Tuesday, 30 November 2010

BAFTA Screenwriters' On Screenwriting Series

Picture Courtesy of BAFTA
BAFTA have recently launched a Screenwriters’ Lecture Series on their website, and to use their precise words as they describe it best:

"The result is a series of exclusive videos, clips and profiles providing a fascinating insight into the discipline and culture of screenwriting."

They asked six of the film industry’s leading Screenwriters to give their opinion on the craft, the films they have written and their career so far. These are:
The Screenwriting Channel itself is a part of BAFTA's Access-All-Areas and sits alongside The Directing Channel in its main navigation menu, which is nice to see.

The Screenwriting Channel itself has a great look, layout and functionality. But what's important is the content. So is it any good? Yes, it is great, and more than worth a look. It would be difficult for it not to entice and captivate any aspiring Screenwriter, and Screenwriter to continue on and see what the leading professionals in the field have to say.

This is a great series and emerging free website resource on BAFTA nominated and winning Screenwriters, and on Screenwriting culture itself.

Feel free to head over there now, or read on to learn more about the website and its features.

The BAFTA Screenwriters' Channel is divided into four main sections that revolve around and are powered by the Screenwriters mentioned above:

1. The Screenwriting Lecture Series - six lectures, each centre on a featured Screenwriter and appear in two separate ways. As a lecture highlights video (2-3mins), or in its entirety (35-40mins). This alone makes this a fantastic resource and opportunity to hear from six professional and successful Screenwriters working today.

2. Screenwriter Profiles - dedicated to the featured Screenwriters and offer an introduction and insight to their work and writer-self. These descriptions are short but effective and make for an enjoyable and insightful read. They are recommended reading before viewing the lecture series or an individual lecture.

3. Writers' Top Scripts - each featured Screenwriter has chosen a script that has influenced and inspired them more than any other. The section also features classic clips from the films and a short interview clip from the Screenwriter about the script.

4. Inspiration & Advice - a floating cloud and static list of Screenwriting topics and technique boxes, all when clicked on lead to a specific video clip from the lecture series and a Screenwriter talking on a specific aspect and/or technique of your choosing.

Overall, it's difficult not to appreciate its contents and to applaud BAFTA for its creation and bid to raise the profile and role of the Screenwriter and Screenwriting as an important profession, craft and culture.* It's a highly welcomed and official addition to the online world of Screenwriting, to its exploration, enjoyment and learning.

I look forward to getting through it all and seeing the new additions in the future.

"Explore. Learn. Enjoy."


*Something that Danny Stack and others have been campaigning on for years.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

The Unsucksessful Vampire & FiveZs. Update.

In December 2008, I posted about an interactive website that I was writing scripts for called FiveZs, and thought that I had also posted about a short animation called The Unsucksessful Vampire that I was writing the script for. But upon a look through the archives (it didn't take long), there is no such post. So I must have imagined it.

But anyway, as I never received a copy of the animation, I have recently found it on YouTube and watched it for the first time. It was made by final year students at the then titled The Arts Institute Bournemouth (now The Arts University College Bournemouth) in the class of 2009.

So after no information or hype, I proudly present:

So there it is. What did you think?

Now for some brief exposition:

The collaboration came about after replying to an advert looking for a scriptwriter to pen the narration to an animation that was currently being made. Feeling out of my depth, set on rejection, but fired up about the prospect of writing it, I applied. I used my Vampire and Book short animation scripts as an example of my work, and they did the trick.

Although, I was completely frightened and equally enthralled about the task ahead. At that time, I hadn't written a specific narration before and had no idea whether I'd be able to do it. Plus it was a great project to be involved in and I didn't want to let anyone down. But I learnt fast and managed to hold up my end of the bargain and deliver. It was such a proud achievement and challenging, fun process and one that I have learnt so much from.

Much the same follows the story of FiveZs (Interactive Media Production at Bournemouth University) and writing those scripts: replying to an advert, feeling out of my depth, highly pressured, no experience, etc... but I came through and delivered.

From my previous post on FiveZs and writing for that I wrote about writing many puzzles and designing various other levels. Although they all didn't make it into the final version because it was all much too ambitious for a looming deadline and one student working hard to create it all. But what was made of the scripts works really well and I'm proud of it. So I've decided to add it to my portfolio on my website and you can view the interactive website here. It's best to view it in full-screen (F11) if you have a small screen as the bottom section cuts off.

Besides the challenge and the pressure, I had a lot of fun writing them. So I hope you enjoy them!