Tag Archives: advice

New Script Feedback Services

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Well, it’s been a busy old year for Script Angel. So busy in fact that I’ve expanded the team! I’m delighted to announce that Xandria Horton has joined the Script Angel team as a Script Analyst.  Check out Xandria’s bio here.

Xandria will be offering the following service through Script Angel:

Script Analysis Report – These notes provide constructive written feedback (2-3 pages) on your script. Xandria will assess the strengths and weaknesses of the story and writing execution. She will provide suggestions for developing the script, targeting key areas for improvement. If the script is part of a longer-form piece (television series or serial) you can submit a few pages outlining story ideas for subsequent episodes. This service usually has a relatively fast turnaround but does not offer any follow-up consultation to discuss the notes.

I’ve also expanded the range of feedback services I offer:

Development Notes – These detailed notes provide in-depth constructive written feedback (4-5 pages) on your script or treatment. In addition, I offer a follow-up meeting (via phone or Skype video) to discuss the notes. For scripts which are part of a longer form piece (television serial or series) I will also read supporting material, such as brief outlines for subsequent episodes, and provide feedback on the overall project.

Six-Month Script Editing and Mentoring Service – You can engage my script editing services for a six-month period. This flexible service offers Development Notes on multiple projects (be they scripts, treatments or outlines) over multiple drafts during that time. In addition to the Development Notes on your chosen individual projects, I will offer support and advice helping you to prioritise projects, target your development and produce a strong portfolio of work to advance your screenwriting career.

Ideas Review Service (Written Notes + Consultation)  – I will read up to five ideas (of up to 2 pages each) and provide written notes on their strengths and weaknesses, followed by a meeting (via phone or Skype video) to discuss the notes.

Ideas Review Service (Consultation Only) – I will read up to five ideas (of up to 2 pages each) and provide a consultation (via phone or Skype video) to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each idea. This service doesn’t include written notes.

I’m currently fully booked until the end of March 2014 and am now taking bookings for next April. Xandria has availability right now.

If you want professional help to make your film or tv script the best it can possibly be, just email me hayley@scriptangel.co.uk and I can let you know rates and current turnaround times.

Here’s to a fantastic 2014!

Screenwriting Podcasts

Want to immerse yourself in the world of screenwriting? Listen to screenwriting chat and words of wisdom in these fab podcasts:

UK Scriptwriters Podcast – http://dannystack.blogspot.co.uk/p/uk-scriptwriters-podcast.html

Nerdist Writers’ Panel – http://www.nerdist.com/podcast/nerdist-writers-panel

What Are You Laughing At – http://www.comedy.co.uk/podcasts/british_comedy_podcast/

Script Magazine TV Writer Podcast – http://www.scriptmag.com/multimedia/podcasts/

John August Script Notes Podcast – http://johnaugust.com/podcast

Jeff Goldsmith Q&A – http://www.theqandapodcast.com/

BAFTA Podcast – http://www.bafta.org/

The Empire Film Podcast – http://www.empireonline.com/podcast/

On The Page Screenwriting Podcast – http://onthepagepodcast.com/

If you know of any others worth a listen share in the comments below.

Screenwriting Short Courses and Workshops – UK

If you want to study screenwriting (or just need a refresher) but don’t want to commit to one of the great Screenwriting M.A courses on offer, there are lots of shorter courses and workshops worth checking out.

The Two Phils – London – 11-12 May 2013

Skribita – Brighton – Writing TV (26-28 April 2013)

Professional Writing Academy – Into the Woods (John Yorke on storytelling for tv) – September 2013

Storylining – Manchester – March 2013

Euroscript – see website for dates

Raindance – see website for dates

Arvon – see website for dates

The Script Factory – see website for dates

The National Film & Television School (NFTS) – see website for dates

If you know of any others do post in the comments below or post details on the Script Angel Facebook Page.

Breaking Into Hollywood (from the UK)

Lots of UK writers have been asking me recently about breaking into Hollywood so here’s my advice.

Pretty much the same advice applies whether you’re breaking into your home market or a foreign market and my top tip for both is DO YOUR HOMEWORK!   Just as I’d expect a writer applying to write on ‘Holby City’ or ‘Coronation Street’ to watch the show and know it well, so you have to know the market you’re trying to crack, whatever and wherever it is.

