Archive for April 25th, 2007

Less than 25 words

25th April 2007 by Maura McHugh

Thanks to Lianne’s blog I note that the UK Film Council has announced details about its new round of the 25 Words or Less scheme.

The next round of 25 Words or Less brings a new approach to the initiative, in partnership with 3 of the UK’s low budget production financiers: Warp X, Vertigo Films and Slingshot Studios. The production partners and the UK Film Council’s Development Fund will jointly select three writers to develop a first draft script inspired by each of the production partner’s chosen genre. Involvement of these partners will provide access to their expertise and experience of developing for low budget features, in an environment where a primary focus is moving rapidly to production.

Funding of £10,000 will be awarded by the UK Film Council to each successful writer. The Development Fund will assign a script editor to each project — the cost of which will be attributable to the project but met by the UK Film Council.

The three studios and matching genres are: Warp X: “Lo-Fi, Sci-Fi.”; Vertigo Films: “A comedy involving a case of mistaken identity”; Slingshot Studios: “Teen Hitchcock”.

All EU citizens are eligible, but only people with literary agents, or full members of the Writer’s Guild of Great Britain, can apply. Otherwise, the application mostly consists of a pitch line of under 25 words, a one-page outline, 10 pages of sample scenes, and pertinent application details. Applications need to arrive at the UK Film Council’s offices by Friday 13th July 2007, an auspicious date.

Advice from Albee

25th April 2007 by Maura McHugh

At the weekend American playwright, Edward Albee (Who’s Afraid of Virginna Wolf?, The Sandbox), gave a two-hour masterclass in New York on writing for theatre. The New York Times sat in, and recorded some of his advice:

“Then say it,” Mr. Albee said. “That’s your job, to change things and bring people around to your point of view. You’re either right or wrong. Creativity begins in the unconscious. Don’t write too soon. Get to know your characters. You should be writing absolutely real people in real situations. That’s the only way actors can act your stuff.”

There were practical matters, too: never lecture, don’t be obscure, never become someone’s opinion of you, and remember that every line has two purposes — one, to delineate character, and two, to advance the plot. Everything else is a waste.

There was also a reading list of the four essential 20th-century playwrights (Chekhov, Pirandello, Beckett and Brecht) and a warning.

“If you only read the great writers, you’ll be in trouble,” he said. “Read junk. It’s enormously encouraging to tell yourself, ‘I can do better than that.’ “

Dublin Theatre Festival

25th April 2007 by Maura McHugh

RTÉ notes that the preliminary programme for the 50th Dublin Theatre Festival (27 September – 14 October) has been announced.

The full, expanded programme for the festival will be announced later this year, but among the highlights are the Irish premiere of Marina Carr’s ‘Woman and Scarecrow’ at the Peacock Theatre; Druid Theatre Company’s production of ‘A Long Day’s Journey into Night’ at the Gaiety Theatre; Laurie Anderson’s ‘Homeland’ at the Olympia Theatre and Japan’s premier Butoh dance company’s ‘Sanki Juku’ at the Gaiety Theatre.

Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, John O’Donoghue, has granted once-off funding of €200,000 for the anniversary year, and a 50th Celebration Committee had been established to work with the Dublin Theatre Festival.