I’ve recently been accepted onto three feature development schemes, Drafted, Triangle and Save Our Scripts (SOS) run by The Northern Screen Agencies (Vision & Media, Screen Yorkshire and Northern Film & Media) and The Bureau respectively. So I now have four feature ideas that will hopefully turn into scripts – and at the very least, treatments.
(1) Interloper – developed through the Script Factory/National Film & TV School Script Development diploma programme
(2) Frozen – developed through Vision & Media’s Drafted Programme.
(3) Departures – to be developed through Triangle.
(4) The Interpreters – to be developed through SOS.
(5) Iceland – is yet to have a development home, but its an early idea so its early days yet.
Whilst each programme is different, so far I’ve found it invaluable to have a film industry mentor that helps structure development, networking opportunities with scriptwriting peers and collaborative opportunities with producers, plus, with the exception of the Script Factory scheme, each programme comes with an industry showcasing opportunity.
For both SOS and Triangle there is a bit of an X-Factor element to it whereby you get judged against your peers and a ‘cull’ is made and they get rid of some people and some projects. With SOS I’m at the first hurdle and on Triangle I’m working as part of a writer-producer-director team heading to a bootcamp this coming weekend where we get to sharpen our pitching skills.
I am quite looking forward to pitching, even though it can be quite scary. I see it as an important part of the development process as it tests the robustness of your idea and helps you find different ways to pitch the idea in different circumstances and to different people, plus, if you ‘re part of a team you can ensure that you’re all on the same page. A book I’ve quite enjoyed on this subject matter is Judy Counihan’s, The Pitch which gives you a low down on some funny scenarios and what not to do as well as how to do it well and prepare!
Thinking back to when I started writing features in Jan 2010 its great to think five of them are making it onto paper – and what my English teacher said about me in my school report is at last banished to history!