Posts Tagged ‘screenwriting’

jimmy mcgovern

Jimmy McGovern: Soap Writer With Substance

Jimmy McGovern  (think ‘Cracker’) has long been a favourite screenwriter and Karel’s ‘The Story Department’ a favourite writing resource.  The perfect marriage for this blog post, in fact. 

Jimmy McGovern: Soap Writer With Substance


@FrancesMForde  #FrancesMacForde  #JimmyMcGovern  #CrackerTVSeries  #TheStoryDepartment  #WritingForScreen  #Screenwriting  #FavoriteWriters

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Andrew Bovell shares what he learned in Hollywood and a whole lot more about screenwriting.




@FrancesMForde  #FrancesMacForde  #AndrewBovell  #Screenwriter  #Screenwriting  #AFITalk   #BAFTA

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Being introduced at the Avon Valley Writers Festival, 2012.

Talk about booking well in advance: the West Australian branch of the Society of Women Writers asked me at the beginning of the year, to run a workshop ‘Writing for the Screen’ in October.

I’m told they expect around 60 people to attend the General Meeting and stay for my presentation – so I’m looking forward to the challenge.  🙂

Well used to presenting to an audience either in person, on a stage or on screen, I’m not really worried about showing a short film made from my script then talking about my experience.


Some of the audience for my Avon Valley Writers Festival workshop having a go at a one pager, 2012.


The intention is to also get them to have a go at a one pager, then pick a couple to read out and critique. A similar workshop during the inaugural Avon Valley Writers Festival in 2012 was very successful.

So if you’re around on the 20th October – a Wednesday lunchtime and are interested getting an IDEA – because it’s a HUGE subject, of writing for the screen… why not book your place now by contacting the WA branch of the Society of Women’s Writers.


@FrancesMForde  #FrancesMacForde  #AvonValleyWritersFest   #SocWomensWritersWA  #WritingForScreen  #WritingWorkshop  #Workshops  #Writing  #Screenwriting  #WomenWriters



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EFrancesPortrait1BW Rambling on…


For THROWBACK THURSDAY I thought I’d post this piece, written way back in 2008.


A Trilogy of Creativity

Imagine a film culture that values and celebrates their writers – as well!

Where the film opens with  ‘A Film By A Brilliant Writer’  in HUGE letters….  

Wait… wait… I’m visualizing….   

Imagine if the writer was credited first – just as the script came first!   It should be standard in every contract.

Imagine if, in all the publicity, as many times as the producer/director are mentioned – so is the writer!

A trilogy of creativity! 

At the very least, equal status and consideration, even listed before the others! 

I know – I know… often the script is taken and the writer never consulted again while others input their talents.

That’s where writers get lost and forgotten – while everyone else is contributing. 

But in the end, imagine if the world remembered the root – how the tree grew from a tiny seed and who planted that seed in the beginning…


It’s not just a case of reminding those in the industry of the contribution a writer makes but also, informing the public – for them it would be a subliminal statement of value.

Once the mind-set of valuing the writer is established, everything else will follow:  

            the time (money) to develop scripts,

            the appreciation of the time true craft takes

            the education/practice required to deliver the skills of screenwriting.  

No-one expects a novel to be written in 3 months (rare).  Nor do we expect them to go straight from the writer to the printing press.

We know novels need to be edited and edited again and again, throughout which the author needs to be consulted and considered. 

And when the novel/book is finally printed, we revere and promote the author as creator – even send them on book tours, because we realize and fully acknowledge their involvement in the final product.  

The author is often what sells the book – once you’ve read one you want to read more of the same quality.

Imagine if we had the general public going to films by their favorite writer?

Imagine if screenwriters were feted in the promotion of the film on a level with its directors and producers? 

What a wondrous world for screen writers that would be.

A trilogy of creativity!

Frances Macaulay Forde © 2008

#FrancesMacaulayForde  #Screenwriting  #TrilogyOfCreativity


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I’m going to be off-line for a while as my computer needs some hospital treatment after I joined DropBox then decided to delete my account.  Before cancelling the account I deleted all the files for safety.

What I didn’t know was DropBox  deleted everything on ‘all my devices’ – my hard drive too!  BUGGER!

I’m just really hoping my computer guru/fixer can find them and restore everything again.  I’ve got most files & photos backed up but not since November – so all Chrissy photos and writing… Oh well.  Hopefully I’ll be back in a couple of days.

Thanks so much for reading my humble blog and have a good week.    Remember to back up often!

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So, in no particularly order I recommend all of these movies watched in a theatre (as they should be) as entertaining, well made and well written – because they’d have to be for me to enjoy them!


Philomena – delightful and authentic handling of a very serious subject – of course Judi Dench is amazing!  

I actually met a ‘Magdalene Girl’ quite by accident, when I was in Ireland.  A great friend had taken me to lunch near the Cliffs of Moher and a lady at the next table had a cute dog I fell in love with.  We got chatting, mentioned we were writer and publisher, and she said she had only just finished learning to read and write as a ‘laundry girl’ but that it was her ambition to be a published poet too.  


