If you work in script development you may well be used to the confusion most people exhibit when trying to grasp what it is you do. Most often they can’t help but think of you as a writer, (sometimes even if you’ve already explained it to them). The different set of skills required by a developer to analyse scripts, understand where they can be improved and support a writer, or team, in taking them forward are little understood. Often the roles can over lap and the territory become hazy. However, while groups for writers abound, this is the only social group we know of that’s specifically designed for development people to come together and discuss their craft, share experiences and contacts and support each others progress. Since we’re travelling through a foggy land, a little regular networking and top up on our map reading skills can’t go amiss.
The group has been formed by two graduates of The Script Factory and National Film & TV School's Diploma in Script Development, Sarah Olley and Hannah Billingham. Sarah was a founder member and host of The Development Pool, a similar group that ran monthly from 2005-2010. Hannah also hosted the group for a number of months. That group began as an opportunity to continue meeting after the regular forum of the course was over and grew as more graduates and professionals joined. Although that group ended, interest in a regular social gathering and development discussion has remained. We’re therefore launching this group to respond to that spirit and take the discussion forward.
Whether you’re a development executive in an office or a freelance script consultant working from home, the opportunity to chat with other developers about the highlights and frustrations of your work and maybe get a second opinion on a tricky issue can be an invaluable resource. Meeting regularly in a relaxed social setting gives us a chance to check in with friends and colleagues, learn from each other and maybe even find future colleagues to work with.
There’s a lot of knowledge and experience out there in a surprisingly broad and complex field. What’s the difference, for example, between developing for features and TV, specialising in kids, comedy, long running series, combining developing with writing, or producing, working in-house or freelance? What about building relationships with agents, writers or producers? There’s a lot to talk about and to facilitate the discussion we plan to invite guest and featured members to chat with us about their specific area of experience over drinks. Like a regular mini dose of festival networking! With a topic of discussion on the table, members will have the opportunity to ask questions and gain insight, as well as make interesting new contacts.
You can see profiles of upcoming guest and featured members on this site, as well as occasional blog posts with development news or comment. If you'd like to be a guest or featured member, or provide a guest blog, just let us know.
Keeping the informal, evening drinks and discussion between professionals means that membership of this new group is limited. However, we welcome anyone who works professionally in the development of screen fiction, from heads of development to readers. We’re also open to graduates and students of The Script Factory and National Film & TV School’s Diploma in Film Script Development. If you’re interested in joining us we can add you to our mailing list and you’ll receive regular invites to meet ups and events. Just email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org, to introduce yourself.
If you’re a director, producer, writer or anyone whose professional responsibilities specifically involve script development, then you’re also welcome to join us. However, we’d ask that if you’re not a developer you respect the purpose of the group and not see it primarily as an opportunity to pitch projects or obtain free script advice. Having said that professional collaborations and exchanges have certainly formed through previous, similar groups, so long may that continue.
We look forward to meeting you.