Archive for November 4th, 2010

Playwriting Advice

4th November 2010 by Maura McHugh

The Irish Times published a useful article at the weekend which offers practical advice on taking one’s play from script to the stage.

it’s one thing to dream up an idea for a play in your head, and something of an achievement to get it on to paper. To get your lines into the mouths of living, breathing actors, there are some principles you should follow

They say everyone has a book in them, but what about a play? Have you dabbled in drama and sketched scenes in your head but felt unsure about how to go about putting the words you’ve set on the page into the mouths of living, breathing actors?

In the absence of any formal accredited training in Ireland – when the Lir national academy of dramatic art opens at Trinity College Dublin next year, it will offer the first master’s degree in playwriting in the country – there is no traditional path for the playwright to follow. But there is an informal route that budding dramatists can navigate if they have the glow of the footlights in their sights.

Jumping the First Hurdle

4th November 2010 by Maura McHugh

FilmbaseFilmbase is running a course called Hollywood Screenwriting – Jumping the First Hurdle, which will be given by James Bartlett from 11am – 1.30pm on Friday 19 November. Cost: €40 members / €55 non-members.

Every day in Hollywood producers, agents, actors and studio executives receive thousands of scripts. How can you make sure that yours makes it past the first hurdle? This hurdle is actually a person – a script reader – and he or she can be many things: a stressed assistant, a summer intern, or – if you are lucky – someone who has spent years analysing scripts and can recognize talent and potential when they see it.

A script reader is the first gatekeeper for your script, and since coverage is often kept on file and on databases that agencies and studios share, a “pass” in one place can mean that your script might not even get read at other places either.

This two to three hour workshop with experienced story analyst/editor James Bartlett will talk about the business of script reading, the differences between the US and UK film industries, and the ways to break into the US market.

Every writer has spent weeks, months and years working on their script, and now it’s finally ready to go out into the world: this lecture will give you the “Unlucky/Lucky 13″ mistakes to make sure that it doesn’t fall at the first hurdle.


James Bartlett is a writer and journalist living in Los Angeles. He is also a story analyst for the Sundance Institute, National Geographic Films, New Regency, UCLA and the Academy of Motion Pictures’ Nicholl Screenwriting Awards, the US consultant for Euroscript, and a reader for several regional funders in the UK and Ireland.