There was a good deal of gloom at the Screenwriters' Festival launch at BAFTA in London last night. Two up-and-coming writers selected for the Festival's Scriptmarket told of their decade long struggle to get their first films made, agents spoke of the collapse in UK TV drama production and even star speaker Christopher Hampton recounted how three of his favourite scripts never made it to production.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable and positive event. Writers know that the odds are stacked against them. Hearing about other people's trials and tribulations is rarely off-putting. More often it's both cathartic and inspiring.
The speakers last night were all excellent and Christopher Hampton lived up to his reputation with an insightful and amusing talk about working in the industry.
If the idea of the evening was to give people a taste of the Festival then it certainly made a good case for heading to Cheltenham in October.