Django Unchained – not my usual fare because I have a problem with Quentin’s depictions of violence but very good – regardless.  Have to say Leo, Jamie etc performed magnificently.  Beautiful visuals, authenticity and music.

So glad hubby wanted to see it  – against my better judgement I was thoroughly entertained!  Perhaps I’ve misjudged Quentin – and he LOVES many Australian movies…


Silver Linings Playbook – Watching Bradley is never hard work, but in this his character is so layered (as all the characters are) this was definitely an unforgettable favorite for the year.

Initially, I had to see the movie because a favorite Aussie actress Jackie Weaver was in it and the reviews were excellent but I found this film had so much more to it.  It touched my heart, made me want to take up ballroom dancing again, made me laugh, cry and I recognized friends in the characters… what more could you want from a $10 movie ticket?   Now I’ve joined the queue and recommend you see it too!


Life of Pi – It’s all been said before but those magnificent visuals and the very human story are unforgettable.

I’m an Ang Lee fan anyway and a friend of mine recently worked with him so I had to see why many loved or some hated this.   I hadn’t read the book, by all accounts it was very difficult to adapt to screen – another reason I had to see it.  David McGee did an amazing job of re-imagining the plot for screen, he’s currently working on the next ‘Narnia’ adaptation.  I love best of all that he leaves the ending, open. 


Captain Phillips – Very well done, although from the trailer you’d think it would get boring, filmed mostly in the escape boat…. but it doesn’t!  The tension is high from the minute you put your bum on the movie house seat and sit forward for the opening shots. Another authentic film with locals employed who at times, threaten to steal the acting limelight!

There were 2 reasons I HAD to see this:  Film Mafia’s review AND  I wrote an idea for a script in 2006 ‘Sabre One’ dealing with the same subject with an almost identical idea for the opening sequence. My script then follows a plot line which didn’t have an American slant but a British one. I’ve had some interest over the years but 1st time feature director lacked funds or it was too costly for local producers – but hope never dies.  


The Railway Man – I’m a  fan of both the leads: Nicole (naturally) and Colin for so many of my favorite RomCom films. In this although he starts as I expect, his character then turns completely against type.

My husband and I are also researching my father’s WWII Pathfinder experiences and his final year flying ‘transport’ in India and Burma for a feature project.


The Sapphires – A FABULOUS Australian movie full of fabulous music, characters and a true story which had never been celebrated before.  The exuberance and joy were contagious – I loved it!

Hubby and I had  watched and cheered for a young Jessica Mauboy on Australian Idol and I’d been a fan of  Deborah Mailman for years watching Australian TV Series like ‘Secret Life of Us’ and ‘Offspring’.  No brainer, really…

images (1)

The Guilt trip – Hee-Hee-Hee.  I alternately laughed or questioned myself all the way through this.  I found it very funny, human, real and a plausible fly-on-the-wall road trip with two opposite characters who find they’re not so different, after all.

Of course anything with Barbara in it, I’ll watch – HUGE, HUGE fan of her acting, directing and beautiful voice but mostly of the choices she makes.  (I find I usually agree with her.)  I guess she played to my expectations – I’ve been a fan since ‘Funny Girl’.   I also think Barbara drew on the character of her mother in that movie, to find the beginnings of her character here… then updated it. 


Zero Dark 30 – there was so much controversy and expectation around this movie, we both (hubby and I) wanted to see it but for different reasons.  He, because of the Osama man-hunt but I wanted to see how a woman would depict the horror, torture and violence.  It was also a story which affected all in the ‘free’ world, based in fact.  It was confronting, tense, visually gripping and aurally authentic.  I wasn’t entertained, I found instead that I was made to feel ‘safe’ in this very uncertain world, although the end reeked of US patriotism.  For all that, a very well made and considered film.

…and finally…


Quartet – Dustin Hoffman’s first foray into the director’s chair – and it was excellent!  Mind you, he couldn’t fail with such a good script, beautiful location and 5 top performers who freely admitted they didn’t sing but mimed!   Funny, engaging, heart-wrenching, sad, cheeky and heart-breaking-ly authentic (again) filled with beautiful music.   Love, love, loved it. 

These are only films I got to see – I’m very sure there were many more excellent movies I missed and would still like to see; ‘The Great Gatsby‘, ‘The Butler‘ and newer ones like ‘The Book Thief’, ‘Grace of Monaco’, ‘Saving Mr Banks’ and ‘The World of Walter Mitty‘. 

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OK time to lighten the mood.

As a screenwriter, I have so many scripts just sitting around… shorts, features, TV Series etc.

One day, I’ll find the time to film this short-short with a couple of friends and my stills camera which takes video.

It’s so easy these days with all the options on the net to just film something and upload it onto You Tube.

You never know what will be a hit, what will just strike the collective funny bone and go viral.

But until I do, I thought I’d share this 3 min script with you. ‘Valentine’s Day

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