If you, like me, are an aspiring screenwriter you will know that our chosen profession comes with its fair share of challenges, probably the most prominent of which is the sheer mass of people who share our common dream of seeing the words we’ve written performed on the silver screen. In fact, I would be willing to bet that, much like Kevin Bacon, each of us alive today are never any more than six connections away from a screenwriter or their lowly cousin, the humble ‘aspiring screenwriter’(throw a tennis ball in your local Cafe Nero and you’ve probably got a 1 in 5 chance of hitting at least three of these). So I thought, why not use those numbers to our advantage? Because as I’m sure you know, another common problem for people of our ilk is getting things read, friends and family loath having a screenwriter in their lives, because it means they’re bugged, prodded and cajoled constantly into reading and reviewing every single thought that passes through our heads, of course we know what we’re writing is fantastic, but what’s the point if other people aren’t enjoying it too?
Which brings me round to my point, if you saw my previous post (re: my recent internship at Knight Hall Agency) you may have seen mention of a University of Lincoln (UoL) grad/student ‘screenwriters’ circle’ that I am going to be setting up; my thinking is let’s all give the members of our respective households a bit of breathing space and try reading each other’s work because, as helpful and insightful as Mum’s tips about the capitalised character names feeling “too shouty” are, there’s no better feedback than that of a fellow wordsmith. Especially one who is extremely keen on you returning the favour in a few weeks.
So, some deets: I am going to be opening up the circle initially just for UoL alumni and students who are interested, have a genuine passion for screenwriting and who are going to be active participants in this process. The circle will be hosted through Google Drive (and possibly a private Facebook page if the need arises) and will be free to join for anyone from the university who gets in touch with me expressing their interest (my contact details are on my website – www.stevestaff.com). At the moment I am thinking that, as long as there are enough members, I will split everyone into two groups ‘A’and ‘B’with only one group allowed to upload per month, and the other reviewing. So for example October would be scripts from group A being read then November would be scripts from group B being read, and on and on we go. Members will be free to review whenever they like (so if you’re in A you can read scripts from others in A), but I think that an upload restriction will help to make sure people are participating on a more long term basis. The only other rules will be that feedback must be constructive, honest and useful, anyone caught using the service to abuse others will be branded not cool for eternity then hastily removed, and finally anybody who has failed to participate at least once after a three month period will be ousted immediately.
So there it all is, my little idea, do with that information what you will, but if you like the sound of being a part of the circle, please do get in touch, once again, contact details are on my website – just title your email ‘Circle Application’ and I’ll get back to you ASAP. Hope to be in touch with many of you soon! Thanks very much for reading.