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Rocliffe Blog October 2009 by Susan Jacobson

28 October 2009
Pic: Jim CorrBAFTA/ Jim Corr

Rocliffe Director Susan Jacobson blogs about the latest New Writing Forum with Nik Powell at the International Screenwriters Festival in Cheltenham.

After an intense day rehearsing, it was a joy to see the script extracts come to life by such a dedicated company of actors. I think the writers almost enjoyed the rehearsal process as much as the perfomance, seeing their work come alive for the first time. Emotive music by Ella Spira set the tone of their work as the show went on.

True to the magic of the event's aim - to be a development work-out - the performances highlighted what is and isn't working in the writing and each writer came away with a renewed clarity on the complexities of their work.

A screenplay is a means to an end, not an end in itself...

Stephen Potts, writer of On the Water, one of the featured scripts, explained that for him a screenplay is a means to an end, not an end in itself. “You don’t judge a cake by reading the recipe: you need to taste it. Seeing my script performed by actors, under a director, with music, before an audience, the forum let me taste my cake while it’s still being baked. I enjoyed the process and liked the result!"

Our industry guest, Nik Powell, was not only entertaining, but he was generous in his advice and astute in his observations. Nik noted that a comedy can have a 'beginning, muddle and end' and still work incredibly well. He concluded by reiterating the point that a writer must have a routine and write at the same time every day.

Susan Jacobson, Director at the Rocliffe Forums