Archive for the ‘screenwriting’ Category

At last, we’re scheduling a couple of London dates for my Screenwriting Masterclass over the summer.

We’re still confirming dates with the venue, but they should be pretty central providing everything works out. The 2016 dates were hugely successful, with 100% positive feedback from delegates on the exit questionnaires. Phrases like ‘brilliant’ and ‘mind blown’ were bandied around. It was pretty awesome.

Here’s the blurb for the upcoming dates:

Ever wanted to write a movie or a TV show?

In this special one-day event, acclaimed screenwriter and lecturer Pat Higgins will take you through the tricks and techniques of successful screenwriting.

From creating characters to idea generation, from how to get those first words onto the paper through to constructing an emotionally satisfying ending. This is a one-day crash course unlike any other; jam-packed with inside information and ways to make sure that your screenplay doesn’t fall at the final hurdle. Whether you’re an absolute beginner or a bit further along with your writing, there’s something here for everyone.

Be sure to bring a notepad (be that a tablet computer or good old-fashioned paper) and a sense of humour, and prepare to turbo-boost your writing career like never before!

Acclaim for previous events:

“Mind still reeling from your amazing workshop. So many ideas, so much info” – @itsMikeElliott on Twitter

“Unrelenting passion… I left Higgins’ masterclass feeling like I’d undergone a minor epiphany” – ShelfAbuse.com

“Brilliant” – MJ Simpson, leading genre critic

And here’s some stuff about me, just in case you’ve ended up here and don’t have a clue who I am:

Pat Higgins is a British scriptwriter and director. After writing and directing three internationally distributed micro-budget horrors, (TrashHouseHellbride and KillerKiller) Pat branched out with award-winning mockumentary The Devil’s Music (which won Best Independent Feature at the Festival of Fantastic Film in 2008). He’s been called the ‘Essex Auteur’ in Empire and ‘the Tarantino of budget gore flicks for style and dialogue’ in SFX.

For the last nine years, Pat has lectured on idea generation and screenwriting at various colleges and universities. His live talks (such as 2015’s acclaimed How Not to Make a Horror Movie) are regularly scheduled at film festivals. He is also very active as a script doctor, providing rewrites for features in the UK and the US.

He is the co-creator of the Death Tales series of films, (Bordello Death TalesNazi Zombie Death Tales) with Jim Eaves and Al Ronald, and was the original writer and creator of international cinema release Strippers vs Werewolves. Although horror remains his own screenwriting preference, rest assured that this masterclass is just as useful whatever your chosen genre!

Screenwriting with Pat Higgins

Right, so hopefully you’ve got an idea as to why these classes are so much fun, and why you should buy a ticket RIGHT NOW! Except, um, you can’t. Because they’re not on sale yet. Which is where the nifty form below comes in handy. Because, you see, the thing about these classes is that they’re small. The absolute ceiling for each class is 20 people, and I usually keep it closer to 15.

If you drop us a line on the form below, we’ll send you a notification via email of the ticket sale the moment it’s released AND give you a code for 10% off the ticket price. You’re not committing to anything by completing the form, of course, but it does mean that you’ll be more likely to get a place. And a discount.

You’re looking at June. Central London. A Saturday. A day’s screenwriting masterclass (likely to be from 10.30 to 5.30). You’re looking at as much awesomeness as I can cram in.

Look forward to seeing you there.

Our movie Hellbride has been seen by more people than any other Jinx movie, (with the possible exception of TrashHouse, which was torrented insanely upon DVD release in 2006, but figures for that are really hard to accurately find). It was released on DVD on both sides of the Atlantic, with the UK release getting piled high and sold cheap in HMVs across the UK for at least one Halloween special promotion. It was, at one stage, uploaded to YouTube as part of a side deal by a company we’d licenced it to, and racked up in excess of 180,000 views before their licence ran out and we politely asked them to take it down (which they did). On Amazon streaming, it’s been consistently performing ever since it went up last summer. Even the version on Vimeo has outsold our other movies.

Lots and lots of people have seen Hellbride.

