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Nick Page

Comedy Writer

SWF '08 

Nick Page got into comedy for a bet, he's still not sure if he's won. He turned professional 4 months after his first open mic appearance, helped by working with Steve Coogan's 'Baby Cow' production company and an approach from the BBC who needed someone with a knowledge of property and a bit of life for a new series. That offer turned into 3 series (so far) of 'Escape to the Country', which attracts daytime audience share of over 30% and has moved to prime time as well.

Despite gaps in his gigging schedule caused by filming, Nick is performing all over the country, and is at home compering a rowdy Friday night comedy club as he is doing a one man show at a corporate event

His material is a surprising mixture of cynical observation and storytelling, drawing on his useless degree (International Politics and Far Eastern History) and inability to do a proper job (he was an estate agent but is mostly cured).


Linda Paalanne


SWF '08

Linda Paalanne joined Kudos Film and Television as their Digital Content Producer at the end of 2006, to help develop the company's digital strategy and expand drama output onto further platforms. To date she has been responsible for producing narrative multi-platform content for some of Kudos's flagship shows, including Spooks and Moving Wallpaper / Echo Beach. Spooks Interactive won BAFTA Awards for Interactivity at the 2008 British Academy Television Awards and Interactive Innovation in Content at the BAFTA Craft Awards, as well as being nominated for an International Interactive EMMY and a Broadcast Digital Award in 2008.

Before joining Kudos, Linda was a Development Producer at creative online agency Greenroom Digital for three years; where she worked across both the TV and film slate and new media production, including coproducing the award winning PlayStation site, Resistance Fall of Man. Born in Finland, she majored in Communications and Sociology at Leeds University, UK and McGill University, Canada and began her career in TV production as a Production Manager in entertainment.


Phil Parker

Managing Director/Script Consultant  

SWF '08

Phil Parker is the director of NyAC, a new film production company founded in 2006 to create a series of original, feature films. NyAC's first five projects - Bait, Almost Jamaica, The Reluctant Orator, Innocent and Relative Desire - are currently being packaged for production in 2009 -10.

Phil is one of Europe's most distinguished independent development consultants and has run a successful training and development consultancy, pH Screenplay, for over ten years. Clients include Aardmann Animation, Mob Films, Berlin Brandenburg Medienboard and numerous independent producers and screenwriters. Recent projects include the Oscar and Bafta winning '`Wallace and Gromit- Curse of the Ware Rabbit'; the award winning 'El Greco' and 'Terry Prachett's Hogfather'.

Phil was the founder, and the course director (until 2004) of the MA Screenwriting course at London College of Communication (formerly London College of Printing) part of the University of the Arts London. This is the most successful screenwriting course in the UK with over 180 credited screenwriters from its 250 graduates. Screenwriters from the course have won a Palme D'or, several BAFTAs, RTS awards, numerous short film festival awards, including Berlin and Toronto,, and been Oscar© nominated.


William Pennington

Script Consultant

SWF '08

William Pennington is a Business Coach who has worked with many writers over the last 5 years. Clients have confirmed that significant results are achieved from his coaching, one writer and director said "I have already achieved several goals (since coaching): doubled my income, directed a top show, written and sold a play 3 years ahead of schedule!"

William's coaching utilises his 20 years of innovative business experience allied with the latest thinking on coaching and the psychology of performance and success. His first book ‘Release the star within you' published in 2006 was based on his coaching experiences in media and entertainment and was a best seller.


Ashley Pharoah


SWF '06 

Co-creator and writer of the 2006/2007 hit TV series Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes, Ashley started his TV writing career on EastEnders after studying at the NFTS. Now one of our best-established TV writers, Ashley originated the long-running series Where the Heart Is; Down to Earth and Wild at Heart, and has scripted episodes of Hustle, Silent Witness and Casualty, among others. Other work includes adaptations of Tom Brown's Schooldays (starring Stephen Fry) and Under the Greenwood Tree, and the 2008 TV series Bonekickers, which is now being remade in the US.


Nigel Planer


SWF '08 

As well as appearing in the recent productions of ‘Hogfather' and ‘The Colour of Magic', Nigel Planer has read fourteen unabridged AudioBooks from Terry Prattchett's Discworld, winning several Audio awards including the AudioFile ‘Earphones' award 2008. Nigel likes to think of himself as the voice of Discworld, or the voices.

After training as an actor at Lamda, Nigel Planer became a co-founder of London's Comedy Store and Comic Strip clubs and went on to star in the TV classics 'The Young Ones' (1981) and ‘The Comic Strip Presents' (1983-1996).

