Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Loves Me Not Scripts

Loves Me Not Films have launched a new script service for writers that is just that extra bit special and it's well worth a look. The ever wonderful Steven Russell explains why below.

"Working directly with writers, we aim to provide services ranging from development notes to story lining collaboration on a specific script, assessing and analysing their targets, goals and techniques to improve their work.

What we aim to not do is stop working with a writer when we stop reading their script. Thanks to our extensive writer and producer relationships, we are able to manage a script's development directly with a writer, following up to get them read by fellow producers as well as agents and directors. We allow for a collaboration in managing and pushing forward a writer's career. Where all our services meet, we can offer the chance for producers to read scripts developed directly with our writers, scripts that show a strong story dynamic and commercial sensibilities."

You can get in touch with Steven at the following places: // 07734 212 845 // twitter @lovesmenotfilms //

Monday, July 11, 2011


Last Friday the 8th July my bleak drama Faith was announced as the winner of the Prequel to Cannes Feature Screenwriting Competition 2011, a great achievement of which I'm very proud. It got me thinking about competitions and how I've approached them in the past and I've come to a conclusion that maybe I didn't treat them with the respect I should have done.

Competition deadlines are dangerous to writers as there's a temptation to rush off any old rubbish just so you can meet that deadline and enter - you've got to be in it to win it after all...right???? In reality you're not doing yourself any favors by rushing your work just to enter for the sake of entering. I know this to be true, as I've been guilty of this on many occasions. Starting a script a week before the final deadline isn't the best preparation in the world. Rushing that script means you haven't put as much effort into as you could have and the quality of what you've written isn't going to be great. It's no surprise then that a good percentage of scripts (more than half the total entered) fall at the first hurdle simply because not enough thought went into them. By doing this you're just wasting your entry fee; you might as well spend it down the pub.

Another danger for writers is thinking of script competitions as the be all and end all, entering everything in sight and hoping you get lucky. It almost becomes an addiction and yes, I've been there too. Again you're not doing yourself any favors, weakening your chances by not focusing your efforts.

It's better to choose four or five screenwriting competitions per year and concentrate on entering those with scripts you've been working on for a while. Better still think a year ahead and then you have a glorious 365 days to work on anything you might wish to enter in the future. Planning ahead, deciding which competitions you're going to enter, what script you're going to enter with, and making sure that script is ready and polished to its best increases your chances significantly. It's worth bearing in mind that my screenplay Faith took three years to write from conception to finished draft, most of which was spent rewriting it over and over again until it sparkled. That's why it has also made the last 25% of entries in another screenwriting competition.

Does winning a competition lead to numerous offers of work and agents begging at your door? I doubt it, but it does elevate your exposure to those in a position to help you forward your career and gives you the opportunity to show what you can do.

Competitions aren't an easy way into the industry and nothing will ever replace good old fashioned hard work as a way of getting you noticed.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Luther - Quality Drama

The last episode in series two of Neil Cross's excellent psychological drama Luther aired last night on BBC1 and yet again proved what a talented writer Neil is.

It's a brilliantly written drama with fascinating characters and awesome dialogue, with a central character so screwed up by the death of his wife he is one step away from becoming the people he hunts. It is simply 'must watch' TV. But why only four episodes this season?

I think the final episode suffered a little because of the shortened series and in places felt a little hurried. New characters were introduced to tie up subplots, even though those subplots felt they should have run for longer. Perhaps there were six episodes planned and those subplots were meant to play out over the full series, but were rejigged to accommodate the four episodes?

I also felt the series was missing something with the loss of Alice. She was John Luther's intellectual equal and the only person who truly understood him. Without her it always felt Luther was going to sort things out eventually and that his foes, although initially threatening, were simply no match for him or his intellect. Alice provided that flicker of doubt as to whether Luther would be able to beat her - was he cleaver, cunning, dangerous enough to match Alice and eventually defeat her? For Alice to simply walk away when the series had only just begun felt wrong and not in character, especially as she was jealous of Luther's emotional attachment to his wife in the first series. Why did she not feel the need to compete for Luther affections with Jenny Jones, someone Luther cares for, but who would have been so far out of her depth against Alice? I really hope in the third series (surely there has to be one) Alice is reintroduced, or at least there should be an new character equal to her to truly challenge Luther.

Don't get me wrong the second series of Luther was still awesome TV drama and thoroughly worth the watch. The writing is some of the best I've seen this year, and despite its slightly hurried feel the final episode still entertained. A job well done by Neil Cross.

Monday, July 04, 2011

London Screenwriters Festival 2011

A rumour has been making the rounds on Twitter in the last couple of days claiming this year's festival might not got ahead. I am pleased to read this is untrue, as the above screen capture shows the festival is most definitely going ahead as planned in October.

See you all there.