Masterclass Round Up
5 March 2021

MetFilm School Masterclass Round-Up – July 2020

By Rosie Togher | Categorised in News, VIP Guest Speakers, Industry Interviews

We were lucky last July to have three fantastic masterclasses almost back-to-back. As a result, we didn’t get a chance to share our top takeaways from them at the time, so here is a round up of what we learnt:  

Producer, Stephen Woolley – 9 Jul 2020

Internationally renowned Oscar-nominated and BAFTA-winning film producer Stephen Woolley has a career spanning over thirty years. Stephen’s film credits include The Company of WolvesScandalMade in DagenhamCarol and most recently Colette 


One piece of advice I always give to up and coming producers is to find a director or a writer etc. that you share a common interest with and a common goal e.g. a director whose movies you admire. Some producers create contracts between them in order to sustain that working relationship, but it’s not always needed – you may be able to develop a shorthand partnership which is more organic.   


When Made in Dagenham came about, I was shocked that I had never heard of the story before; as I had grown up in London. It felt like such a good story to tell for a few different reasons; If it’s not something that I knew about, then there was likely to have been many other people who were also unaware of the incredible things these people had done. Internationally, this film would also produce the same resonance. When we began working on it, it was always important to me that we weren’t telling it as a grim story of the awful suppression of the women but instead celebrated the women’s success.  

CEO & Founder, The Black List, Franklin Leonard – 13 Jul 2020

Franklin Leonard went from being a Development Executive to starting the Black List, his yearly survey of Executive’s favourite unproduced scripts in Hollywood. Since 2005, Black List scripts have together grossed over $25 billion, and have been nominated for 241 Oscars, winning 48 of them.  


It never occurred to me that I could work in movies, because I didn’t know anyone personally in that industry, and I didn’t know anyone who looked like me who had success in the industry. Whilst working as an analyst at McKinsey I was assigned media and entertainment projects; an area of interest to me. I then stumbled into my position at the Creative Artists Agency via a friend who recommended me.  


I needed to find a solution to all the mediocre scripts that were coming my way, and those scripts which were great but were being overlooked and not produced. Since 2005, each December, the Black List releases its annual list, a survey of the most liked, unproduced screenplays of that year. The annual lists are aggregated using votes from film executive working in the film industry.  

Writers can upload their scripts to the website for $30 a month and get feedback for $75. All the readers are people who work in the industry for at least one year as a major company assistant. If you get a rating of 8/10 or above, you get a free month of hosting and free script evaluations/feedback 

From an agency perspective, they can search for material that suits what they are looking for. E.g. if they are looking for a comedy script based in London etc.  


Write something brilliant; a lot of aspiring screenwriters are worrying about how they are going to get an agent or how to get their script made 

  1. Watch movies, read lots of scripts and write pages  
  2. Worry more about writing something that will make people want to know you rather than getting to know other people 

Filmmaker Shekhar Kapur – 15 Jul 2020

Shekhar Kapur is one of the world’s most renowned filmmakers. Making his mark as an actor in Bollywood, Shekhar caught the attention of the international film audience with his breakout film, Bandit Queen. Shekhar has gone on to direct a range of features, including the sequel to Elizabeth and most recently the ten-episode Shakespeare origin story, Will 


I grew up surrounded by storytelling from my grandmother, but for me storytelling is how we perceive the world; everyone is a storyteller in some capacity. A film tells a cohesive structured story, but with streaming services like Netflix etc. and series; it’s changed storytelling completely. When preparing for films that I work on I do a lot of sketching; and depending on the scene e.g. if action is involved, I will do previsualisation.  


The International film scene means you have a much wider breadth of the kind of stories you can convey. Particularly with Bandit Queen, where it is such a shocking story the International film scene is much more open to this than Hollywood.  


This was my first time working on digital, and I wanted to not only film it but take the audience into the centre stage. It took a lot of discussion with the crew and trial and error with the actors to get it right.   

 Find out more about the courses we offer at MetFilm School London: Download a prospectus 

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