I thought yesterday was a great day, but today was absolutely brilliant. Peter Hynes, scriptwriter for children’s television came to talk to us. He was hilarious; I can’t remember the last time I laughed so much. He told us about his experiences writing scripts for long running live action and animated series and gave us advice on how to make contacts in the industry. While it was a very humorous discussion and we got the impression that he loves his job very much, he emphasised that it took a lot of hard work and persistence to build a career as a screenwriter. He was writing for five years before he got his first break and since then, works every weekday in his shed from 9am -6pm. He advised us to always have two or three projects on the go so that if one falls through you won’t be stuck. If nobody has commissioned any work from you, keep writing anyway so that you have some spec scripts.
Two actors, Astrid and Paul, also came in to do a read through of a couple of the attendees’ scripts. This was a great chance to find out what actors look for in a script and what puts them off. Astrid and Paul both said they liked scripts where their characters were strong and didn’t die on page 2! They didn’t like too much description or exposition. The questions they asked the writers about the scripts were really illuminating and completely different from the questions that came up yesterday during the Power of Three exercises with the other writers. The questions the actors asked were mostly concerned with clarity in the scene descriptions and dialogue. It was really useful to have their perspective since there is normally no comunication between the writer and actors when a script is being filmed. Astrid and Paul did a fantastic job acting out the two scripts and it was really interesting to see their interpretation of the characters.