LSF 2010: Your script was good, now it’s great. Be prepared to deal with the unavoidable writer notes…

I’ll finally be able to attend two sessions that not only don’t clash but I don’t even have to move rooms! What a blessing…

I had the chance to participate on a Script Factory Development workshop with Kate Leys a while ago and she is fabulous! A real development guru: she knows what she’s talking about, she is witty and incredibly funny. So, her session Your Script, From Good to Great, on Friday, 2:10pm, is another MUST. Leys will focus on tips and tricks that can be applied to ‘help drag your script from the bottom of the pile and make it a must read.’ I don’t believe in miracles but Leys has commissioned Trainspotting, The Full Monty, Four Weddings and a Funeral. Do I need to say more?

Following that session, at 4pm, I’ll stick with Kate Leys, who’ll join a panel about Writer Notes, a Necessary Evil. I’ve been at both ends of this rather ungrateful but necessary place: giving (unofficially though) and receiving notes. It’s not easy being on either side. The LSF website says: ‘The truth is that good notes are great but really great notes are rare!’ This is absolutely true. The panelists, I’m sure, will do a brilliant job explaining why: Kate plus screenwriters Steve Hawes and Barbara Jago (have you seen how many produced credits she has!), and award-winning producer Gub Neal.

I’ve shared the joy and pain of receiving writer notes with Steve, who is my writing partner in a project and a dear friend. He’s a brilliant writer with tons of experience on television and film. Steve (who is also a producer, by the way) and Barbara will tell us about receiving notes and, maybe, the difference between notes from the Continent and the UK – he works a lot in France and Belgium; she works mainly in Germany; and Kate and Gub will talk about notes from the producers’ side.

Can hardly wait. Basically, what I want to know is to what extent should we take the notes on board (from a writer’s pov)? Which ones to keep, which to dismiss? How to survive them or make the best use of this unavoidable part of the production process? How can one ask the questions that get one the most helpful notes?

PS. If you wish, you can take a look at the article I wrote about the Script Development workshop with Kate Leys.

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