Susan Everett talk.

Susan Everett, artists talk. 25 April 2013.

  • Multi-disciplinary, writer, director, novelist, scriptwriter.
  • Along side creative work, she also teaches and has acted as a script editor.
  • Competitions allowed her to get noticed and pick up an agent for her illustration work. 
  • Big part of becoming successful in your field is to know and understand your field.
  • Started screenwriting on an MA, realised that she had found a field that allowed her to create stories that also have visuals.
  • Short story competition allowed her to find a writing agent quickly, due to positive press.
  • Script editing helped with understanding how to work with other writers.
  • In film and tv, you are brought in as a writer but often you dont know how long the project will last. Sometimes, projects get dropped without reason.
  • Find what it is that keeps you personally going because you put your heart and soul into a script or character then someone will destroy it or change things completely.
  • Use visual work, i.e. short films that you work on to showcase your work.
  • Research is important. She has researched the courts for police thriller’s. The more info you can find out, the better you write. Contact people wh know about the subject of your writing. Power of research is that you find something you don’t expect.

Script editing – aids the writer through the whole process, offers advice and sometimes makes changes.

The BIBLE exists within TV and film as well for franchises. Doctor Who for instance will have a bible that contains all characters past scenes etc. Any new writer working on it will have the bible to cross reference. Then a more experienced writer will check that the new writer is following a similar format to previous work.


  • -Story liner
  • -Editor

Short Film – Mother, Mine.

Feature film went through 5 drafts, Short film went through 6 drafts.

  • Started as a short story, but it lacked definition.
  • Found a playwright competition, entered that and the play got made.
  • The director of the play, liked the idea of a daughter sending tapes out to their mother.
  • She got an offer from a production company for the script.
  • It fell through and sat waiting.
  • She only went back to it when she was offered to make any original film by her for the film council.

What drives stories is making the characters want different things at different times.

In short films you can have scenes that leave it up to the audience to interpret. In feature the audience leaves feeling like they have fully understood it.

As a writer you have to be aware that you take ownership of a script and then a director will take it away and create a different vision of it.


  • You need both an agent and to be able to network alone. 
  • Agents know what is going on in the business, they can tailor the script into the right hands, companies etc.
  • An agent can’t assure you will get work.
  • Treat agents as a network opportunity, they will have a massive list of clients and companies.

To get better at writing scripts, read them:

BBC writers room

What to do:

  • develop your characters to the extreme.
  • lots of thinking, and making notes before your commit to writing.
  • have iterations of characters.
  • work out your strengths.
  • make sure I understand format, as this is really important.
  • a verdict will be made on a script by the 10th page.

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