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Lead actor Denny Hodge begins his journey as Edward in TAKING TIME. Denny's performance was pivotal in bringing continuity and a compelling character journey to a story that had come together from combinations of unexpected scenes. The project was proposed and delivered by director Gabe Crozier.

Lead actor Denny Hodge begins his journey as Edward in TAKING TIME. Directed by Gabe Crozier.

Screenwriters Forum brings together leading local professional writers for mutual benefit and provides a representative voice, and an industry- and public-facing organisation to promote their interests and create opportunities for them.

Following our successful public launch event on February 2nd 2016 – which included the premiere of our jointly-written short film TAKING TIME, for which we were also featured on BBC Midlands Today on the same day – we are now entering our first phase as a public-facing organisation. Have a look at what we can do for you:

  • Our SCRIPT DEVELOPMENT WORKSHOPS, which will be a monthly opportunity for professional and aspiring writers to get the input of professional writers and their peers to help build their work towards an industry commission. These will be running on the first Tuesdays of every month at BCU’s Curzon Building (by Millennium Point) at 7pm, beginning on March 1st. Email Ian (ian@iqkennedy.co.uk) to confirm your interest and attendance – only attendees who have let us know of their attendance can be allowed entry to the building by BCU security staff.
  • SWF has entered a new partnership with Birmingham City University, who will be hosting many of our events as we provide them and their students with access to local industry professionals and our industry guest speakers.
  • Our Chair Ian Kennedy has been announced as Director of World Wide Development by Hollywood script development company WriteMovies, a role that has been created to bridge the gap between UK and global writers and Hollywood studios. WriteMovies has been helping thousands of writers since 2000 and has given Oscar-nominated writers their first access to the studio system.
  • Our Facebook Group is now open! Ask to join here, if you’re a writer in the region: https://www.facebook.com/groups/wmscreenwriters/

For any enquiries or further information, contact Ian on ian@iqkennedy.co.uk.

 

Taking Time promotional still. Starring Denny Hodge. Directed by Gabe Crozier.

Taking Time promotional still. Starring Denny Hodge. Directed by Gabe Crozier.

 

More about us…

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The West Midlands Screenwriters’ Forum was founded in 2007 to provide a cohesive voice for professional screenwriters working in the region. All of our members have at least one screen credit working in film, TV or the computer games industries. You can follow us on Twitter at @ScreenwritersFm!

Here to help

We organise professional development opportunities, share industry knowledge, improve networking with other regional film-makers and inspire new creative partnerships; we strive to help regional screenwriters succeed. We are soon looking to launch a Script Development Group for established and aspiring screenwriters to develop their work and each other’s together: email our Chair Ian Kennedy (ian@iqkennedy.co.uk) to find out more. Ian’s website also contains insights and tips for writers and further information about what he’s up to for Screenwriters’ Forum – click here to go to it.

Searching for peers

We are always seeking to identify new members to join our expanding network. If you are a professional screenwriter working in the West Midlands please contact us.

Current Initiatives

Contact our Chair Ian Kennedy (ian@iqkennedy.co.uk) if you feel you could contribute to any of these!

  • Jointly-written, cinema-quality shot film, by Screenwriters’ Forum members – 6 of our members have each provided one minute of script to this project, which was filmed in August 2015 and is now being edited. The film will be the centrepiece of our relaunch in early 2016 and a calling card for our collaborative approach and quality of output. The Director/Director of Photography is prolific TV and commercial filmmaker Gabe Crozier.
  • Formal relaunch: we want to refocus from being an inward-focused organisation, to being an outward-facing one that takes a big part in the regional and national industry. So watch this space for news of our 2016 relaunch and initiatives!
  • Meetings and guest speakers: our bi-monthly meetings have a host of successful industry guests lined up for 2016. As a Screenwriters’ Forum member, being involved and engaged is a great way to forge partnerships and advance your writing career.


