Screenwriting with Sergio Casci
by Rory Buccheri
Legend has it that, in order to become a screenwriter, you need to be 'as resilient as a cockroach.' The storyteller of this lesser-known fable is none the less than Sergio Casci: Italian-blooded, Glasgow resident, with his name featured in screenplays across the globe.
photo courtesy of UNI-versal
The event, held by the UNI-versal Dark Nights Festival, was nothing short of entertaining. A new feature of the University planning, UNI-versal promises to bring 5 mini festivals carrying different themes to the Aberdeen University campus: from music and filmmaking to Scotland-wide history and heritage in the arts.
Judging by the quality of this particular event, I am thrilled to see what they organise next.
Though originally presented as a workshop, this event would be labelled better as ‘in conversation with…’ Taking nothing from its value, this tweak would just be a clarification that this is not a session in which attendees create material, either individually or as a group.
photo courtesy of the author
The talk with Sergio, in fact, was informative and relaxed in equal parts, with the main speaker being generous with his insights on the industry and with real, hands-on advice. Despite being delivered as a one-speaker lecture type of thing, the one hour and a half session didn’t lack an interactive part. Sergio prepared a showcase of short clips to show students, highlighting good and bad practice in crafting dialogue and discussing media issues, such as being recognised as the intellectual owner of a new adaptation. What shone through during the entire event was the passion of the speaker, his readiness to be humble in discussing his career as well as sharing sincere moments of celebration with aspiring screenwriters. As Sergio said, it takes luck to be part of the industry. For us young people out there wondering if there are other parts of the recipe for success that we have agency over, Sergio suggests creating with other students. Utilising even the most basic technology, students can gain invaluable storytelling skills by coming up with a shared project that can eventually be shown to potential employers.
Ultimately, resilience is key, but passion trumps all.