“I joined the Writers’ Guild when I was approached by the Film Committee to ask if they could put one of my screenplays forward for a European screenwriting festival. (Not a bad recruiting tactic.) Attending that festival and meeting other British and European Guild members was a revelation. Here were other people who understood the problems and issues I faced, and were also prepared to do something about them. I was excited by the possibilities of being part of it so I joined the Guild and became a member of the Film Committee. I’m now Co-Chair with Line Langebek.
“There’s a lot of work to be done in improving the status and rights of screenwriters in the film industry but the Film Committee is making good progress in tackling some of the more pressing issues. We’re pushing for new contract negotiations with PACT, as well as forming productive alliances with our director and producer colleagues. Our guidelines for screenwriters are full of excellent advice and information, and something I wish I’d had access to when I was starting out.
“I’ve been very involved with the commissioning of our report into the visibility of screenwriters at film festivals and went to the second World Conference of Screenwriters in Barcelona to launch it. It was wonderful to see our Guild in action in this context and to see first hand its standing among the other Guilds. That they operate so brilliantly on stretched resources makes it even more impressive.”