I am so excited to announce my newest comedy drama screenplay, ‘It’s complicated’ has won its first award as Best Screenplay at the Changing Face International Film Festival.
This is the story of a thoroughly modern girl, with some pretty complicated relationships that crash into each other. I love writing strong female lead characters and she is definitely that – and very modern too. She’s full of complexities and like me, makes a lot of mistakes!
This one was an odd screenplay to write in that it was someone else’s idea – they sent me a screenplay and asked me to re-write it… my view was that it was in bad shape and so I had to do a full and complete rewrite – very little of the original story or characters remained and those that did were changed a great deal.
It was, I thought, a bold attempt to really make something edgy and real… and the people that asked me to write it seemed to like it… then went very cold. They decided (without bothering to tell me until I chased them many months later) that they were going with the original screenplay.
I honestly don’t hold grudges as they were lovely to work with, but 2 months of my writing life was wasted… and I had made the mistake of doing it for them for free as they seemed quite serious and were going to pay me if they used it.
On a re-read, I had made enough changes to the original story and it was all my original work… so I did another rewrite – removed any trace of the original story and characters and improved it in the process – I didn’t want it to sit on the shelf. I’ll give them a story credit of course, were it ever to get made.
Never throw away good writing – and be careful doing things for free. People don’t appreciate how much effort goes into writing. I once wrote a 6 part TV series for a ‘reputable’ producer who loved it, then did sod all with it. 4 months wasted… be careful of enthusiastic people who promise the Earth and always try and get a contract signed. I loved that series and maybe one day, something will come of it.
I write because I love writing, I love bringing characters and worlds to life and I love collaborating with other people. But I have learnt to choose my partners better – and you do too.