A Day in the Life of a Screenwriting Student

What made you study Screenwriting?

I started off wanting to go into acting and theatre directing, that was my beginning point. I was starting to secure little professional jobs here and there, however when looking at all of my writing heroes, the people I admire in the media, I noticed that they’ve all been a writer, director and an actor at some point in their career. I thought, if this is what I am most excited about, why not pursue something in writing whilst doing the other things on the side? So I decided to try and become almost a triple threat in that regard. 

What made you want to study at Central Film School? 

It was mostly the accelerated course offering. The fact that it was heavily practical and that it would be right in the middle of London, which has all of the connections you need to get started in the industry, they’re all here! Those were the main aspects. I joined CFS when I was 24, so I was a little late in the game. I didn’t want to spend 3 years studying and then study a Master’s in one go. I wanted to concentrate on my undergraduate degree and I was at the level where I could squeeze it all into two years and thrive from it.

What made you choose London, did you consider studying in any other cities?

I had applied for schools in other cities, however with London and with the school I knew that what I wanted in this moment of my life was to go to London because that’s where the connections to the industry are, here in the city.

What modules have been the most helpful/insightful so far in your degree?

I would probably say, everything! Everything has been helpful in terms of understanding and improving the foundations and fundamentals of Screenwriting. The introduction to writing drama and the writing episodic drama modules in particular have been great, as writing episodic has always been something that I have been interested in. Being able to understand how to write an episodic series has been big for me as I’ve always had an attraction to TV. Something which has been interesting which I haven’t really thought of before would be the Writing for Interactive Media (such as games and interactive films) module, the potential for script reading and script coverage, it just shows that there are more routes you can go down as a Screenwriter, rather than simply just writing for film, TV or maybe radio. It has been interesting and insightful to be able to learn that the industry was vaster than I initially expected.

How have you been putting your skills to use outside of the classroom?

Outside of the classroom, I have collaborated with a drama school graduate to write some radio drama and comedy series scripts for an arts radio station she is hoping to set up with a few other creatives, so that’s starting to come into fruition now. I have also been writing short speeches for young actors to use in showreels. 

Are there any skills you have learnt which you perhaps may not have expected to gain during your degree?

One of the skills in particular would definitely be the script coverage as that has definitely been something that I wouldn’t have expected to enjoy as much as I have and be as good as I expected to be at it. I also set up a writer’s room for some of the screenwriting students in the school and took on a showrunner type role, which was definitely something which I didn’t expect to be excited by. That experience has shown me that in the future I would definitely like to pursue showrunner jobs. 

Where do you see yourself when you graduate?

I’m going to stay in London. I’m looking into Script Reader work to begin with and then hopefully apply to some television writer’s room projects. If not I’ll become a copywriter in advertising and that will work fine as well. 

I will also be exploring writing and directing for theatre in the meantime. 

What advice would you give anyone wishing to study at Central Film School?

I would say, be completely open – this is the time where you explore and write in different styles which you may not be comfortable with. This is the time for you to play around, hit and miss in quality and then you’ll find out who you are as a writer. It gives you the opportunity to find your voice and learn what makes you tick. I would also try and get in contact with filmmakers within the school because oftentimes, if they end up with jobs or you end up with jobs you can create a network of filmmakers within London which you will definitely need when starting out in the industry.

What would you say to anyone who perhaps isn’t sure about coming to Central Film School?

I would say that if your main focus is to develop a skillset which is practical and is something that you wish to use to leap into the industry – Central Film School is for you. The class sizes are select and relatively small; which means your time with the lecturers and with the industry professionals is very useful and more personal. You’re eased into the industry both quicker and easier than it would be without it. 

Best thing about being at CFS?

I would say, discovering the stories and the experiences of people from around the world has been the best thing about joining Central Film School. Having a diverse range of backgrounds in your classroom really makes a difference, because it impacts your learning and you get to understand so many different perspectives. For me, as a writer it’s helped to enrich my work even further, the experience is vast and diverse both with your lecturers and your classmates.