There has been a lull, a definite lull but it wasn't deliberate.
I attended the 2-day workshop for The List/Metro Ecosse thingummy previously mentioned. Helmed by Adrian Mead, it was great to be in a room bursting with 33 (yes 33 not 20 as previously mentioned!) eager screenwriters. We all workshopped, mind-mapped and absorbed much knowledge during the 2 days, and I came away each day (after the pub of course) feeling inspired and ready to take on the world. Have to do a rewrite of the short now and resubmit if for the next cull. I think we get down to 9, and then those 9 have to go to 'jury' where they get interviewed and strip-searched or something. Then, 3 are chosen to have their shorts made hurrah!
Lots of the workshop was useful, but to me, the MOST helpful bit of the course, was something quite small but meaningful, a concise list of things to check through when you're at the 'not sure if my idea has legs or not but am dying to get on and write it' stage (not to be confused with the 'have a great idea so am going to write and write for 5 pages without stopping' stage which you should absolutely do WITHOUT self-editing). This list is also great as a checklist for offering feedback :
Jeopardy - what's at stake?
What are the obstacles?
Active questions - if relevant, does it challenge or intrigue?
Does it arouse emotion?
Does it reveal anything new to the audience?
Or is it just a series of events and dialogue that's simply telling us stuff?
Many thanks to Adrian Mead (who seems to have an endless and admirable supply of enthusiasm) for such an enjoyable and professional yet accessible couple of days. A bit short of time with rewrites and assignments due, but I'll give a proper round-up when the competition is over and we have a winner (or 3). For now, thanks also to The List, Metro Ecosse, Scottish Screen and the Scottish Book Trust for supporting 33 screenwriters. Everyone I spoke to, felt energised, informed and just delighted to be there. More please!