Saturday, 15 February 2020

Now on Bark!

Stickleback Productions

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

Advice to New Screenwriters on Finding a Producer: Why You Are Just One of Many Voices Wanting to be Heard!


A newbie screenwriter asked on a Facebook group I run about how to find a producer for their scripts.
               Photo by brabus biturbo on Unsplash
Firstly you must seek out honest critiques of your work. Asking your friends or family is an absolute NO NO! They won’t tell you what you need to hear. Read this useful take on Criticism.

My initial advice would be to get some professional coverage on what you think is your best script. Buy coverage from an experienced script editor who will give you an honest opinion. The best ones are expensive. Find out about them. Ask on forums who is good. Do they have the experience and connections you need?

If you can't afford that then join a supportive writers group such as Bang2Writers or Yvonne Grace’s Script Advice Writers’ Room on Facebook where you can ask questions and learn a lot.

Ask writers if they will read your script in exchange for you reading theirs and giving notes etc. Read Lucy Hays excellent blog Bang2Write. Likewise UK Scriptwriting Opportunities which is good for opportunities and links to good lists etc.

There are literally hundreds of thousands of writers and scripts out there. Put yourself in the mind of a time poor producer - many of whom are 1 or 2 person bands. Why should they read your script rather than anyone else? What makes yours stand out?

Placing in a competition or talent scheme might. Find a reputable screenwriting contest. BBC Writers Room lists many competitions and opportunities. Consider writing for the stage as well. Fleabag started as an Edinburgh fringe act. There is a lot of crossover of writers from stage to screen and back. Winning or placing in a competition might help you get representation by a literary agent or manager.

Good coverage from a reputable reader or editor with industry connections might get you noticed too. Without this you are just one of many voices wanting to be heard - so very difficult to sort the wheat from the chaff from a producer point of view.

I strongly suggest that you go to the London Screenwriters Festival in London where you will learn a lot and make a lot of contacts. ScriptAngel - which has a good mailing list - usually releases a discount code for this. The on-site accommodation is good value.
Its also worth keeping an eye out for when Samantha Horley runs her next Make A Film the Market Wants seminar. She knows all about audience and what works in the market.
You can also join Shooting People. Their mailing list for screenwriters, filmmakers etc are useful places to learn and ask questions.
My other piece of advice is find some cast, crew and locations and make your own film. It will give you an invaluable understanding of the process etc. That’s how I started.

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Friday, 15 November 2019

The Stanley Fisher Story

I'm planning to shoot a short documentary about 95 year old Stanley Fisher - a Jewish British Army veteran who fought in Normandy and then at Nijmegen to help relieve the Paras caught up in Operation Market Garden. He then witnessed the horrors of Bergen-Belsen shortly after its liberation.

Stanley Fisher
I've had a preliminary meeting with him and hope to film his story in the next couple of months. Watch this space!

Stanley's Dog Tags

Friday, 16 August 2019

Crowdfunding Campaign to do a Script Editing for TV Course

I've just started a crowdfunding campaign to do a Script editing for TV course.

You can read more on my GoFundMe page here




Friday, 14 December 2018

Legion Script Success!

I'm looking to film my short script Legion in the spring. It recently came 2nd in a national short script competition so I'm eager to get the story on screen. The organiser Daniel Alexander of Daniel Alexander Films told me:

"Really appreciate you entering and the conversations some of the judges had around your script were amazing to hear. I think out of all of them, your story was the one that had everyone the most excited about and was a very, very close second."

There were judges from the BBC and Creative England amongst others so I'm taking that as an accolade.

Its a story about the Devil contending for the soul of an injured boxer. It was originally written for another director with a brief to "Go Weird" so I did!

Watch this space.
 
 

Thursday, 5 April 2018

Filmonomics

I graduated from the fabulous Filmonomics 5 scheme a few weeks ago. I applied on the back of conceiving and curating 6 of the Best Fest back in January 2017. Its been a great experience and I'm hoping to find the time to blog about it in detail soon.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

May '17:Gwen Documentary and Other Film News

I recently made a documentary about an old lady called Gwen McKendry who was a nurse of sick children and servicemen during World War II. It was fascinating to hear about her life and wartime experiences.
The film was made for the Whickers World Foundation Sage Award for new documentary filmmakers over 50. Unfortunately it wasn't shortlisted but they have promised me some "deserved feedback"!
I'm currently having the film properly scored and then hope to screen it for Gwen and put it in to festivals. I may have to do a crowdfunding campaign to help pay for the creation of a DCP (Digital Cinema Package) and festival fees to try and get it out there so watch this space.

Thanks to my crew Nina Baillie (Camera), Josche Eickel (Sound) and Chantal Felui Gurri and Mike Goreham (Editors). Thanks too to David Shipman for helping set things up.


FreeFire Q & A at Ritzy.

I was delighted to be offered a complimentary ticket to a FreeFire Q & A at the Ritzy in Brixton with director Ben Wheatley back at the end of March. The ticket was provided by Michael Smiley who some of you may remember played Tires O'Flaherty in the sitcom Spaced.

Michael stars alongside Cillian Murphy (Peaky Blinders), Brie Larson (Room, Short Term 12) and others in a great ensemble effort. Brie won the Best Actress Oscar for her role in Lenny Abrahamson's multi award winning film Room in 2016

I was fortunate to meet and chat with Ben and his producer Andy Starke before the screening.

A Poitín Whiskey Fuelled Romp through Time, Space and the Irish Countryside.

In other news I'm having a big push on finishing my novel Ulysses O'Mooney after being selected for the Penguin Books #WriteNowLive scheme before Christmas. I was delighted to be selected for the scheme which had over 2000 applicants for only 150 places devided between Birmingham, London and Manchester events.
 Its a story about a young alien who crash lands in rural Ireland in 1969 and has to try and find a way back home.The Penguin editor that I had the 1-2-1 with loved the story world that I have created. She did ask me at the time what books I could compare it to and I was stumped. I now think that in terms of the myriad of interesting characters it could be loosely described as an Irish Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

You can read 3 extracts on Wattpad here.

Film Production News.

My plan for the rest of the year is to make at least two quality shorts that I can enter into BAFTA and Oscar feeder festivals. Assuming I can get these films selected this would then qualify me for prestigious talent development and mentoring schemes such as Guiding Lights.

I'm also aiming to have a nano budget feature ready for entry into the London Screenings Breakthrough Strand in March 2018.  Any producers,crew or financial backers that wants to help with these projects should get in touch via email to info [AT] sticklebackproductions.co.uk

NB I'm nowhere near casting yet so would request that actors send a short covering letter and CV with links to reel etc.

New Battle of Britain Documentary Project

I'm also currently trying to put some funding together to go and interview a 102 year old Battle of Britain pilot about his wartime experiences. This would hopefully form the basis of a longish short or even feature length documentary.
Finally here's a gratuitous but great picture of Juno - my constant canine companion taken by my pro photographer friend Owen de Visser.
TAFN

Brendan

@Stickleback_Pro