Thursday, November 04, 2010

London Screenwriters' Festival 2010 - Day 2

I woke up, or at least I got up, the next day and dragged myself onto the tube to arrive in time for the first session of the day - The Hour Of Power. It was a strange session which involved a lot of audience participation, jumping up and down, saying hello to people you hadn't yet met, writing down your goals for the festival and life, but it did wake me up and more importantly fire me up for the rest of the day.

Then came Getting An Agent And Beyond. This is something I've been trying to do for the last three years to no avail. I really enjoyed this session a lot, as it was full of very helpful advice. Now I know why I don't have an agent and what I've done wrong in the past when approaching them. I won't be making those mistakes again. Lesson learnt. Researching the agent and agency is very important, you don't want to send a drama to an agent who focuses is comedy. The best advice of the session was not to rush yourself and be polite and professional at all times.

I took the next session off to do some more networking, but after lunch I was back in my seat for Writing Soaps, another truly insightful session. I learned that writing soaps is steady money, if you're good at it, and can be fun when you get into a room of fellow writers to storyline. It is also a very demanding job and can have some very short deadlines, so can be quite pressurised at times. Writing for soaps is different from normal scriptwriting as there are very few jump cuts used, so it's often difficult for a soap writer to get back into working in other areas.

Lastly for me came Writing For Young Audiences, an extremely funny and information packed session (like all of the ones I attended). Again I learnt a lot, including the fact that children are far quicker at getting jokes and plots, and that they are so less forgiving than adults if they watch something bad or boring. I even went to the script chat after to ask further questions of the very lovely Mr Andy Briggs, who was more than happy to give his time so others like myself could learn (as well as Gale Renard and Chris Hill who were equally lovely).

Then it was down to the bar, three pints and a bloody good time chatting to everyone I bumped into. Everyone was having fun networking that night even if there were a few sore heads the next morning. More business cards from valuable contacts and generally lovely people landed in my pocket throughout the night.

The things I learnt on day 2: It's OK to have a few drinks (four at the most) and network, if others are doing the same. Don't approach agents until your writing is ready.

Someone asked me if I will be posting my session notes? I may well do, but you'll just have to wait and see.

Day 3: coming soon.

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