With just one month to go until our next installment of Wordstock Deconstructed, featuring Rob Williams in conversation with John Simmons, Laura Hunter muses over the allure of screenwriting and what we have to look forward to. That is – if you bag yourself a ticket.
I’ve always been envious of screenwriters. For me, they’re the rockstars of the writing world. (No offence, novelists. I’m also very envious of you!) Because they’re responsible for something pretty incredible: the starting point from which filmmaking flows. Action that keeps audiences on the edge of their seat, one tender moment that sends millions into tears or famous lines that become engrained in our culture and psyches. All of this begins at a screenwriter’s desk.
I’ve also never had the chance to meet a screenwriter. So, they’re a mysterious breed to me. That’s why I’m very much looking to our Wordstock Deconstructed event with screenwriter Rob Williams in conversation with John Simmons on the 21 September at October Gallery.
Back in 2008, Rob Williams gained one of only eight places on the BBC Writers’ Academy, run by John Yorke. His success there led to writing scripts for BBC dramas like Eastenders, Holby City, Casualty and Doctors, then DCI Banks before writing his own series for ITV – Chasing Shadows with Reece Shearsmith playing the central role.
His work gained international attention and Rob was recruited to the writing team for The Man in the High Castle, based on Philip K. Dick’s dystopian novel about what happened when the Japanese and Germans won the war and controlled America. You know you’ve arrived when you can turn jobs down – Rob shunned the third series so he could write more of his own stories. He’s just got back from LA where he was set to work on a new drama, and there are other UK ideas bubbling up.
I’m desperate to know what it’s like to be on the writing team of an award-winning TV series. Do you have to kill your darlings wayyy too much? Is the relationship between director and writer constructive or non-existent? Is Reece Shearsmith as cool as I think he is? And, before I get too excited, how do you even break into this screenwriting world?
So come along and find out how it’s done. I’m certain there’ll be ideas and insights that you can take away and apply to your work, whatever field of writing you’re interested in.