Full descriptions below. We will encourage delegates to network during breaks, lunch and in the evenings. Buckle up for a rollercoaster two days of mind-bending knowledge and experience!
Will Your Story Hook Pierce Armour-Plated Cynicism? with Samantha Horley
Ex-sales agent turned screenwriter Samantha Horley confronts the single biggest challenge every project must face in order to find commercial, critical and career success: THE HOOK. The hook IS the story. And most new screenwriters have no access to stars, named directors or finance to act as bait. The hook must be sharp and capable of piercing ANYTHING that stands in the way. Discover how a simple, easily communicated hook opens doors and begin the Accelerate journey from a position of immediate strength.
Please note that sessions and timings may change. New speakers still being confirmed and sessions being added, so expect some delicious surprises!
Arrive early and get breakfast onsite with other screenwriters.
Let's ACCELERATE! with Chris Jones
London Screenwriters' Festival creative director prepares you for the two-day experience... Get the plan for both days and buckle up for the adventure!
The Game is Afoot… with Phil Hughes and Ted Wilkes
Inciting incident, the catalyst… or the Call to Adventure. Whatever name you prefer, this critical step resonates both in our characters' lives, as well as in our own personal journeys.
Ronald Reagan, Jaws and the Cycle of Grief with John YorkeHow storytelling infects our lives, from interpersonal relationships to politics, marketing and big business. As storytellers, a whole new frontier is opening up with all aspects of the industry shifting from traditional commercials to branded film and managed, if not crafted, narrative. As master storytellers, there's a new kind of gold in the hills and everything is underpinned by classic Hollywood structure. What do Jaws and Ronald Reagan have in common — and what do both share with the Kubler-Ross Cycle Of Grief? All that and more in one exciting overview….
My 50 First Dates in TV with Rachel Paterson
In only a few short years, Rachel Paterson has carved out a career as a hard-working and talented screenwriter. In this talk, she delves into a crucial but little-discussed industry practice: the General Meeting (aka the Water Bottle Tour / the Meet and Greet in LA) — an essential first-step on the journey to becoming a pro-writer. Rachel shares her experiences and thoughts on how to get the meeting, when to pitch, and how to covert that initial interest into a lasting and lucrative relationship.
Unspoken Truths: Strategies for Sourcing and Elevating Subtext with David Pope
Subtext gives us some of the most powerful and satisfying experiences as an audience. Times where we know accurately what a character is thinking or feeling even though it is hidden by the words and actions of the moment. We may be inspired, haunted, consoled, devastated or amused by this, but whatever we feel, we connect with the character on a very deep level.
The Commissioning Process: Writing Your Story Without Compromising Your Vision with Mellie Buse
Writing to get produced. Writing as part of a team. Writing inside the universe of other people's ideas. Writing for TODAY. Writing like a producer would think. All without compromising on the central vision. These are all principles that the extraordinarily prolific Mellie Buse would leverage to get shows for children’s television commissioned. Join her for a journey into how to be become a savvy, tactical and lifelong professional screenwriter.
How I Broke into Five Million Homes with Philip Lawrence
The blood, sweat and tears that got one screenwriter his dream job. Writing for TV.
Writing for Netflix, the Beeb and Other Broadcasters in 2019 with Ceri Meyrick, Marc Lorber and Steve November
Join our panel of experienced writers, producers and showrunners as we explore the dynamic and exciting landscape of longform television screenwriting. Expect insight, strategies, tactics, roadmaps and predictions for where this, the most exciting domain of screenwriting, will take us next.
Screenwriting: It's Not Brain Surgery... Wait, What? with Cera Rose Pickering
What if one day you woke and found your memory erased? What if you couldn’t even remember your own story ideas? Sounds like a setup for a thriller, right? Writer Cera Rose Pickering shares her inspirational story of how this happened to her, leading to dramatic brain surgery, and the journey to reclaim her confidence through the inspiration that her creative work brings her.
Interrogating your Integrity with Catherine Williams
Rules for writing for children that can be applied – and should be – for accessing true voice.
Facing Down Your Inner Saboteur with Bob Schultz
As writers, we are our own greatest allies... and enemies. The saboteur that lives within us all is a crafty schemer with but one goal: prevent us from writing. How can we recruit our inner allies to overcome the enemy and achieve our writing goals?
