Apply for FilmUp Script Development 2015!

Application Deadline: 5pm, Monday 9th March 2015

Applicants may also apply for FilmUp Mentorship – please let us know when you apply which is your preference.

You can pretend to be a good collaborator, but that won’t deepen or strengthen a screenplay. What will strengthen the projects you work on is finding your own true voice as a developer. Collaboration is as much about breaking the rules together as it is about observing them, especially with storytelling.
 Brita McVeigh

FilmUp Script Development enables those working with writers developing feature projects to take a big step up in their development craft.

Our programme is the very opposite of a quick-fix workshop. We believe that a good story developer needs to embrace the confidence of their own working methodology, and therefore the strand is designed to extend and accelerate the abilities of individual participants.

One-on-one coaching that supports the development of a feature project will sit at the heart of the programme, and be supplemented with facilitated group work, round tables with esteemed filmmakers, and a one-day intensive with a renowned Australian script editor.

The FilmUp Programme has been an incredibly valuable experience for me in terms of my creative thinking, and my approach to script editing under the guidance of mentor Brita McVeigh. Brita opened up new ways of thinking about script for me that benefits the project I took into the mentorship and my future practice. Thank you Script to Screen! – Tui Ruwhiu, 2014 Script Development participant.

Who is the programme for?

Two participants will be selected each year and applicants can be producers or script editors. The programme is for those with prior filmmaking and/or development experience and an already sound knowledge of story who want to hone their script development skills and discover a method that works.

Applicants must have a writer attached with a feature film project at a treatment or draft stage. It is crucial that the applicant and the writer they are working with are in a position to move the project forward significantly over the year. (Treatment to draft/draft to fully revised draft.)

What will you get out of the programme?

– An opening half-day intensive with Brita McVeigh, your writer and the other participants;
– A one-on-one session with Brita, tailoring your programme plan in alignment with where you are at in your development practice;
– Observed sessions with you and your writer, and subsequent private one-on-one reflective sessions with Brita;
– Feedback on notes you provide your writer;
– An introduction day and 3 x hub days in conjunction with the FilmUp Mentorship Programme including round tables, group work and a day long intensive with a renowned Australian script editor;
– A closing half-day intensive with Brita, your writer and the other participants.

The strand has also been designed to develop the core skills required to be outstanding in development. The ability to:

– Employ empathy in order to enable the writer’s vision;
– Genuinely listen to a collaborator;
– Determine clear boundaries, or terms, for your collaboration;
– Recognise story issues;
– Identify on a case-by-case, meeting-by-meeting basis how any story issues are best addressed, i.e. through character, theme, structure, premise or an issue within the writer’s process;
– Recognise when the fundamental questions underneath the material need to be readdressed for the work to progress;
– Express oneself with dexterity, either intimately or in a more functional manner depending on what is constructive for the writer at the time;
– Reflect on one’s own process.

What is required from the writer of the project?

– To enter into a contract with you and Script to Screen that provides a clear framework and protects the writers’ intellectual property;
– To attend both an opening and closing half-day intensive with you, Brita McVeigh and the other participants;
– To attend three intensive script sessions with you and Brita McVeigh;
– To commit to the deliverables agreed to by you, the writer and Brita McVeigh at the outset of the programme;
– To commit to taking their project from treatment to draft or draft to fully revised draft over the course of the programme.

Being a part of the FilmUp Script development strand was such a great experience for me. Writing can often feel like such a lonely process and the colossus of a feature film can seem incredibly daunting. Having the support of this program and someone to go on this journey with..proved invaluable. I didn’t have a first draft this time last year. Now I do. – Zia Mandviwalla, 2014 Script Development writer

Key Dates

Applications open 10th February and close on Monday 9th March 2015 at 5pm.
An industry selection panel will choose the successful applicants mid-March and all applicants will be advised of the results.
Shortlisted applicants may be required to participate in a 30-minute Skype interview;
Successful applicants must be available to attend an a full-day intensive with FilmUp Mentorship on Thursday 16th April and a half-day on Friday 17th April 2015.

Application Requirements

Applicants must be able to come to the programme with a writer and a feature film project to develop. The film can be at treatment or draft stage. You must be able to progress with the project significantly over the course of the programme.

Applicants must submit:

– A 1-paragraph biography;
– A up to one-page statement about where you are currently at in your development practice and what you hope to achieve from the programme;
– A 1-2 page synopsis of the feature film project you plan to bring into the programme;
– Confirmation and commitment from a writer to take part in the programme;
– A short project history from the writer including information about where the project is currently at and its journey so far;
– A short biography of the writer.

Download the application form here.

Please email or post your application to Ben:

Email: In a single .pdf file only to

Post: Script to Screen, PO Box 147263, Ponsonby, Auckland, 1144
Courier: 195 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby, Auckland, 1011

Applications close at 5pm on Monday 9th March, 2015.

Any questions can be directed to, or you can call the office on 09 360 5400.

FilmUp 2015 is made possible with financial assistance from the NZ Film Commission.



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