Regent’s Park is in it’s Autumnal glory at this time of year, and the beautiful buildings of Regents College are charmingly bathed in sun creating a relaxed atmosphere for the middle day of the London Screenwriters Festival. A perfect and calm setting for networking, which is what I largely chose to do with my morning.
Elsewhere in the comfortable conference rooms the serious business of screenwriting is being addressed. These are skills that writers need to be able to practice their craft and profit from it. Charles Harris once again is began his day with The Hour of Power to help writers get the best out of their festival, motivate and getting the mental game into the right space for effectively focussing on goals. Meanwhile other sessions included advice and information about agents, technique to get into what you bring to your work and characters to release the power of your writing, and the business end of how your screenplay translates both in terms of the cinematic language and in the edit room.
There are networking breaks dotted throughout the festival schedule and a fairly long lunch to allow time for meeting the other festival delegates. Yesterday was a very friendly day and today has been for me, more about the nature of our industry, and the legacy of the festival is the people who become part of your life after it finishes. Now is the time to meet those people. I know from my experience as an actor that future work comes often through being ready to take the opportunities that cross your path, and that those opportunities cross your path through the people you get to know and like. This was re-iterated time and again during the talks I listened to in yesterday’s sessions with every speaker mentioning one or more opportunities that had come to them through people they knew or friends of people they knew. Networking, after all isn’t all about swapping business cards it’s about getting to know people in your field of interest and maintaining those relationships so spending time really connecting with other writers now is time well spent.
It’s a glorious day for new beginnings so let’s see if I make some new friends today, and/or solidify the bonds I’ve created with the people I already knew who are here at the festival with me. Having had four short screenplays picked up by other directors (two already made) since last year’s festival I know that if I keep meeting people and learning from them, good things are ahead.