If you’re a UK writer wanting to write UK films you’d be researching UK film production companies, right? So, do the same thing for Los Angeles. Learn which production companies and studios make what films. If you’re into the UK market you’d get Broadcast and Moviescope.  For the US market there are loads of great magazines and websites to help you keep track of who’s making what – try Deadline Hollywood, Variety and the Hollywood Reporter.   There are also subscription sites like TrackingBTracking Board, DoneDealPro, ItsOnTheGrid and Screen International.

If you want L.A representation, find out who represents the Hollywood writers whose films you love. The websites that track film script sales always mention who represents the writer so you can build up a picture of the L.A literary agent scene pretty quickly.

Although you can certainly make approaches to Hollywood from the UK, in her ScriptChat Q&A, Los Angeles literary manager Jenny Frankfurt also recommends getting out to L.A and networking in person.  One great way to do this is through the Hollywood Field Trip.  It’s a bit pricey but the feedback from those writers that have been is that it was money incredibly well invested in their careers. Right now the guys have got 2 spots remaining on their October trip and are offering £200 off the price. Do get in touch with them if you’re interested.

If Hollywood is the market you want to write for then you should GO FOR IT – good luck and I’ll see you there!

 

Practise Makes Perfect

Watching the extraordinary achievements of the Olympic and Paralympic athletes this summer made me appreciate more than ever that if you want to be successful at something, you’ve got to knuckle down and practise.

For screenwriters of course that means practising your writing by simply writing – LOTS! But it also means studying your craft; analysing successful screenplays, reading books on screenwriting or attending seminars and talks by others who’ve analysed thousands of movies and screenplays. It means identifying areas of your craft that you’re not as strong on (story structure or character or dialogue) and finding techniques to help you get better at those elements.

But great writing alone rarely enables you to succeed and there are other aspects to being a successful writer that you’ll need to master. Perhaps you’re lousy at networking or pitching. If you hate pitching (and I know a LOT of writers who do) then practising is vital if you’re to get good at it – at the very least you want to be comfortable enough doing it that you don’t turn into a blubbering wreck when an Executive asks you about your new movie idea.  And who knows, you might discover you’ve got a real knack for it and find yourself desperate to go to a huge pitch festival and get on that stage to pitch with the best of them.

In an industry built so heavily on personal recommendation, networking is another aspect of the job that lots of writers dread. As with pitching, it requires practice so my advice is to get out there and get doing it!

The forthcoming London Screenwriters’ Festival is a great place to learn tips on your craft, practise your pitching and your networking.  I’ll be speaking there and, of course, networking too so come and say hello.  Don’t forget that if you use Discount Code ‘SCRIPTANGEL2012’ you can save £22 off the ticket price.  Let me know if you’re going and I hope to see you there.

Be honest with yourself, identify those areas that you’re really not so great at, and put the work in to get better at them. With hard graft in the right areas you’ve got a great chance of making it as a successful screenwriter.  Good luck!

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Essential Reading for Screenwriters – and then some more…

Also well worth a read:

Writing Television Drama by Nicholas Gibbs

Writing Movies for Fun and Profit by Thomas Lennon & Robert Ben Garant

The Complete Book of Scriptwriting by J Michael Straczynski

Essential Reading for Screenwriters:

Poetics by Aristotle

The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell

The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers by Christopher Vogler

Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting by Syd Field

Story by Robert McKee

Save the Cat! by Blake Snyder

The 21st Century Screenplay by Linda Aronson

Doctor Who: The Writer’s Tale: The Final Chapeter by Russell T Davies and Benjamin Cook

The Insider’s Guide to Writing for Television by Julian Friedmann and Christopher Walker

 

Essential Reading for Screenwriters

Here’s my recommendations:

Poetics by Aristotle

The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell

The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers by Christopher Vogler

Screenplay: The Foundations of Screenwriting by Syd Field

Story by Robert McKee

Save the Cat! by Blake Snyder

The 21st Century Screenplay by Linda Aronson

Doctor Who: The Writer’s Tale: The Final Chapeter by Russell T Davies and Benjamin Cook

The Insider’s Guide to Writing for Television by Julian Friedmann and Christopher Walker

If you know of others that have really helped you, let us know by adding a comment.