'Listen To Bapou' launches on Banterhawk.com!

November 6, 2017

Alerting all fans of animated comedy! Online animation channel BanterHawk has finally released the first few episodes of my new comedy, Listen To Bapou!

The show is a six part animated web series based on the real-life character of my obnoxiously traditional Greek-Cypriot granddad, who I call Bapou. (Bapou being the Greek word for granddad...) In the show, Bapou decides to become a YouTube vlogger so that he can rant to the younger generations about their life choices and give them some unsolicited mentoring on the right way to live – which of course is his way – the Greek way!

The character of Bapou is voiced by Darren Altman, who reached the 2016 semi-finals of Britain’s Got Talent with his knack for celebrity impressions. Other voices are provided by Nathan Foad, Alice Murray and, of course, I provide the voice for Bapou's granddaughter Becky. The show is animated by newcomer Chris Pierce and is produced by Dominic Philpot. BanterHawk has had previous success with other comedy series such as Bond Meets World and Forrest Trump.

Listen To Bapou is available to watch for free at www.banterhawk.com or via the BanterHawk YouTube channel.

 

 

Interviewed by The Working Arts

September 18, 2017
A few weeks ago, I had the privileged of being interviewed by the lovely Erica Lee Martin from The Working Arts.

The Working Arts is a podcast that celebrates the careers of people currently working in the creative industries and explores how they got to into working in their respective areas. It was lovely to sit down with Erica and chat about my very crazy, extremely non-linear route into screenwriting and talk about the direction that I hope my career goes in the near future. 

You can find a link to the podcast here:

https://soundcloud.com/theworkingarts/cera-rose-pickering


 

The London Screenwriters' Festival 2017 - Festival Rundown!

September 18, 2017
Being my sixth year, I was kind of expecting this year's London Screenwriters' Festival to feel a bit samey - but it turned out to be my best one yet!

There isn't really anywhere else in the UK where writers, producers, directors and actors can all convene, network and meet like-minded people who are working in the creative industries. Over the past few days I've realised that LSF is absolutely essential to my career. Plus I get to spend a week with so many amazing writers who, over the years, I've come to call good friends. 

So, what else did I get up to, other than schmoozing.... 

On Thursday I took part in the Comedy Incubator Writers' Room which was run by comedy writer Jack Bernhardt. Jack mentored us on how to write topical comedy, something that I'd never really tried my hand at before so I wasn't sure if I'd be any good at it. But Jack showed us some really simple ways on how to break down news stories and elevate them into one liners and full sketches - which was loads of fun! 

I had a really successful Pitchfest this year, with seven script requests and two meetings arranged already for next week! It was wonderful to see so many execs excited about my work. On some level, I actually think I get a real kick out of pitching now (shhh!)

My Actors' Table Read was most enjoyable, as always. This year, my feature film 'Lola' was directed by Dom Lenoir and performed by actresses Georgina Blackledge (Lola) and Julia Tarnoky (Auntie Ann). They all did such a fab job with the dialogue and the session really helped me to pin down what I need to do with script rewrites - thanks guys!

Other stand out sessions across the weekend were from Scott Meyer from Go Into The Story and, of course, Pilar Alessandra, whose quick-fire brain always astounds me. The woman literally has the ability to fix a story in under five seconds! Amazing... We also got to watch a script to screen of Die Hard with its screenwriter Jeb Stuart - which was awesome fun!

Of course, a massive thanks goes out to the festival team and the volunteers who run the festival week so flawlessly. Especially Chris Jones, Judy Goldberg and Bob Shultz. 

After almost deciding that LSF 2017 would be my last one, I'm totally ready now to book for next year. Bring it on!! x
 

Pre-LSF 2017...

August 30, 2017
I don't know about you, but it feels like the last 12 months have totally flown by! It's nearly time for everyone's favourite  screenwriting event - The London Screenwriters' Festival :) This year, my coming-of-age drama 'Lola', which I wrote a few years ago now, has been selected for The Actors Table Read. I'm really looking forward to revisiting the script and seeing it performed, as it has always been one of my faves.

I also found out yesterday that I have been selected for the Writers' Room Comedy Incubator where I'll be spending a whole day learning how to write topical comedy with writer Jack Bernhardt - writer of Dead Ringers & The News Quiz. Topical comedy isn't something I've really tried my hand at before, so it will be great to learn from someone with hands on experience and spend a whole day coming up with (hopefully hilarious!) jokes. Extra congrats to the other five writers who were selected as part of my group, and to my friends Philip Lawrence, Rachel Paterson & Tracey Parsons who were selected for the Doctors & Casualty Schemes. 

Looking forward to the festival! x
 

Destination: Hollywood Takes To The Stage!

June 22, 2017

At the beginning of 2017, I was asked by Hertford Dramatic & Operatic Society if I would like the opportunity to direct a staged reading for their drama programme – an invitation to which I replied to with, “Yes, please!”

When asked what I might like to direct, I proposed the idea of adapting one of my screenplays, Destination: Hollywood for stage – that way I would have the opportunity to see some of my own work come to life in full, which, of course, is every writer’s dream!

The drama committee were a little reluctant to the idea at first, especially as the screenplay has numerous car chases and action sequences – including a chase scene on horseback through Monument Valley... Okay, okay, so that does sound a little too ambitious, but I’ve never been one to shy away from a challenge!

