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Serious Screenwriting 2011

10 June 2011
BAFTA/Clare Muller

In June 2011 BAFTA and The Script Factory hosted a two-day training and networking event for anyone passionate about screenwriting. Watch videos from the various workshops below.

Watch the following classes & discussions...

!!Masterclass: Mike Newell

After directing various films in the 70s and 80s, Mike Newell made huge waves in 1994 when he directed the hit Four Weddings and a Funeral. In the next decade he went on to direct Donnie Brasco and Mona Lisa Smile, and in 2005 he directed the fourth instalment in the Harry Potter series.

In this masterclass, he focuses on the relationship between the director and the screenplay. He explains why 'a good man in a bad jam' is a better premise than it sounds, why the Four Weddings screenplay was 'directorproof', where his interest in character comes from, and why his directing style is determined entirely by his writers.

Character isn't really very interesting unless it's under a lot of pressure.


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Discussion: The Truth is Out There: Writing from real life

How much research is too much research? Is the internet a useful tool? And how far do 'true stories' need to be adjusted to make them work for screen? In this discussion hosted by The Script Factory's Briony Hanson, screenwriters William Ivory (Made in Dagenham), Olivia Hetreed (Girl With a Pearl Earring) and Matt Greenhalgh (Control) ponder the relationship between 'truth' and its screen interpretations.

I've done the thing where you get 500 points of view, and you can't tell a story because you're so snow-blind.


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Keynote Speech: Tony Grisoni

Tony Grisoni is one the UK's most prolific screenwriters, whose work for both film and TV has garnered wide critical acclaim. He adapted Hunter S Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, wrote the BAFTA-winning Red Riding series, as well as working on a big screen adaptation of Meg Rosoff's novel 'How I Live Now'.

In this video, he discusses the importance of the 'triangular' writer-director-producer relationship, debunks the idea of the 'auteur's singular vision', and describes his complex working relationship with the authors whose novels he adapts.

As a screenwriter, I think you should be on set every day... so you can at least provide ammunition


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Discussion: Re-writing The Rules

In this video, screenwriters Nick Whitfield (Skeletons), Joanna Hogg (Archipelago) and Moira Buffini (Tamara Drewe) discuss genre, audience and the creative process. Using their own films as examples, the panel members discuss themes such as genre, marketing, budgets, creative processes and how to 'organise chaos' on the job.

The obvious thing for Tamara Drewe to fit into would be 'romantic comedy': but it just isn't - it's far too acerbic... the heroine isn't very nice


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Discussion: Will You Read My Script?

In this video a panel of some of the UK's most influential execs - including Bedlam's Gareth Unwin (The King's Speech) and Independent's Luc Roeg (We Need to Talk About Kevin) - talk about ways for aspiring screenwriters to get their work into development.

The panel talks about the systems for finding new voices in different production houses, what happens after an idea is picked up, and how a 'core idea' is essential to a successful script.

The 'golden formula' - not to disappoint anyone - doesn't exist.


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