A few notes I made during the session with Simon Beaufoy at the London Screenwriters' Festival 2012.
Sometimes it's good to write what you know.
It can be equally as good to write about what you don't know.
In order to have a clear vision of the world you want to create. You need to do the RESEARCH.
No need to add specific music to a screenplay.
Being able to take notes and understand problem areas within a screenplay.
BE OPEN TO SUGGESTIONS!
Keep REFINING & TIGHTENING YOUR WORK.
Layer your scenes -- Make them rich.
What do I need my CHARACTERS to do within the context of the STORY?
What would they do in the situation and circumstances they find themselves in?
Character ACTIONS & CHOICES must be believable.
TRUST YOUR VOICE and the IDEAS in your HEAD.
Notes taken from Luke Ryan's session at London Screenwriters' Festival 2012
Most Important Things
Know and understand who you're pitching and querying to.
Writers earn a living by writing.
As a writer you should be easy to work with.
And have excellent ideas for projects.
PURPOSE OF PITCH
To make the person you're pitching to say:
"I have to READ/BUY that!"
Using as few words as possible.
CONFLICT most important component of STORY.
CONCEPT and PREMISE
Concept = BIG IDEA
Premise = The way into the BIG IDEA.
Ideally the story needs to be:
A Good logline:
Captures the most interesting ideas in the story within one or two sentences.
Gives us a clear idea of character, tone and stakes.
Two vital parts
The BUT and the MUST.
GIVES US A
A (CHARACTER) sets out to (ACHIEVE A GOAL), but (RUNS INTO AN UNEXPECTED & SOMETIMES IRONIC OBSTACLE) and must (GROW IN A WAY TO TRIUMPH OR FACE CERTAIN DOOM).
Is this something other people want to see?
Is this something I can write the hell out of?
ALWAYS REMEMBER TO WORK THE ASSISTANTS
Find out who writes like/similar to you?
Actually do a proper letter rather than email.
A few notes I took from Kate Leys' session.
The central character must want something. They have a goal to achieve.
What are the stakes? They must be important to the main character.
Conflict -- As the story progresses, make things worse for the protagonist.
Take them out of their comfort zone.
How does the ending play out? Make sure it's an emotional ending and satisfying to the audience. Chances are the audience will remember the ending if it's good.
What's the central idea that holds the story together?
Who's story is this?
What do they want?
Why can't they have it?
What do they need in order to understand?
What does the protagonist get at the end that they did not have at the start?
10 things that can go wrong while writing a story.
I jotted down a few lines during this session.
Hope that makes sense.
N.B. If you're returning next year. Well worth going to if your schedule allows it.
Welcome to Russell’s website. A storyteller who enjoys writing screenplays for movies. Even though the process is hard. It keeps his imagination working overtime.
Take a Look
Done Deal Pro
London Screenwriters' Festival
Screenwriting from Iowa
Chris Jones Blog
Go Into The Story
Nerdist Writer's Panel
The Bitter Script Reader
The Hollywood Reporter
U.S. Copyright Office
Inside Film Magazine
Save the Cat
The Black List
Writers & their Blogs
Selling Your Screenplay
Script Doctor Eric
Geoff La Tulippe