Location, Location, Location: Choosing Settings for Fiction

Location - every writer's delight and every producer's bane: ME: "I've written a thrilling chase scene set in Paddington Station at rush hour!" PRODUCER: "Could it be Gunnersbury at 3am?" In this blog post, I'm going to talk about the use of location in novels, low/no budget screenplays and stageplays - and how to make the right choices for your project. First, what is a location? This may seem like a stupid question, but I want to emphasise that locations are not just externals - fields, castles, deserts, mountains. Locations are office buildings, hotel rooms, toilet cubicles. Anything you would put after EXT/INT in a screenplay. Locations are also towns, countries - or planets. Space, The Final Frontier. A hotel room may look the same in London, Paris and Dubai, but the context of being in that country may determine the action of the scene - in fact, I would argue that it should. Locations are not incidental. Setting your film in Australia for the...
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It all started when…

I'm very privileged to have been tagged by the lovely Laurence, so I will share with you the answer to this burning question: How did I get started on screenwriting? I've loved writing since I was a child. I used to utilise my "news" exercise book to tell colourful stories about finding crocodiles on the beach and robbers invading our house. I wrote my first novel as a pre-teen and it was shamefully All About Me - and my friends and crush and love rival. Somewhat hilariously, said crush and I became good friends and he is known on this blog affectionately as my director. I was peripherally involved in To Swim With Angels, which was a best-forgotten first foray into the film world, where my main role was peacemaker and herder of extras. I was also on the sidelines during the development of Zomblies, including a memorable script draft where I demanded an increase in female ass-kickery, as is my wont. This is...
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