Observing the goalposts - Information & Cultural Exchange

Observing the goalposts

Emerging screenwriter, Hawanatu Bangura, gives us the rundown on her industry placement at Goalpost Pictures last year!

I have always been a solo writer. When I was asked to be an observer in the writers’ room at Goalpost Pictures I was curious to know how many minds can develop one story.  I learnt that more creative minds are better than one, as they have a better chance of developing great screen content than one person alone. It is a collaborative effort where everyone is a valuable member of the team and his or her contribution is recognised.

I was fortunate to be invited to participate in the discussion and provide input when necessary, which was beyond my expectation. I wore my writer’s hat, as well as being a fly on the wall noting down my observations. I am a practical learner so being involved in the writers’ room was the best way to gain valuable screenwriting knowledge and experience.

I learnt the importance of doing research about the story content and being prepared before commencing the writing. The information derived from the research can be a key starting point in the story development allowing for authenticity. I also learn in the story plotting process, there will reach a point when one has to detach from the research to create new story content.

I was intrigued by the story development in the writers’ room; it seemed like a jigsaw puzzle whereby pieces when assembled together made up an image. The writers are faced with the task of solving the puzzle and each writer’s idea is a piece that adds depth to the whole story. From my observation, the writer will have a roadblock in the story development, an obstacle is presented, followed by a critical question, that when answered progresses the narrative. Finding a solution to the problem is where the creative magic happens – it opens the doors for great ideas to blossom.

The writers’ room is a creative space where ideas dance around and the best one wins, without people’s ego interfering because they are attached to their own idea. I personally see the room as a sacred space where one has to surrender and trust in their creativity by allowing their imagination the freedom to explore and lead the way.

Being involved in a writers’ room gave me a taste of my full potential and it has helped me to grow as a writer.  As a result I have gained the confidence to start writing my own TV series.  And it’s allowed me to think outside the box when pursuing opportunities that may further my film career.

I am a student of life so I would like to continue learning by seeking mentorships and director attachments on feature films and TV series. I am currently developing a few short film projects and I am exploring possible ways of seeking financial and production support to make these films.

Industry placements are the most practical way for emerging screen practitioners to learn and gain first-hand experience. It may lead to networking opportunities and meetings with established filmmakers. There are also other opportunities that can emerge from industry placements that can pave the way for an emerging filmmaker to get their foot in the film industry door.


The Screen Internship Initiative is part of I.C.E.’s Screen Cultures Program, supported by Screen NSW.


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