Screenplay Judge | Winner of the 2018 Screenplay Prize
Sarah Crockford is a writer and animal behaviourist, who lives in Kent, England. Having worked for many years with a variety of animals, and completed a degree in equine management, she’s been training dogs and their owners since 2011. She also has an HNC in Television Production. She self-published her book ‘Help! My Dog Has Issues’ on Amazon, and has since added a short guide to puppy behaviour onto Kindle, along with the first two parts of her rom-com novel ‘Run or Love’. As well as winning the 2018 Hammond House Literary Prize (screenplay category) for her short film ‘The Bargain’, Sarah is due to have a short story produced as a podcast with Hawk and Cleaver. Both of these stories have elements of horror and psychological thriller, which she sees as a fun contrast to her rom-coms!
What advice would you give to people entering the 2020 competition?
I think it’s good to be inventive with the theme, and to have fun coming up with ideas. Once you’ve chosen the one you want to develop into a script, do lots of planning, but try not to get too caught up with ‘writing rules’. It’s too easy to become very serious about what you’re trying to achieve, which could lead to stilted dialogue, or too much description. If you enjoy the process, it will shine through in what you write.
As a judge, what are you looking for in a screenplay?
I’m looking for a story that moves along, even in such a short timeframe – I want to be motivated to keep reading. I’d also like to meet characters I believe in, and engage with: I don’t have to like them of course, but I want to learn about how they see the world, and to understand why they take the actions they take.