An unlikely West End musical star, Nigel opened in the original London Company of ‘Wicked' in the role of ‘The Wizard of Oz' in 2006. He has also starred in the original London productions of 'We Will Rock You' at the Dominion theatre (2002).

Nigel Planer has written several books, including two novels - 'The Right Man', and 'Faking It' (Arrow) - as well as the best-selling 'A Good Enough Dad' (1992), ‘Therapy and How to Avoid It' (1995) and the spoof theatrical biography 'I, An Actor', (Methuen, 1987 -2008; with Christopher Douglas)


Terry Pratchett

Fantasy Writer

SWF '08 

Who doesn't know who Terry Pratchett is? Terry Pratchett was born on 28 April 1948 in Beaconsfield, Bucks. His life changed at the age of 10 when he was given a copy of Wind in the Willows and he became a voracious reader. When he was 13, his first short story was published in his school magazine. He went on to sell it to Science Fantasy magazine for £14 and spent his winnings on a typewriter. His first Discworld novel, The Colour of Magic was published in 1983 and in 1987 he gave up his job and began writing full time.

Terry's worldwide sales have topped 55 million copies. He was awarded the OBE for services to literature (1998), and has been awarded honorary Doctorates of Literature from the Universities of Warwick, Portsmouth, Bristol and Bath. In 1994 he won the Science/Fantasy Author of the Year Award at the British Book Awards and was named as the 3rd bestselling author of the decade in the UK.

Terry is also probably Britain's most fanatically followed novelist, but, despite his incredible success, still regularly undertakes signing tours in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the US. Official Discworld merchandise has included diaries, quiz books, Clarecraft character models, jigsaws, jewellery, beer and cider, and much more. Many of the Discworld novels have been adapted for stage and are regularly performed by amateur dramatic groups all around the world.


Lucy Prebble


SWF '08 

Lucy is the creator of the series SECRET DIARY OF A CALL GIRL, starring Billie Piper in the main role. SECRET DIARY is now entering its third series and was sold to Showtime, the major US channel famed for its daring dramas.

Lucy won the prestigious George Devine Award 2004 for her outstanding debut play THE SUGAR SYNDROME in May 2004, followed by the TMA Award for Best New Play in October 2004.

She also won the 2004 Critics' Circle Award for Most Promising Playwright. Lucy was also nominated for the Most Promising Newcomer Award at the Olivier Awards 2004, shortlisted for The Susan Smith Blackburn Award 2003 and nominated for the prestigious Evening Standard Charles Wintour Most Promising Playwright Award 2003.

Lucy is now under commission to both the National Theatre and the Royal Court Theatre and her work is already attracting considerable stateside attention.

Her first full-length play, THE SUGAR SYNDROME opened at the Royal Court Theatre Upstairs on October 20th 2003 directed by Marianne Elliot


Isabelle Raynauld

Writer/Director/Film Professor

SWF '08 

French Canadian writer, director and film professor at the University of Montreal, Québec, Canada. She obtained a Ph.D. in screenwriting from the University of Paris VII in 1990. She' been guest professor at the universities of Amsterdam, the Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris III and Utrecht and MIT. Directed three fiction films including the comedy A Girl for Anatole starring Andrée Lachapelle and four feature documentaries. Her first feature script Emporte-moi was directed by Lea Pool and won the Best Screenplay award in Chicago and the Oecumenical Prize in the Berlin. Currently writing The Hum with writer producer David Pearson- a co-production between Canada(Cirrus) and the UK(Arturi Films). She is contracted with a French publisher to write a book on screenwriting.  


Dan Reed


SWF '06 

Dan Reed was born in St Albans, UK and graduated from Cambridge University with a first in Modern and Mediaeval Languages. After working as a cycle courier he joined the BBC as a documentary researcher for Adam ("Power of Nightmares") Curtis in 1990. He directed his first two 60-minute documentaries for a BBC series on South Africa in transition in 1993, published a book of reportage on the troubles there in 1994, then went on to produce and direct documentaries for the BBC in Bosnia, Russia, France and the UK.

In 1998 he left the BBC to make documentaries for Channel Four, starting with "The Valley" which took him to war in Kosovo for 6 months. Several more documentaries and two dozen awards and nominations followed, during which time he wrote "Straightheads", a thriller set in an English forest. "Straightheads" stars Gillian Anderson and Danny Dyer, and will be released in early 2007. 


Nic Ransome

Screenwriter/Story Editor/Scriptwriting tutor

SWF '08

Nic Ransome is a screenwriter, story editor and scriptwriting tutor.

