Personal Growth - How Much is Good for You

For all you film-makers and film-viewers out there - I hope you'll link up and share your thoughts.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Graduate wins European 3D Film Mart Competition

Yesterday, Amy Ricker (class of 2010/11) won the EU’s 3D Film Mart Competition with her film “Billy and the Goblin Rebellion”.  The script was developed as her major project on the MA Screenwriting & Producing programme.

The win guarantees her a Euro 3,000 further development deal and links her to financiers, sales agents and distributors.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

To McKee or not to McKee, that is the question.

So here's the thing.  Has Robert McKee (McKee, R, Story, Methuen, 1999) and all his work made one bad writer a good one?  Or, indeed, a good writer a better one?

Has his work helped one film script, one movie, to be better than it would have been without his influence?

Monday, 3 October 2011

Joanna Hogg - birth of a new auteur.

The writer/director Joanna Hogg has cemented a reputation as an auteur after just two movies ("Unrelated" & "Archipelago").  Working with no script and muttering a “When you’re ready…” rather than screaming “Action!” she’s putting actors at the centre of the creative process.
She’s made a fully-fledged star of Tom Hiddleston ("Thor", "The Deep Blue Sea", Spielberg's "War Horse") and woken the broadsheet critics from their slumbers.  Check the links below for how the hype has hit the polar extremes of The Guardian and Comic-con.

Joanna joins us for a workshop this month.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Hossein Amini accelerates away from “Drive”

Ryan Gosling in "Drive', 2011
Hossein Amini’s script for “Drive” helped Nicolas Winding Refn to this year’s Best Director gong at Cannes and Hoss is not slowing up.

This month his script for “47 Ronin” (Keanu Reeves, Rinko Kikuchi) goes into post, and he’s presently scripting “Snow White and the Huntsmen” (Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron) for a 2012 shoot.

As well as Refn, Hossein has chalked up work with Scorsese (on Gangs of New York, Winterbottom (Jude), Ian Softley (Hossein was Oscar-nominated for The Wings of the Dove) and John Madden (Killshot).

Hossein will be doing a workshop with the MA Screenwriting & Producing programme next semester.

Youtube Q & A with Refn and Gosling

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Bogdan Mirica wins award for "Bora Bora"

Bogdan Mirica (Class of 2007) has won the Best Short award for his film, "Bora Bora", at the Transilvania International Film Festival - the film continues on around the festival circuit.

Bogdan's first feature, "Ho Ho Ho", was distributed by MediaPro in 2009 and the same company is in post on Bogdan's latest script, "Las Fierbinti".

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Jeff Nottingham gets Arts Council Funding for "Lost in Mozart"

Jeff Nottingham (Class of 2010) has received Arts Council funding for his urban musical, “Lost in Mozart”.
The stage show is a high-drama bromance set in the, factually-based “postal code wars” between the Mozart and Kilburn estates and pitches classical music head-on with the “spitting” scene of North West London.

 “Lost in Mozart” will premiere at the Edinburgh Festival in August at theSpaceUK venues and will transfer to London (Venue tbc) in October.
The show is based on Jeff’s screenplay of the same title and will be used as a platform for a feature production in 2012.

Watch the teaser:
More info at:

Friday, 6 May 2011

Seeing Pictures options Paul Joseph's "Condemned"

Paul Joseph (Class of 2010) has optioned his graduation feature script, "Condemned", to multi award-winning team, John and Shannon Jennissen, at Seeing Pictures.  Earlier this year, Paul won the Raindance Pitchfest with his horror story about a condemned building that fights back.  "Great script," says John, "Can't wait to get it out there."

Sunday, 10 April 2011

After "Gnomeo and Juliet" - New Development Exec at Elton John's Rocket Pictures

Julio Bonet (class of 2006) was post-production producer on Rocket Pictures/Disney’s “Gnomeo and Juliet” (James McAvoy, Emily Blunt), shepherding the movie to a number one spot at the UK and US box office.

He also provided the voice of the Mankini Gnome.  This May he returns to the bosom of David Furnish and Elton John’s Rocket Pictures as their new Development Exec.  The company intends to concentrate on music-based projects.  "Rocket Pictures' aim is to develop and build upon a unique relationship with recording artists and to become the home for diverse, artistically driven and commercial music entertainment," Elton John said in a recent Variety interview.

Friday, 1 April 2011

Gemma Pascual joins Desert Road in New Zealand

Gemma Pascual (class of 2006) has just moved as Head of Development at Factotum, Barcelona, to be Head of Development at Desert Road in New Zealand.

"Out of the Blue" from Desert Road
Desert Road is an award-winning film and TV company with features and docs being distributed worldwide by the likes of Sony, Lionsgate and the National Geographic Channel.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Slim Jim Films in feature development on award winning "Mosa"

The writer Victoria Pilkington-Miksa (class of 2010) has been commissioned by Slim Jim Films to turn her multi award-winning short, "Mosa", into a feature.  Ana Morena will direct.  The budget will be around the Euro 1.5million mark.  A South African/ German co-production is on the cards.
Isaura Barbe-Brown is "Mosa"

Saturday, 26 March 2011

"Men Don't Lie" to shoot with Michael Madsen in April

Michael Madsen
Kat Moon (class of 2011) is co-producing "Men Don't Lie".  It shoots this April with Michael Madsen ("Reservoir Dogs", "Kill Bill") and Jean-Hughes Anglade ("Betty Blue", "La Reine Margot").  Jane Spencer directs, and Lucy Shuttleworth, regular tutor on our programme, has scripted.

Friday, 25 March 2011

"Island" starring Natalie Press opens at Soho Curzon, 25th April

Amy Ricker's (class of 2010/11) feature production, "Island" with Natalie Press ("My Summer of Love", & Oscar winning "Wasp") opens at the Curzon Soho, London, on 25th April and goes wide that week.  Her company, Finite Films, is also launching the TV show "Walk Like a Panther" starring Stephen Graham ("Snatch", "This is England") and Kasabian frontman, Tom Meighan.  Broadcast dates to be confirmed next week.

Natalie Press in "Island"

Thursday, 24 March 2011

BBC Films co-produces "Borrowed Time" with Parkville in April

Cecilia Frugiuele (class of 2009) is co-producing "Borrowed Time" through Parkville Pictures in partnership with Film London and BBC Films on the Microwave Scheme.  Jules Bishop is directing.  Production starts in April.
Production still for "Borrowed Time"

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Pilot for Dutch TV wins SFX award

Brian de Vore (class of 2007) won an Award from the Visual Effect Society for Outstanding Effects on his pilot for the TV show, "The Mystery of the Full Moon".
"The Mystery of the Full Moon"

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Personal Growth - How Much is Good for You?

Personal Transformation - the internal journey - the character’s arc

Each of these expressions touches on the “need” of a protagonist.  They describe the steps that a character takes to progress towards (or regress away from) a better version of themselves.

One of our key decisions as writers is how to engage with this aspect of narrative structure.
Do we want our characters to change?  If we do, how schematic should those steps be and how much do we need to spoon-feed the audience when we illustrate these steps?  How much change is truly plausible, given that most of us change very little over the course of our entire adult lives?  How much does this “character arc” enrich the impact of our movies?

There are no rules.  The majority of writing “gurus” expend enormous time and energy persuading us that this “personal transformation” is the holy grail of script writing.  But is it?  Watch your favourite movies, read the scripts - make up your own mind.

What follows is a brief introduction to the principles...