In Part One of our conversation with Steven Knight, the writer-director spoke about how he began his career and about the rise of TV drama. Now, in Part Two, we find out about some of his influences and future plans…
Steven explained that PEAKY BLINDERS is based on stories of his parents and uncles, many of which he heard while around his blacksmith father while he was young. Once the BBC took an interest, things moved quickly. With series 1 complete, Steven was looking at potentially making 4 or 5 series of PEAKY BLINDERS.
PEAKY BLINDERS uses some CGI, but mostly uses derelict locations that aren’t about to be knocked down (one key location is the street where Ringo Starr was born!). There was resistance to setting PEAKY BLINDERS in Birmingham (UK) because of the unglamorous accent, but Knight insisted on retaining that authenticity – he believed that we should be telling our own stories of places like Birmingham.
The basic premise of LOCKE (starring Tom Hardy) was a journey from Birmingham to London, where someone starts out with everything and ends up with nothing – exploring how that could happen. If the cost is low enough, you can get creative freedom to run a project your way. LOCKE knocked CAPTAIN AMERICA off number 1 in terms of revenue per screen! It was on vastly less screens of course, but that was still very promising. Knight was determined that the character in that film should be the most ordinary person possible.
He explained that you have to write a three page outline for studios, however unlikely the script was to end up that way. Knight prefers not knowing where a story is gonna go. He writes, then goes back to the start every day and works through from there.
Knight has accidentally become the poster-boy for Birmingham’s drives to move to the next level in its drive to become a major player in global culture. He intends to build a major sound stage in Birmingham as London’s major studios are fully booked, with a ‘halo effect’ of businesses based around it, and from this to also create a scene where live theatre can lead to movies being made.
Ian Kennedy’s conversation with Steven Knight turned out lots of interesting information about the inner working of the industry. If you haven’t read it yet, why not take a look at Part One by clicking here?
After a lull over the summer, script sales start to pick up again with plenty of interesting news as reported in Script Pipeline’s August 2018 Script Sales. Find out what’s hot at the moment, and where the opportunities are for screenwriters at the moment…
- As diversity continues to be an important issue in the industry, projects with Asian-American and Polynesian leads are proving to be popular. Leading the way is Dwayne Johnson, set to star in a biopic of the Hawaiian King Kamehameha directed by Robert Zemeckis.
- Having earned a worldwide gross more than six times its $30 million production budget, Crazy Rich Asians has earned itself a sequel, with both the writers and director set to return.
- Will Wile E. Coyote finally get the Road Runner? Coyote Vs. Acme is set to be produced by Chris McKay, director of The Lego Batman Movie; here’s hoping it has the same wacky sense of humor!
- Plus a directorial opportunity for Natalie Portman and a Supergirl film for DC – and more!
Check out the other script sale news for August from Script Pipeline here.
WriteMovies Academy is almost here! Phase 1 is all about concept and theme development, but if you’re already ready to write, we’ve got you sorted. You can use “Phase 0: Project Selection” to make sure you’ve got a viable script – and it’s totally free when you buy the whole course!
Nobody wants to spend weeks of their life writing a screenplay only to realize they’re pursuing the wrong project – and that’s where Phase 0 of WriteMovies Academy can help. This phase of our virtual film school can help you choose the best project right from the start, with advice and recommendations from an industry expert.
So if you think you’ve got all your concepts in order and want to give Phase 1 a miss, and jump straight in to the other parts of the course, Phase 0 is here to help!
It includes all sorts of tools for defining your projects and picking out the most objectively viable ones, perfect for development through the other phases of the Academy. You’ll receive feedback on all your ideas, with webinars and activities to work through – all of which will allow you to identify your goals and which project will help you achieve them.
As with all phases of WriteMovies Academy, you can complete Phase 0 in your own time and at your own pace. You set your own deadlines; this is a course that works around you and your life.
Phase 0 is the perfect way to start your screenwriting journey with WriteMovies, and you get it for free when you buy the rest of the course, saving $250 in the process! Take a look at Phase 0 in more depth here…
Or buy all six phases here and get Phase 0 free!
Our unique Virtual Film School is all set to launch on September 15th, and we’re happy to announce here that our Phase 1 content is revealed!
This is the phase in which you discover the originality and depth that will make you stand out as you develop the main concept and themes for your script.
Just like creating anything of worth, a strong foundation is what will make your screenplay stand out from the rest of the crowd. If you really want to find your voice as a writer and come up with an amazing premise, then this is the right Phase of WriteMovies Academy for you.
Our industry experts, Mini-Masterclasses, and other tools and resources will help you develop your own style and give you new insights into your ideas.
Learn to identify yourself and your goals, find out what producers really want from writers, and figure out the target demographics of your project – who your script is actually for. We’ll keep adding more in-depth tools, advice, Mini-Masterclasses, and more, so keep watching this space!
So what are you waiting for? Click here to check out the full content of Phase 1 and how to sign up today!
Some of the feedback for Phase 1 we’ve had from users so far:
- “Nice bite sized, easily DIGESTIBLE, Nicely PACED”
- “I have some good tools for solving some sticking points in a couple of my exciting projects”
- “A very informative session”
Or take a look at the main page for WriteMovies Academy – with Phases ranging from Project Selection to Production, The Wrap, and the Long Game, there’s something to be gained no matter what stage of your writing journey you’re at!
WriteMovies Academy has arrived, and it’s arrived in style! We gave 23 fee-paying customers a preview run of whichever phases of the course they ordered, and the feedback we received was extremely positive, with an overall user rating of over 90%!
Our Virtual Film School is a unique way to elevate your screenwriting and production skills to the next level, while also bringing you closer to the industry than traditional film schools – and all from the comfort of your own home and in your own time.
Providing them with Mini-Masterclasses, tools, and activities, our first set of users were given a month to prepare for and work through each phase, ending with a joint session for those who were available, with feedback forms provided at the end of it.
Here are just some of the comments we received!
“Very well done and innovating: inspires me to write everytime”
“I think this is a wonderful collaborative space”
“I thought that this session was excellent and allowed me to make numerous changes to my script”
“A very useful course for me personally”
Plus, the confidence of our users jumped by 18.5% in the subjects covered and by 17% in their own projects – per phase of the course! And here are their ratings for the different parts of the course:
Mini-Masterclass Presenter: 93%
Presentation Media and resources: 91%
Presentation Content: 89%
Course Activities: 89%
WriteMovies Academy is committed to excellence, and is the place to be for people who are passionate about great writing. If you want to join our first set of users in boosting your confidence and abilities, join now: enrolment is now open for each phase of the official course!
We asked our users to return handwritten feedback to help demonstrate their authenticity – take a look below. All relevant feedback is shown here in full: user names and confidential project information have been redacted consistently on all forms but all relevant feedback is included in full.