London Screenwriter Festival

October 5, 2021
Bob Eckhard

Hi all,

Sorry to be off blog recently but I’ve have been rather busy with the London Screenwriter Festival which is still on at the moment – the online section that is which runs through October with sessions being recorded and available for delegates for the rest of the year.

Now, while I couldn’t attend the physical opening of the weekend up at Regent’s Park (as I needed to isolate for work the next day) online LSF has resulted in great teaching from excellent practitioners far and wide – some recorded, others live – which can be viewed from the comfort (and safety) of your home.

While the sessions I listened to were great, the  most memorable and useful to me (so far) was Pilar Alessandra’s live zoom seminar on ‘writing voice’ given from the West Coast of America. Okay, think about it – given the stark ecological disaster the world is facing from global warming – do we need to fly a practitioner into the UK to give a seminar when we can watch her live online and even rewatch or catch up with the bits we missed when writing notes. Moreover, do UK based producers and directors need to travel miles from where they live to attend a conference in London or sit in a room with 30 talkative delegates with all the air-born risk that covid poses at this current time?

For me, online pitching is the future! For the first time in forever, I had relaxed meetings in a non-frenetic environment with producers, directors, filmmakers who listened to my pitch (from their home or office) and offered advice or requested I email my scripts,  treatment or ideas . At least one of them resulted in a zoom meeting and a request for me to view their production slate and pitch something appropriate.

In short, the pitch festival went from ruck and maul to a relaxed meeting with others who were not exhausted by being in a claustrophobic room at Regent’s Park with delegates – who had been queuing for ages – splurging out their well rehearsed logline and beats.

As a writer determined to get projects written and out there – through creating, planning, writing, editing, producing myself (where and when necessary) I cannot emphasise The London Screenwriter Festival strongly enough. Setting aside the fact that remote attendance has undoubtedly reduced the risk of covid and CO2 (by cutting emissions from less travel)  it has also opened the door to civilised pitching of the kind that could in no way be sustained in a room with 30 people queuing to speak to ten industry execs with a clock ticking. It also means, anyone, anywhere in the world can attend it.

Til next time – keep writing and developing, stay safe and consider your global footprint and health.



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