As a scriptwriter for hire, and UK Script Consultant 2021 was a hugely busy year. As well helping over 100 writers with my script coverage service, I also worked on three very large original script commissions as a screenwriter for hire (amongst other jobs like last-minute rewrites for clients).
But beyond this scriptwriting work, I’ve also directed a large chunk of my third independent horror film ‘When the Earth Gives Up The Dead’, I have another weeks shooting to go in Jan / Feb 2022 and then the film will hit post and will be released in early summer 2022.
‘When the Earth Gives Up The Dead’ is the third and final film in a low budget horror trilogy inspired by H.P. Lovecraft stories. The trilogy includes the previously released ‘Markham’ and ‘At The Mountains of Madness’
Scriptwriter for hire
Gradually over the last few years, my work as a director (you can find my director website here) has slowly began to overtake my work as a scriptwriter for hire. In 2022, I have four directorial projects lined up – all produced independently – all designed for an online release.
In the last fifteen years almost everything about film production has changed – digital video cameras are now on par with 35mm cameras of old, and special effects (like Green screen and Chroma key) once the domain of high end productions are now available for low cost. Not just that, video editing is now hugely advanced – better than filmmakers of the past could even dream about (and all this is before I even mention the advances made in VR production)
What’s also changed is distribution – selling films online (on VOD) is simple, YouTube is a game changer and of course the big studios these days are Netflix and Amazon – who are more open to taking on and distributing lower budget films (in their long tale) than the traditional studios of old were.
Marketing is now different too – tools like Twitter / WordPress and YouTube mean that you can reach a vast audience for very little advertising spend (if you do it right).
Of course, filmmakers still need some production finance and they need an audience – the same as before – but the audience these days might be found in different places than in the past and finance required will be a lot less money than in days of old. The technology has made it cheaper to deliver quality productions on lower budgets.
All of this finds me personally at a point where in 2022 I am planning to fully make the jump to being an independent producer and DIRECTOR first and scriptwriter second.
I will still be available as a scriptwriter for hire and I will still offer my script consultant services, but my capacity may be slightly reduced. To help with this, I’m working with other professional scriptwriters who will step in and do some of the report requests and rewrite work that comes into my via this website.
I think 2022 will be a hugely exciting year, despite the pandemic (which is actually hastening the change in the production techniques). Also important is climate change, and low-budget productions are leading the way in reducing the carbon footprint of film production. So it’s all change in the industry. Gatekeepers have fallen, and the means of production are now in the hands of creatives (if they are) willing to take risks and push the envelope – in production, distribution and finance.
So, keep an eye on my website next year (both this website and my director website will be updated with more regularity if I can).
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all. Long live the new flesh x
Matthew Cooper has been a script writer for hire and UK script consultant 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.
His directorial debut, the rubber reality horror thriller ‘Markham’ was released in 2020, his second feature film as director ‘At The Mountains Of Madness’ hit the screen in 2021. You can find out more about Matthew’s work as a director here.
You can find some of his broadcast credits on the IMDb.