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Script Development Group flyer

Join us on the first Tuesday evening of every month (except Augusts, when everyone will be on holiday!) to gain mini-masterclasses from established industry professionals and to get the input of professional screenwriters, Screenwriters Forum members and other writers like you on your work and ideas. Our generous hosts are Birmingham City University and the venue is the prestigious boardroom of their Curzon Building (room C503), looking out across Millennium Point, Eastside Park and Birmingham City Centre. The venue is a short, well-lit walk directly from Birmingham New Street Station and Moor Street Station (about 10 minutes). If you’re thinking of coming, please notify our Chair Ian Kennedy (ian@iqkennedy.co.uk) in advance, as BCU’s security will be unable to allow admission to anyone who has not preregistered. So if in doubt, tell us you’ll be coming! That’s better than you arriving unannounced and unfortunately being refused entry. Arrive for 6.30pm so we can begin the sessions at 7pm. The sessions will run till around 9pm.

The sessions are built around the preferences of the attendees. Script Development Group attendees get to choose between many potential subjects and contributors for their mini-masterclasses, and to share any parts of their work that they choose to – or to simply go with the flow and learn from what other people share and the feedback they get!

The goal of the group is to secure every participant an industry commission, so that we can welcome them as a full SWF member. Feedback will be constructive and supportive but professional – if you’re keen on the idea of developing your writing in classes, but unsure that you’re ready to work towards becoming a recognised industry professional, you might prefer Ian’s open-access Creative Writing courses across the city.

The cost of the sessions is £15 per person per session, or £60 for five sessions if booked in advance. BCU’s Screenwriting students can enjoy a special discount – ask us for details.

We look forward to meeting you at one of our Script Development Group meetings soon! Email ian@iqkennedy.co.uk for further details.



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Lead actor Denny Hodge begins his journey as Edward in TAKING TIME. Denny's performance was pivotal in bringing continuity and a compelling character journey to a story that had come together from combinations of unexpected scenes. The project was proposed and delivered by director Gabe Crozier.

Lead actor Denny Hodge begins his journey as Edward in TAKING TIME. Denny’s performance was pivotal in bringing continuity and a compelling character journey to a story that had come together from combinations of unexpected scenes. The project was proposed and delivered by director Gabe Crozier.

Our unique, jointly-written, experimental collaborative short film TAKING TIME had its first screening in February 2016. The film was featured on BBC Midlands Today on February 2nd 2016, the day of its premiere at the Mockingbird Theatre in Birmingham, and we will also appear on Big Centre TV‘s film programme BRUMMIEWOOD YAMMYWOOD to discuss it (March 11th, 10pm). Thanks once again to everyone who helped make it possible: this gallery celebrates everyone who gave their own time to the filming of the project – we’re hugely grateful to you all.

So how did it happen? Well, we hosted local filmmaker Gabe Crozier as our guest for a session, and afterwards he proposed making this film, with the concept of letting writers each separately contribute a minute of script each to a unique project. He came up with a core character – but left the story open to invention. The idea was floated by email the next day by our Chair Ian Kennedy, and after at least 16 enthusiastic email replies later that day, the concept had taken shape and many writers were committed to the project. Ian then set them a deadline for a first draft of a one-minute passage of script. When those were received, Ian collated them, and provided a synopsis to the writers, ready for them to adapt and rewrite their scenes to fit into the new bigger picture. The new-look scenes were returned, Ian adapted them into a single script, and the process began to refine, cast and produce the script.

The writers were our members William Gallagher, Andy Conway, Liz John, Mark Brendan and Nicola Jones, plus Ian Kennedy.

The outcome is an experimental 14-minute film at cinema-quality production values. Because the process was experimental from start to finish, we’ve not imposed any rewrites on the writers, nor amended their scripts if it could be avoided. The end product was then in the hands of our casting and editing – plus the grading and soundtrack and composition added by Gabe. We’re happy with the process and the end product, considering the process that generated it, and we’ll be happy to share this work with film festivals and others wherever it is of interest!



