I booked my place on the London Screenwriters Festival in January, but by the time October rolled around I was so nervous about going I was secretly hoping that a medical emergency would mean a rush to hospital and a cast-iron excuse for opting out. I thought everyone there would be young, hip and slick, and I’d feel like a granny from the sticks. (Which I am actually, but let’s not go into that.)
I need not have worried: there were people of all ages and at every stage of screenwriting – novices to pros – and fashion was not on the agenda, except amongst the visiting actors. What’s more, everyone was so friendly that you could walk up to anyone and start to chat, without them giving you one of those funny looks that mean “Who is this woman?”
But this is what my dear, regular readers want to know, isn’t it? – did I get anyone interested in my screenplay? Yes. He asked for the first episode as soon as I’d finished the third sentence of my pitch. High five!
The festival was a three day event packed with teaching sessions on every stage of screenwriting, from first drafts to rewrites, from pitching to production, and every other stage between. There were also writers telling us about their journeys from their initial idea to the premiere. My favourites in this last category were Stephen Beresford who wrote Pride, and Paul King, the director and writer of Paddington.
Tomorrow I’ll tell you about the scary Pitchfest.