fbpx
icon icon

Australian Film Television and Radio School

Screenwriting is a craft that requires dedication, skill, and a willingness to learn and develop. No writers arrive in the industry as the complete package; developing your writing is a natural part of the job and an easy one to prepare for. Writer and producer Dominic Minghella (Robin Hood, Doc Martin, Hamish Macbeth, Knightfall) is an advocate for constantly improving and adding to what he calls your “writer’s toolbox.” When Dominic visited the Australian Film Television and Radio School, he sat down with us to share his three top tips for building your own toolbox and preparing yourself to rise to any challenge. 

1. Study and Analyse Scripts 

Dominic emphasises the importance of studying scripts as a means of learning and honing writing skills. Getting your hands on scripts that were bought is a great way to gain insights into effective storytelling techniques, while analysing scripts that weren’t bought can help you figure out what might not have worked. A technique that Dominic employs is listening to just the audio of a film or screenplay to get a sense of what might have been on the page without being distracted by the pictures. “It’s more alive than just reading a script and I find this a really good way to see what the writer did.” 

2. Notice What Works for You 

Be aware of what impacts your writing. Next time you have a good day or a good hour of writing, stop and ask yourself what contributed to that: was it the right music? Was it the right desk and chair? What time of day was it? Paying attention to these elements and replicating them whenever possible can help you get into a productive mindset. However, remember that adaptability is a key skill for writers too. As Dominic says, “Get them right for those days when you need to get them right and then be prepared to jettison all of the advice I’ve just given you for the real world of writing and still be brilliant.” 

3. Write Something That Isn’t You 

Whether it’s a format that you don’t usual write in or a genre that might not initially capture your interest, pushing yourself to write in these areas is the key to your growth as a writer. This tip is particularly true for Dominic, who talks about writing in several formats he hadn’t anticipated and the opportunities he was able to seize upon that he otherwise might have missed. Dominic highlights that in markets like the UK and Australia, it’s often up to the writer themselves to build their skills in the absence of mentors or industry structure. So even if you write these scripts just for yourself, you’re improving your craft every time you put pen to paper. 

The Master of Arts Screen: Screenwriting program is the perfect way to dedicate time and focus on your craft while fast-tracking your writing career. Over two transformative years, you will improve your craft skills and gain industry knowledge and peer networks, all while building an impressive portfolio of creative work that is audience-focused and distinctive. With writing workshops, cross-disciplinary collaborations and professional placements, you will graduate as a versatile storyteller, joining an illustrious group of alumni including Julie Kalceff, Jacquelin Perske and BAFTA-winner Tony McNamara. 

Applications are open for the 2024 Master of Arts Screen program and the best way to find out more about studying at AFTRS is at our Open Day on Saturday, 19 August. Take an access-all-areas tour of our campus, join hands-on exercises, speak directly with our expert practitioners and get tips on acing your application. Join this interactive day in person or online: Register now.

Link to AFTRS Students Rocking Regional Radio with 2NRS

AFTRS Students Rocking Regional Radio w...

Graduate Diploma of Radio and Podcasting students from AFTRS are live...

AFTRS Students Rocking Regional Radio with 2NRS

Graduate Diploma of Radio and Podcasting students from AFTRS are live on air until Saturday June 22nd with regional pop-up broadcast: 2NRS.

Learn more
icon

13 Jun 2024

Link to Short Courses: What's On in July?

Short Courses: What's On in July?

Gear up for Filmmaking, Lighting, and Videomaking Intensives and buil...

Short Courses: What's On in July?

Gear up for Filmmaking, Lighting, and Videomaking Intensives and build your career with industry-led training in July.

Learn more
icon

13 Jun 2024

Link to Discover how AFTRS’ Postgraduate Programs can unlock your creative career

Discover how AFTRS’ Postgraduate Prog...

Explore AFTRS’ screen and audio postgrad courses in person or onlin...

Discover how AFTRS’ Postgraduate Programs can unlock your creative career

Explore AFTRS’ screen and audio postgrad courses in person or online. Meet staff, tour facilities, and gain personalised advice.

Learn more
icon

05 Jun 2024

Link to Open Day: Save the Date

Open Day: Save the Date

We're thrilled to announce our annual access-all-areas Open Day on Sa...

Open Day: Save the Date

We're thrilled to announce our annual access-all-areas Open Day on Saturday 3 August! Sign up to be the first to receive event registration details and book your time with us.

Learn more
icon

03 Aug 2024

icon

AFTRS - Entertainment Quarter, Building 130, The, Moore Park NSW 2021

Link to AFTRS POSTGRAD INFO NIGHTS 2024

AFTRS POSTGRAD INFO NIGHTS 2024

Explore AFTRS’ screen and audio postgrad courses in person or onlin...

AFTRS POSTGRAD INFO NIGHTS 2024

Explore AFTRS’ screen and audio postgrad courses in person or online. Meet staff, tour facilities, and gain personalised advice.

Learn more
icon

02 Jul 2024

icon

AFTRS - Entertainment Quarter, Building 130, The, Moore Park NSW 2021

Link to Screen Access and Inclusion - Masterclass for Industry

Screen Access and Inclusion - Mastercla...

Presented by Accessible Arts this Screen Access and Inclusion Masterc...

Screen Access and Inclusion - Masterclass for Industry

Presented by Accessible Arts this Screen Access and Inclusion Masterclass program has been developed in consultation with screen professionals with lived experience of disability.

Learn more
icon

20 Jun 2024

icon

Australian Film Television and Radio School - Building 130, The, Entertainment Quarter, Moore Park NSW 2021, Australia

View all News & Events