I’m saying “lovely” a lot.
And “Smashing!” and “Brilliant!” and “Mind the gap!”
Why? Because I am just back from spending 10 days in England spreading the word on the Cat! — and yes, I had a great time.
I have all new respect for Madonna.
We did a smashing job in Cornwall, south of London and home to Trelowarren Castle, where we held classes each day on the estate as part of the Eat, Shoot and Leave Conference that all hope will be the start of an annual event. Lovely? Indeed!
My seminar students all started with movie ideas and ended five days later with complete outlines for their screenplays!
One participant even finished off his seminar session with an offer to pitch his story to a top producer. Smashing!
Look for an article about my class by Mark David Hatwood (whose novel, Marcello’s Date, will be made into a feature film this fall) in ScriptWriter Magazine, the single coolest magazine for screenwriters in the UK (http://www.scriptwritermagazine.com). It is edited by Julian Friedman and his wife, Jonquil — Julian being the top literary agent in England and, from the stories I heard from his clients, one of the most supportive. The Blake Friedman Agency, which Julian heads, has both a literary side and a TV/Film side — both highly successful.
I also learned from Colin Rogers, one of the organizers of the event, along with my publisher and host, the amazing Michael Wiese, that most British film writers get their start writing for BBC TV. Mini-series and dramas are easier to get made for TV, but as I learned later, a new government policy may open up new possibilites for filmmakers — and all-important co-financing.
Back in London this past Saturday, I met with 30-40 writers in Soho for a fantastic three-hour chat! Sponsored by my friends Jacquline and Colin of London Script Consultancy (http://www.londonscriptconsultancy.com/), we had a really great session — followed by tea at a posh spot nearby. Colin is the Malcolm McLaren of British screenwriting and both he and Jacquline are brilliant analysts of the scene. They are now in Cannes trying to set up several script projects they are developing — all Cat! approved.
And by God, I almost didn’t want to come back! So if you hear me say “It was a bit ropey at first..” or “He’s a git!” you’ll know I’m homesick for the UK.
All in all, as they say in Cornwall, a proper job!