Monday, 1 September 2014

September Update!

As summer draws to a close, a quick look forward to what’s coming up and a look back at some of what we’ve been up to so far in 2014. 

It’s September and there’s one month left to take advantage of our discount to the upcoming London Screenwriter’s Festival, 24th-26th October

Already 82% sold out, the festival always delivers a wealth of top screenwriting and film-making talent who come to share their knowledge. This year you can hear from big names like prolific, multi-award winning, writer Lynda La Plante, Oscar nominated, Disney Pixar writer David Reynolds, whose credits include the outstanding Finding Nemo and rising stars like writer/director Amma Asante (Belle) and Johnathan Asser writer of Starred Up. There are also numerous opportunities throughout for writers, developers and film-makers to network, build relationships and promote ourselves and our work. 

Until 30th September you can use our code INDEVELOPMENT14 to save £31 pounds off the three day ticket price. So check out what’s on offer and don’t forget to enter the code when booking.

Meanwhile September’s In Development get together will be an outing to The Royal Institution and their panel discussion Science on Screen, about the art of translating scientific subject matter into engaging screen drama. The talk on the 17th runs from 7 p.m. – 8.30 p.m. and afterwards there will be drinks and discussion in a nearby emporium, so check your invites for more details.

We had fun drinks this August with featured guest Martin Gooch writer/director of micro-budget, genre busters The Search for Simon and Death. Coming straight off a cinema release at the Stratford Picture House, Martin shared his experience of taking on the colossal responsibility of writing, producing, directing, distributing and even starring in The Search for Simon, as well as his plans for future projects.  

As the hour got late we also enjoyed live entertainment from the cast of the West End production of The Commitments.

Other featured guests this year have come to us from far and wide, including Ross Murray, Development Executive at STV in Glasgow and Justin Donoghue Development Exec at Screen New South Wales. Both studied on the NFTS Development Diploma, so it was great to catch up with a couple of our more far flung colleagues as well as help promote a little cross global networking. 

Earlier in the year we also welcomed Kristin Irving, Development Exec for Cascade Pictures and screenwriter David Varela, fresh from his success writing the hit Sherlock app. You can read more about them all on our profiles page.

At every drinks we’ve had an array of interesting and accomplished members to chat with, whether featured guests or otherwise and have settled nicely into our new venue, The Phoenix Artist Club

Thanks to Jeremiah Quinn for 
skilfully snapping our photos at a couple of these events and Martin's pic of the band. I look forward to more great evenings, meeting many more guests and members. 

If you’d like to be a featured guest for drinks, or suggest someone, then please contact me; Sarah, at:

In Memoriam

This month we lost long standing President of the NFTS and an all time great of the UK film industry, Lord Richard Attenborough of Richmond. If you're a graduate of the Development Diploma, or other disciplines at the NFTS, most likely you would have received your award certificate from him in the last few years - an experience that couldn't help but make us all feel like we were being welcomed as part of the British movie industry. Here's a little tribute. 

Monday, 17 February 2014

Starting 2014 in Style

We haven't been blogging much, but we've had some great guests over the last year. They've included Development Execs like Nicole Dade of Screen Australia and Sarah Scougal, Head of Development for Vertigo. We had fun chatting with BAFTA winning director Alrick Riley and series creator Roland Moore (Land Girls) and we ended 2013 on a fantastic high when we welcomed multi-award winning star of the TV writing firmament Frank Spotnitz (X-Files).

We took a break from snapping our get togethers, but as 2014 arrived our old pal Jeremiah Quinn dropped in for January's drinks and kindly brought along his camera to capture the scene. A few things have changed for 2014. We tried out a new venue at the end of the year and it's been well received, so the Phoenix Artist Club is our current, new
haunt. At the end of the year, we also, sadly, said goodbye to Hannah Billingham as co-host of the In Development drinks. She and I had fun launching and running the group together but new commitments now call her away. I'm sure she'll still join us for a catch up from time to time, but as we start 2014 I stand alone at the helm, looking to see what new guests we might have on our horizon.

Happily we started 2014 in style and it was great to be able to welcome Will Emsworth as our guest this January. As Head of Development for Academy Award Winning Bedlam Productions (The King's Speech), Will specialises in developing factual drama, as well as documentaries. He joined us to share his experience and chat about this particular area of development. There was a great turn out of members and lively discussion about a variety of projects currently in development. It was fantastic, as ever, to catch up with old friends and meet some new faces.

Our guest for February arose from a discussion that night with Rebecca Winch, Head of Production at The Project Factory. She mentioned producing a new, official Sherlock app that had just gone straight to the top of the app charts and stayed there for three weeks. Its writer David Varela knows a thing or two about interactive storytelling having written and produced many exciting projects across games and live performance. He seemed like a perfect, next guest and I'm pleased to say he'll be joining us for drinks in February to discuss this growing area of story development and the experience of being part of the Sherlock universe. So, another chance to catch up coming soon and how great if our guest for March should emerge from that get together. Let me know if you have someone in mind!

See you soon,

Check out: Sherlock: The Network