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Christopher Hampton: Screenwriters' Lecture

20 December 2011

Watch the video of Christopher Hampton (Atonement, A Dangerous Method) speaking as part of the 2011 BAFTA and BFI Screenwriters' Lecture Series on BAFTA Guru.

The full transcript of the Christopher Hampton lecture is available to read on BAFTA Guru.


After starting out writing plays and television adaptations, Hampton earned BAFTA success with the Stephen Frears-directed Dangerous Liaisons (1988) and his own directorial effort Carrington (1995).

His masterly adaptation of Ian McEwan’s novel Atonement (2007), in which a young girl’s lie has life-changing effects, brought two more BAFTA nominations and his second Oscar nomination. His latest script, A Dangerous Method (2011), is directed by David Cronenberg, and stars Michael Fassbender and Viggo Mortensen.

When you write a film... you can't really tell until two thirds of the way through what it's about.

In his lecture Hampton focused on his own literary adaptations, described the 'flash-sideways' technique used in Atonement, David Cronenberg's script-length requirements, and showed clips from his various films.