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Our unique, jointly-written, experimental collaborative short film TAKING TIME had its first screening in February 2016. This gallery celebrates everyone who gave their own time to the filming of the project – we’re hugely grateful to you all. The film was featured on BBC Midlands Today on February 2nd 2016, the day of its premiere at the Mockingbird Theatre in Birmingham, and we will also appear on Big Centre TV‘s film programme BRUMMIEWOOD YAMMYWOOD to discuss it (March 11th, 10pm). Thanks once again to everyone who helped make it possible, and especially to the actors named below.

Lead actor Denny Hodge begins his journey as Edward in TAKING TIME. Denny's performance was pivotal in bringing continuity and a compelling character journey to a story that had come together from combinations of unexpected scenes. The project was proposed and delivered by director Gabe Crozier.

Lead actor Denny Hodge begins his journey as Edward in TAKING TIME. The project was proposed and delivered by director Gabe Crozier, assisted by Ian Kennedy.

TAKING TIME promotional still

Lead actor Denny Hodge begins to set the tone and pace of the 14-minute film, as his character Edward slowly makes his way towards his daily work, already left far behind by his fellow commuters. Former standup comedian Denny was separately recommended by two different colleagues for the part to us. Denny brought an understated intensity to the film which enabled much of the story to be carried without dialogue.

TAKING TIME promotional still

In his clock shop, Edward (Denny Hodge) feels alienated by the mass-produced modern technology he is expected to work on nowadays in order to maintain his traditional business. Special thanks to Ron and Chris Croton for providing this evocative filming location.

TAKING TIME promotional still

Edward (Denny Hodge) encounters a scene of potential bullying – and theft of a boy’s bike – in the street.

TAKING TIME promotional still

Mehdi (Josh Malhi) interrupts Edward (Denny Hodge) in his solitude, bringing energy and a quirky contrast between the clockwork-loving Edward and a young digital native playing a smartphone game. All of our young actors were cast thanks to Ross Berkeley Simpson of First Act Workshops, to whom we are very grateful, along with the actors themselves and their families who gave up hours of their weekend to make this shoot possible.

TAKING TIME promotional still

After being jolted from a particularly vivid recollection, Edward (Denny Hodge) is left feeling hurt and alone.

TAKING TIME promotional still

Edward’s (Denny Hodge) descent into his own past brings him into a deserted cobbled alley, in search of memories of his father.

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Edward (Denny Hodge) faces the prospect of his own mortality.

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Our final view of Edward (Denny Hodge) as his time ebbs away.

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Respite from urban fears and dangers for Edward (Denny Hodge) in a local park after an alarming encounter.

TAKING TIME promotional still

Edward (Denny Hodge) arrives at his place of sanctuary, his historic clock shop. Location provided by Ron and Chris Croton.

TAKING TIME promotional still

Vulnerable local girl Chloe (Ruth Chavez) looks fondly in as Edward (Denny Hodge) works in his shop – but trouble is arriving in the car behind her.

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Chloe (Ruth Chavez) reflects on her own potentially dangerous situation as she waits for friends to arrive.

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Older man Jake (Sam Cole) confronts Chloe and tries to talk her into joining him in his car.

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Chloe’s friend Alice (Amy-Beth Shah) tries to talk her into joining them in a potentially dangerous situation with older men.

TAKING TIME promotional still

Jake (Sam Cole) is put out by Chloe’s (Ruth Chavez) stand-offish reaction, watched by Alice (Amy-Beth Shah) and Edward (Denny Hodge).

TAKING TIME promotional still

Local bully Cameron (Tom Brookes) senses an opportunity when a young boy approaches on his new bike.

TAKING TIME promotional still

Cameron’s friend Sai (Ryan Malhi) laughs at the prospect of what’s coming their way.

