My main role has been the development and delivery of scriptwriting modules. As a Senior Lecturer on the Scriptwriting Award, I created five modules, which, since that Award’s demise, are still running as scriptwriting strands through both FTVRS and Creative Writing Awards. My focus in the university is almost entirely on the teaching, which sustains my interest and feeds into my own creative work, and academic studies. Scriptwriting, as an academic subject, is in its infancy; my aim therefore has been to establish solid foundations and to crystalize the essentials of scriptwriting: on the one hand, cinema’s roots in photography and painting, and on the other its roots in literature. This last aspect, which provides the bedrock of scriptwriting modules, encourages students to see scriptwriting as a part of the literary tradition and to therefore develop a greater interest in reading and language, as well as in the themes and ideas that all the arts deal in. Balancing this artistic/academic approach is a vocational element, with several modules requiring that students use industry-standard models in their research and editorial work, as well as in peer reviews and presentations.
Professional memberships and activities
BA (hons) in Photography, Film & TV (1980, London College of Printing).
MA in Film & Television (1984, Royal College of Art).
• Writing for the screen.
• The film industry.
As a young teenager I was an actress with leading roles in two feature films, one of which was directed by Jack Clayton, who is an important figure in British cinema. Although ‘the sixties’ intervened and interrupted my life and education, this experience led me back to photography and eventually to college to study film.
I graduated from the Royal College of Art with an MA in Film & Television in 1984. My ambition at that time was to direct, having spent 10 years with a camera always around my neck and having made several short films at college. The pursuit of film projects led eventually to commissioned screenplays and, finally, to produced work. During this time, my interest in film was overwhelmed by my growing love of language and writing, although still-photography remains an interest.
I have written many screenplays, of which five were professional commissions and two were produced: ‘The Lost Son’, a feature film starring Daniel Auteuil (theatrical release 1999); and ‘Escape From Kampala’, a BBC Play On One, broadcast 1991. I am no longer actively pursuing film projects but concentrating instead on writing prose - short stories and a novel, which is very nearly finished. I have had a series of articles on writing for the cinema published in The Spectator magazine and have also written for The Literary Review, The Independent and, most recently, The Conversation.
Scriptwriting at all three levels for both the English and Creative Writing and FTVRS Awards:
Writing for Film, Television and Radio
Introduction to Creative Writing
From Script to Screen
Screenwriting – Feature Film
Creative Writing project
Supervisor – Master by Negotiated Study (MaNS)