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Lawrence Gray
Director , Producer , Screenwriter , Author
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Hong Kong Screen Writers' Newsletter 1 June 2009

Hong Kong Screen Writers' Newsletter 1 June 2009





In which the editor enthuses or otherwise…

This month…





Members only, but you can join on the door: HK$490 per annum

This month…



  • HKWC SOCIAL: Wednesday 17 June



Send us news of HK Film/TV/Web productions, directors, writers, producers, actors etc.

This month…





Tell us about your events and meetups.

This month…


  • E.V.E.N.T



Tell us about the film/directing/producing/writing/acting etc. courses that you run.

This month…





Are you looking forHong Kongwriters, directors, producers, film crew, actors etc etc? Let us know.






About our publications

The HKWC has published four critically acclaimed anthologies of short stories - Haunting Tales, Sweat & the City, Hong Kong Whodunnits and Love & Lust - which are available at selected Dymocks bookstores and from our website. Read more at: 






It has always been one of the peculiarities of the Writers’ Circle that the Chairman has been the only guy not to have published a book! But the effort of publishing the Writers’ Circle’s collections put me off the whole idea of publishing my own. The fact is though, I’ve always been primarily a screenwriter and the romance of a bit of print bound between fancy covers has never quite had as much thrill for me as seeing my own name attached to a TV show!


My list of writing heroes has more than its fair share of scriptwriters like Brian Clemens, Alan Plater and Troy Kennedy Martin, of whom you have probably not heard. But they dominated UK TV in my youth. To find myself, as I did, bumping into such guys during my stint on British TV was both exciting and a little disconcerting. As a rule they were disgruntled, engaged in some constant battle against everything, and skint. And I too had the honour of being one of them.


Looking at the bevy of screenwriters’ newsletters I get from theUSand theUK, I note that they bear an uncanny resemblance to the ones I produced when I was working in UK TV. If I had access to my parent’s loft, I’d probably try fish out aged mildewed copies of The London Screenwriters’ Newsletter and recycle them. The gripe is the same. Screenwriters are ignored by the industry, screwed over by greedy producers, and not given their rightful acclaim by egomaniac directors, despite everything completely depending upon them.


However, mellowed by age, I have no interest in continuing this battle. With the advent of reasonably priced professional level cameras and affordable editing machines, I see the whole divisive division of labour breaking down. If you hate what a director does to your script, well, write one for yourself to direct. If you cannot find a producer who will pay you a decent tranche of money up front, then use your imagination and write something that can be done within your own budget limitations. And if you cannot get distribution, then use the Internet to build an audience base and work yourself into a position where you can begin bringing in investors to make those grander visions come to life.


Life is so much easier for the energetic screenwriter nowadays. Instead of scrimping together enough money to buy fresh ink ribbons for your Remington Typewriter now you have to scrimp around to get hold of professional cameras, editing suites and training courses to teach you to use them.


So this newsletter is for the energetic, if not heroic people, who are working away inHong Kongproducing their own damn movies despite the financial and emotional costs! So send me your casting calls, send me you pleas for collaborators, send me the links to your showreels and shorts, tell me about those courses extending your skills base and invite me to those parties with beautiful actresses who’d love to be in one of my films! So, let’s write some great scripts and make some fun movies.  



Hong Kong(Screen)Writers' Circle



  • THEHONG KONGSCREENWRITERS’ WORKSHOP: 19thJune, 7pm, Room B, The Fringe Club


Building upon the Screenwriting 101 talk Lawrence Gray gave earlier this year, a new screenwriting critique group has been started.


This will not be just a Critique group. The aim is to develop projects from the pitch to the script and to the business plan and finally the casting and the shooting schedule!


The first meeting will discuss the inauguration of the Featured Low Budget Hong Kong Movie Script Scheme! Or at least the establishment of a pithy acronym for a scheme to promote the best projects.


A reading and feedback process will be set up via a Mailing List.


And a list of events will be drawn up: actors talking on what they want from a director, directors talking on how they approach turning a script into a film, writers talking on how they are screwed at every opportunity (hey, that’s the only thing screenwriters talk about, so we have to live with it) and Producers talking about the harshness of the market, and lots of positive stuff about story structure, scene writing, using HD cameras, editing movies, applying for grants, hitting the film markets and pitching to producers, the co-production deal, where to hire equipment, storyboarding, using the Internet to promote your movies and yourself, etc etc etc… And last but not least, the legal documents you have to negotiate and the agreements you need to understand in order to produce your own movies.


In short, the Screenwriting group has a lot of ground to cover. But at the bottom of it all is one thing: a good idea! And we will talk an awful lot about what makes a good idea given the context of the production environment that we live in.


RSVP lwgray@netvigator.com



  • HKWC SOCIAL: Wednesday 17 June


A summer social for HKWC members and friends will be held from 7 pm on Wednesday 17 June at our usual watering hole, the Amici bar in Wan Chai which is above Mes Amis on the corner of Lockhart and Luard roads.


This will be our last chance to catch up before everyone heads off for summer holidays so be sure not to miss the delicious pizza and sparkling conversation of all your favourite HK writers!





Jennifer Thynn’s much anticipated Web Series, “Lumina!” will be out on the web this month. Head off to check the trailer:www.luminaseries.com


For those of you not in the know, Lumina is a local video production using the much drooled over RED CAMERA. All screenwriters should know about the RED CAMERA. For that matter they should get on courses teaching the basics of High Definition Video, as here lies the future.


In addition to using the latest technology, Lumina is also written and produced for the Internet! Instead of making a low budget feature or a short for her directorial debut, Jennifer opted for the internet, in the hope of giving herself an audience base from which to develop larger projects. This is a strategy a lot of new film makers are opting for as a means of side stepping the distribution bottleneck Independent movie productions usually come up against.


If Jennifer succeeds inHong Kongthen look forward to a rush to produce the next latest thing for the Internet.


Lumina also stars Michael Chan and Juju Chan, who also happen to star in “Gong Neui”, a little film I put together the other month.

* E.V.E.N.T


If you’re on the look out for talent… strictly on a professional basis that is… then

SAVE THE DATE! JUNE 14th at The Cavern, LKF.


Kate Sullivan’s EVENT company is having it’s anniversary do and regularly attendees at such parties are from the creative media. Artists, actors, film makers, and writers, not to mention Belly Dancers and Pole Dancers, can all be found milling around the bar and the stage.


This is a good place to make friends and influence people and find like minded others with which to, as Hanif Kureishi has it, dream and scheme. This is very much a Beautiful People’s evening, so you’ll most likely find me there being beautiful.


For further details contact:


*Professional Acting Workshop

With Scott Williams from San Fransisco -


Date: Saturday, Jun 20, 2009 10:00AM

Sunday, Jun 21, 2009 6:00PM




HK Theatre Association Ltd

2537 8066





ShellZ, yes that’s the name, is looking for writers of romantic comedy & drama to work with. So if any writers are interested in a film collaboration then please feel free to contact:shll_z@yahoo.com   OR  Call: 852-66866756






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The opinions expressed in this newsletter are those of the contributors and do not necessarily represent those of the Hong Kong Writers' Circle as a whole.



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