I don't get it. What do you do? I can help with any story development and script editing issue (rewrites, notes, reports, exercises to work through tough bits), but I also have a specialty in fan relationships, and consulting on development and production for projects in a digital, interactive age. Audience retention and creation, social media engagement, and managing expectations for story and visual interpretation.
How are you different from a normal script editor or consultant? I can help you develop your project, and work with the fans. Not just 'manage' them or 'deal' with them, but access fans, their wealth of knowledge, and their power online. And help show you how that can help your box office returns.
How do you develop a project? It depends on the project. I consider the potential or existing audience, the ways of communication already present in that audience and ways that they could be developed, and the expectations of that audience on the creative work.
Think of Maru, that fantastic YouTube cat who has a slew of fans-- I could help manage how information is shared, which videos are most popular and why; thereby informing subsequent videos to have favourite elements, I could identify sites to have access to exclusive content, and I could advise on merchandise desired by the specific Maru fan. And that's just a wonderful cat that jumps in and out of boxes. Imagine how that process can work with a film with a good story and characters who audiences love, or with popular books that have fans who are attached to specific moments of the story, and who spend a lot of their time online talking to other fans and sharing that enthusiasm.
How did you get into this? What's your background? My background and training is fairly traditional, as a reader and development person goes, with experience from The Script Factory in London, and reading and consulting with The Film Agency for Wales and Elfin Productions. However I do have a rather unique streak when it comes to experience:
I've a background in literature with a BA and an MA in Literature, but it was my work during my PhD research on sets like Twilight and Captain America, and at the game design studios of The Lord of the Rings Online and Infinite Crisis that opened up my access to event film adaptations, and illustrated a gap in current academic research and industry practice.
Fans are more vocal and influential than they've ever been, due to the immediacy of the Internet and the continuously connected fan (via fan sites, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr etc.). So how do you develop a project in this new and quickly changing atmosphere? I can help you answer this question.
So do you only work on big projects? No. What I do can work on everything from short stories and novels; short films to features.
How can you help me, then? Well, it depends on your project. If you have a good original idea and want to develop it, I can help the way a traditional script developer can, but I keep in mind the commercial appeal and potential ways to create and sustain fans in the creative process, all while strengthening your characters, story, and writing.
If you have the rights to the next Twilight or Hunger Games, I think it's in your best interest to at least have a conversation with me to get an idea of the kind of fan interactions, demands, and reactions that are coming your way.
Will you read my script and let me know what you think? Yes. I'm a reader by practice, and I can provide reader reports, notes, suggestions and ideas for how to improve or clarify the story you have.
Will you do it for free? Sadly, not. I wish I could sometimes, because I do love the excitement of a new story, but I do also have a lot of student loans to pay back...
How much does it cost? I look at every project on an individual basis, and depending on what you need or what your script requires, we can figure out a fee that works best for all sorts of projects on all sorts of budgets.
Do you give lectures or teach? Yes. I've spoken at LeakyCon and TwiCon, and am available for film festivals as well. I've even given a lecture via Skype whilst I was in San Diego for The Hay Festival in the UK -- I can be flexible and creative with your wishes.
I've also conducted adaptation workshops for fans to better understand the adaptation process, and how, and why things change from book to film. I travel to the US, Canada, and Brazil regularly, and have spoken at Universities, High Schools, with media producers, and for special interest groups.
How do I get in touch with you? Let's start with an email. Tell me a bit about your project, and we can go from there.