With a little persuasion, the committee agreed to trust that I could pull this off and take a chance on me. I decided that the performance should build on the traditional format of a screenplay reading, with actors reading from scripts but, instead of just sitting at a table, the cast would act out all of the action using minimal set and props. Anything that was ‘too big’ for the budget or stage would then be read aloud by a narrator who would set every scene and fill in the stage directions that couldn’t be handled by the actors.

I’d directed a few friends in a film piece I made back at University, but this was my first time directing anything of this kind of scale... and I quickly found out that as long as I knew what I wanted and kept on top of everything, directing can be really fun and rewarding!

I always knew that this would be one busy two hour show. It didn’t take me long to find my cast of seventeen actors – Mark Barnikel took the lead role of Clyde, with Michael Taylor playing his best friend Brendon, and Sophie Manarin as kick-ass girly ‘sidekick’ Annie. The three did me SO proud, leading the show with so much energy, vigour and originality. I couldn’t have asked for better performers to take the lead roles. We managed to pull the whole show together in just ten rehearsals, which was an amazing feat, especially as some of the chase scenes were quite complex in their staging. I am extremely thankful to the cast for their commitment, enthusiasm and hard work to make sure that everything was in place for opening night.

Performances took place in the Bentley House Studio Theatre on Friday 16th June and Saturday 17th June, to two (very nearly) sold out audiences. A heat wave that week saw temperatures rise in the theatre to around 35 degrees but that didn’t stop the cast performing with everything they had.

I wasn’t sure how people would react to the show, especially as the format would be so different to anything they’d ever seen before, but I couldn’t have asked for a more positive audience response. It seemed that the general consensus was that it was so great to see a new piece of theatre that felt modern, fresh and relevant. Others said that they really enjoyed the staged reading approach to a screenplay and felt it was something I could market to other theatre companies and theatre colleges. I was also thrilled to have some industry guests in the audience, who all said that they thoroughly enjoyed the show and that we’d talk further regarding my career – which is always a wonderful outcome!

I’ve been working in theatre for over twenty years now, but putting Destination: Hollywood on stage has by far been one of my favourite experiences. I’d thoroughly encourage other writers to do the same, not only for the opportunity to have their work performed and produced, but also for the experience as a director. I am so thankful to Hertford Dramatic and Operatic Society – especially to drama committee chairwoman, Cheryl Nicholson – for taking a chance on me, and for being a forerunner in helping young creatives to get experience and exposure in the arts. 

 

Green Door Pictures & Lionsgate TV Shortlist 'Blink!' For 'Write To Green Light' Initiative

September 29, 2016
I had an exciting phone call last night from Green Door Pictures informing me that 'Blink!' is one of ten scripts shortlisted for their new 'Write To Green Light' initiative!

These ten scripts will now be read and judged again by execs at Green Door and Lionsgate UK (who are running the initiative) then three projects will be chosen to move forward as finalists for an industry performance and possible option. Even if I don't advance I'm already taking this as a massive win as my script will now be read by Idris Elba! 

To make the win even sweeter, my friend and fellow Imagine Talenter Dominic Carver is also among the shortlisted writers - great day for Imagine! :)

'Blink!' has always been a passion project of mine so it always means just that little bit extra when the industry acknowledges it and loves it too - hoping to take it all the way!
 

Angelique Pretorius and Gillian Harker Join 'Beauty'

September 27, 2016
Things are moving slowly but surely with 'Beauty', the short film I wrote for Flickerhead Films. Gillian Harker has joined the team to co-produce with Henry Coleman and we have cast actress Angelique Pretorius in the lead role of Elle.

The comedy is currently set for a spring 2017 shoot - can't wait! :) 
 

'The Amazing Ava' Goes Into Production!

September 27, 2016
Last weekend I had the privilege of attending the shoot of 'The Amazing Ava', a short film I wrote for Mobley Street Productions. It was such a rewarding experience! You really do learn so much as a writer as you watch people adapt your script to fit the restrictions of time, cost and location, plus... your script is being made before your very eyes! What could be better than that?! :) 

The comedy drama is directed by Laurel Parker and stars her daughter Edith Parker in the role of Ava. I can't wait to see the final edit which will be entered into competitions and the festival circuit. 

x
 

Listen To Bapou Goes Into Production

July 16, 2016
Exciting things happening at the moment!

Things are moving along nicely with my comedy animation series  "Listen To Bapou" which has recently gone into production with Banter Hawk TV. This online show is based around the character of my obnoxiously traditional Greek-Cypriot Granddad and explores some of the frustrations the older members of society have about the modern world. 

The character of Bapou will be voiced by Darren Altman, most recently known for his appearance on Britain's Got Talent, and I shall be voicing the character of Becky! Dominic Philpot is Producing.

Looking forward to sharing some clips and visuals with you all soon :) 
 

Create 50 Winner!

May 18, 2016
The winners of Create 50 - The Impact were announced yesterday and I'm pleased to say that my project 'Daddy's Fort' was one of the chosen scripts!

The 54 scripts in the final selection will now move forward into the filmmaking phase where producers and directors are invited to team up, chose a script and produce it. The best 50 films will then be selected for the final edit of the feature length movie which will be screened in UK cinemas.

Big congrats to my LSF friends who were among the selected - Can't wait to share a screen credit with you all!

x


 

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