I was lucky enough to have writer-director Adrian Mead as a mentor for nine months, thanks to the Scottish Book Trust's mentoring scheme. I've also been along to several of his one-day seminars on making it as a screenwriter, and can't endorse them highly enough. So you'll forgive me for running the following shameless plug for Adrian's next seminar. [I'm thinking of going along myself, could do with a fresh burst of Adrian's enthusiasm.]
Adrian Mead: How are you going to get your break and advance your career as a screenwriter or filmmaker in the midst of an economic downturn?
The idea for a day about career building came from a spate of calls I've had recently from new writers and filmmakers who were ready to give up trying to build a career. Despite gaining qualifications, reading numerous websites and sending out scripts nothing had changed for them. My answer was simple and brutal, "If you haven't achieved what you want yet, then you aren't really putting all that knowledge into action. Knowing isn't doing."
Think back to January. You were all fired up about breaking into the film and TV industry, "This has to be the year when I make it happen!" So, how has it gone? What have you achieved so far? Be honest, didn't you make that same speech last January, maybe even the year before that? So why are you trapped in your own version of Groundhog Day? In order to find the answer you first need to recognize a huge and fundamental truth.
Knowing isn't doing. Knowledge doesn't change things. Action does. Already some of you will have been lining up your excuses, "The film and TV industry has changed massively in the last six months. I don't know where to start now. I mean, what's the point in trying to break into an industry besieged by cancellations and budget cuts?" In fact you couldn't be more wrong. This is a great time to be a new writer or filmmaker trying to get your break.
Seriously. If you know where to look there are numerous new opportunities available to you because of the economic downturn. Yet most of you will miss them as you continue employing a half-hearted, outdated and now redundant approach to advancing your career. Take action and join me at THE SCREENWRITER'S CAREER GUIDE to discover what you need to do in order to break into the film and TV industry today.
This will be a day jam packed with the very latest career building opportunities for screenwriters and filmmakers. No screenwriting theory, just a clear guide to the shape of the Film and TV industry as it is now and how it is likely to develop. The once standard approach you used even three months ago is now redundant. Everything has changed. You need to do the same or get left behind.
These are exciting times filled with opportunities for new writers and filmmakers who know where to look and are ready to adapt and collaborate. THE SCREENWRITER'S CAREER GUIDE will teach you how to take action that will build contacts, find money and build a career.
When and Where: The next course will be held on 4 July 2009 at a central London location. The course fee is £ 70 + VAT (Early Bid price until 15 May). The fee includes all materials and light refreshments. To book go here and check out THE SCREENWRITER'S CAREER GUIDE.