We’re marking the end of the latest national COVID-19 lockdown on Wednesday, 2 December, by meeting again… On Zoom.
While we’re likely to continue to get together exclusively online until the spring at the earliest, we are taking a fresh approach from 2 December.
We’ve enjoyed a wealth of full-length scripts since starting out on Zoom in June and this has given our featured writers the chance to hear how well their whole scripts come over in scratch readings. While this is long on performance, it’s short on interactivity, and we’re keen to make more of the opportunities our sessions offer for feedback and shared insights, expertise and experience on the writing process.
With this in mind, we’re planning to focus more on script extracts, ideas or pitches with the aim of stimulating discussion extending beyond the work in hand. Looking at fewer, shorter pieces in our sessions gives us greater scope for fuller exploration of the featured material — we might, for example, take more than a single pass at reading an extract — which will help everyone build understanding of the craft of scriptwriting.
Ten- to 15-minute extracts also give a more realistic picture of the attention readers at production companies give scripts before deciding to drop or progress them. Focussing on fewer pages will help our writers hone their work to keep it compelling.
We know from your feedback that you appreciate the opportunity to hear your work in full and we’re not doing away with complete readings entirely. Instead, we’re applying our longstanding policy of progressing scripts to full readings following enthusiastic reactions to extracts at earlier meetings.
We’ve scheduled two Zoom sessions in December and have a couple lined up for the New Year too. If you have an idea, pitch or extract you’d like to air early in 2021, let us know as usual via our ‘Book a workshop slot’ form.
Follow these four simple steps to join our meeting on 2 December:
- Tap or click the ‘I’m attending’ button in the meeting listing below (find the button on this newsletter’s webpage). A panel headed ‘I’m attending on…’ will appear.
- In the ‘I’m attending on…’ panel, tap or click the PayPal logo and follow the instructions to contribute your £2 subs using your debit or credit card.
- When you’ve made your payment, check your email inbox for a message from Southwest Scriptwriters titled ‘Thank you for your subs payment.’ If you don’t find this email with PayPal’s payment confirmation and you’ve checked your spam and junk folders for it, please be sure to get in touch using our ‘Email us’ form to let us know it hasn’t arrived.
- The ‘Thank you for your subs payment’ email includes the Zoom meeting ID and password. If you’re unsure how to use these to log in to the meeting, follow our handy guide.
Wednesday, 2 December at 7.30pm on Zoom: Agatha and Mark by Stephanie Weston
Tonight we’re featuring Stephanie’s radio play in which aspiring young professionals Kieran and Hannah buy a house in south east London. The house is a ‘doer upper’ but the couple encounter more obstacles than they originally anticipated…
We’ll be adopting our refreshed ‘extract-first’ policy from this evening, but there is an immediate opportunity to cover more of Stephanie’s play if you like what you hear.
Wednesday, 16 December at 7.30pm on Zoom: Open Workshop
Our seasonal session features short scripts by Brian Weaving and Bruce Fellows.
Book your place at the meeting by heading over to our What’s on page and using the ‘I’m attending’ button that we’ll post under this meeting’s listing from 3 December.
Wednesday, 13 January 2021 at 7.30pm on Zoom: Open Workshop
Start as you mean to go on in 2021 with this first chance to get feedback on your script idea, pitch or extract. Get in touch using our ‘Book a workshop slot’ form to secure a spot for your work.
Wednesday, 10 February 2021 at 7.30pm on Zoom: Open Workshop
It’s as above for our February online outing.
Foundation Screenwriting course with Robin Mukherjee
Filmmaker networking company Cahootify is offering a ten-week online screenwriting foundation course with award-winning screenwriter and tutor Robin Mukherjee from 14 January 2021.
Covering ‘everything from sourcing ideas to refining dialogue’, the £250 course is aimed at those who have begun building a filmmaking career or are planning to enrol for a screenwriting master’s degree.
Course Director of the MA Scriptwriting programme at Bath Spa University, Robin has substantial credits in TV and film including 12 episodes of BBC1’s Casualty and the 2012 movie Lore, which was Australia’s entry for the Oscars. He is also the author of The Art of Screenplays — A Writer’s Guide: The Definitive Handbook for Screenwriters (Creative Essentials, 2014).
‘Cahootify is a software platform with the mission to empower and further the careers of independent producers, filmmakers and actors. Think of it as a cross between LinkedIn and IMDb.
‘Cahootify acts as your professional industry calling card with tools to help you create an impressive online portfolio — complete with showreel, gallery showcase and biography. More cost-effective than a website, insanely easy to manage, great-looking and FREE.’
In the following video, former Southwest Scriptwriters committee member Gill Kirk explains how Cahootify helped her connect with director Izzy Larché for a short film project.