Friday, 18 March 2011

postheadericon In Development - Launch Celebration!

So I’m back and my blog is looking at me with hurt eyes. ‘Where the hell have you been? You don’t call, you don’t write!’ I look sheepish. I have to admit I’ve been playing away a little, ‘but I’m back now see and I’ve got someone for you to meet’.

It’s a new blogsite:, built to accompany a project that’s just launched and it’s where my energies have been going for the last month or so. With my colleague Hannah Billingham I’ve been busily putting together a new, monthly networking group for people who work on the other side of the table – us script editors, development execs and producer types – otherwise known as ‘the enemy’, or occasionally, we hope, known as an indispensable ally.

The group is called In Development and our launch celebration was last week at the BFI, co-hosted with The Script Factory. It was a packed house, the wine flowed freely and a righteous celebration was had by all. Among those in attendance were heads of development, agents, producers and script editors. Guests included comedy producer Charlie Hanson and his Head of Development Katie Mavroleon, producer and script consultant Philip Shelley, Katie Williams of Blake Friedmann, script editor Jamie Wolpert; hot from working on an exciting new series for Sky Atlantic and of course the lovely Lucy Scher, our co-host.

It was great to meet many graduates and students of The Script Factory’s Diploma in Film Script Development, many of whom are carving their own distinctive path in the development world and who I look forward to chatting to more at future events.

The industry response to our new endeavour has been fantastic. Perhaps this goes to show that there is a demand out there for this kind of group. Writers’ groups and writers’ festivals abound, but we wanted to set up a group where drama development people could come together and discuss their own different set of skills and issues, share experiences and contacts and support each other’s progress. A bit like a mini, monthly dose of festival style drinks and discussion. Development remains a fairly hazy territory, so it can’t hurt to have a chance to air questions, learn from each other and get a regular top up on our map reading skills!

As with writing there are many areas of specialism within the development of screen fiction, whether film, TV or online, whether comedy, kids or long running series to name just a few. There are also many areas of overlap with other roles such as producing, writing and directing. To help us negotiate a path through all these possibilities the plan for the new group is to have guest and featured members at each monthly get together and a topic of discussion on the table. This will cover an area in which our guests have particular experience and give members a chance to chat informally with them over drinks and gain specific insight.

For example, next month we are very happy to welcome Yvonne Grace and Philip Shelley as our guests to chat with us on the subject of moving between script editing and producing in TV. Both are highly experienced producers and script editors across a broad range of hit shows.

We are also lining up sessions on script editing comedy and building relationships with agents, to name a couple as a starter for ten and we hope to invite script editors who have worked on specific films to chat with us about the process. If you’d like to know more about the guest and featured members lined up, or follow updates from the group you can follow us over at the new site: We’d also be happy to hear from you if you’d be interested in writing a guest blog, being featured as a guest member, or would like to introduce us to a potential guest.

This group is for professional development people so membership is limited. However, if you’d like to join our mailing list and receive monthly drinks invites, please contact us to introduce yourself, letting us know about your professional experience in development. You can contact Sarah or Hannah at: Finally I’d just like to say a big thank you to The Script Factory and to Jeremiah Quinn who took the photos on the night.

So - now I’ve introduced my two blogs to each other! I hope they will get on and understand the need to share. What with work, life, trying to get some of my own screenwriting done and now this cool, new project, I guess I can’t promise to be the most faithful and devoted blogger. However, I’m always here, always focused on the end goal of working on great projects and getting them to the screen, meeting interesting, new people, learning and doing more, so I’ll be back soon with more updates. See you out there.

About Me

My Photo
Sarah Olley
Hello. I'm a UK based script editor, development producer and writer working in film and TV. You can visit my professional website at: and the developers' group I co-host and organise at:
View my complete profile


Powered by Blogger.