Script Development Workshops

I think I got sick of not making movies, so I’ve given Action On The Side a kick up the rear!

I’ve scheduled two projects this year: June and October.

I’ve started running fortnightly script development workshops again. They’re running at the Curzon Soho bar* on Wednesdays, 18:30-20:30.

The next one is on 26th April.

Registrations are on the AOTS website. Participants need to sign up, so I can message them where we’re sitting, and if there are any last minute location changes***.

I’ve run two so far this year: The first, a tester, was with a friend. We went through pitch decks and how defining your audience and the look of the film can help develop the script. Last week, we workshopped an experimental film idea and found it can fit the narrative structure.

We even used a new form I’ve created to develop three short film ideas. Two of them are mine – so now I need to write those!

Outside of the script development sessions, I am working with a writer/producer to develop her holiday feature film, with the aim to make the film as one of the producers.

I finally have time to listen to screenwriting podcasts, as I do my daily commute: The Screenwriting Life, Scriptnotes, and On The Page.

I’m attending a weekly online script development group on Sunday mornings (when I can, of course). This is a group that was borne from the London Screenwriters Festival.

And I’m reading scripts. From people who want to work together, friends wanting feedback, submissions for the AOTS Short Screenplay Competition, submissions for the AOTS anthology feature (more on that in another post), and produced features.

So, London peeps, if you have a script or idea you want to develop, join me at the script development workshops.

*people who know me know the Curzon Soho is my go-to for meetings and working in town.**

**I used to run script development at the Curzon, but I felt conflicted charging a fee for a workshop in a public space. I did look at alternatives, but it all ended up too costly/too hard. I like the Curzon for meetings, and it’s usually quiet on a Wednesday.***

***Sometimes they have events on and close the bar area. So I can notify the participants who signed up where we have moved to.

AOTS: Back with a BANG!

I think I got a bit sick of waiting for my job and finances to settle, so I’ve now set up the following for Action On The Side

Fortnightly Script Development Workshops (which I’ll be running at the Curzon Soho bar area for the time being)

June short film project

October short film project

Cinema SoundEX (running September & October)

Announced the AOTS feature and posted a Call For Scripts

AOTS Short Screenplay Award (FilmFreeway)

Updated Internship page

I’m pretty excited about all this. Check the links out out and tell your friends!

Pearls entering into festivals

Pearls, previously known as Me Too, is complete and is now entering into film festivals.

We have the film set up on FilmFreeway as the main submission platform. FilmFreeway is definitely the industry leader for festival submissions (having won the war against Withoutabox (RIP)). We are also using ShortFilmDepot and FestHome – and just today I’ve seen FilmMoon as a submission option. Choosing festival submission platforms depends on which festivals you’re submitting to; we also submit directly to the festival on their site if that is what is available.

Our primary goal is to get the film widely viewed by audiences.

Our secondary and tertiary goals are to win awards and laurels and to attend festivals that will provide networking and opportunities for our careers (Aude’s as Writer and Director, and mine as Producer).

Our Festival Strategy has four tiers currently. It is vital to have a strategy for your short film. You have to plan your strategy and marketing as early as preproduction. Some things to note with your festival strategy:

  • what your film is (genre, cast, unique selling point)
  • who the audience is for your film
  • how the will audience feel
  • how you will reach your audience (marketing strategy)
  • how your audience will engage with the film
  • your goals with the film itself
  • your goals in your festival strategy
  • how much you plan to spend (because submitting to festivals is expensive, and this has to be in your budget)

To give you an idea…

Pearls is a 13-minute coming-of-age drama. It is recent and relevant because it is a #MeToo story about the sexualisation of young women and girls. It tells the story in a new way, by looking at how teen girls over-sexualise themselves as a response to being over-sexualised by others – including their families and other girls.

We believe the audience will feel anger for and empathy towards the characters. Our key audiences are women (20s,30s,40s), with feminist ideologies; teachers and people who work with teen girls (to raise awareness); parents of girls. It is a women’s story for women.

The film has excellent performances from its leads. It has been written and directed by a non-binary French-African writer/director and a female Producer.

Our festival strategy includes short film festivals; women and female-centric festivals; festivals in locations we want to attend and that have support for selected filmmakers. Ideally the film will gain recognition for its performances, writing, and direction.

We want the audience to log and review the film (which is why I made sure it’s on Letterboxd). In the long-term, we will be releasing the film online. Personally I would love for the film to screen on a channellike Omeleto.

We want them to see hyper-sexualisation in a new light and feel more comfortable discussing it with teens and young women. We also want to lead conversations on support for young women and girls, and use our social media to do that.

Think about your distribution and marketing strategy for your films. How can you start planning for this during preproduction?

