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Blog - Gary Thomas

Round up of 2020

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dramatically-lit photo of artist gary thomas sitting with his chin resting in his right hand

Photo © Gary Thomas

Happy New Year to you all!

I actually started a blog on confidence & what happens to it when it goes. Like seriously, where DOES it go???
But I honestly lost confidence in it. Which sounds silly but is actually true. I feel like I lost a bit of confidence as 2020 started winding down. Its a mix of reasons really. But rather than concentrate on that I thought I’d focus on a different track.

I’ve been very fortunate (I don’t use the word luck) to have 2 successful arts council applications be successful this year, with one I’m just about to embark on.
But in terms of writing for this year, I’ve done a number of (mostly writing) courses, including –

Feature writing – Jan
TV writing – March
Incubator course – July
Limited series July / sept
1 month private mentorship on limited series Sept / Oct
Ultimate Writers toolkit – April
Voice lessons – for memoir reading – May
Manager class – May
UK TV writing – May
Pitch prep – Aug
Marketing intensive for writers – October
Authors on ramp – November
Start something new Nov / Dec
Consult wedding comedy Feb
Consult 1st 15 Connected Dec
Rewrite class – Oct
Sitcom writing – Oct / Nov
Free playwriting class (Danc) – Nov

Bloody hell! That’s a lot of writing, or you’d think. Most but not all the courses were through Roadmap Writers, based in LA, and obviously the one thing I had deal with was the time difference from the US to the UK. I wrote two screenplays up until end of July, both original spec TV pilots. After that, I kind of ran out of steam a little. Call it lockdown syndrome, call it whatever, I’m not sure why. But I’ve tried since then to keep on track. I’m rewriting the outline for my feature script, but also I shouldn’t forget what else I’ve done this year. My focus switched, somewhat unexpectedly, after I did the Ultimate Writers toolkit course, where I learnt how to market myself and my script to industry, including managers and agents.

In August I did Pitch Prep, again with Roadmap, and I learnt how to write and develop pitches for my screenplays, and I actually pitched to a couple of US based managers as part of the training.

I took a month of in September (sort of) because the time difference was catching up with me. But then in October I signed up to the Marketing Intensive, which is where I took everything I learned in Pitch Prep and writers toolkit. I researched managers and agents, and as part of the training, I pitched to 5 industry execs of my choice. I had pretty good feedback, with one of the execs requesting the script at the end of November.

It’s been really good, and I’ve gone from simply reading the screen, which is all I could do, and with lots of practice, recording myself pitching as if I was on zoom talking to someone, the outcomes have been very good. I don’t want to lose momentum with this, but it does get expensive. The other side of that is that it is really good value with Roadmap.

Now I need to make sure the new scripts for this year are industry ready before I move on. I really want to develop the other pitches for the rest of the scripts I have. And continue to build on that momentum.

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