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Co-op Youth Film Academy Searches for Scripts from Budding Young Film Writers

Are you made of the ‘write’ stuff? a youth film academy has started its search for screenplays to be made into full length feature films next year.

The Co-operative British Youth Film Academy gives 14-25 year-olds unique experiences of the movie industry and is seeking new scripts or, screenplays of classics, for next summer’s filming schedule.

It is backed by The Co-operative Group as part of its commitment to inspiring young people and, this year, it shot four movies at film-making summer camps which combine professionals from film and education to mentor students and offer everything from acting to make-up and camera through to post-production.


Acclaimed new screenwriting book raises funds for Childline

Adrian Mead, hairdresser-turned-writer, has written a guide to selling your screenplay that's been getting great reviews from some of the big names of the screenwriting world. Best of all, all the money raised from the £7.79 download goes to Childline - with over £1,000 raised in the first week alone.

Adrian wrote and directed the award winning £300,000 feature Night People (pictured) with producer Claire Kerr and also works as a volunteer for Childline.  "The fantastic training and the short time I have experienced as a counselor so far has definitely given me new skills and an insight into my own psyche," he says. 'I’m convinced it’s also made me a better writer and director."

MAKING IT AS A SCREENWRITER is now available for the price of £7.79.  You can download your copy from


Free online screenwriting and scheduling tool releases v1.0

Celtx is a free open-source Canadian scriptwriting programme that connects with an online community where you can develop the script with other collaborators and writers. Unlike some of the other pretty cool free online scriptwriting tools, like, Scripped, PlotBot and ScriptBuddy - Celtx is a standalone piece of software so you don't need to be online to use it.  It has built in storyboarding, collaboration, casting and scheduling features - all of which can be shared online if you wish to build interest in your film, and boasts 250,000 active users.

It also has a rather neat feature whereby scenes you assign to a date in your shooting schedule will import all information about all associated characters, props and locations into the calendar and automatically produce a call sheet.



As WGA strike continues, writers form online co-ops and some earn millions

At the touted advertising rate of $60 per 1000 web video views, this could have earned the producers up to $3m for a two minute short, with no notable initial outlay.

stillerstrikes With the Studios showing no sign of responding to the seemingly reasonable demands of the Writers Guild of America, and the threat of a joke-free Oscar ceremony on the horizon, the LA Times is reporting that writers are now forming new and powerful online alliances, as suggested by Marc Andresson in November. At least three have adopted a co-operative model last seen in Hollywood in the heydays of United Artist, originally a co-op founded by Charlie Chaplin and Mary Pickford.

Some, ventures, such as Will Ferrell's has seen one no-budget short (below) top 50 million views. At the touted advertising rate of $60 per 1000 views for professional quality video, this would have earned the producers up to $3m, with no notable initial outlay.

{snippet ferrell}

From the LA Times (via BoingBoing):

Dozens of striking film and TV writers are negotiating with venture capitalists to set up companies that would bypass the Hollywood studio system and reach consumers with video entertainment on the Web.

At least seven groups, composed of members of the striking Writers Guild of America, are planning to form Internet-based businesses that, if successful, could create an alternative economic model to the one at the heart of the walkout, now in its seventh week.

Three of the groups are working on ventures that would function much like United Artists, the production company created 80 years ago by Charlie Chaplin and other top stars who wanted to break free from the studios. "It's in development and rapidly incubating," said Aaron Mendelsohn, a guild board member and co-creator of the "Air Bud" movies.


Syd Field: "Screenwriting is finding places where silence works better than words"

imgp5420Veteran Hollywood screenwriter Syd Field held a two-day workshop for wannabe writers in London’s Bloomsbury last weekend (12th/13th May), in association with Moviescope magazine. The event drew in participants from far-flung lands: “there are nine different countries represented here today,” as the man himself said. Suchandrika Chakrabarti joined them.

Syd began the course with a short biography. He started his career in documentary filmmaking and network TV, before moving into literary and film criticism for magazines. After a few years of reading screenplays for production companies, he was invited to teach at Sherman Oaks College in Hollywood, alongside someone called Paul Newman teaching acting… Just prior to holding the workshop, Syd had been in India, working as a consultant on the BAFTA-nominated film, PK5, with Rakyesh Mehra.


Hot Stuff Reveals Hooking Tendencies in Screenwriting


Edgar Wright, co-screenwriterSimon Pegg, co-scriptwriterThis week Hot Fuzz the new film from the makers of Shaun of the Dead and Spaced was screening at New York's Lincoln Center. PSFK, the website that likes to keep an eye on new trends went along. PSFK's verdict is that the film is superb - go see it - but what's more interesting is the way they wrote the script and filmed it....


Trainspotters Reunited as Junkie Sequel gets Go-Ahead


Trainspotting - cult hit film Its portrayal of the lives of heroin addicts in Scotland's capital was the unlikely smash that put the country on the movie-making map and brought international fame and fortune to its home-grown cast.  Trainspotting became one of the greatest British films ever made, ushering in a new era of gritty Scottish films that have generated millions of pounds for the economy.

Now, more than ten years on from its release, Danny Boyle, the film's director, has confirmed that Renton, Begbie, Spud and co will return to the silver screen in a follow-up to Trainspotting, revealing that he has been given the rights to the much-talked-about sequel.


Gilliam and Grisoni Grab Good Omens for a Groat

We've said no to lots of people who want to make it into a cool, big commercial film...

neil gaiman The ever wonderful BoingBoing is reporting on an RU Sirius interview with Neil Gaiman earlier this week where the author of Mirrormask and the forthcoming Matthew Vaughan helmed Stardust, talked about long discussed plans for Terry Gilliam to direct his novel Good Omens. Like Lars von Trier's next project, Good Omens - which Gaiman co-wrote with Terry Pratchet -  concerns the antichrist.

In the interview Gaiman revealed that he had set the price of an option at one Groat.

RU SIRIUS: You're doing something with Terry Gilliam, who is absolutely one of my favorite directors.

NEIL GAIMAN: Terry has been working for many years on Good Omens, which is the novel that Terry Pratchett and I co-wrote about the end of the world…