Meet YOUR Nemesis with Chris Jones
'Gods suppressed become devils, and often it is these devils whom we first encounter when we turn inward...' Joseph Campbell
So much story energy is devoted to the protagonist that often we forget that almost as much energy should be given to the opponent. In great stories, the antagonist should appear more powerful and the prospect of defeating them near impossible. In this session we reveal the hidden story beats a great villain should take in your narrative.
Genre Trauma with Stephen Follows
Do you know your action from your adventure? Are rom-coms different from comedic romances? What the hell is drama? Film data analyst Stephen Follows takes you on a whistle-stop tour of the data behind what audiences expect from each genre.
Why We Tell Stories with Kira-Anne Pelican
Stories have been around since the earliest days of our human evolution. But why do we tell stories? And what do they tell us about our universal human nature? In this session, Kira-Anne explores the vital roles that stories play in entertainment, providing us with useful social information, allowing us to contemplate life’s biggest questions.
A Life in Movies and Other Writing Adventures
Interview with Christopher Hampton
Expect some world-class raconteuring as well as a huge dose of inspiration from Christopher Hampton. Focussing on the development and execution process of Atonement, we will get a candid insight into how one of our greatest living writers works. Unmissable.
Peaky Blinders: Decrypting TV Success with Kate Phillips and Jamie Glazebrook
We all love Peaky Blinders. But what makes it endure? What makes it compelling? What is it SPECIFICALLY about the writing, the characters, the universe, the season arcs..? What is it that makes it so… so blindingly awesome? Meet the team who have been responsible for bringing those words to life – cast and director – as we literally bring the words on the page to life on stage.
Bridge of Spies Script to Screen with Matt Charman
Hanks, Spielberg, the Coens... Read the script and watch the movie LIVE with screenwriter Matt Charman as we dissect in detail the story, plot, characters — and of course, how he came to work with Spielberg and the Coen Brothers. Inspiring!
The Final Battle... How YOUR Work Needs to Survive and Thrive When it Meets the Industry and the Public with Robyn Larkin
No matter what we feel about the complexities and subtleties of our work, it will inevitably be reduced to a still, poster, title or key art... all of which must powerfully convey genre, tone and scale. Robyn has been creating campaigns and key art for over two decades for clients such as Netflix and StudioCanal, as well as working with screenwriters and film makers on pitch decks, pre-production posters and marketing. Learn how to make your script significantly more attractive to producers, backers, actors, agents and of course the viewing masses.
Writing YOUR Voice, and WHY It’s Essential for Success Today with Ashley Pharaoh
Screenwriting is a technical artform where competing forces of form, commerce, and narrative format can conspire to silence your own truth. Finding your own voice and amplifying it in today's world is essential not just for getting your first gig, but for developing a career.
Never Give Up, NEVER SURRENDER! with Simon Cox
The creative journey can be long and arduous. Tenacity, new strategies and tactics and sheer bloody mindedness are often the qualities that will get us to the next stages in our careers. Filmmaker Simon Cox has suffered more than his fair share of setbacks and in this session he shares his own insights into how to keep going; insights drawn from his decade-long journey to complete his science fiction epic Invasion Planet Earth, in cinemas December 5th.
Beyond ACCELERATE! with Chris Jones
London Screenwriters' Festival creative director prepares to get the very most from your Accelerate experience in the coming days, weeks and months.
Building A SMART Career in Screenwriting… with Dominic Morgan
Learn the secret of developing a career strategy, how to attract a top agent and land paid script deals. So much has changed in the way we view film and TV that it is inevitable that the way projects get optioned and people get hired will evolve too. Crammed with tips and tricks, strategies and tactics, this interactive workshop will help you build YOUR bespoke roadmap to success NOW.
Day One Conclusion
As we draw day one to a close, we reflect on what we have learned and build our strategy for day two.
Acting is Reacting: The Myth of the Passive Protagonist with Jon Gilbert
It’s a golden rule of screenwriting: don’t have a passive protagonist. But what does that really mean? Is it really true? And if it is, why do so many writers still write scripts where the lead character has literally nothing to do? Taking examples from movie history, screenwriter and script consultant Jon Gilbert questions the orthodoxy surrounding this screenwriting principle and looks for techniques to tackle the problem, to stop your story grinding to a halt before it’s even begun.