Each workshop will bring together up to fifteen film professionals, split across three roles: story editors, screenwriters and producers.
Developing strong screenplays takes time and patience. This programme is designed to introduce the concept and practice of good feature script development by focusing on the role of the script editor and how they work with writers and producers. The programme will enable participants to gain the skills necessary to enhance their own filmmaking and that of their peer community and wider industry. By the end of each workshop there will be a number of committed, confident script editors ready and able to help make a positive contribution to both local and international filmmaking. The programme will do this through a mix of lectures, workshops and practical sessions which will use specific scripts from participants as well as more general film reference material. This aims to give all participants immediate experience of the process, whilst allowing writers to take advantage of the feedback for their specific projects. Each session will allow time to discuss the variations in how the development process works in different regions and how different industrial factors shape, or might impact, it in practice. Ultimately, participants will gain a broad understanding of the development process and a specific understanding of how it can help them in future, whether as a script editor equipped with a basic skill set and a knowledge of how to grow it, or as a filmmaker with a clear idea of the role and how best to utilize it.
The workshop curriculum will cover key issues common to script development and the role of the script editor, including:
- Script analysis: character, premise, structure, genre and craft
- Creation of development notes and script reports
- Constructive critical feedback – how to give it, how to take it
- Project pitching as a development tool
- The creative triangle: best working practices for script editors, screenwriters and producers working together
- Writing to budget: how development relates to the broader industry
The workshop will be led by Ludo Smolski. Ludo is a development consultant, script editor and reader for a variety of companies in the UK. Having begun his career working as an assistant for Company Pictures (including on A Room For Romeo Brass and The Lakes), Ludo became a script reader for production companies, distributors, film funds and screen agencies (such as Working Title, Momentum Pictures and the UK Film Council/BFI), both here and abroad. While continuing to assess projects, Ludo joined The Script Factory, running their Development Feedback Service as well as training internationally on all aspects of script development and screenwriting. He devised and delivered the long-running Reader Training course which became an industry standard. He has worked for MDA in Singapore, at the Berlin Talent Campus, led Scene Insiders (a MEDIA- funded, three year Script Development training programme at Edinburgh, Warsaw and Gothenburg film festivals), as well as delivered numerous workshops including the British Council-backed “Creative Collaborations” workshop at the Sarajevo Film Festival and for Creative England.
Ludo has been part of the team delivering the DigiShorts training programme (2007-2010), run Short Film workshops for the London Borough Short Film Fund, and continues to work with 4Talent, BAFTA, First Light, Into Film and BFI Future Film leading workshops and giving lectures for the next generation of film talent.
Ludo script edited the mockumentary feature Beyond The Pole (d. David L Williams), Suzi Jacobson’s bloody thriller The Holding, Zam Salim’s Up There (Winner, Independent Spirit Award, Santa Barbara IFF 2012), Martin Wallace’s Small Creatures (EIFF 2012), Bruce Goodison’s Leave To Remain (LFF 2013), Gabe Turner’s The Guvnors (2014) and the recent Irving Welsh adaptation Filth (d. Jon S Baird). He was also story editor on the hit Malaysian supernatural thriller Interchange (TIFF, LLFF 2016).
He is currently consulting and script editing projects for iFeatures4, Creative Scotland, Scottish Film Talent Network, Creative England, Film4 and the BFI Film Fund.