Script Development Workshop
Participants at the Script Development Workshop with Ludo Smolski.  ©

Digimedia Photo + Cinema

A participatory workshop for Story Editors, Screenwriters and Producers

21st to 24th September 2017 | Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
28th to 30th September 2017 | Kingston, Jamaica

The British Council, building on its partnerships with the Trinidad & Tobago Film Festival (TTFF), Jamaica Film and Television Association (JAFTA), JAMPRO Film Commission (JAMPRO) and London-based course leader, Ludo Smolski, will co-deliver the second workshops aimed at script editors, screenwriters and producers working in the film and TV industries in Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago in September 2017.

After the initial workshop was delivered to thirty participants in the two countries in March 2017, a follow-up component was delivered remotely with ten groups of three participants, providing a guide to post-workshop development to the teams. The object of the second phase was to help guide the writers and their scripts through at least one or two drafts of their scripts over a period of months.

In addition, while in Trinidad, Smolski will also offer an Advanced Screenwriting two-day workshop. Both of these workshops will take place during the festival.


Script Development Workshop
British Council Jamaica Country Director Olayinka Jacobs-Bonnick (left), with participants and Ludo Smolski post-workshop in Kingston, Jamaica.  ©

British Council 

Script Development Workshop
Script Editor and Reader Ludo Smolski, with Annabelle Alcazar (left), ttff Programme Director, and British Council Caribbean Arts Manager Annalee Davis.  ©

Digimedia Photo + Cinema

Script Development Workshop
Script Editor and Reader Ludo Smolski, lead the workshop at the JAMPRO offices in Kingston, Jamaica.  ©

British Council

Script Development Workshop
Participants at the Script Development Workshop with Ludo Smolski.  ©

Digimedia Photo + Cinema

Script Development Workshop

Digimedia Photo + Cinema

What and why

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.


There are 15 places on each workshop; 5 for script editors, 5 for screenwriters and 5 for producers.

Script Editors: individuals applying for a position as a script editor will ideally have a previous screen credit in script/story editing and/or professional experience in giving feedback to writers. However, we will accept applications from individuals who are interested in approaching this area for the first time and who may have transferable experience e.g. in literary or film criticism.

Submission requirement:

  1. Film CV (or standard CV if approaching this area for the first time) including basic contact details
  2. Evidence of script editing/professional feedback service, or a 250 word written statement explaining why you would like to participate in the workshop
  3. One page of criticism (strengths & weaknesses, what you would change and why) on a feature film script of your choice. This should be divided into a 250 word synopsis followed by your criticism.

Screenwriters: individuals applying for a position as a screenwriter must have written at least one full-length feature (produced or unproduced) and be willing to bring a spec screenplay to use and share on the workshop.

Submission requirement:
Writing CV including basic contact details

  1. A one-page outline of the feature script you would bring to the workshop. This should include a brief synopsis and a short description of what inspired you to write the project
  2. The full-length script of the feature you would bring to the workshop, formatted to industry standard
  3. A 250 word paragraph explaining why you would like to participate in the workshop

Producers: individuals applying for a position as a producer must have a feature film or short film credit, or significant related experience in another artistic field e.g. theatre or television. They must currently be developing at least one feature project.

Submission requirement:

  1. Filmmaking CV including basic contact details
  2. Online links to previous work with any required passwords
  3. A one-page document describing your current feature project or slate of projects.
  4. A 250 word paragraph explaining why you would like to participate in the workshop

The deadline for submitting application materials is Friday 20th January, 2017, and selected participants will be notified by 10th February. Applications should be submitted via email to:

Applicants from Jamaica:
Applicants from Trinidad and Tobago:                                    
Enter in the subject line:  “Name | Application: Script Editors Workshop”. Please clarify in your covering email the role you are applying for on the workshop – script editor, screenwriter or producer.

Please note that successful applicants will attend only one lab, in their resident country and be expected to undertake some preparatory work before and during the workshop.

About the workshop partners

The British Council creates international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and builds trust between them worldwide. We are a Royal Charter charity, established as the UK’s international organization for educational opportunities and cultural relations.

Based in Trinidad and Tobago, the trinidad+tobago film festival (ttff) celebrates films from and about the Caribbean and its diaspora, as well as from world cinema, through an annual festival and year-round screenings. In addition, the ttff seeks to facilitate the growth of Caribbean cinema by offering a wide-ranging industry programme and networking opportunities.

The Jamaica Film and Television Association (JAFTA) is a non-profit organization geared towards the creation, facilitation, promotion and development of growth opportunities for Jamaican filmmakers, television media practitioners and digital media content creators. JAFTA, currently made up of over 170 industry professionals, primarily focuses on the documentation and the sharing of industry data, skills and training and financing and distribution for the local film and television community.

The Jamaica Film Commission was established in 1984, and operates alongside the Creative Industries Unit within the Jamaica Promotion Corporation (JAMPRO/Jamaica Trade & Invest). The Jamaica Film Commission is mandated to promote the Jamaican film industry through facilitation of activities that increase investment, export, and employment in the sector. The Creative Industries Unit is a key policy advocate and advisor to the Government in matters pertaining to the improvement of Jamaica’s business environment and the development of new industries. JAMPRO is an Agency of the Government of Jamaica’s Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation that promotes business opportunities in export and investment to the local and international private sector.

See also

External links