March 15th-20th, 2024
Have you dreamed of writing a screenplay and seeing it come to life on the silver screen?
Or written a TV show or play that you long to see produced?
Or maybe you’ve published a book and are wondering about how to turn it into a film script?
Seems impossible, right?
Well, the answer, is, NO! Nothing is impossible, and on this one-of-a-kind writers’ retreat, at the beautiful 14th century Marouatte Castle, in the heart of the Dordogne, France, owned by music industry legend Miles Copeland, former manager of Sting and The Police, we’ll show you just how your words, your vision—let’s face it, your baby—can make it all the way to the big screen!
Joan Lane is a British film and theatre producer, primarily known for having developed the Academy Award-winning THE KING’S SPEECH, directed by Tom Hooper, starring Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, and Helena Bonham Carter, and adapted from the stage play by its author David Seidler.
Her company, Wild Thyme Productions, has toured six innovative productions of Shakespeare’s plays in the UK and Germany (including the first all-female production of ‘Hamlet’) mounted world premiere showcase performances of new plays and musicals in London, and has a double bill in development for late 2023-2024.
Primarily engaged as a Consultant by the BBC, Joan's skills were used for the recording, filming, and Royal Opera House performance of ‘The Little Prince’. She was a director for BBC Radio Two and BBC Television’s New Talent UK-wide search for the ‘Voice of Musical Theatre’, involved with background music for the film ‘The Actors’, coordinated the participation of singing Angels for Stephen Fry’s directorial film debut ‘Bright Young Things’ and casting director and coordinator on a BBC’s Promenade Concert/Opera ‘The Water Diviner’s Tale’. As well as touring with her own company, she has worked on plays at the Royal National Theatre and toured with ATG, PW Productions, and Pleasance Theatre. For the last few years, she has been the resident judge on the Kenneth Branagh Award for New Drama Writing.
Joan recently edited two books, alongside which she and the writers developed TV series which are about to go to market. Brought in to edit the screenplay of ‘Gateway to the West’, she went on to completely rewrite it. The film is now in post-production and due out later this year (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt13542474/). Her first fully original screenplay, completed in 2018 and based on a true story, is expected to go into production in early 2024.
Niall Johnson has been a British-based film writer and director for 20+ years. His most recent work is as a writer on the visually-striking animated drama-documentary ANOTHER DAY OF LIFE, based on the memoir by Ryszard Kapuscinski about the Angolan civil war of the mid-1970s. Winner of the Best Animated Film at this year’s European Film Awards, it received its World Premiere at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. Niall’s two most recent films as Writer-Director were released within a year of each other: MUM’S LIST (2016) the critically-acclaimed true story weepie romance based on St John Greene’s best-selling memoir, starring Rafe Spall and Emilia Fox; and the Western-styled adventure story THE STOLEN (2017) set in New Zealand’s 1860s Gold Rush, starring Alice Eve, Jack Davenport, Graham McTavish and Richard O’Brien.
Niall came to Hollywood’s notice in 2003 with his spec supernatural script WHITE NOISE, starring Michael Keaton, which opened in January 2005 at #1 in the UK and #2 in the US, where it broke the record at the time for the biggest January opening for a non-sequel. In 2005 Niall wrote and directed black comedy KEEPING MUM, starring Rowan Atkinson, Maggie Smith, Kristin Scott Thomas, and Patrick Swayze. He adapted the script from an original by Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Richard Russo (Nobody’s Fool, Empire Falls). His other credits include wife-swapping comedy-drama THE BIG SWAP, and traditional haunted house TV-Movie THE GHOST OF GREVILLE LODGE starring Prunella Scales and George Cole.
Born and raised in Sutton Coldfield, near Birmingham, Niall’s passion for movies is a result of a childhood spent producing epic remakes of the likes of PLANET OF THE APES, STAR TREK, DOCTOR WHO and BATMAN with his brother, a friend, and a silent Kodak 8mm film camera—the most notable recurring feature of these being his mother’s laundry hanging on the washing line in the back-yard.
Scotty Mullen is an award-winning writer known for his work with Syfy, Lionsgate, and Lifetime. He is also an accomplished casting director.
