SCREENPLAY Development Centre has been created because of a simple
need -- the need to find commercially-viable screenplays.
Industry's Eternal Challenge
film industry has one ongoing fundamental problem -- the lack of
development funding for commercial projects.
simply, the production companies are competing in a global marketplace,
but without internationally-competitive financial backing.
leaves our production companies in a difficult position. Unable
to fund as much development as they'd like, they must search for
Problem with the Schools
we have discovered in our attempts to build a Screenplay Development
Centre, most of the screenwriting education in Australia comes from
schools and universities. The problem here is that the craft is
not taught by those with firsthand industry experience, but rather
by teachers who are teaching a curriculum.
leads to the old problem of the blind leading the blind. Booksmarts
will only take you so far. A craft takes time and energy to master,
and one read of even the very best screenwriting books doesn't mean
you can apply it.
screenplay is the very foundation of a movie -- a movie's success
is dependent upon a solid screenplay. It's simply too important
to leave to chance. Yet, those who teach the craft often have no
firsthand experience with the how's and why's of screenwriting.
They teach what they've been taught -- and not from a position of
attempting to build a new system. One that appreciates the limited
resources of our industry, and the high costs involved in actually
making films. To write without the market in mind is to waste
we've gathered a team of professionals, to teach and coach and work
with emerging screenwriters. Our professionals have hands-on experience
in the film industry, both in Australia and overseas.
creating the SCREENPLAY Development Centre to be the central place
for screenwriting in Australia. Where writers of all levels can
come to learn, to grow, to master, and to sell.
by generating a steady stream of commercially-viable screenplays,
we will help the Australian film industry as a whole, making it
more profitable and successful, which in turns leads to ever more
creating a central screenplay submission centre and the Screenplay
Notification Service, we're also saving the writer
the costs of multiple submissions and negative Coverage -- while
simultaneously saving the production companies the costs of redundant
Quick History of Screenplay.com.au looks like this.
early 2000, Jeff Bollow was in post-production on the independent
feature film "6,000 Miles from Hollywood", when he began
looking for screenplays to develop follow-up feature projects.
at the quality of the several dozens scripts he saw, Jeff decided
to offer screenwriting workshops through his company, Embryo Films.
initial goal was to find a group of emerging writers, who he could
train and develop to ultimately write screenplays Embryo Films could
produce. Jeff's aim was to help writers avoid the mistakes he made
and lessons he learned through the hands-on process of making "6,000
Miles", and to develop a rapport with serious emerging writers.
Jeff soon discovered, however, people with the time, energy, talent
and focus required to write a successful screenplay were difficult
over the next two years, Embryo Films offered nearly 40 workshops
in 6 cities, with fully 100% of participants recommending Jeff's
the workload became too great for Jeff, and he found he was not
focusing enough time on getting film projects ready, as his entire
focus was devoted to finding and developing screenwriters.
sad statistic he discovered was that more than 95% of submitted
screenplays failed to achieve their objectives. But even worse than
that, fewer than 5% of new screenwriters would continue to hone
and develop and expand their craft.
short, there is a shortage of feature screenwriters.
led to the creation of the SCREENPLAY Development Centre in June
2002. After registering the Screenplay.com.au domain name, Jeff
began searching for suitable teachers and coaches to expand his
the shortage of screenwriters in Australia is a problem for more
than just Embryo Films, the SCREENPLAY Development Centre has been
established to be independent of all production companies, whilst
working on their behalf.
operates from the simple belief that "If you build it, they
will come". As a result, the SCREENPLAY Development Centre
is being built from the ground up.