generally be just as curious about who you are, and what you do, as the other way around. Of course, we screenwriters then have to suffer the odd bout of badly-disguised disappointment when we revealed that we're not higher up the food chain... :)

Gareth Michael Turpie said...

As it looks like I won't be there, (unless the C4 pitch works out!), you could always give out my business cards and pitch my ideas Dom.

Then, obviously, the producers would realise what a wonderful, selfless human being you are and send a limo to pick up up your full portfolio which they would then immediately start to film.

Just a thought...

Gareth Michael Turpie said...

Down to you and those cards, mate.

My Pitch bombed with 1490 others!

Best of luck to the 10 who got through.

Did you pitch for this, Dom?

How'd you do?

Dominic Carver said...

I bombed too :-( Looks like I'll have to pay for my ticket.