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In this video clip MA Writing for Script and Screen Course Leader John Finnegan and screenwriter graduate Fiona Georgiou-Hunt discuss the course's dynamic approach, showcasing adaptability to industry shifts and addressing current topics such as AI in screenwriting. 

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So one of the things that we're really proud of, is that we do try and make sure that we are staying up speed on everything that is going on in the industry, that we're adapting lectures and webinars. It is an online course. And a lot of online courses, they'll prerecord everything, and it'll just get rolled out and, you know, and and and that'll be it. And then, and they'll kind of just recycle that content again and again going forward.

We don't like to do do that, we we, you know, it is I've always said it's a flexible course. It's flexible in how you use it. It's flexible in how we deliver it as well. And and if there's a a shift in the industry, we will adapt to that. I remember, you know, when me too happened, right, you know, right around the time course was launching. You know, we had, case studies in there that were, you know, that we realized, you know, having learned about what was going on in the industry and so on Okay. We need to need to pivot on that, and we need to change, the way we talk about these particular, projects now or caveat them or or remove them entirely in cases. And we weren't afraid to do that.

You know, we weren't afraid to to kind of adapt to the challenge of of actually responding to the the demands that the industry was now was now was now was now expecting. That also, fed into the way in which we, the way in which we, worked with writers to make sure that their projects were responding to those changing trends. It was a very good positive trends that were taking place in the industry to bring about change in reform. And that was one example. And then, you know, just even you know, in terms of the day today of how we of how we run the course, I'm always keeping abreast of what's going on in the industry and then, you know, sharing that stuff out with students to kind of say, you know, have you considered this or check out this article or whatever, what's going on? We've been talking about the strike a lot on the course because that was obviously the biggest thing that's been happening for screen writers in the industry recently.

Yesterday, I did a a webinar around digital screenwriting. And normally, I don't really talk about I'm I've never really talked about AI, but in the last few months, you know, it's become such a last year. It's become such a talking point now for screen writers. It was one of the reasons why they went on strike. It's now been become a fixture in that webinar moving forward, talking about AI in a way that explores the strengths and weaknesses of implementing these tools in in in in a creative in a creative context. I knew the quality of my work and the quality of the pitching process and pitching skills that I had were good enough that I could go into that meeting and have that conversation. I was nervous as anything, but I knew I could do it. And so and I think that is really great. To as part of this course is that you do build the the strength because you know that the stuff that you're doing is quality. I think that's really you know the stuff industry standard, you know that the that how you're being taught is is right and of the moment. So it gives you that string to be able to go out and have those conversations. And look, I didn't go into that particular meeting with a production company, which I should have done because that's how they normally would commission that work.

So I knew that I was probably on hiding to nowhere in one way, but I also wanted to push myself because I wanted to build that relationship with that network exec. And I wanted them to know who I was. And I wanted to put myself on their radar to go, oh, okay. Well, you know, that's there's a screenwriter there that writes this kind of stuff. So and it's about that. It's it's and, you know, one of the things you'll learn through the course, if you don't already know it is rejection is constant. And means nothing about you as a writer. It's about how your project fits to that particular person, that the time on that particular slate with that particular budget. So you get really good at at just letting rejection and slide off you and you just because I know my script is good, that particular script. It just hasn't found its right home, and that wasn't its right home. So, you know, and and that's a That's fantastic to be able to come out of a course feeling like you're a little bit bulletproof about the work that you do, which is really important, gives you that robustness of being able to, you know, bat off the stuff that invariably you have to deal with. I was a bit shy early on in connecting with, John and Mikaela and Dan and the team, don't be that I think, you know, make build your relationships with the lecturers and the team, build the relationships with your colleagues.

Again, I probably took me a little while to kinda I was pretty sort of insular at the beginning quite and and not really couldn't see the advantage of it, but if I had my time again, and went back to the course, I would go back and build those relationships more quickly, build a broader group of colleagues. I mean, I've got incredible team that I went through with who I love very dearly, but, I would do that more. And the other thing I would suggest is just make the most of every genity. And I know probably that gets said a lot, but, literally, the ability to then connect into the script department post the course how that got me opportunities in industry, how it continues to be something that makes me better at what I do. Just like everything that the course throws at you in terms of, you know, the the professional development module, don't sort of shirk on it and go out. It's been hard. I'm a bit scared to talk to industry. Like, do it, push yourself, take every opportunity, meet everybody you can, because it really does it really does serve you into the future, and you'll really make the most of the course, and it will it will do amazing things. It will change your experience of the course. I think if you just embrace every opportunity that comes your way fully. I think that would be my tip.

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