Script Development Lab

  • Thu 1 – Fri 30 April

    Script Development Lab


BFI NETWORK South West are currently seeking applications for our upcoming remotely taught Script Development Lab.

Taking place over 3 consecutive months, you will receive scriptwriting workshops, 1:1 script consultations, and benefit from generative peer-to-peer support to take a narrative short idea from a treatment/outline to a completed script. Taught by BFI NETWORK Talent Executive Alix Taylor and professional script editor Jess Jones.

This is the perfect opportunity to focus your writing skills safely from your own home as part of a connected group, with assignments supplied in-between these sessions to keep you motivated and give you clear direction.

Our Script Development Lab is open to South West based writers or writer/directors, who have an early idea for a short narrative fiction film (live-action or animation) that is under 15 minutes in length, which they would like to develop towards a short film script that could potentially be used in an application for the BFI NETWORK Short Film Fund (read the guidelines here).

We are looking for ideas that are progressive and pioneering, which aim to address social, political or other culturally relevant themes through cinematic risk-taking. For examples of past work that BFI NETWORK has funded take a look at the Funded by NETWORK back-catalogue here

Due to the ongoing pandemic this lab is being hosted entirely online via Zoom. The sessions will happen online, so to take part you only need a reliable internet connection and access to a device that supports video conferencing.

BFI NETWORK South West are more than happy to provide additional access support to filmmakers wishing to attend our Script Development Lab. If you have any specific needs, for example if you require a BSL interpreter, please notify us in the relevant part of the application form and we will arrange this for you.

Who Can Apply?

We welcome all applicants that fit the criteria below, including those with little or no experience, but are ambitious about writing for screen.

We strongly encourage applications from those who are writers in other creative disciplines such as theatre, television, gaming, or radio that are looking to make the move to on screen work

Applications are open to writers or writer/directors who are:

  • Permanently based in one of these South West counties: Bath & NE Somerset, Bournemouth, Bristol, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Isles of Scilly, Isle of Wight, North Somerset, Plymouth, Poole, Portsmouth, Southampton, Somerset, South Gloucestershire, Swindon, Torbay or Wiltshire (see BFI Regional Map).
  •  Aged 18 or over.
  • Not in full-time education.
  • Have a short film idea that would be eligible for BFI NETWORK Short Film Funding (read the guidelines here).
  • We welcome applications from individuals as well as co-writing teams.
  • You do not need to be working with a producer or director in order to apply. 
  • We are unable to consider projects based on novels, short stories or other literary works.
  • This lab is for short film ideas of early-stage development and are not already in full script form. If you have a more developed idea with an existing script, please consider applying for our BFI NETWORK Short Film Funding.
  • Must be available for the majority of the key dates provided.

Apply Here

To apply for the Script Development Lab, please fill in this form: Application Form – Google Forms

Deadline for applications: Friday 30th April at 6pm 

Selected applications will be notified on or by 17th May. Due to the expected number of applications, we unfortunately won’t have the capacity to offer feedback to unsuccessful applicants.

Below you can download text only (Word document) versions of this call out and the application form, which should be completed and returned to 

If you would like this call out or the application form provided in any other format then please email us on 

  • Script Development Lab Call Out - Text Only Version Download
  • Script Development Lab Application Form - Text Only Version Download

Dates For Your Diary

All sessions will be taught online via Zoom  

  • Thursday 1st April Applications Open

  • Friday 30th April Applications Close

  • Monday 17th May Participants Notified

  • Thursday 27th May (10am – 1pm w/ 30min break) Scriptwriting Workshop with Jess Jones

  • Throughout June 1:1 Script Consultation (45 min meeting for each participant)
  • Thursday 24th June (10am – 11.30am) Peer-to-peer Group Session
  • Friday 30th June Delivery of 1st draft script
  • Throughout July 1:1 Script Consultation (45 min meeting for each participant)
  • Thursday 22nd July (10am – 11.30am) Peer-to-peer Group Session
  • Friday 30th July Delivery of 2nd draft script
  • September (dates TBC) Crossover with Creative Producers Lab // Script Table Read / Connect & Collaborate Event as part of Encounters Film Festival 2021
Meet the Tutors

Jess Jones 

Jess Jones is a Script Editor working in film across shorts and features. She is currently working on features for BBC Films, BFI Film Fund, SFTN and Ffilm Cymru, and consults on short film scripts and early development projects for the SW, SE, and Midlands BFI NETWORK Hubs.

Previously she has worked in development for the BFI Film Fund, BBC Drama, Channel 4 Drama, and Bonafide Films, and has also script edited on BAFTA and BIFA nominated shorts, and for schemes such as Uncertain Kingdom and BBC/BFI’s Born Digital. You can find her on Twitter or Instagram @JessJonesStory.


Alix Taylor

Alix is the BFI NETWORK Talent Executive for the Film Hub South West at Watershed. Responsible for the partnerships and outreach activity for BFI NETWORK in the South West, connecting, supporting and developing talented writers, directors, producers and other creatives at the start of their filmmaking careers.

Alix joined BFI NETWORK from Calling the Shots where she was Project Manager on New Creatives (South West), the BBC Arts and Arts Council talent development scheme. While working on New Creatives, Alix oversaw the selection, production and delivery of audio, film and interactive projects from artists aged 16-30 for BBC platforms.

Previously she programmed the digital education courses and specialised film screenings of short film, artists moving image and alternative features for the multi-arts venue, Exeter Phoenix, as well as developing new talent through their short film commissioning schemes.

Check Out Past Lab Participants

Script Development Workshop: Meet the Participants

In May, BFI NETWORK South West held a Script Development Workshop in Bristol, led by Selina Ukwuoma.

Script Development Workshop: Meet the Participants

Read more

New Writers Lab 2020: Meet the Participants

BFI NETWORK South West are pleased to present our participants for the New Writers Lab 2020.

Making Films

Read more

Animation Lab: Meet the Participants

In April, BFI NETWORK South West held a Producer’s Lab in Bristol Bristol for seven new, emerging and established producers.


Read more

BFI NETWORK New Voices: Talent Development Programme – Send us your short film idea


Read more