TAKING TIME promotional still

Bullies Cameron (Tom Brookes) and Sai (Ryan Malhi) eye up their next victim.

TAKING TIME promotional still

Surprised to be let through by the bullies – thanks to Edward’s subtle intervention – young boy Michael (Oliver Benbow) continues cautiously on his way.

TAKING TIME promotional still

Young boy Mehdi (Josh Malhi) is immersed in his video game.

TAKING TIME promotional still

Edward experiences a vision of a young girl, perhaps his daughter or granddaughter (Mia Pearson).

TAKING TIME promotional still

Michael (Oliver Benbow) catches up to Edward (Denny Hodge), unwittingly stumbling upon his final moments.

TAKING TIME promotional still

Edward (Denny Hodge) arrives at a derelict site, in search of memories of his father.

TAKING TIME promotional still

Jess (Nicoletta Barrett) is distracted and neglects the young girl she is responsible for – until noticing who the girl is dancing with.

TAKING TIME promotional still

Edward reimagines an upsetting encounter with Mehdi’s mother (Rashi Malhi) as a happier moment.

TAKING TIME promotional still

“Earth to old guy?” – Michael (Oliver Benbow) is too young to recognise Edward (Denny Hodge) entering his final decline – with fateful consequences.



members


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Need a screenwriter, script editor or consultant?

To contact one of our members to discuss a screen commission or project, please click on their profile below and contact them individually.  Members are listed in alphabetical order by first name. (If you are a professional screenwriter and would like to join Screenwriters’ Forum, please contact us!)

Our members are a versatile bunch, but in case you’re looking for someone who has already been professionally commissioned and produced for a specific area in the past, here is a quick list of some of the writers to watch out for among our currently active members.

  • Script Editing, Script Development, Script Readings: Ian Kennedy
  • Feature Films: Helen Cross, Andy Conway, David Squire, Claire Bennett
  • TV drama: Claire Bennett, Liz John, Jo Toye, David Squire, Pat Smart, Paul Brodrick, Tim Stimpson
  • Comedy and sitcom: Keith Lindsay, Ian Billings, Robin Kelly
  • Animation: Myles McLeod
  • Children’s: Ian Billings, Myles McLeod, Jo Toye
  • Video Games: Mark Brendan, Ben Pester
  • Short films: too many of us to list!
  • (Theatre: Michael Davies, Tim Stimpson, William Gallagher, Ian Billings)
  • (Radio Drama: Tim Stimpson, Jo Toye, Ian Kennedy, Liz John, Paul Brodrick, Robin Kelly)

 



partners

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Better together

Reaching beyond our internal network of professional screenwriters we actively seek partnerships with other organisations with similar goals.

 

The Producers’ Forum

The Producers’ Forum is a members based professional organisation providing training, networking and a coheshive lobbying voice for indepdent producers living in the West Midlands | visit them

Rebuilding the TV industry in the west midlands

Working with the Producers’ Forum two documents regarding this initiative were produced:
TV Strategy – What Do We Need (word document)
TV Strategy – A Way Forward (word document)
Please send any and all ideas on how to address these needs to info@producersforum.org.uk.

New partners are soon to be announced!



events

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Script Development Group – OPEN TO ALL! Click here to find out more.

The Script Development Group runs on the first Tuesday of every month at 7pm at Birmingham City University’s Curzon Building, but preregistration is essential – email ian@iqkennedy.co.uk for information.

MEMBERS MEETINGS: We meet every 2 months in and around Birmingham city centre, inviting speakers to discuss their screen-based work and network with our members. Contact our Chair Ian Kennedy (ian@iqkennedy.co.uk) for more information.



contact

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If you would like to join the Screenwriters’ Forum, have an idea for an event or just want to say hi, we would love to hear from you.  You can follow us and engage with us on Twitter at @ScreenwritersFm!

Click here to email our Chair Ian Kennedy to get the ball rolling! ian@iqkennedy.co.uk