Ealing Film Festival

Tickets are now on sale for this year’s Ealing Film Festival

The Festival is running 24-27 November, with screenings at The Ealing Project (the newest cinema in Ealing)

We also have a call out for volunteers – sign up now if you want to help out, at

Me Too: Crew Call

Me Too, the short film I am Producing with Aude Konan, is shooting Sat 23 & Sun 24 July in East London.

We are on the hunt for crew for our shoot. We are looking for…

  • 1st AD
  • 1st AC
  • Sound Recordist
  • HMUA
  • Production Assistant
  • Editor
  • Sound Editor
  • Colourist

1st AD

1st AC

Sound Recordist


Production Assistant


Sound Editor


Me Too
A schoolgirl deals with complex emotions after an older man sexually harasses her and her friends. This coming-of-age short film addresses the sexualisation of young women and girls. Written, Directed, Executive Produced by Aude Konan and Produced by Patricia Hetherington. The completed film will be submitted to film festivals and ultimately released online.

This is a low budget film; the rate of pay is ~NMW (incl VAT) for the 2-day shoot. 

To apply

Email by 03 July 2022, indicating which role you are interested in and providing links to website, Mandy, Shooting People or similar. 

This is an equal opportunities project. We especially welcome applications from lesser represented groups, such as LGBTQ+ and BIPOC.

Please share this post with interested parties.

Me Too in heavy preproduction

Me Too, the short film that I am Producing this year with Aude Konan, is now in heavy preproduction.

That means we know when and where we’re shooting, so we can book people and things — meaning we’re greenlit!

Our location is in East London and the shoot dates are the weekend of 23/24 July. We have our micro-budget. The next 5 weeks will be spent prepping the shoot and post.

Both Aude and I work full-time, and my new role at Vice* is taking a lot of time and energy, but we are going to get this film made this year!

Keep an eye out for cast and crew calls, and follow the Me Too social media pages for announcements

*I’m now the Post Production Coordinator for Branded content (UK). I probably forgot to say on is page.

Latest projects

I AD’d and PM’d a short film shoot at the end of January

I was PM (London) for a Finnish mayonnaise commercial. We shot in a beautiful location near Old Street, and I really enjoyed working with the Food Stylist (the plates looked amazing!)

I’m working with two others on a feature film pitch for a large funding round. That will be submitted soon.

The first AOTS short script competition is reaching its end, and I will be announcing the winning script and runners up over the next few days (once this feature pitch is done)

I’m watching shorts that have been submitted to the Ealing Film Festival 2022.

The short I’m producing (Me Too) was going to shoot in April, but now we’re making some changes to the script, sourcing two locations, then will set the shoot date, recast and crew up.

Also I have created a specific Busy Kiwi Productions email address to differentiate between my business and personal projects.

There are a few plates I am juggling — and I have a number of projects in various stages of development

Word Games

Are you in the Wordle craze?

I love word games, puzzles, crosswords: all things of those ilk.

I have a friend who is also into these games, and we send each other our daily results.

Here are some links to bookmark if you, too, are into such games.

If you like Geography, there are Globle and Worldle.

wordle image

For your five-letter word challenges, there is the viral Wordle; doubled to Dordle; quadrupled to Quordle; and using bins to process out the incorrect word: Absurdle

Use Codeword Solver to help you with the five-letter words.

If you like History, there is Wikitrivia: put moments in history into order.

Puzzler logo

I also daily do the games on Puzzler (free account needed) and the Quick, Weekend, and Speedy Guardian Crosswords

Guardian Crosswords

I suppose if we’re talking games, I also like my card games, especially Patience (Solitaire). Baker’s Game, Spider Solitaire, Hearts, and Mahjong (especially the fish shape), all on 247 Games.

What games do you play?

AOTS Script Competition

Action On The Side is now running a short screenplay competition

I’ve set up the competition to help screenwriters to get their films made.

There are two categories: PRODUCED scripts and UNPRODUCED scripts.

The UNPRODUCED scripts are maximum 10 pages and the submitter must include a pitch video. This is based on what we do in the Action On The Side project. It gives the writer practice in pitching their story to Producers, and it helps them to define their story.

The PRODUCED scripts are for writers who have already made their short film or who are in the process of making it. It’s a way for filmmakers to get some production funds or recoup some of the funds spent making their film. If the film is made, they need to submit a link to the film; if it is being made, they need to submit a treatment, look book, or production stills.

The prize money isn’t a huge amount – for now. But it is something that we can give to filmmakers to support them in their filmmaking skills development: which is my goal for Action On The Side.

The best scripts will also get feedback, laurels, a digital certificate, and a discount code to use the feedback services from our sponsors,

Submission Deadlines

  • Earlybird: 7 January 2022
  • Regular: 30 January 2022
  • Late: 27 February 2022
  • Notification: 21 March 2022

The announcement will be at the AOTS screening, March 2022.

Please share this script competition to any interested parties if you think it looks worthwhile competition for them.

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