By Lynda Kennedy
What a weekend. I had a beer with David Goyer on Friday, wine with Dave Reynolds on Saturday and a late lunch with Paul King on Sunday.
It’s not every day you get to welcome such screenwriting legends into your home. Well, I say that, but for the next year that’s exactly what you can do thanks to London Screenwriters Festival 365; an online extravaganza bringing you some of the most brilliant people working in film and TV today.
If you’re not familiar with the names I so shamelessly dropped, you will be with their work. David Goyer creates the stuff of legend. Literally. Bringing Superman and Batman to the big screen, he gave Heath Ledger’s Joker the immortal line: ‘Why so serious?” The man is a genius, yet he finds plotting just as painful as the rest of us. (Did I just say that Yippee out loud?) He did, though, offer excellent advice on how to push through the pain barrier. Spoiler alert: It involves a 20 page outline…
Dave Reynolds has written his share of legends too from Toy Story’s Buzz Lightyear to Finding Nemo’s… Nemo. He’s worked for both Pixar and Disney, and his Script to Screen Emperor’s New Groove was a masterclass on how to mine every ounce of comedy out of each screen second.
Proving that your name doesn’t have to be Dave or David to make it in the biz, Paddington writer / director Paul King took us through an emotional rollercoaster which delved right into the human psyche. I use the word ‘human’ here in its broadest sense to include little bears from darkest Peru.
And the weeks ahead are no less exciting. For a whole month the online festival will bring more sessions, more big names. Craft masterclasses with John Yorke, Robert McKee and Pilar Alessandra. Script to Screens of Toy Story 4, Face Off, Poltergeist and Downton Abbey. A study of Killing Eve with Lucy V Hay. Genre specific sessions – crime, comedy, drama, audio, Netflix. Meet the Producer. Pitch Factor. Monday Mindfulness. And a Sunday morning writing café hang-out with Bob ‘Pitch and Logline Guru’ Shultz. There is so much OUTSTANDING stuff. Ooh, I just came over all Chris Jones there.
It’s not too late to join the fun and have similar greats in your living room. Don’t worry about having missed anything. It only launched this weekend and all the sessions are uploaded to the LSF365 site. It means you don’t have to follow the daily schedule and can catch up later, but I’d really recommend joining in on any live sessions as you can catch up with old pals or make new ones on the Facebook feed and comment throughout.
It costs just a fiver a month for the next 12 months, or you can pay £60 outright. (The sessions I’ve attended have each been easily worth £60 alone, so to get EVERYTHING included is a mega bargain.) For less than the price of a glass of wine, craft beer or couple of coffees a month, you can learn from some of the best in the business. So stick the kettle on and come and join us.
Lynda Kennedy is a comedy writer and children’s author from Glasgow. An alumni of Talent Campus 2 and the BBC Comedy Writersoom, she has written for the BBC, RTS and Glasgow comedy troupe, Witsherface. She is currently working on a radio comedy series due to air next month, a sitcom pilot and children’s animated series. Lynda also has a regular slot on Pulse Radio’s Arts on Air where she shares her passion for TV.