Monday, 19 March 2012

February Drinks with Lucy Scher

“The secret of making movies is having the strongest possible script.” - Harvey Weinstein

It has been almost sixteen years since The Script Factory first came into existence, and, in that time, the company has been instrumental in promoting the importance of script development in the UK – and internationally - working with writers, developers, producers and distributors, among others; to train, educate, inspire and support the industry.

As Co-Director of the Script Factory, Lucy Scher joined from its earliest days in 1996, arranging performed readings and heading up their development and training programmes. She devised the UK's first ever course for script readers over a decade ago, and her illuminating approach to evaluating screenplays has swept the industry, been taught in countries throughout the world and led to the Script Factory's Diploma in Script Development ("the only comprehensive vocational programme in script development in the UK"), which she heads up in conjunction with the National Film and Television School.

The core of Lucy’s reader training is now available in a book, the highly recommended Reading Screenplays: How to Analyse and Evaluate Film Scripts. We were delighted that Hannah Patterson and Ion Mills from publishers, Kamera Books, joined Lucy to talk about Reading Screenplays; and further discussion was had with Lucy about her work in development and the future of the Script Factory, as the industry landscape evolves. A huge thank you to her! 

Lucy and the Script Factory helped us to launch (and co-hosted our launch party) back in March last year, as In Development originally grew out of our experiences on the Diploma in Script Development. In addition to established developers attending our February drinks, our guests included graduates of the Class of 2012, Paul Bryan and Sophie Mitchell. Congratulations to them and their fellow graduates!

Our March drinks are almost upon us, and this month’s special guest will be Jamie Wolpert, whose development credits include Sky Atlantic’s upcoming Hit & Miss, created by Paul Abbott and written by Sean Conway. Jamie also recently script-edited the tragic demise of Pat Evans (formerly Butcher) on Eastenders, and is the newly appointed Development Editor at the British Film Institute.

With today’s announcement of the appointment of Ben Roberts as the new Director of the BFI’s Film Fund, this is a great time to find out more about what is happening there, so we are very much looking forward to insights from Jamie, in his first month in the job. (And it seems very relevant to note here that Ben did the Script Factory's reader training years ago with Lucy!)

We agree with both Mr Weinstein (a happy sixtieth birthday to him!) and our very own Ms Scher, that it is ultimately all down to a brilliant script - and at In Development our focus remains on both movies and television drama. On that note, here’s the trailer for Hit & Miss, coming to Sky Atlantic in May…