Talent Campus 5.0: Crucible reaction and updates

Hello everyone! Last time I caught up with you I’d just finished the Talent Campus 5.0 Ignition phase. Well now the Crucible has come and gone, and I thought I’d recap that as best I could, along with some new announcements.

The conclusion of Talent Campus 5.0 was both an end and a new beginning. Because while we would all have loved it to go on forever, there is no way myself and my fellow campers will be disappearing from each other’s radars any time soon. There were many hugs, tears and promises in the end. I’m not normally the most emotional guy but even I had a moment near the end. And there exists a tangible possibility that, not content with walking on glass and fire and pitching with tarantulas, we might be jumping out of a plane in the summer!

Chris Jones and the Talent Campus crew have a habit of getting you to dive into extremes you normally wouldn’t. In the end this wasn’t like a regular course at all; they had us dancing, massaging, opening our hearts with closing speeches- and we went for it. Even if we’d never so that normally.  The Talent Campus was about showing us the most extreme person we could be. The person we need to be to make deals with execs without freezing up.

And so, after the five day Ignition phase and three weeks of writing pitch documents, it all culminated in the Pitch Party. Around thirty execs/directors/agents were invited to enjoy complementary drinks and chat to some properly ignited screenwriters.

Apparently some of them approached Chris afterwards to express surprise at how different we were to most screenwriters. Over the last two months we’ve been trained to go against our instinct to pitch straight away, and instead just chat casually and present ourselves as cool people to work with. I honestly forgot to pitch to most of them as I was enjoying the conversations too much. I could have carried on all night!

I have left the Talent Campus 5.0 with a group of friends and memories I will cherish forever, and a new mindset that I am already seeing results from. Talent Campus 6.0 is already underway, and I encourage you all to stay tuned for a Talent Campus 7. I kind of wish I could go through it all again.

But it doesn’t end here. As a result of the experience, all of us are working on projects to keep the magic going in different ways. I myself will be starting a new initiative with seven of my fellow campers.

It will be called ‘Hear Screenplays Here’ (there were some Withnail and I fans in the room). Every month, we’ll assemble local screenwriters and actors and host table reads of shorts and feature segments. It’ll be a great fun way to play around with the craft and hopefully be of use to screenwriters who’d like to hear their dialogue free of industry pressure.

So a lot is happening in the world of James. I must get back to the several drafts I’ve promised numerous people. Until next time, everyone!