Script Development for Independent Film

Short course


Independent film production is the largest sector in the industry. For every single mainstream broadcaster, there are ten-thousand independent production companies. Their films range from sumptuous multi-million-pound festival movies to micro-budget horror. The one thing they have in common is they are all looking for the one script that will take their company to the next level.


Writing scripts for independent cinema presents unique challenges for the screenwriter. An independent film may not have the luxury of either star power, a franchise or cinematic spectacle to attract an audience. Instead, independent films lean heavily on the writer to get their concept right and to write an utterly compelling piece of drama.


In this two-day course aimed at writers, producers and filmmakers, we will look at ways achieve the main things independent cinema producers need from a script


·      creating a clear and attractive concept for independent cinema

·      understanding and subverting genres

·      how to write utterly compelling drama to attract high-quality acting talent

·      how write a script for a specific budget (from micro-budget to £1M)

·      how to find producers to work with

·      how to work with independent producers

·      how to use the writer/producer route to make your own films


On the course, writers will be expected to arrive with an idea they want to develop. We will then spend two days developing their idea. The course itself will include the writing of scenes and preparation of development documents, as well as a copy of the tutors book "The Process of Screenwriting"


Tutored by Clive Frayne - a writer with over thirty years’ experience in professional broadcast media. After a successful career running writing teams in the radio industry he wrote his first screenplay. That script was optioned by the first producer who read it. Since then he has written and directed two feature films and half a dozen award-winning short films. These days he splits his work between writing, script editing and teaching screenwriting. He is a passionate advocate of two things, process-driven screenwriting and independent filmmaking, subjects he writes about in his regular column for Scriptmag.

Freelance Rate: £350

Corporate Rate: £675

Fees and funding options

Fees for this course are as follows:

The freelance rate for this course is subsidised by ScreenSkills with support from the BFI, awarding National Lottery funds as part of its Future Film Skills strategy; as part of work to diversify the screen industry workforce, this year there is also a further reduction in fees of up to 50% available for freelancers with disabilities and/or who are from black, Asian or minority ethnic groups - further details of which will be provided upon acceptance on the training

How to apply

Application deadline:

If you experience any problems making your application please contact us 01494 677 903

Begin your application