He has consulted on film and TV projects for film funds, producers and production companies in Los Angeles, London, Glasgow, Dublin and Brussels in genres ranging from literary adaptation, biopic, children's drama and romantic comedy to thriller, horror, sci-fi and fantasy.

He has taught screenwriting, development and genre at Sheffield, Leicester de Montfort and City of London Universities in the UK; the Film Akademie, Baden Wurttemberg, Germany; for ScriptWriter training in London and for FAS / Screen Training Ireland in Dublin.

Most recently he has written a feature horror for a German indie and two episodes of a new tween animated show for the BBC. He is currently developing an original TV drama with UK independent Bentley Productions.


Allan Scott

Writer/Chairman of Scottish Screen

SWF '06 

Allan or Scott, also know as Allan Shiach, was born in Scotland and educated at McGill University, Montreal, where he obtained a BA (Hons) in English Literature. In 1986 Allan succeeded Sir Denis Forman as Chairman of the Film Production Fund which he ran for five years and his subsequent Chairmanship of the Film Council lasted for six years, coincided with a significant resurgence of film making in Scotland. He was appointed by the Secretary of State to be the first Chairman of Scottish Screen.

Allan has co-written over 20 features films and in recent years has produced five feature films including the prize-winning cult thriller Shallow Grave. He also wrote and produced the British-Academy nominated First World War film, Regeneration.


Tenya Seghatcgian 

Head of the UK Film Council's Development Fund

SWF '08 

Seghatchian has been in the film industry for 10 years during which time she has shown extensive versatility. She worked with screenwriter Steve Kloves and producer David Heyman of Heyday Films to develop one of the biggest studio film franchises from JK Rowling's Harry Potter books, and with filmmaker Pawel Pawlikowski she set up independent production company, Apocalypso Pictures. Pawlikowski's My Summer of Love, won both the Michael Award for Best British Film at the Edinburgh International Film Festival and the Alexander Korda BAFTA for the most Outstanding British Film of the Year.

As a development consultant to Heyday Films, Seghatchian brought in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time which she is exec producing with Steve Kloves as writer/director for Warner Bros. Most recently, she has been exec producing French filmmaker Francois Ozon's first English language film Angel which was shown In Competition as the closing night film at the Berlin Film Festival last month. Before working in film, Seghatchian worked as a documentary film maker and script editor at the BBC, and script-edited The Lakes for Jimmy McGovern.


Mark Shivas

Executive Producer

SWF '08 

Mark was the BBC's Head of Television Drama and then Head of BBC Films. He has worked with the most eminent directors - Antonia Bird, Stephen Frears, David Hare, Gillies Mackinnon, Anthony Minghella, Mike Newell, Nicholas Roeg, Jerzy Skolimowski and Michael Winterbottom.

As executive producer, Mark's film credits include; Truly Madly Deeply, I Capture the Castle, Hideous Kinky, Regeneration, Jude, An Awfully Big Adventure. As a feature film producer he made Moonlighting, A Private Function and The Witches. For television, he has produced major dramas like The Six Wives of Heney VIII, The Glittering Prizes, Casanova, Cambridge Spies and Talking Heads.


Danny Stack


SWF '08 

In 2006, Danny was part of the writing team for the popular CiTV animation series, The Amazing Adrenalini Brothers!, which won a Children's Bafta for Best Animation.

Danny won the BBC Tony Doyle Bursary Award for New Writing in 2004, and his winning script was optioned by Parallel Films (producers of Intermission and Breakfast on Pluto).

In addition to his writing career, Danny is an experienced and highly regarded story analyst/consultant for a number of the UK's top film companies, including Working Title, Pathé Pictures and the UK Film Council.

Danny co-writes a number of projects with award-winning animator/director Sam Morrison which includes an adaptation of Andrew Davies's children's book Conrad's War, and a high-concept animation feature, Aliens FC


Peter Straughan


SWF '06 

Playwright Peter Straughan was born in 1968 and grew up in Gateshead in the north-east of England. He worked as a professional musician and actor and studied English at Newcastle University. His play Noir was staged at Newcastle Playhouse in a co-production between Live Theatre and Northern Stage Ensemble, and he is adapting it into a screenplay for Trademark Films.

Peter Straughan is also the author of the play Cold. He has recently completed writing his first feature film, a black comedy entitled Three Bad Men for Contagious Films. His work for television includes the short film Waiters, first broadcast in 2001, and his plays for radio include The Ghost of Federico Garcia Lorca Which Can Also Be Used as a Table, winner of the Alfred Bradley Award and staged as part of Northern Stage's Lorca Festival in 1998 (first broadcast on BBC Radio 3 in 2001).