The cast of Hellbride - Horror Comedy

That doesn’t, of course, mean we’ve made money from it. Hellbride is unlikely to ever make it into the black as far as cash goes: as far as budget is concerned, it cost ten times as much as The Devil’s Music did. As far as income is concerned, we never saw a single penny of our investment back (for all the usual depressing reasons) right up until the point we got the rights back last summer and stuck it up onto Amazon ourselves. Since then, our decade-old movie has brought in a reliable trickle of cash (but certainly nowhere near the amount we spent making it in the first place)

Regardless, I’m still aware of the fact that a sequel might be a different proposition as far as being a worthwhile investment goes. The way the industry works has moved on a great deal from when we signed Hellbride with a distributor around the beginning of 2008. Indies have got an awful lot more control over their movies and their are an awful lot more revenue streams that are accessible without going through a third party middleman. If, say, half of the people who’ve watched Hellbride in one format or another over the last few years would return to watch a sequel via legitimate channels we could access directly ourselves (Amazon streaming, Vimeo, etc.), then a sequel could make its money back pretty easily without leaving us to remortgage our homes.

Bride Nicole Meadows, bloodied but unbowed

I started pondering options for a sequel back when the film first hit the shelves (and before, of course, we realised that we weren’t actually going to see any revenue whatsoever from it for the best part of a decade). Back then, I scribbled together a treatment for a movie called Hellbride 1985 , which was a retro prequel focusing on the cursed ring’s previous appearance in everyone’s favourite decade. Of course, the 80s are pretty damn hot right now, partly as a result of magnificent shows like Stranger Things. But since the idea resurfaced in my brain last summer, (at the point that Hellbride finally broke the ‘zero’ in the Jinx Media incoming funds column), I started thinking about the sequel rather differently. This was partly due to the one-off audio epilogue called The Ring of Josephine Stewart  that we’d recorded with Cy Henty a couple of years previously. I started thinking about a straight sequel rather than a retro prequel.

HELLBRIDE POSTER FINAL s

And then I wrote a treatment about two kids called Danny and Bronwyn, who were getting married. Nice kids. You’ll like them.

Well, one of them.

I started thinking about how we could learn from the mistakes we made with Hellbride and make something leaner, bloodier and funnier. I started to warm to the idea quite a lot. I pondered whether it might be feasible to run a Kickstarter for the eventual (inevitable) wedding massacre where, as a perk, people could turn up as a guest on the final day of filming. Get killed onscreen and stick around for a wrap party that evening with all the cast and crew. Run that final day almost like an actual wedding, with guest footage from cameraphones and whatnot getting edited into the final movie.

And I came up with a killer of a final scene, which I ended up writing out in full before I’d written another word of the script.

Thing is, we’re at a point where we have a lot of projects floating around right now. We’ve got bigger budget scripts that I work on for third parties, and a couple of smaller scale ones that we’re perilously close to getting decent funding for. I’ve no idea whether Hellbride II (or Curse of the Hellbride as I sometimes cheerfully call it) will make it in front of the cameras.

But I can’t quite stop thinking about it.

Go and watch Hellbride a few more times, and maybe that’ll twist my arm.

 

Here at Jinx Media, we’d like to thank everyone who attended our masterclass at the weekend. The event was a massive success, and we’ll be announcing additional dates shortly.

We’d also like to formally announce Pat’s new script consultancy service. Over the last decade, Pat has been offering feedback and notes on scripts in both professional and academic settings, and he’s now offering this service to the public.

Screenwriting with Pat Higgins

If you’ve written a screenplay, Pat would be delighted to read through it and give a 30 minute session of feedback via Skype. As both a qualified academic lecturer and a seasoned industry professional, (who has both produced his own scripts and sold others to third parties), Pat will give honest feedback and suggestions regarding structure, character, tone and more.

Just click the link right here and book yourself an online Skype consultancy regarding your script!

 

I love running workshops and masterclass sessions on screenwriting.

Over the years, I’ve built up a real arsenal of exercises and techniques which can help screenwriters tap into their full potential regardless of whether they’re just starting out or have been writing professionally for a while. I’ve been lucky enough to spend time lecturing in very different environments, (having taught elements of screenwriting to everyone from film festival audiences to BA undergraduates), which has not only been fun but has allowed me to get used to using different techniques with different classes.

There are still a few places available for our full-day workshop in Southend-on-Sea on 4th June, but they’re going fast. We haven’t announced further dates after that yet, but I’m open to suggestions. If you can’t make it to Southend but would be interested in a masterclass taking place in your home town in the UK, drop me a line via Twitter. If we can find a suitable venue in your town, (and round up at least a dozen delegates wanting to buy a ticket), we might well be able to make it happen.

In the meantime, don’t miss the chance to grab one of the last tickets for Southend. We’ll be covering everything from idea generation to character motivation and crafting the perfect ending.

Look forward to seeing you there!

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