Actor Doreen Mantle in Liz John's Over the Hill short film

Screen

I make a living writing for screen. Last autumn, I was lucky enough to be selected for the Talent Module, Flatpack Festival/Creative England, as a screenwriter.

WRITING FOR TELEVISION

BBC-doctorsI am a regular writer for BBC One’s daily drama, Doctors.

I love writing for the show – there’s the chance to write your own Story of the Day with your guest characters – and it’s great fun writing the serial scenes where the main characters fall out or lust after or even stalk each other!  Despite the restrictions of a very tight budget, BBC TV Doctors commands ratings of  between 2 and 3 million viewers with an audience share of nearly 25%. That’s pretty good going for a daytime show.  It’s made at the Drama Village in Birmingham.

WRITING FOR SHORT FILM

Over the Hill was a short film made for the Rural Media Company, part of their campaign to alert older people who want to retire to the country about the impact of shrinking public services there. The film stars Doreen Mantle as an elderly widow desperate to sell her isolated family home in the country to a city couple who are on the verge of retirement. They are about to discover that country life is not a bed of roses.
Directed by Simon Bovey, the film was funded by the Nationwide Foundation, partnered with Age UK and ACRE

spirited-picSpirited is a digishort, made for Screen WM/UK Film Council and nominated for an RTS Award. It featured Margaret John as an elderly lady who seeks solace with drug-induced hallucinations of her beloved late husband.  Directed by Lewis Arnold.

Let Go was made as part of a BBC sponsored regional project. The drama showed two middle-aged brothers struggling with their mother’s imminent death. Directed by Naomi Vera-Sanso.

panic screenplay

Panic was made for Central TV/Film Academy, and won the Century 21 Award.  Featuring Esther Martin, Joyce Gibbs and Terry Molloy, Panic followed a distressed young woman as she carjacked an elderly couple. Directed by Frances Duncan.

Right: A young woman threatens a vulnerable grandmother.

OTHER PROJECTS

As former chair of the Screenwriters Forum, I set up a collaboration between Birmingham City University School of Media, the Birmingham School of Acting and Capital Festival.  Drastic was a scene I wrote for the students to rehearse and shoot in front of a live audience at the festival. Starring Kristin Alexander and Josh Morris, the scene explores the moment when a mother evicts her wayward teenage son. A documentary was made by other media students about this project.

Click on the following link to read an article I recently wrote for the Producers Forum website called Working with Writers.

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