He has written the screenplays for Sixty Six and Mrs Ratcliffe's Revolution, with Bridget O'Connor, and most recently adapted Toby Young's How to Lose Friends and Alienate People, released in 2008.   


Tim Telling

Comedy Writer

SWF '08

'Tim Telling is a comedy writer. He has recently worked on the forthcoming Channel 4 sketch show Blowout, BBC3's Barely Legal and a web series for Fremantle. As a stand up, he is a former winner of Newbury Comedy Festival's new act prize, although he prefers to work sitting down.'


Enrico Tessarin


SWF '08

Italian born Enrico graduated from the London Film School in 1999 and has since gone on to chalk up credits initially as a Director of music videos and then from 2004, in collaboration with fellow Producer Fergus Wood, he set up the company ‘Fourth Passenger' (which soon established a partnership with youth charity Exposure) with a remit to produce cutting edge work including Drama and Feature projects and also to nurture new and emerging talent. Since then Enrico has continued to build the business and in conjunction with a variety of music, corporate and documentary video projects he has developed a number of new directors, editors and writers who are now making significant progress in the industry. Since 2007 Enrico's company has worked closely with BeActive and Campbell-Ryan Productions on the groundbreaking ‘Sofia's Diary' the first made-for-internet drama series to make the transition to television (in the UK!) on new digital Channel Fiver. 


David Thompson

Executive Producer  

SWF '08

As the head of BBC Film, David executive produced some of the most popular British Films of recent years including Stephen Daldry's Billy Elliot, Stephen Frears' Dirty Pretty Things, Woody Allen's Match Point, Debbie Isitt's Confetti and recently Sam Mendes' Revolutionary Road, Armando Ianucci's In The Loop and Martin Campbell's The Edge of Darkness.

This year, after over 10 years as head of BBC Films, Thompson left to launch a new venture Origin Pictures. Origin produces both film and television and retains a strong relationship with the BBC through its first look deal.


Richard Tierney


SWF '08 

Richard Tierney is producer of more than 200 productions working in the UK and over 30 countries. He has recently undertaken a study of the creative process for CreativeTalks.com and is an associate of Industry@Saatchi; Saatchi & Saatchi's R&D lab for Creative Strategy in Business. His book on Creativity is finally due next year. He loves the sound of deadlines as they woosh by.


Jane Tranter

Controller, BBC Fiction

SWF '08

Jane became Controller of BBC Fiction in October 2006. She leads the group which covers Drama Commissioning, Comedy Commissioning, Programme Acquisitions and BBC Films, covering around £500 million of output over four television channels, as well as being responsible for the accompanying new media activity.

Jane commissions all television drama across BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Three and BBC Four. This amounts to around 500 hours of drama and a £250 million budget. Recent commissions include: Five Days, Life on Mars, Bleak House, Doctor Who, Spooks, To The Ends of the Earth, Rome, The Lost Prince, Torchwood, Hustle, Cranford, Lark Rise to Candleford, Sense and Sensibility, Coming Down The Mountain and Stuart: A Life Backwards. The newly appointed BBC Films' board reports in to her, and she works with them to invest the BBC Films' annual budget of £10 million into new British feature films.

Before taking up her current position Jane was Controller of Drama Commissioning, and before that, head of the BBC's in-house serials department. Her credits there include Warriors, The Way We Live Now, Care, Wives and Daughters, Babyfather and Crime and Punishment. In 1997 Jane worked as an executive producer for BBC films and single drama.


Justin Trefgarne


SWF '07

Justin was a Development Executive at Working Title from 2002-2006. Whilst there he worked alongside a number of leading film makers including Paul Greengrass, Richard Eyre, Roger Michell, Edgar Wright and Joe Wright. In 2005 Justin wrote, directed, photographed and edited the short film TIMEKILLING, a spine-chilling tale of hide and seek . On the strength of the reaction to this film he left Working Title to write and direct his own material. In March 2006 he was commissioned by the UK Film Council to write the feature script NIGHTSHIFT, a thoroughly modern take on the Vampire phenomenon, and directed his second short, the science fiction thriller LIFE XP, a film set in a world where everyone knows when they are going to die. Justin has just finished a new short film, UNBORN, the story of a woman who is haunted by the child she is told she can never have. It premiered at the 2008 Edinburgh International Film Festival.

Justin was featured in the Screen International's 2008 ‘Stars Of Tomorrow' lineup.