A script editor’s function is to bring out the best of what is already on the page and to ‘suggest’, by one means or another, what could / should / ought to be there as well.
Having collaborated with Roger over the years, when asked to glance over the early drafts of John Smiths she felt comfortable saying “nah, that bit’s not working”. Whether they felt comfortable hearing it was another matter!
Leaving school with notions of becoming a film director but not knowing how to get started, resulted in a drift into antiques. Twenty-odd, enjoyable years as a self-employed antiques dealer later, a change felt necessary where an advert in the local paper for mature students to take a BA(Hons) Theatre, Media & Text course at Warwick University struck a chord.
The screenwriting module was an epiphany. After graduating in 2000 and taking an MA in Feature Film Screenwriting at Royal Holloway, University of London, that led Helen to apply to First Film Foundation to develop an original, high concept sci-fi movie. They accepted the challenge. More science, more fights, and more conflict were added resulting in an epic (and available!) script that needs some very serious money thrown at it to bring it to screen.
After that Screen West Midlands, channelling funds from the National Lottery, were very supportive in financing both more short courses in screenwriting and facilitating the employment of professional script editors to develop Helen’s further scripts, including:
- A Gothic supernatural horror — in the original sense of ‘Gothic’ meaning all about blood, sex and death — set in a remote coastal village in Ireland.
- A teen comedy adventure about two rural lads who consider themselves too sophisticated for a fumble on the beach in Ibiza and want their ‘first time’ to be with a French girl, like the ones in the films they love.
- An imaginary friend in the guise of a six-foot warrior elf of the Tuatha de Danaan who turned out to be real: a protector who over the years had saved his creator at the expense of other peoples’ lives.
Having been cajoled, criticised, guided, and led-by-the-nose to consider, re-consider, cut, cut, cut again, re-write, re-structure and polish various scripts, Helen uses that insight to now help others focus on the wood instead of the trees.