I’m back from my holidays and powering on with a couple of new projects and people are continuing to contact me for script reports that give real practical advice from a professional writer with broadcast experience…
I’m also continuing work on my large project of turning three novels into a trilogy of films (keep checking back and I’ll reveal the novels which the producer I’m working for currently has under option).
While on holiday I read Dalton Trumbo’s autobiography (on which the award winning film Trumbo is based). I’d recommend that other script writers read this very addictive and well written book. Trumbo comes across as a very clever craftsman and he certainly paid his dues in his career and his life.
It got me thinking about the amount of very young script writers who contact me for advice. I started young too, with my first broadcast credit on Channel 4 in the UK at the age of 19. I knew a lot about film at 19, but how much did I know about life? Later at 21, I was in the finals of another screenwriting competition (this one, run by the BBC).The judge of this competition was Jimmy McGovern, the great writer of Cracker amongst many other credits. Jimmy took me aside and said I was a good writer, but I was too young to be really good. He told me most writers, especially in TV only get really good in their 40s.
Its interesting advice, you do need to know a little bit about life to have enough in your writer’s tool box to connect with people of all ages. You need to sometimes write about emotions and frustrations that most 21 year old’s won’t know for a long time.
I’m 43 three now and I can honestly say I’m a better writer for having more experience in life than I was when I was a keen new starter at 19. So, film students and young wannabe script writers take note – you’ll get better with age…
Matthew Cooper has been a script writer for hire for over 20 years. He’s written for most of the UK soaps, including writing award winning episodes of Emmerdale, EastEnders, Hollyoaks and Family Affairs and has been BAFTA shortlisted and Royal Television Society nominated as a script writer. He also works as a content writer for hire and as a UK script consultant. You can find some of his broadcast credits on the IMDb. You can get in touch with Matthew on email@example.com or hire him on Peopleperhour