Posts Tagged ‘advice’

New Members Night

26th November 2015 by Maura McHugh

New Members of the WGI are invited to a meeting where we will discuss the work of the Guild and answer any questions you might have, including but not limited to: your membership of the Guild, writing for the screen, stage, and radio in Ireland, what to expect from writing contracts, and how copyright works.

Some of you have already attended an earlier New Members meeting this year, in which case there is no need to respond. If you have not yet attended a New Members meeting however, we would encourage you to come along and find out what the Guild does and how it can benefit you.

The meeting will take place at 6pm on Thursday, 17 December at the WGI’s office in Arthouse (3rd Floor), Curved Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2.

If you wish to attend please RSVP to info (at) script.ie by Wednesday 16 December with ‘New Members Meeting’ in the subject line.

Amazon Studios: The Responses

22nd November 2010 by Maura McHugh

Amazon StudiosLast week a new film development process called Amazon Studios was announced.

Amazon is promoting this as the cool, modern way to make movies:

Movies have been developed pretty much the same way since talkies were considered cutting-edge. But here at Amazon Studios, we believe 21st-century technology creates opportunities to make and share movies and scripts more easily than ever. We invite you to:

  • Win money. Amazon Studios will award a combined $2.7 million in our first year’s worth of monthly and annual contests for the best scripts and movies. There is no charge to participate. Learn more.
  • Get noticed. Your work will be shared with a global community of filmmakers and fans, who can offer revisions and advice. Screenwriters can see their words come to life as full-length test movies made by directors vying for our $100,000 monthly awards.
  • Get your movie made. The goal of Amazon Studios is to work with Hollywood to turn the best projects into major feature films.

The problem is that as soon as the writer enters the contest s/he has agreed to a contract, and as UK screenwriter Michelle Lipton points out the contract is less than exemplary.

One warning sign, among many, is this clause:

14. No Guild Jurisdiction. Amazon is not a signatory to any agreement with a collective bargaining organization, including, without limitation, the Writers Guild of America Minimum Basic Agreement or the Directors Guild of America Basic Agreement, and none of the activity conducted in connection with Amazon Studios is subject to the jurisdiction of any collective bargaining organization. If you are a member of any collective bargaining organization, you are solely responsible for your participation in Amazon Studios, and for determining whether your participation complies with your obligations under those agreements.

Many established screenwriters have weighed in with their opinions on the contract. Most of them have been through the process of developing scripts for film and/or television and understand the pressures that can come upon a script from the likes of producers and directors even under the best of circumstances where there is a fair contract in effect.

Their opinions are well worth reading in regard to Amazon Studios:

Other articles on the web about this ‘deal’:

As always screenwriters should pay attention to the terms and conditions of contracts before they enter into any agreements. Remember, as soon as you enter the Amazon Studios deal you are agreeing to its conditions.

BAFTA Screenwriters on Screenwriting

16th November 2010 by Maura McHugh

BAFTA Screenwriters

BAFTA has added a series of six lectures to its web site in which established screenwriters discuss the craft of screenwriting.

You can watch videos by Peter Morgan, Sir David Hare, Simon Beaufoy, Aline Brosh McKenna, Christopher Hampton and Sir Ronald Harwood.

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.

The Write Direction

26th October 2010 by Maura McHugh

Northern Ireland ScreenAs part of Northern Ireland Screen’s drive to develop a sustainable and dynamic screen industry in Northern Ireland, it is running a panel session on Friday 12th November entitled The Write Direction, looking at how young screenwriters and film-makers can break into the industry.

The workshop will take the form of a panel event, moderated by renowned industry pundit and former European Editor of trade bible Variety, ADAM DAWTREY.  Key members of the panel will include London-based literary agents MATTHEW BATES of Sayles Screen and ROB KRAITT of AP Watt, as well as the award-winning writer GUY HIBBERT and actor/filmmaker LIA WILLIAMS.  Further panel participants are to be confirmed.

The session, aimed at upcoming screenwriters and film-makers, will look at key questions such as:

  • What are literary agents currently looking for?
  • How do they make their choices?
  • How does a screenwriter break into the industry?
  • If I’m a feature film writer and haven’t had a break, should I switch to television?
  • Are soaps a good way in?  Or short film?
  • Am I at a disadvantage if I only write and I don’t want to direct as well?
  • What you need to secure an agent?  Is it a Catch 22?  I can’t get an agent before I get a credit.  I can’t get a credit before an agent.
  • What is the market looking for in terms of talent.  Is there a certain “type” or “trend” right now?
  • Should I align myself with a producer or production company or keep my options open?
  • How involved do agents get in terms of packaging and producing?Can agents help bring finance to the table?
  • How a successful writer/agent partnership works and tips for good agent relations.

THE WRITE DIRECTION
Friday 12 November 2010 at 3.30-5.00pm including Q&A
The Crescent Arts Centre, 2-4 University Road Belfast BT7 1NH

Please note that this workshop takes places before the BAFTA/Rocliffe New Writing Forum event, which is at the same venue on the same date at 7.00pm.  If you have already registered for the BAFTA/Rocliffe event, you must register separately for this workshop.  If you are attending both events, we have made provision for hot food between 5.30pm and 6.30pm.

The event is free of charge.  Please email rsvp@northernirelandscreen.co.uk with your name immediately to reserve your place, and put “THE WRITE DIRECTION” in the subject line.