I didn’t get much sleep at the London Screenwriting Festival – not because I was networking all night in the bar, but because my head was either fizzing with nerves, or going over and over what had happened during the day, and what people had said.
The Actors Table Read (ATR) was one thing that kept me awake. Delegates to the festival can apply to have a scene from their screenplay worked on for an hour by two actors and a director. I submitted a scene from near the end where Sol cones to Bakewell to tell Fran that all their things have been destroyed in a warehouse fire. And I was picked.
This is a tiny extract from the scene:
In the ATR, you get to spend an hour in a room with these guys and your script. The blurb on the website says that the director might not involve you in the read-through until half way through the session, and you mustn’t interrupt. My director involved me right from the start. What a sweetie!
The first time the actors read the parts, I was horrified. I hated the tone that “Sol” was using. He sounded cross and impatient, whereas in my head, Sol was being kind and solicitous. After every other read-through, the director consulted me and I tried to be restrained in what I said, and not a blabbermouth (which some people in the family think I am.)
The director was very sensitive to the piece and really got it, and by the end of the hour, the actors were reading the script exactly as it was in my head. It’s a sad scene, and they made me cry. Twice! Yes – there I was, crying at my own script.
The whole experience blew me away. Imagine how I’ll feel when I’m watching the whole series on the telly.
Hang on, we don’t have a telly. We’ll have to go and watch it at a friend’s house – a friend who has one of those humungous things, hanging on the wall like a picture.