• Actors Table Read - London Screenwriters' Festival - Covid-19

    Covid-19

    We are well in to lock-down now and all learning to adapt. I find I’m busier than usual due to many more meetings on social media. What would we do without Zoom?

    Because the London Screenwriters’ Festival was postponed from April until September, they decided to go ahead with the Actors Table Read anyway.

    I had a very successful session last Friday with a director and three actors. The director is Claire Lebowitz, and the three actors were Afia Abusham, Sarit Wilson Chen and Simon Balcon. We met on Zoom and they performed the scene I had sent them. This worked really well.

    A huge thank you to Lilla from the London Screenwriters’ Festival, www.londonscreenwritersfestival.com who organised this as well as Claire, Afia, Sarit and Simon.

    You were all great.

    Be patient, it won’t last forever. Keep washing your hands and keep writing.

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  • SXSW cancelled

    As the coronavirus affects people worldwide and festivals are cancelled or postponed, Stage 32 has stepped in to help the SXSW festival held in Austin Texas each year and which was cancelled earlier this week. So what is SXSW?

    https://www.sxsw.com/festivals/

    South By Southwest

    South by Southwest is an annual conglomeration of parallel film, interactive media, and music festivals and conferences organized jointly that take place in mid-March in Austin, Texas, United States. It began in 1987 and has continued to grow in both scope and size every year. In 2017, the conference lasted for 10 days with the interactive track lasting for five days, music for seven days, and film for nine days.

    This is from Stage 32:

    For more information about our SXSW screening initiative click here, here, or here!

    Official Selection SXSW 2020 filmmakers can submit their films to screen for our network of distributors, sales agents, development execs, managers, agents, producers and more at www.stage32.com/screenings

    Please note – this is for those who have already had a film selected for showing at the festival which was due to start yesterday, 13th March. It was due to run until 22nd March which is massive! So don’t think because you’ve got a short film to show you can just enter it now.

    Please help support your fellow Stage 32ers by sharing this on social media. Share on Instagram @stage32online , Twitter @stage32 , Facebook @stage32 , and LinkedIn @stage-32 .

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  • London Screenwriters' Festival postponed

    I so admire Chris Jones who runs the London Screenwriters’ Festival. With the worry of coronavirus Covid-19 and how it could affect the 2020 LSF, a week ago he warned of the possibility of postponing the event which was due to take place on 17th, 18th and 19th April.

    Then two days ago he announced that they had decided to postpone and that they now have a new date. By taking this outbreak seriously and planning ahead they have procured a date in early September. This was such a wise move. Others that have events that will be cancelled and who have not acted as swiftly will be scrambling around for alternate dates and even venues.

    With many speakers for the festival flying in from America they had to take this decision.

    Well done LSF team. Your hard work and dedication is appreciated.

    The new dates for the London Screenwriters’ Festival: 4th, 5th and 6th September, with Festival week seminars taking place from 1st to 3rd.

    Here is the link to the latest dates:

    www.londonscreenwritersfestival.com/dates-and-deadlines/

    This also means that if you had not got round to applying for those Script Labs, Actors Table Reads or Euroscript Surgeries, you still can. All the details are on the above link.

    Keep washing your hands, oh, and keep writing.

    Rita

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  • February 2020 already!

    Well, the middle of February already. So what’s happened so far… The end of December saw two husky dogs attack our flock of sheep. Five of the fourteen were injured, one badly and one seriously. We are still trying to help the seriously injured one to get back on her feet.

    On a brighter note, my comedy about the 60 year old woman who starts aging backwards which was a finalist in the Screenwriting Staffing Query Letter Competition was also a semi-finalist in the competition organised by Stage 32 on behalf of Gidden Media.

    So what is there to look forward to? Lots of re-writing of at least three of my scripts. Plus in April, 17th, 18th and 19th, there is the London Screenwriters’ Festival. http://www.londonscreenwritersfestival.com/

    Yah, really looking forward to it.

    Writing is re-writing.

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  • Query Letter Contest Finalist

    QUERY LETTER CONTEST - FINALIST

    It is official, I’m one of the 15 finalists in the Query Letter Contest organised by Screenwriting Staffing. I submitted a logline and Query Letter for my comedy feature THE RELUCTANT SEXAGENARIAN. It is about a 60 year old woman whose birthday wish backfires, making her keep aging backwards until finding true love.

