Here are some universally agreed guidelines for you to play fast and loose with.

  1. A new scene means there’s been a change of time or place. You have to think how you’re going to signal this to the audience — with music, a gap of a few seconds, a fade down on one acoustic and fade up on another or some very sharp cutting which leaves listeners breathless but perhaps interested. But if you leave them wondering: what is happening, where are we? too often, then you’ll lose them
  2. You have to let the audience hear every voice in a…


1- This is obvious. Start each scene telling us whether it’s INT or EXT of course, preferably time of day, and where. If it’s a general acoustic, you can suggest sounds if you like — for instance, if it’s important to the script and/or you think you know more than the sound designer.

On the other hand, if it’s all straightforward you can give the sound designer the info he needs and let him get on with it.

2- This is even more obvious. Don’t say: SOUND OF or ACOUSTIC OF or you will drive the sound crew mad. They…


After careful consideration from the jury, we are delighted to announce the WINNER of our 2020 Screenwriting Contest for English language feature films!

  • Exiles

Written by Mary Waireri

Genre: Thriller

Country: United Kingdom

A British doctor returns to Kenya, the country she fled as a young girl, when her twin brother suddenly goes missing while investigating a mysterious conspiracy.


  1. The ear can’t take in everything which the eye can.

A TV drama might include a wide shot of the house, maybe the car pulling up outside and the family spilling out. Then you’re inside the house watching them enter and seeing their faces when they find the mess the burglars have left. There’s barely any dialogue throughout.

So, you’re still thinking in TV visuals and you might think you can simply reproduce that scene in sound with the following SFX:

CAR ENGINE AS IT PASSES, CRUNCH OF GRAVEL BENEATH TYRES AS IT TURNS INTO THE DRIVE, CAR HALTING, ENGINE…


After careful consideration from the jury, we are delighted to announce the three finalists of our 2020 Screenwriting Contest for English language feature films.

Stay tuned to our social media for the upcoming announcement of the winner on March 24th.

MEET THE FINALISTS:

  • Exiles

Written by Mary Waireri

Genre: Thriller

Country: United Kingdom

Logline: A British doctor returns to Kenya, the country she fled as a young girl, when her twin brother suddenly goes missing while investigating a mysterious conspiracy.

  • Peakland

Written by Lawrence Pumfrey

Genre: Western

Country: United Kingdom

Logline: A gritty British-Western that follows an ex-mining family —…


26- Key aspect of screenwriting: Great culmination scenes from film and TV.

THE MATRIX

It’s been a couple of days since I talked about The Matrix. Let me fix that. What happened in the scene here? Everything that could go wrong, goes wrong. Neo gets shot, dies, the machines are entering the ship. It’s a dire situation, man. But then the power of the ‘b-plot’ kicks in and Trinity realizes she’s in love with Neo.

Trinity kisses Neo, and he is resurrected by the power of the culmination. With great power comes strange VFX and Neo enters the body of…


Audio drama is just the same as any drama. You’re still in the business of creating good stories with strong characters.

Rules are made to be broken. What follows are slim guidelines for writers who are either inexperienced or experienced in other media — stage, TV, film — and are interested in exploring audio. I’m not telling you how to write. I’m suggesting how to make what you write work in audio.

STRENGTHS OF AUDIO DRAMA

Stop moaning about the lack of visuals and recognise that audio has its own strengths.

  • Anywhere you want to take your drama is affordable…

ACTO 3:

21- A key aspect of screenwriting: Breaking into ACT 3

What? Are we already at the end? No, we are not. This is the middle of your pilot. It’s the ACT 3 because we divided the pilot into 4 Acts. The only thing that should change in the 3rd Act is your character’s approach to the problem at hand. The stakes should be higher too.

This is where things turn darker for your character. ‘The bad guys close in’. …


16- A Key concept of screenwriting: B Story.

The B story or subplot resonates thematically with the A story. Sometimes the “themes” of a story are discussed here. It can also involve the supporting or secondary characters that maybe aren’t involved in the main story of the episode. A lot of times the resolution of the main story comes from something learned in the “B Story”. If you find your subplot not connected in any way to the main drama of the show, then there’s no reason to have one.

Like the “debate sequence”, the B story can also help…


11- A key aspect of screenwriting: Character Flaw.

A “character flaw” is that imperfection your characters carry around with them. Sometimes the story revolves around this flaw, if the character corrects it he’ll have a happy ending, if he doesn’t he’ll be a tragic hero. The “flaw” allows the audience to identify with the character. It humanizes them. They can identify what needs to be corrected for the hero to triumph or fail.

The ‘character flaw’ it’s linked to the theme of the story.

In Rocky, one could argue that the titular character’s flaw was the lack of self-belief. He…

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