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Episode 6 of The Script Department, New Growth, is now up on iTunesYouTube and wherever else you get your podcasts. Make sure to check it out, like, follow and subscribe for more every fortnight.


#TheScriptDept Episode 6: New Growth - YouTube


The arrival of her 30th birthday gives Patrice, a subservient Afro-Caribbean woman, the awakening she needs to make big changes in her life, starting with her hair. When these sudden changes cause tension in her relationships, Patrice must decide whether to revert to who she was to keep the peace.

Written by Reyda Gay
Read by Glenda Gay

Music by Mattia Cupelli
You can find more of his music here: 
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqsGQVl-_k5qGE-PwGKO5DA


Check out our blog, thescriptdepartment.net for more about all things screenwriting and updates on our show.
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Episode 5 of The Script Department, Smashed, is now up on iTunesYouTube and wherever else you get your podcasts. Make sure to check it out, like, follow and subscribe for more every fortnight.


#TheScriptDept Episode 7: Buggbear - YouTube


A child, Matilda, witnesses her family descend into dread after the arrival of a sickly woman to their 19th century English farm. The woman tells the child stories of a folklore tale, causing Matilda to question her reality. Meanwhile, a very real threat lurks outside the walls of their home.

Written and read by John Finnegan


Check out our blog, thescriptdepartment.net for more about all things screenwriting and updates on our show.
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We are excited to announce that in May we will be launching our first feature-length screenplay for The Script Department Podcast called The Parish.


The Parish follows an ageing Irish conman, Finbarr Delaney, who moves to rural Connemara to renovate and sell his deceased brother’s house. Things prove more difficult than expected when the unsolved case of a stolen painting threatens to unravel everything. Finbarr must choose between protecting his own neck or giving back to the community.

We will be recording The Parish this month and will be releasing the show in four weekly instalments.

This will be the first of several larger projects that we will be producing for the podcast this year which include a dystopian rite of passage story and an investigative thriller with a horror twist set on a remote island.


Make sure to subscribe to us on YouTube and iTunes and follow us on Spotify to stay notified about future episodes as they launch and do check out our first 5 episodes. Just search for The Script Department.
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Episode 5 of The Script Department, Smashed, is now up on iTunes, YouTube and wherever else you get your podcasts. Make sure to check it out, like, follow and subscribe for more every fortnight.

A traumatised victim of intimate partner violence is struggling to maintain her equilibrium as a yoga teacher in a new community. Her fragile health is threatened by the unexpected arrival of her ex-partner. Written by Belinda Lees Read by Ruth Hayes Music by Arn Andersson You can find more of their music here: https://www.youtube.com/user/ArnAndersson Check out our blog, thescriptdepartment.net for more about all things screenwriting and updates on our show.
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Our fourth episode, Killing Peter, is now available on iTunes and Spotify.

James is suffering from severe sleep deprivation is on the verge of cracking. His neighbour, Peter, a metal sculptor, works late into the night whilst singing off-key opera. Now, James methodically plans Peter’s demise. The only thing standing between him and a good night’s sleep is the Neighbourhood Watch. Written by Lauren Brits Read by Marcus Armstrong Music by Nicolai Heidlas and Kevin McCleod You can find more of their music here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxb4...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SjOk...
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Our third episode, Denial, is now available on iTunes and Spotify.

Be sure to check it out and subscribe for more episodes each fortnight.

A man returns home one night to find his girlfriend still up. As the night drags on, the good-humoured conversation descends into frustration and rage and the lines of reality and fiction begin to blur.

Written & read by Marcus Armstrong


Music by Ross Bugden 
You can find more of his music here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQKG...

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Our second episode, Layan, is now available on iTunes and Spotify.

Be sure to check it out and subscribe for more episodes each fortnight.

A young girl and her father try to survive day-by-day as they traverse a harsh landscape. Things are made more complicated as their growing resentment for each other puts everything at risk.

Written by David Moore 
Read by John Finnegan 

Music by Ross Bugden 
You can find more of his music here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQKG...
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After talking about it for so long, we've launched our first episode, Still Life.

