Hey Guys! So today I am introducing you to the wonderful and amazing, Damian Dibben, author of The History Keepers series. Today is the release day of the second book in the series, The History Keepers; Circus Maximus and he has written a lovely guest post for you all about screenwriting. Enjoy!
I took a very colourful journey before becoming a novelist. I trained originally as a set designer and worked originally building sets in theatres and film studios. A chance encounter took me to drama school and in the second half of my twenties, I worked as an actor in a score of films and TV shows. I also spent a year at the Glasgow Citizens theatre, a great learning ground in a fascinating city. It was spending time with writers there, that inspired me to pen my first screenplay, Seventh Heaven, an uproarious love story set against a fictional apocalypse in 1820. After a bidding war, the script was bought by Miramax and my life changed, with commissions soon following to work with Andrew Lloyd Webber on the movie of Phantom of the Opera and on a new comedy with the producers of Notting Hill and Bridget Jones.
I went to Hollywood and worked with the Henson Studio and Deamworks and collaborated with directors as amazing and diverse as Danny Boyle, John Madden and Mike Radford. More and more I gravitated towards ‘family films’ as they offered such scope for imagination. But screenwriting, though well paid and glamourous, can be frustrating with just one tenth of commissioned screenplays going into production (after twelve years and countless directors and stars attached, Seventh Heaven, has still not been made!) I used everything I learnt, from building props, to acting comedy, to writing films – to inform my first novel, The History Keepers and now it seems everything was leading to this point.
Ironically also, the film rights were snapped up by Working Title, my favourite film company, before I had even finished the manuscript.