Friday, June 12, 2009

Screenwriters' Festival launch

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.


  1. Great to meet you last night, Tom! It was indeed an event which balanced hope with realism - an important Big Picture for writers to see, I think. I'll be blogging about it, over the next few days.

  2. Anonymous5:36 pm

    Of course, Tom had his radio play on the other week.

  3. Anonymous10:33 pm

    I went to the Screenwriters Conference a couple of years ago and thought it was a huge scam, put together by producers to try and find cheap scripts. The guy who ran it -- can't remember his name, mercifully -- what an arrogant get.

  4. @Jason Arnopp: Good to meet you, too. From what I hear the real action started after I left...

    @ Anonymous : I did. Not sure of the connection to this event, though. Maybe Christopher Hampton is going to adapt it... ;-)

    @ Anonymous: I've not been, but it's never struck me like that at all. There are *far* easier ways for producers to get cheap scripts. Like opening their post in the morning.


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