Saturday, 14 May 2011

Feed the Birds... a forum for screenwriters set up by Piers Beckley back in February 2010. You can find it here. There are lots of screenwriting forums/facebook groups/twitter cults (should that be 'trends' or something?) around, but I find them all a bit overwhelming. They usually consist of a huge number of writers talking about what great work they are doing and occasionally telling everyone else how to write. Sometimes someone will ask a question like 'Can I use camera directions in the script?' and will be treated to a flurry of patronising responses.

Feed the Birds feels a lot more civilised than that. It feels like a few writers kicking back after a hard day of writing to chat about whether certain writing schemes and opportunities are worthwhile, their concerns with an upcoming meeting, even what they saw on TV last night. Yes, these are things discussed on other forums but here it feels a lot more intimate, much less imposing and has a collaborative spirit rather than a ruthlessly competitive one.

Only it's a bit too intimate at the moment. There are over 100 members but only a handful of those seem to be active on the site. I have to admit I'm somewhat guilty here myself, having chosen to observe the chatter on the site from a distance without actually participating for some time. But I've started to appreciate the need for forums like this one, not to get advice or to promote my own work, but to feel part of a wider community in what is generally a very lonely business.

Piers recently hinted that he may close the forum due to a lack of activity. I think this would be a mistake, because in a few months someone else (possibly me) will come along and say 'You know what the internet really needs? A new screenwriting forum!'

People are forever coming up with new things on the internet, but sometimes I think we should just make better use of what we already have.

So if you are a writer or interested in writing then I seriously recommend you sign up to Feed the Birds. I'll see you there.

1 comment:

hels said...

Ha! I love that watching that fervant, self serving recoil when a writing community is asked about camera directions. Is it really so hard to just tell someone if they have an interest in including camera directions then maybe they should consider they are a director/writer at heart? It's so smug, making someone feel stupid just because someone else might be interested in more than just pen on paper.

Good link, I'll definitely go take a look. Have you told them about this plug? I might mention it...