Monday, October 24, 2011

London Screenwriters' Festival 2011 - prelude

So much to say, so little time.

I am going to LSF'11, this week. I got onto the speed pitching on Sunday, and miracle of miracles I also got the Advanced Mentoring session (which is going to start with Dragon's Den-style pitching and cross-examination from the floor) with Gub Neal on Friday. This is all good.

I know pitching is a very scary thing, and people will tell you it's all down to preparation. I don;t think that's right really, of course it helps to be prepared - and I'm not going in unprepared. But there is something vastly more important: emotion.

You could be apathetic, imagine what response that would get. You could be tearful. You could plead. You could be plain scared. You could be snide and superior. You could be angry. Antagonistic. You could be anxious. Bored.

Any of those and it would be an utter disaster. You could be a bit interested, a lot interested, cheerful - those would be better.  But there's only emotion that really works: Enthusiasm and it has to be genuine.

If you can't be genuinely enthusiastic about your own work, you're on to a loser. I'd probably argue that you could get away with a minimum of preparation, as long as you're enthusiastic. Your idea still has to have merit, of course.

This year I'm not relocating to a nearby hotel, because my latest contract has me in a room in Kensington, London. So no additional costs incurred - nice. But I won't be heading home at the weekend to see the family which is not so nice.

Last weekend I was intending to get all the pitches and one pagers done. I didn't. So this evening I rushed out after work and bought a nice little Epson printer that takes the same inks as the one I have at home. Excellent.

So what have I been writing? Well the planning on Winter web-series has been going very nicely but I've had to hold fire on that for the LSF'11. I did a tidy up on my feature Rebel set in the same steampunk universe as Winter in fact it happens at almost the same time. I'll be pitching Rebel in the speed-pitching.

For the Advanced Mentoring I'm pitching Monsters (SF action thriller TV series) still my favourite after all this time.

There's also the deadline (the day after the LSF'11) for the Channel 4 screenwriting course which I completely failed to get into last year. For that I'm sending my broadcaster-friendly detective series Mara though I'll give that a brush-up first as well.

And that's it.

I don't know if I'll be supplying a day-to-day rundown on the LSF'11 this year, I'm going to be a lot busier than usual. We'll see how it goes.

What's on the turntable? "Always somewhere else" by Steve Hackett from "Highly Strung"

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