Each year we help hundreds of writers at our script clinics and drop-in desk. For many, it’s the highlight of their festival – maybe because it’s the one part which is all about them and their work.
Through experience, we know the dos and don’ts of attending the world’s biggest professional screenwriting event.
So here are our top ten tips for a successful visit to LSF 2017.
1. Plan ahead
Really study the LSF's schedule before the festival.
Focus on the people you want to meet and the sessions you want to hear. Write an itinerary.
But be flexible, too, and ready to catch unexpected opportunities.
2. Bring plenty of business cards…
Make sure they’re printed on white card, so people can make notes about how wonderful you were after you've gone.
(Subtle off-white will also work.)
When you get a card from someone else, wait until they're out of sight, then make notes on it for your own use. Who they are, what they do.
We guarantee you'll have forgotten your own name by day two.
3. …and network like crazy.
Talk to everyone.
Exchange ideas with other writers; they may become future collaborators.
Pitch your stories to producers: they may get your movie made. And if they’re at the LSF, they probably want to be pitched to.
But whether you’re pitching an idea to the producers’ panel, or more informally …
4. You need a script!
One that you can immediately send to anyone who's interested.
There isn’t much point in enthusing people with your great idea, then telling them they’ll have to wait six months while you get it down on paper.
Don’t give them an excuse to forget about you.
We’re not saying this just because it's our job.
You really do need an objective assessment of your script's strengths and weaknesses by someone who knows what they're talking about, and to have acted on their advice, before you hand it to producers.
Because you only get one chance to submit it!
You can find out about our feedback services here.
6. Feedback takes time to absorb
Understanding the points an editor is making, asking questions to clarify what's been said, seeing how you can creatively apply the ideas to your story - it all takes time.
Many points will be made in the form of questions, throwing the creative onus back onto you, so you must allow yourself a period to reflect and revise.
People often underestimate the time needed to deal with feedback.
If you leave it all to the last minute, the process will feel horribly rushed. You won’t enjoy it, and your script won't benefit in the way it should.
The good news is...
7. You have time to get your script in shape
Now is a good time to work on your story.
There’s the whole of August - and more - to get some feedback, to focus and refine your project, and also to put a great one-page outline and fluent pitch together.
We can help with all this.
8. Don’t be a stranger
When you come to the festival, make sure you visit us at the friendly Euroscript drop-in desk, which is open to all.
You can ask questions, share triumphs or disasters, practise pitches...
...or just chew the fat about screenwriting in general.
9. Afterwards - rest, recuperate, respond
If possible, don't plan anything important for at least three days after LSF.
You'll crash out for the first two.
Then you'll need time for following up all the contacts you made.
10. Give yourself time to debrief.
Write down everything that went well - and not so well.
And what you now realise you need to learn in the future.
Have you got any great tips of your own for people attending the Festival?
If so, please add them in the Comments below.
AND SAVE ON TICKET PRICES WITH US!
If you book through Euroscript, you get £23 off the price for LSF.
Just write EUROSCRIPT-17X in the 'ENTER PROMOTIONAL CODE' box below.
Add that up, and it's a happy £103 present from all of us at Euroscript.
Meanwhile, good luck from all of us as you prepare for LSF, and we look forward to seeing you there.