In case you’ve never come across us before, here’s a brief history of The Script Factory’s adventures in the art and business of screenwriting so far….
Way back in 1996, The Script Factory was established by Charlotte Macleod and Lucy Scher and staged an annual season of Performed Screenplay Readings by the very best of UK screenwriting talent. Christopher Hampton, Mike Figgis and Jimmy McGovern were amongst those who saw their work performed by stars including Charles Dance, Christopher Eccleston, Ioan Gruffud, Gina Mckee, Bill Nighy, Stephen Rea, Fiona Shaw, Mark Strong and Emily Watson. The Script Factory Performed Readings entertained audiences and helped numerous projects find finance, producers and cast, and served to bring projects like the Oscar-nominated Dirty Pretty Things, Bafta-nominated Lawless Heart, BIFA-nominated Liam, and Bafta-winning short Shadowscan to life.
Then we opened our doors to new writers and the real work began! We launched one of the UK’s first script reading services for writers, started training Script Readers and by 2004 had a comprehensive programme for training and developing screenwriters. This included long-term initiatives supported by The Film Council’s Training Fund and, though it may sometimes take a while to show results in this business, we are thrilled that many of the novice writers we worked with in our earliest days of training are now producing successful films.
Around the same time, our wonderfully generous Board Members, Mike Figgis and the late Anthony Minghella offered to give Script Factory Masterclasses, and so began a thrilling series of preview screenings, Masterclasses and Q & A sessions all focused on the role of the script and the screenwriting talent behind it. Over the years, we have been privileged to stage events with Charlie Kaufman, Aaron Sorkin, Todd Haynes, Steve Buscemi, Mike White, Peter Morgan, Lone Scherfig, Alfonso Cuaron, Simon Beaufoy and Alexander Payne, to name but a mere handful of the hundreds of innovative filmmakers we have met and learnt from.
This combination of training and masterclasses has been taken by The Script Factory team around the world to inspire new filmmakers, from Brazil to Israel, Warsaw, Gothenburg and Mumbai and to Australia and back (several times!).
These days, life is a little calmer at Script Factory HQ. Having served our members with a packed schedule of events and training for the last decade, including the wildly popular Serious Screenwriting at BAFTA, we are now channeling all the expertise we have acquired into a dedicated focus on script development. It may not be as glamorous as hosting a masterclass with Stephen Frears in Cannes but it’s where our true passion lies. We love the craft and creativity of great scripts and consider it a true honour to work with writers to help hone their vision and bring the characters and conflicts they have imagined to the screen.