“Out Loud” – The Sequel

At IMIS, we decided to build on the incredible spirit of the first “Out Loud” that culminated in a magical night that performed the winning scripts in a Table Read to an audience.

For the second “Out Loud”, we, again, offered it free to enter, free to attend, and did not place a condition on previous experience, because we recognise the barrier lack of funds can be for participation in the arts.

I also assessed the scripts as they came in and announced winners literally days after the deadline, rather than making writers wait around needlessly for months.

I was pleased to read a lot of really promising scripts with a real diversity of style and approach. However, I wanted to add a few more thoughts on the trends I saw coming through:

Format

Again, a surprising number of scripts, either partially, or completely, did not follow standard script format. When this happens, you distract the reader and make their job harder. Let me be blunt. If you do not follow the format rules, together with the codes and conventions, you really are shooting yourself in the foot.

A script entry is not just a piece of art, it is also an application form. You would not apply for a job using anything other than the potential employer’s standard process and so you should view your script entry the same way.

I go into some more detail about this in my article on the first event.

Comedy

I noticed a number of comedy entrants which shared a similar habit of inserting a gag or one-liner too regularly. This is a similar trend I’ve noticed in much recent British comedy, particularly the BBC, for example in Fleabag.

Although Fleabag built up a loyal following, this was not reflected in the ratings (S2 E1 was 25% below the average for that time slot, according to Chortle) and the show ultimately ended after only two seasons. I think they could have avoided this by making the situations and world-believability king rather than the gags and asides to camera (although the ‘where did you go’ moments were clever).

For another comedy on BBC iPlayer which is still going strong and into its third season, may I humbly submit for your consideration the aptly titled Pamela Adlon-vehicle, Better Things.

Anyone looking to hone their comedic writing in London could do worse than to go to the London Comedy Writers Group. Great people, very supportive atmosphere.

Gender of applicants

Female entrants made up approximately 30% of the first callout and this dropped to roughly 20% for the most recent callout. This split is broadly reflected elsewhere in the industry in available data from other competitions such as the BBC Writersroom, the Nicholls Fellowship and The Black List. Stephen Follows recently conducted a study of the Screencraft competitions which found that female applicants formed only 23.7%.

So my message is clear, it would be great to have many more female applicants!

In Summary

There are clearly a lot of talented writers in the UK and I remain dedicated to helping them focus on and enhance their skills, to give them a real shot in a hyper-competitive business.

I hope more people will enter future call outs – please tell your friends. IMIS is a very cool non-profit which does a lot of tireless work behind the scenes supporting people and the business in general, let’s build together the kind of industry in which we want to operate. Dealing with some organisations often feels like confronting a big wall, but IMIS aim to be approachable, friendly and to demystify both the craft and the business of screenwriting.

The Event

On the 29th June, a table read took place of the winning scripts, sweltering through the hottest day of the year at 33 degrees. It is a testament to the quality of the work that the audience stayed so thoroughly engaged to the end and networked at the end and my big wish is that useful connections were made and the scripts advanced towards production in some way.

Those winners again

Misapprehended – Dorcas Agbogun

2 Shrugs and a Hug – Rasheka Christie

The Sun Will Set – Kevin McCarthy

Flesh and Blood – James Murphy

Reflection – Nick Padmore

Sweet Spot – Yoav Rosenberg

Spatium – Devin Tupper

A big thank you to the actors whose talent and passion brought those scripts to life. I can tell you it is magical watching your script assume form for the first time.

IMDbPro Tips & Tricks – Keep Track of What’s Important To Your Career

Hello again! It’s Jed from IMDbPro and I’m back to share some more information to help you make the most of your time on IMDbPro. My first piece was about taking advantage of your IMDbPro Name Page to promote your career and position yourself for the projects you want. This time I’ll be shifting the focus to how you can use IMDbPro to stay up-to-date on industry updates using IMDbPro Track. 

What is IMDbPro Track?

There’s A LOT of noise in the entertainment industry that we all have to sift through to get to what’s important to us. Our Track feature helps do the sifting for you. You can track the people and titles relevant to your career so that you’re notified when new information is available. You can also customize your preferences to only get the updates you care about.  So whether you want to know when someone specific is mentioned in the trades, an update is made on IMDb, or someone has a new agent, Track can help you stay in the know.

How does Track work?

Whether visiting IMDbPro on your computer or our iOS / Android app (yes, we have an app!), you’ll notice a “Track” button at the top of Name and Title Pages. When you track people, you’ll get notified when they attach to a title, change companies, have a new talent rep or manager, or when there’s been a news story about them. When you track titles, you’ll get alerts on key cast or crew attachments, production status changes, and when the title is mentioned in the industry trades. Once you’ve selected some titles and people to track, you’ll start to notice a red notification dot in your IMDbPro inbox when there are new updates related to items you are tracking. If you haven’t already, try tracking some IMDbPro pages and then check your inbox to see the related updates and news stories.

Can I limit the information I want to track about a person or title?

Absolutely! We understand that depending on your career and role within the industry different information may or may not be important to you. When you click the “Track” button on a Title or Name Page to follow it, click the button again to reveal a drop-down menu where you can select what type of information you want to be updated on.

Information you can track for film and TV titles:

·         Cast Updates – find out when a person is attached to any title, even those in-development to keep your lists up-to-date

·         Filmmaker and crew updates – stay informed on who is hired to work behind the scenes

·         News articles – if the title is mentioned in the industry trades, you’ll hear about it

Information you can track for people:

·         Filmography updates – find out when a person attaches to a title

·         Representation updates – if they get new agency representation, you’ll know

·         Client updates – have your eye on a certain rep? You’ll know when they’ve added a new client

·         Employment updates – find out if they’ve changed where they are working

·         News article – if they’re mentioned in the industry trades, you hear about it

Where can I view all the titles and people I’m tracking in one place?

We understand that tracking is not forever. Sometimes a title or person is no longer relevant to your work. At any time you can visit Pages You Track. Here you can manage what pages are still important to you and untrack as needed, ensuring your inbox Track feed stays efficient for your needs.

Can I track myself?

You already are! We understand how important it is to stay informed on your own industry profile, so by default your page is tracked for you. This means that you will be notified any time you’re mentioned in the industry trades or about updates that were made to your Name Page.

Access your IMDbPro Discount

If you’re not yet a member of IMDbPro, don’t forget that you can start with a 30-day free trial. Members of IMIS receive a discount of 30%.

Go to www.imdbpro.com/redeem and enter promo code found in the Member Discount section of the IMIS Website to apply the discount. This benefit can be applied to an annual or monthly membership.

What will I cover next?

Moving forward I’ll be creating more content that highlights different features and tips to help you optimize your time on IMDbPro. If there is a particular topic that you’d like to hear more about, let your IMIS administrator know. I’ll be in contact with them to make sure my content is relevant to your work.

Well, that’s all for now. Until next time, if you’re hungry for more IMDbPro content, you can follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.