Archive for the 'Screenwriting' Category

Writing with Actors

Monday, July 28th, 2014

I like working with actors when I write. It’s such a powerful experience. Actors love a script because they glean from it nuances that I, the writer, didn’t intuit or even intend. It’s like when you fall in love with someone and they start to notice little things about you that you didn’t even know […]

Balancing Teaching with Practicing your Craft

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

Among many teachers I meet, I have noticed a trend that it has taken me a long time to realise applies equally to me. This trend is summed up by the phrase:

"Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach." 

(* There is also an addition to the phrase, most oft heard at teacher trainer schools:
"… and those who can't teach, teach teachers!!!”)

I have always disliked this ugly phrase since first hearing it as a child - after all how could you have teachers who were skilled at what they taught or skilled people who can pass on their skills? - but I’d also noticed that it was often somehow accurate. Capable people chose to teach what they chose not to do.  Teaching is all well and good - for how would anyone learn without teachers? - but should it be at the expense of doing?

Guerilla Filmmakers Masterclass … here I come!!

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

This weekend is the wonderful Guerilla Film Makers Masterclass 2014 and I am so very excited. Now it's not the first time I've been to the masterclass. It's not even the second. In fact I try to go every year. There is a metric tonne of information about filmmaking to be had and it's true […]

Happy New Year! Now get up and write!

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

Happy new year to you all! I've been out of action a while after a spinal injury. I'm on the mend now and finally back to work. I'm not allowed to sit for long periods following surgery and this has been a major blow to my writing. It's been so frustrating not only being unable […]

How Characters Meet

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

In story, people meet easily. Stories are based on characters meeting one another, being inspired by one another, taking on a mentor, finding a love, making a friend. That is story. Characters meet one another with ease all the time. How often do we see characters who are lonely or sick or have little confidence […]

Rant: High Concept Microbudget Feature Writing

Monday, July 8th, 2013

I hear it time and time again: it's all about the concept. And that concept is what everyone is chasing. It seems to me that all anyone wants is high concept. Something new. Yet not too new. In fact, if it could be very, very like a product that already exists, but yet is somehow […]

My Hero’s Journey to #GFilm

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

I got asked a few times at the Guerilla Filmmakers Masterclass why I attend the class every year. And I can see why new delegates might ask this - surely you do it once and then “zoom!” you're off making films. That viewpoint makes sense - it's a class so why would you want or […]

London Screenwriters’ Festival 2012 – Julie Gray

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

The London Screenwriters' Festival 2012, like the previous years, was incredible. Personal high points for me were talking to Writer/Director Mike Leigh and chatting with Doug Naylor and Robert Llewelyn of Red Dwarf fame. I learned so much - it's really impossible to distill it into a single blog post. So I shall start off […]

Final Draft Security Vulnerability

Friday, December 9th, 2011

To all Final Draft users:  Screenwriting software Final Draft has been shown to have a security vulnerability which can allow your computer to be accessed remotely by an attacker using a maliciously-coded Final Draft (.FDX or .FDXT) files. The solution to this is to download the patch provided on Final Draft's website. The website requires you […]

MA Screenwriting update

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

I went to Bournemouth this month for the final residency of the MA Screenwriting course. It went very well and I had a great time.  I would say that the high points of the week for me were the Writer, Director, Actor masterclass with Jan Sargent. Working with the directors and the actors on a […]

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