Premise: A semi-retired dancer, Olivia, struggles to reignite her career while caring for her father who suffers from dementia.

Written by John Finnegan and Ruth Hayes.
Read by Ruth Hayes

Music by Long Zi Jun and Kate Kwok
You can find more of their music here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLCYZWv_6bKXeKSlVsbfnSA

Keep it here at thescriptdepartment.net for more about all things screenwriting and for updates on our show.
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It's finally here. This past Sunday, we launched #TheScriptDept podcast after months and months of preparation and marketplace research. I've teamed with a great group of writers and actors to produce fortnightly (at least that's the planned schedule) script readings.

Most of the scripts will be shorts, but we will have features occasionally (hoping to try and get some guest readers for them) and a speculative tv series. That's the key word here - speculative. We're looking to promote great speculative screenplays, not just analyse or rehash existing movies in audio form (though, admittedly, our first episode is from a short I produced some years ago).

It's something I'm really excited to share and I hope everyone subscribes and shares and all that.
Keep it here for more!
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This is my third review for this year's Oscar screenplay nominees. I've reviewed Vice and BlacKkKlansman and both were underwhelming from a screenwriting point of view. Next up is The Favourite. Did it blow me away? Not really...

The Favourite is quite straight forward in terms of plot and story. Queen Anne is being temperamental and her confident Rachel Weisz is the only one who can seem to get anywhere with her. In walks Emma Stone, a servant in the house and the cousin of Weisz. She exploits the emotionally immature royal (brilliantly played up by Olivia Coleman) for her own game and a battle of wits breaks out between the two cousins as they fight for the Queen's attention.

The story is certainly captivating and that kind of a conflict triangle is always going to attract viewers. It's a very refreshing take on the subject of aristocratic relationships and royal romances. They are usually so serious and this story throws all of those conventions out the window to present something that is normally comedically ugly and even grotesque at times.

The characters are obviously at the heart of this affair and they are so well written. Emma Stone's Abigail is unpredictable and keeps your attention throughout because of her constant flipping back and forth between playfulness and scheming. Rachel Weisz's Lady Sarah is simply fantastic. She is domineering and aggressive with Queen Anne and sometimes carries the burden of having to serve as the decision maker in lieu of the Queen. All of this serves to create some great opportunities for conflict between our three principals, each of whom is fighting for their place at the table.

The problem I have with The Favourite is that these opportunities are rarely taken advantage of. Throughout the film I found myself bored by the conversation or the needless shock value on display. One scene features Emma Stone, shall we say, being intimate with her husband (and that's putting it lightly) on their wedding night while trying to formulate a plan or understand the state of affairs in the Queen's circle. A boring scene dressed up with sex. Not every scene is like this, granted, but most scenes never evoke a reaction, whether positive or negative. I found myself waiting for something to unfold, but it never did.

Another issue that I have is a pointless use of chapter breaks in the film. Throughout the film, the story pauses so that we can be given an utterly meaningless title card with a quote from the film and a reminder of just how far we still have to go in the story. The quotes are usually uttered by the characters within five minutes of showing us the title card, removing any active question in the audience's mind as to what the quote refers to. The sheer volume of them (I lost count at 6 or 7) shows that there couldn't possibly have been any structural framework guiding this. All it served was to prolong the boredom - like watching a kettle boil.

There is a great subplot in the story built around the Queen's war with France. While I appreciate that this is not what the film is really about, I feel that far more could have been made of this and it would have taken the pressure off of the relationship storylines to carry the responsibility of holding our attention throughout.

Stylistically, The Favourite is a fascinating piece of cinema and one that rightfully deserves a spot at this years Oscars. I don't deny that the story itself is worthy of an Oscar nomination because it is unique, intriguing and daring. And Oscars for its' three leads! They are all incredible. But I feel the screenwriting itself is missing those highs that would otherwise propel the film into the realm of 'masterpiece'.

On a personal note, I'm beginning to think that a decade or more of studying screenwriting both amateurishly and professionally has made me numb to great cinema. I've been underwhelmed by every Oscar contender that I've come across in the last few weeks. Maybe Green Book or Roma will turn things around for me.
(Image copyright: Fox Searchlight)
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