The Perth Actors Collective run bi-monthly script readings with the support of ScreenWest and the City of Subiaco (plus other food/drink sponsors).
Actors volunteer their talents, local writers their feature scripts and the audience their feedback. It's an excellent initiative and one I enthusiastically support. Here's the testimonial I wrote last year...
I am writing in support of the excellent PAC Script Lab initiative where local screenwriters have the opportunity to ‘road test’ their screenplay with professional actors in front of a supportive and informed audience.
I have been both a writer in these circumstances and a longstanding attendee. These are the things I see at Script Lab which I believe are unique and worth fostering in the local film industry:
- Screenwriters and their work being put front and centre which is a rarity!
- Scripts given life by wonderful volunteer actors so that the writer can hear his/her words and assess the strength of the storytelling.
- The support of family and friends – sometimes overlooked but critical for the emotional wellbeing of writers who have to lock themselves away for hours on end to create a compelling screenplay.
- The critical and supportive eyes and ears of the industry. Much robust and constructive discussion/feedback happens at these readings which can only help the writer.
- The associated networking possibilities where actors, writers, directors and producers can come together in an informal atmosphere. This helps strengthen the local industry.
- Genuine possibility for producers and/or private investment to come on board which allows for the ultimate goal – getting the script turned into a film.
All these things are a true blessing for a writer and, for this reason, I encourage other writers to participate as well as recommending actors to volunteer.
If you're a West Australian screenwriter with a feature script in half decent shape then I recommend you enquire about having a reading. If you've never been to a reading check it out. Perth ultimately is a small film-making community and any form of support is greatly received.