After getting his feet wet writing on the pop-culture juggernaut “Sharknado” franchise, Scotty's storytelling skills have evolved into adapting true-life stories into feature films.
As of this date, Scotty has written 15 produced screenplays which have been filmed in 7 different countries. His productions feature a variety of stars, including Luke Wilson and Olivia Newton-John.
Scotty is known for being an enthusiastic collaborator with producers; almost all of his scripts have been written on assignment. Scotty is often hired for his script doctor skills and ability to save a production from the proverbial “developmental hell.”
Originally from small-town Kansas, Scotty went to college in Atlanta and now works from his home in Los Angeles.
Prior to co-founding the management/production company Fictional Entity in January 2017, Chris Deckard spent over seven years working with and representing talent at major agencies such as ICM Partners and WME. He has worked closely with traditional and new media buyers to find and develop content for domestic and international audiences. In addition to helping cast and package numerous features and series, he has evaluated thousands of scripts for actors and directors. Chris graduated from Cornell University and earned his J.D. from Notre Dame Law School.
Fictional Entity’s clients have been named to The Black List, The Hit List, The Young & Hungry List, The Blood List and been lauded by the PAGE Awards, the International Emmys’ Peter Ustinov Award for exceptional international television writing and placed as finalists in The Heath Ledger Scholarship and the Academy Nicholl Fellowship The Academy Nicholl Screenwriting Awards, the AWG, ADG, SPA, and AACTA. Clients have written, directed, starred, and produced in numerous formats, including features, TV, virtual reality, and podcasts, independently and for companies like Netflix, NBCUniversal, Legendary, Marvel, Fremantle, SyFy, the CW, Warner Bros., Amazon, Blumhouse, Comedy Central, the ABC Australia, Foxtel, TruTV, Super Deluxe, Hallmark, CBS, Facebook, E!, and MSNBC.
Chris has advised clients through multiple successful series pilot and pitch sales. In 2019, Fictional Entity clients have: staffed on Netflix and Amazon series; directed features and high-budget shorts; entered option and shopping agreements with high-profile producers; and have premiered feature films and shorts at festivals around the world.
Simon Egan has been producing and directing films for over 20 years. In 2002 he co-founded Bedlam, an award-winning production company responsible for producing internationally-renowned feature films and documentaries.
Their first feature film, EXAM, won Spirit and Dinard Awards and saw the film’s director, Stuart Hazeldine, BAFTA-nominated for Best Debut.
In 2006 Simon Egan developed an unmade play that he later co-produced and turned into the multi award-winning $15m feature, THE KING’S SPEECH. The film would go on to be nominated for 198 international film awards and collect over 106 prizes including 4 Academy Awards (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor & Best Original Screenplay) and 7 BAFTAs (Best Film, Best Screenplay, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Music & Best British Film).
THE KING’S SPEECH is still the most successful independent British film of all time, grossing $420m worldwide.
Bedlam’s other feature films include the critically acclaimed ZAYTOUN, the BAFTA -nominated KAJAKI and STEEL COUNTRY, starring BAFTA winner Andrew Scott.
The team are currently producing FEARLESS, written by Oscar-nominated writers Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson (THE FIGHTER) and TARSILA, helmed by the Palme D’Or nominated writer/director Daniela Thomas.
Alongside his feature film work, Simon is known in the industry as an Royal Television Society award-winning director and producer, responsible for a series of groundbreaking documentaries including Channel 4’s LOOKING FOR RICKY and THE REAL BLAIR WITCH; BBC’s THE PAEDOPHILE HUNTERS, JFK – THE SMOKING GUNand the Emmy-nominated TITANIC'S FINAL MYSTERY.
Producers' Guild of America Award: THE KING’S SPEECH
Honorary Fellow Award: Ravensbourne University
Royal Television Society Award Winner: Best Journalist: ENDING VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
Emmy-Nominated: TITANIC'S FINAL MYSTERY
Royal Television Society Nominated: Best Documentary
Royal Television Society Nominated: Best Documentary Series
Simon Egan is attending this retreat as a Roving Mentor.
The Retreat includes...