Proximity is Power: Getting and keeping the Gatekeepers on side

Room: Darwin D06
Time: Sunday 2:00pm

055

with Rhona Foulis, Victoria Morris, Zak Abby, and Amanda Farley
moderated by Lisa McMullin

Proximity is Power: Getting and keeping the Gatekeepers on side image

As much as we would all love to be best friends with our favorite director, producer, or agent, these high-powered executives have hired teams to perform triage for their time. But a good gatekeeper does more than that. They assess not only whether you are professional and talented enough but whether you are an appropriate candidate to advance through their gates.

With a Gatekeeper firmly on side half your work is already done.  The door is ajar, the call will be taken, the meeting is practically in the diary! Time to stop looking at Gatekeepers as barriers to be outmanoeuvred, but rather as allies to assist, advise and help guide you on your journey into the inner sanctum.

In this session, Victoria Morris (Development Assistant at Artists Studio), Rhona Foulis (Executive Assistant to Frank Spotnitz) and Zak Abby (Development Assistant at Bandit TV) will discuss…

  • The most and least effective ways to impress a gatekeeper.
  • Nurturing the long pitch to build an effective relationship that lasts.
  • What NOT to do when the gatekeeper says “No.”
  • How to earn the welcoming (rather than the frosty) “Hello” on your umpteenth follow up call.
  • How to recognise the polite pass, accept it with grace and still leave the door open for future enquiries.
  • Simple techniques for getting the meeting you are trying for.

In the end, writing well is only one talent necessary for a successful career. If you want to stand above the crowd, your professionalism towards other professionals will be your best tool. This session will teach you that gatekeepers don’t just maintain the schedule of their bosses, but the integrity of the industry as a whole.

Appearing in this session

Amanda Farley

Amanda Farley – Assistant Script Editor | BBC Writersroom

Amanda organises the yearly BBC TV Writers’ Festival and is Assistant Producer on the Writersroom Comedy Room scheme.
Amanda Farley
Lisa McMullin

Lisa McMullin – Screenwriter

Credits include: Doctors

Lisa’s first episode of BBC drama Doctors aired in June and she has been commissioned for two more; as well as an episode of Eastenders.
Lisa McMullin
Rhona Foulis

Rhona Foulis – Executive Assistant

Credits include: Salmon, The Man in the High Castle

Rhona is Executive Assistant to Frank Spotnitz and Jamie Hall at Big Light Productions, a TV drama production company.
Rhona Foulis
Victoria Morris

Victoria Morris – Development Assistant - Artists Studio

We’re always on the look-out from for interesting, provocative and character-led television drama.
Victoria Morris
Zak Abby

Zak Abby – Development Team Assistant | Bandit Television

Zak is also the assistant to the Emmy and BAFTA Award winning producer Phillippa Giles.
Zak Abby

Screenwriting Practical help

1... The Beginning: Crafting the First Ten Pages That Hooks the Reader

1... The Beginning: Crafting the First Ten Pages That Hooks the Reader

We start at the beginning in this series of three sessions… How do you start your script so that readers are COMPELLED to make it to the end? It’s all in the first ten pages.

2... The Middle: Mastering The Midpoint

2... The Middle: Mastering The Midpoint

Exploring, expanding and deepening mastery of the ‘keystone’ scene of any narrative – the midpoint. And how you can leverage the midpoint in your story to reveal what your story is REALLY about. 

3... The End: Inevitable but unexpected... Why the end of your screenplay MUST deliver

3... The End: Inevitable but unexpected... Why the end of your screenplay MUST deliver

Using ideas from analytical psychology, myth and anthropology – and with examples from feature films, single episodes, season stories and multi-season arcs – we will show you how to get to grips with the most important final moments of your story.

Beyond the Pitch: Crushing the Meeting

Beyond the Pitch: Crushing the Meeting

‘Owning the room’ is one of the most important elements of the business of screenwriting and Joey Tuccio, the CEO of Roadmap Writers, is here to teach this invaluable class focused on tips and techniques to help you immediately stand out. 

Coffee with… Robyn Slovo, Brit Features Producer

Coffee with… Robyn Slovo, Brit Features Producer

Exactly WHAT gets discussed, how and in what way during the infamous ‘meet and greet’ first meeting. The one after the pitch. This is a REAL chat and we get to snoop in on it.

Creating Alien, Hitchhiker's Guide, X-Files and Batman... Meet Dirk Maggs

Creating Alien, Hitchhiker's Guide, X-Files and Batman... Meet Dirk Maggs

DON’T PANIC! Creating Audio Recordings of genre drama opens up a limitless universe. Join Dirk as we perform, record, produce and premiere a new SciFi story written by an LSF delegate.  

Deep Characterisation through Dialogue

Deep Characterisation through Dialogue

How can we create nuanced, engaging and believable characterisation through dialogue? Drawing on the latest psychological research, screenplay excerpts and film clips, Kira-Anne Pelican will show us how to create greater dimension in our characters.

Jaw Dropper! Art and science of twists and surprises

Jaw Dropper! Art and science of twists and surprises

Jaw Dropper! Art and science of twists and surprises’ will look behind the magic of twists and surprises, mapping out the most effective strategies to provide powerful moments of jaw dropping disbelief packed with emotional meaning.

PitchFest Bootcamp with Bob

PitchFest Bootcamp with Bob

Great American Pitchfest Guru Bob Schultz will start every day with a short 30 minute PitchFest bootcamp to get you ready for your pitch!

The Three Wells of Screenwriting: Discover your deep sources of inspiration

The Three Wells of Screenwriting: Discover your deep sources of inspiration

In this interactive workshop you will discover that you can draw from three distinct and deep wells within yourself when you write your screenplay. During the class you will learn just how to draw from these ancient and inner wells to strengthen your stories.

The Truth… What is it REALLY like after the first year being a pro screenwriter?

The Truth… What is it REALLY like after the first year being a pro screenwriter?

Agents, pitching, how much WILL you get paid? How to hustle and run and take meetings, formal and informal… Pretty much EVERYTHING you need to know about transitioning into a jobbing screenwriter.

VR, Outlining, Collaboration & Production Breakdown with the NEW Final Draft 11

VR, Outlining, Collaboration & Production Breakdown with the NEW Final Draft 11

Alejandro Seri, Director of Education, will show off the exciting new features in the NEW Final Draft 11.

What Are They Doing To My Script? Script Editors Demystified

What Are They Doing To My Script? Script Editors Demystified

This session will take an in-depth look at what a Script Editor’s day-to-day looks like as they shepherd a project to the finish line. How do they juggle their many different responsibilities? And how can you get the best working relationship with your script editor?

What will actually happen to your finished script? Live script edit

What will actually happen to your finished script? Live script edit

Live and dynamic script redraft, edit, slash and burn… Only for the bravest of writers!