Sunday, May 25, 2008


Ok here's my take on Danny's scriptwriting revelations meme (via Kevin).

Not easy to try and pinpoint exactly 'what revelations you've had since taking up your writing career' and many of the things you learn are not to do with scriptwriting - plus Danny has covered most of the ground pretty well in his post.

I'd add that a scriptwriting career path is rarely linear. Although you may have this 5 year or 10 year goal plan mapped out in your head - life pays scant attention to it. Often opportunities come about from left of field - unexpected sources especially when you've not got much invested in them.

I spent several years making short films before I started writing scripts. Things happened easily. Then I wrote my first feature script treatment which broke all rules - it was only 6 pages long, I even drew a family tree on it (!) It came runner up in a newspaper scriptwriting contest, brought me shed loads of meetings, went on to attract in excess of 40K (UKP) in development finance and big producers on board. That script didn't get made. 4 years later I was working on the London Underground. Now I'm over here - mostly getting paid to write and making bits of TV. Still not where I want to be - until the feature(s) is/are made....but moving a bit closer each day. I don't regret any of it.

Along the way, friends, colleagues and people around grow with you and past you - so if you get on well, stay in touch. The actors you did readings with or the scripty types you hung with ten years ago - may end up award winners or Heads of funds.

As a writer - be yourself. Know yourself. If you're not really a fan of TV soaps then it's unlikely you'll ever find yourself writing for them. Find your own path.

As Phil says here you definitely need a life outside scriptwriting (unappealing as this may sound - ha!) - family and or partner support is pretty vital.

In business relationships - follow your instincts - about people. If that little voice says 'yes' - listen - it's always right.

Develop a thick skin and indefatigable self-belief. Take affirmation from your successes. Do your best. Be better. Keep going.


Helen Smith said...

Very interesting - good stuff. Had missed the post about London Underground - joined you after that. Wild!

Far Away said...

think El was on LU too...

Elinor said...

I certainly was! It was my finishing school. Gstaad being a bit pricey. I was a guard on the Northern Line, sported a mohawk and a pierced nose and left heavily pregnant with the daughter of darkness. Clearly racing through underground tunnels has had its influence whilst she was in utero. That was 1983 - 86.

Totally agree about the life outside screenwriting.

Danny Stack said...


potdoll said...

good stuff. i like learning stuff from this blog.

Far Away said...