On 17 May, BFI NETWORK South West held a Script Development Workshop led by script consultant Selina Ukwuoma at Watershed in Bristol.
The day long workshop from BFI NETWORK looked closely at script development for the short form, the importance of story and character, and developing your own unique writer’s voice.
The day was led by the brilliant Selina Ukwuoma, a freelance script consultant who began her career at literary agency Curtis Brown, before going on went on to teach screenwriting at NFTS, consult for production companies, lead workshops at international festivals and advise on award winning shorts and features.
Here’s what some of the participants had to say about the day…
This inspiring and challenging workshop was a brilliant opportunity to shed new light on both my current script and overall approach to scriptwriting in general. The group work allowed an openness that encouraged each one of us to see our project from new angles, both from the input of other members of the group and through Selina’s precise and informed insight.” – Theo Watkins
Selina Ukwuoma is clearly an experienced, passionate and creative individual who made for a very encouraging and pragmatic facilitator. The diverse selection of materials used by Selina made for a compelling framework, and I really enjoyed being set small tasks to complete before sharing as a group. It was also beneficial working in an intimate environment with other new writers, sharing our ideas and giving/receiving useful feedback.” – Sam Harvey
I was very happy to learn Selina’s approach to the short film narrative as it is very different from what I have been taught at film school. Seeing the story in beats rather than a three act structure is very liberating. It allows more space for experimentation – an easier path to find my voice outside conventional structures.” – Carolina Petro
Bristol born Sam Harvey has entertained a boundless imagination and distinctly passionate nature since he was a child. Inspired by a love for a film, he trained as an actor in London, but soon found himself more compelled directing than performing. Teaching himself to shoot and edit video, he started a Shoreditch-based production company that ran for 9 years. Sam also harbours a deep appreciation for disco music, which led to a close and sustained working relationship with famed US group Sister Sledge. Sam returned to Bristol in 2015. He has since balanced his time between producing corporate video content and creative filmic endeavours, such as his doc short Valerie, which recently completed a successful run on the festival circuit. Sam has been gradually cultivating his voice as a writer, and is now totally committed to expressing it alongside fully realising his ambitions as a filmmaker. Compelled to write about magic, shadow and the divine feminine, Sam recently started Quiet Thunder Films, and is working on several shorts and a feature script.
Michael Jenkins is a self shooting producer, director and writer of tv & film. He runs 8th Sense Media and is motivated to bring untold and unheard stories to as wide an audience as possible. He has won multiple awards including Best Short film for ‘Check the Label’ at The Royal Television Society Awards 2018 and two BBC Local Radio Gillard Awards for Diversity and Community. He has a track record in delivering both commercial and non-commercial content for a wide variety of clients and platforms. www.8thsensemedia.co.uk
Living in Dorset, my first job was as a cinema projectionist at the famous Rex Cinema and I have written for film magazines such as Hotdog and DVD Review. I now write and direct video content for companies in the UK and Norway.
My recent achievements include longlisting for last year’s ‘Enter the Pitch’ competition and selection for BAFTA Crew 2018/19. Last summer I wrote and directed a cinema advert for Purbeck Ice Cream, with narration by Edward Fox. In 2017 I won Film Expo South’s ‘Pitch Factor’ and 2016 saw my project ‘Run it Off’ produced as part of the Creative England iShorts slate. Previously I was funded to run a BFI First Light community filmmaking project and make a short film with young people on the subject of LGBTQ bullying.
Born in Madagascar, raised in South of France, now living in the UK, Christelle has been working as a makeup artist specialised in the fashion and editorial since 2010.
Christelle grew up surrounded by dress makers and at the age of eight, she attended a textile and knitwear school where she designed and created her first dress and learnt how to knit. Since then creativity has been an important part of her life. Her love of design and textile later extended to makeup and led Christelle to study makeup artistry at the Academy of Freelance Makeup in London. Christelle’s work experience covers advertising campaigns, magazine shoots, films, music videos, TV shows, London and Paris Fashion Week.
Christelle has expanded her skills into producing and managing fashion events and and recently doing writing.
Christelle has also background in education having worked for several years in research council and universities in programme/project management role with an international focus.
Jake is a graduate of the Screenwriting MA at London Film School, where he co-wrote and script edited several short films. Jake has previously worked in home entertainment sales and marketing supporting Lionsgate UK and Studiocanal. He relocated to Cornwall in 2016 to focus on writing and developing a slate of short, feature and TV projects. As well as being a contributor to BBC Radio 4 Xtra’s Newsjack comedy show, he has been a semi-finalist in the screenplay competition at the 2016 Austin Film Festival with his comedy drama, The Nursing Home and is an alumnus of the 2017 Edinburgh International Film Festival Talent Lab with black comedy feature, The Lookalike.
Lotus Hannon is a writer / director driven to tell stories about human survival dealing with themes of power, sexuality and taboos. Lotus’ short films have been screened internationally. Her latest short, Unseen, is a Challenge Alexa 2018 competition winner, commissioned by ARRI. Her feature project Undertow was selected for the BFI Network Live Read at Encounters Film Festival 2018. Lotus was the winner of The Script Factory Development Scheme and selected for the WFTV Mentoring Scheme, Creative England Talent Module and Raising Films ClosR Development Programme. She is currently developing her directorial feature debut, Orion’s Belt. Lotus is a board member of Directors UK and a member of Cinesisters.
Theo Watkins is a writer-director often working in and around the comedy genre. He has made the short film ‘I Saw The Beast’ through the Channel 4 Random Acts scheme, as well as directing the recent dark comedy short ‘Service’ from his IMDB Script To Screen Award-winning screenplay. He also works as a director of music videos, having directed work for acts such as IDLES and Bring Me The Horizon.
Ela is a South-African/Polish Screenwriter and Screenwriting Lecturer with a BA in Film and English Literature from Southampton University and an MA in Screenwriting from the University of Arts, London. Undertaking a film-making course at London Film Academy, Ela has worked in the role of Writer and Director on various student films. Upon completing her studies, she undertook Development and Production Internships with both film and TV production companies such as Film and Music Entertainment, The Bureau and worked as PA to Mark Gordon (former Agent at ICM Partners) at Curious Image UK Ltd. Ela also had the pleasure of assisting writer Aschlin Ditta and producer Lesley Douglas at Lonesome Pine Productions while at Curious Image UK Ltd. Currently teaching English at EF Bristol, Ela runs a short course in Screenwriting as well as the school’s Film Club. Ela is developing a Comedy TV series and actively gets involved in short film projects as a runner.
Moviola is an organisation who help community cinemas, small exhibitors and film societies licence films for exhibition.
A free skills development programme aimed at individuals based in the South West who feel under-represented in the cinema sector.
The BFI NETWORK South West Connect & Collaborate is an exciting new opportunity for writers and directors in the region to meet with producers.