Read The Script, Meet The Film Maker, Watch the movie…* ‘Death At A Funeral’…

Script To Screen Event With Dean Craig – Read The Script, Meet The Film Maker, Watch the movie…* ‘Death At A Funeral’… But which version!?!? And just £12.97

Sunday, May 30, 2010 from 2:00 PM – 4:30 PM (GMT)

(*Note – we are unable to supply a DVD of the film, but you can pick it up on Amazon for a fiver, or wait a week and watch the Hollywood version in cinemas)

OK, so how does a struggling British writer go from reading other people’s scripts for a living to a red carpet Hollywood premiere and a $16.2m opening weekend in less than three years?

Meet Dean Craig, a young UK screenwriter who has achieved the practically impossible – to write a movie and get it produced in Hollywood, not once but TWICE! And in the space of three years no less.

On May 30th at Ealing Studios, Dean will be joining us for a very special and unique ‘Script to Screen’ Q&A where he will tell you exactly how he did it.

Like the sessions we held for EXAM, DEAD WOOD and SHIFTY, these are not just consumer Q&A sessions, they are more like intense creative and practical autopsies designed to give you an intimate insight into how the writer and film makers conceived the project, wrote the script, got it funded, produced and distributed (video from Dead Wood and Shift event at the foot of this page).

As with all our ‘Script to Screen’ events, when you sign up we will send you a copy of the shooting script by email so you can read what was taken to set. We will also ask Dean to share other goodies from his ‘Death At A Funeral’ vault – details TBC). And being a leisurely Sunday afternoon, we will have ample time for drinks and networking afterward (please note NEW TIMES – 14.00 to 16.30 with networking afterward)

At the event we will be screening and analyzing ‘comparison clips’ with Dean right there to talk us through the differences and explain the decision making process which brought about those changes.

The key areas where YOU can learn from Dean’s experiences will include….

  • The script writer’s process – how to discipline yourself, get motivated and, most of all, STAY motivated.
  • The genesis of a story – how to translate the idea you have in the shower into a 90 minute, sellable feature.
  • Comparisons and discussions around script and story evolution – from the script Dean took to set, what happened in the edit to the completed movie playing in theaters.
  • How does a struggling writer with no connections get their script to Producers? And producers in Hollywood.
  • How to make contacts and how to make the most out of them once you’ve got them.
  • WHAT’S NEXT? You’ve managed to finally get your first movie made – now where to start with the all important second project.
  • And of course there will be loads of time for your questions too, followed by networking.

Remember, you get a copy of the script (not the transcript, but the script they took to set, so you can compare it to the final completed movie). Print it out and I’m sure Dean will be happy to sign it (and we bet you could sell this on eBay for a profit in years to come!)

And like all our other Script to Screen events, afterwards we will relocate to a nearby Pub for an extended networking drink, where you can meet and mingle with film makers like yourself. We expect this event to sell out so you should find yourself rubbing shoulders with up to 100 potential new collaborators, everyone from team Living Spirit and of course, Mr Craig. That’s a good solid evenings worth of film making fun!

We’ve also timed this event perfectly to tie in with the UK release of the new US remake a week later on 4th June. And of course, we encourage you to Go and watch that too in order to completely round off the whole Script to Screen experience as well as show your support for Dean – a UK writer who’s made good in Hollywood, proof positive that hard work, talent and tenacity really is all you need!

Dean Craig MORE ABOUT DEAN…Dean’s story is quite unique, his first film ‘Caffeine’, a British movie, with British characters written entirely around one British location (a café) was picked up by two independent producers and eventually shot in Los Angeles with a 95% all American cast all playing British. The cast included Hollywood big hitters Mena Suvari, Mike Vogel, Breckin Meyer and Katherine Heigl and it’s a testament to the strength of Dean’s writing that this small British independent movie managed to attract such a knock out cast.Next up for Dean was ‘Death At A Funeral’ which was written long before ‘Caffeine’ went into production.

Working with the same Producers who picked up ‘Caffeine’, they got legendary director Frank Oz on board and again, the script managed to attract another cracking cast (though no muppets to speak of!) including Matthew Macfadyen, Keeley Hawes, Ewen Bremner and Peter Dinklage. Shot in the UK this time, the film was critically acclaimed and managed to follow in the very large footsteps of some of the most iconic and successful British comedy exports in recent years (‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’, ‘The Full Monty’ etc) by becoming as successful in the US as it was over here.

So successful in fact that they decided to give it the full Hollywood makeover less than three years later.


I met Dean nine years ago when we both started working for Paul Anderson and Jeremy Bolt at Impact Pictures in the very same week. I was there to be Jeremy’s assistant and Dean was assistant to our Head of Development. Both broke and with big aspirations to be much more than assistants, we found a common bond. I have a very clear memory of a conversation I had with Dean one night when we were both working late, the last two in the office. He was telling me about his writing aspirations and a couple of projects he was working on. Having learned a bit about me and my previous experiencing production managi
ng and producing music videos and commercials, he thought for a second and suggested we teamed up – how would I like to be his producer? With a new job to focus on and a massive workload already built up, I turned him down. And let me tell you, I have never questioned that decision more than last Monday morning when I saw those more than cool $16.2m opening weekend figures! In the immortal words of rock song singing legend Cher, “If I could turn back time”…!

Onwards and upwards

Chris Jones, Film Maker and Author

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