    Whatever happens – keep on writing.

    Rita

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  • THE 21st CENTURY STORYTELLER with LINDA ARONSON

    THE 21ST CENTURY STORYTELLER WITH LINDA ARONSON : Taking your film and TV writing to the next level.

    This writing weekend was organised by Chris Jones who runs the London Screenwriting Festival: www.londonscreenwritingfestival.com The 10th anniversary of The London Screenwriting Festival will be taking place on 17th, 18th and 19th April next year in Regent’s College, London.

    The 21st Century Storyteller course was held at Ealing Studios. The studio is a television and film production company and facilities provider at Ealing Green in west London. They have 5 stages ranging in size from 1,000 to 10,000 square feet as well as serviced office space. Technology engineers have studios where they create VR, CGI and visual effects, there are several casting agencies and a hair and make-up accademy. In fact everything a filmmaker could need. Films have been made there since 1902. The Met Film School London also operates on the site.

    So it was with a feeling of awe that my friend Caroline Swain, author and career adviser: [https://breakingoutofthechrysalis.co.uk ] and myself arrived for Linda Aronson’s writing weekend.

    The writing weekend began promptly on Saturday 4th October at 9.30 until 6.00 pm and again on Sunday 5th October, 9.30 until 6.00 pm.

    Linda describes herself as an educator. Her expertise on non-linear narrative means she is in demand throughout the world to give lectures and workshops. Linda is a prolific writer having written screenplays for film and television, four novels and several plays. Her books Screenwriting Updated and The 21st Century Screenplay are required reading at film schools throughout the world. More recently she has become an adviser on VR (Virtual Reality). Born in England she lives in Australia with her Australian husband. You can sign up for her newsletter: www.lindaaronson.com

    The two day workshop was mentally exhausting and also exhilarating. Linda explained her theories on non-linear writing and illustrated them with clips from films and some television series. We came away with many notes and a better idea on how to write if you don’t want to follow a traditional three act Structure.

    If you get the chance to go to any of Linda's workshops - DO IT!

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  • John Yorke

    It was a great way to end February by going to Advanced Structure with John Yorke (https://www.johnyorkestory.com/) at Ealing Studios. This was organised by Chris Jones -https:www.londonscreenwritersfestival.com

    For anyone across the pond in the US, John will be at the ScreenCraft Writers Summit from April 5th to 8th 2019. If you get the opportunity to go to one, or both, of his classes – do it. https://screencraft.org/

    Ealing Studios is a television and film production company and facilities provider at Ealing Green in west London. Will Barker bought the White Lodge on Ealing Green in 1902 as a base for film making, and films have been made on the site ever since. It is the oldest continuously working studio facility for film production in the world. The current stages were opened for the use of sound in 1931.

    Since 2000, Ealing Studios has resumed releasing films under its own name, including the revived St Trinian’s Franchise. In more recent times, films shot here include Shaun of the Dead (2004), as well as The Theory of Everything (2014) and The Imitation Game. (2014). Interior scenes of Downton Abbey were shot in Stage 2 which is where we were. The Met Film School London also operates on the site.

    One hundred and twenty of us spent Saturday and Sunday, 23rd and 24th February with John as he patiently explained and illustrated with excerpts from various feature films and also television series and serials how to structure a story.

    The method he uses can be adapted for all writing be it screenplays, plays or novels. To help us use and understand these methods, before the end of each session we were split into groups of five and given writing exercises, the results of which we then had to present to the audience. This was great fun although sometimes too much time was spent talking through what we should be writing about rather than actually writing it.

    It was good to meet up with several familiar faces from previous London Screenwriting Festivals.

    If you are serious about writing I would recommend going to any of John’s events. https://www.johnyorkestory.com

    Successful writing!

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  • INSIDE I'M 35

    INSIDE I’M 35

    The short film I wrote, co-directed and produced with members of Surrey Border Movie Makers, www.surreyborder.org.uk was shown at the Farnham Maltings on Wednesday 12th December 2018. https://farnhammaltings.com

    It was shown before the feature film The Wife. The audience laughed in all the right places and applauded .

    The film will now be entered into film festivals.

    Rita

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