Name: Steve Heath
Title: Film writer
Let’s start with an introduction! Can you tell us a little bit about your professional background and the exciting project you’ve been working on?
My family has a small history with film and tv so it has always been of interest to me. My mum was an original St. Trinian’s girl starring in the 1954 original with Alastair Sim and George Cole. She also played Diana Rigg’s stunt double in The Avengers.
I started working in aviation from the age of 16 and joined a band aged 28. At 30 after the sad events of 09/11, I decided to take redundancy and invest in a recording studio with the aim of writing music and finding artists.
All sorts of adventures followed, not all them welcomed and I thought the story would be great to tell and hopefully inspirational.
The basic story in itself would need to be jazzed up to make it exciting so that’s where you need to use your creativity and come up with a vision that will grab the audience attention. At first I wrote it as a play to enter a Channel 4 competition but then decided I wanted to write a movie script.
I had no idea where to start so decided to buy 2 books to learn the basics. I then started to type the story in word before attempting to correctly format to industry standards.
Little did I know that at that time, I was working with son of one of the biggest film producers of all time, Robert Watts. When his son knew I written a film, he kindly asked his Dad if he would help me with it.
I was in shock and delighted that Robert wanted to read my script. Robert has worked with George Lucas, Stanley Kubrick and Steven Spielberg and produced many iconic films. I was nervously waiting for
weeks before receiving a letter with such valuable constructive feedback. I could not believe what I was reading. Robert loved the story and said it was written very well with great use of dialogue. I had a lot of
homework to do on the script layout and Robert got me to focus on developing some of the characters in the story. I spent many hours/weeks/months working on improvements and just when you think you can’t make it any better, another idea would pop into my head which then means many changes to the story and many rewrites. It was another 18 months before I sent Robert my next version after obtaining screenwriting software to help me. Robert stated that there had been improvement but I was not quite there yet.
Then in 2016 I was invited to go all the way to the Cayman Islands with Robert to attend the Cayfilm Festival where Robert was picking up the lifetime achievement award. I spent 3 days in the company of many
oscar winners and industry legends which enabled me to learn more and then put the final touches to my script. On the plane home, Robert said he will do as much as he possibly can to get my film made. 2 Months later Robert took me to the Excel centre in London to meet all the Star Wars legends including Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Peter Mayhew, Anthony Daniels and others.
About a year after the Cayman trip, I submitted another version to Robert who said that’s it, it’s ready, well done! I could not have been happier but know it’s still a long journey to get the finance in place to start production. Robert has a lot of people in mind should we get the green light but it’s my job to drive it forward. I have a 4 year old son to raise too which is my priority so I have to leave my film dreams to one side on occasions. I have pitched to a multi millionaire and it took him weeks to give an idea but understandably his expanding business took priority.
There’s a lot of aspiring screenwriters reading this today. Some who are keen to turn their work into an on screen visual. Do you have any advice for them? Is there anything you’ve been surprised by along the way?
Even if nothing happens, I have written a film and had great praise from Robert and that means the world.