Friday 28 October 2011

LSWF DAY 1 - A Mini Adventure

And so it begins! I'm home from a great 1st day at the London Screenwriters' Festival.

Today has been a short day for me, so I made the most of it. After walking around the building for half an hour, completely lost, I finally found my bearings and the main room where Chris Jones, the festival director, was saying a final word and welcome.

From that point on, there were about four sessions taking place at the same time, a tough choice at times. The first session I headed for was Cut! Cut! Cut! with Ellin Stein. It was an interesting session where we all got a chance to read a few pages of someone else's script and together understand what did or didn't work and why.

An hour later and I was headed to my script surgery session with The Doctor - Paul Gallagher. The Euroscript clinic set up at the festival was fantastic. Paul was really good at helping me view Dead End Job, the latest sitcom Taro and I have been writing together, from a different perspective. Together we talked about what worked, what didn't and all the different options, including a change in character gender. I have much work to do on it now and extra preparation for my speedpitching session on Sunday.

After lunch I had the luck of getting into the very popular session with Edgar Wright. That's right, Edgar Wright! A funny and inspiring man, who's making it happen. Not long after he had his 1st feature A Fistful of Fingers started showing at the Prince Charles cinema, he met Matt Lucas and David Walliams. After watching his movie, they asked him to work with them as director. He ended up directing TV and not long after got involved with Spaced. He started talks with Simon Pegg about Shaun of the Dead in 1999, and it took another 3 years after they wrapped on Spaced to get it made. Meanwhile, Danny Boyle made 28 Days Later and Dawn of the Dead was going to be re-made, a set-back but thankfully not a deterrent. I could go on and on. But let's just say, I'm a fan! Towards the end of his session Joe Cornish walked in to join the audience, and I caught a glimpse of the man I would be watching next.

Many of you may have heard of Joe Cornish from his appearances on TV and radio with Adam Buxton. Together they did The Adam and Joe Show which was always very funny. During his session, Joe talked mainly about his debut feature Attack the Block. Not being down with the kids, he had to do extensive research into how they spoke, acted, lived and also how they relate to others in different situations. He also talked about different type of monster movies and decided he wanted to do one where they scare you due to volume, rather than looks. It was interesting to hear about all the research that went into the movie before he even wrote it all down. We then got to hear a little about Tintin and his involvement in it as well as working with Stephen Spielberg. Overall Joe came across as a very humble person, which made him even more likeable and admirable.

Sadly I had to leave before the end of that session missing out on the rest of the day and the networking drinks, but that's ok, I'll be back for more tomorrow. For now I'll be carving some pumpkins.


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