Some recent Successes from film-makers mentored by Stephen May and/or SAI
– Ernest Riera (Stephen May alum, and now Mentor with SAI) wins the rights to “Hearts of Atlantis” by Stephen King. And his feature “47 Metres Down” is the highest grossing indie in 2017. Ernest will write and produce “Hearts of Atlantis” with director Johannes Roberts and Fyzz Productions
– Babak Anvari (a Stephen May alum, and now Visiting Mentor) sells “Under the Shadow” to Netflix, and wins BAFTA for Best First Feature, Feb 2017
– Bex Harvey (Stephen May alum) wins Oscar for writing Sing, Best Live Action Short, 2017
– Stella Meghie (Stephen May alum) Spirit Award nominated for “Jean of the Joneses” Jan 2017; released in US/Canada. Stella has been picked up by CAA and was tapped by Warner Bros and John Wells Productions to direct “Everything Everything” https://www.filmindependent.org/spirit-awards/nominee/stella-meghie
– Stephen May alums Daniel Kokotajlo (dir), Marci MacLellan (prod) have feature “Apostasy” at LFF 2017 and picked up for distribution by the Curzon group. http:// film.britishcouncil.org/apostasy
– Zara Meerza (on SAI programme 2016) wins Associate Producer role at Warp Films (This is England) https://www.thetalentmanager.co.uk/talent/21432/zara-meerza
– David P Davis (on SAI programme 2016) wins Script Executive role on Bryan Cranston-starring “Electric Dreams” 10-part sic fi (Phillip K Dick project) for Channel 4 https://www.theguardian.com/media/2016/may/10/bryan-cranston-philip-k-dick- channel-4-sci-fi-tv-electric-dreams
– SAI Mentor, Camille Gatin, wins BAFTA nom for producing The Girl with all the Gifts for Warner Bros.
Writer/producer Ernest Riera, (and now a Mentor at SAI), has just secured the rights to Stephen King’s “Hearts of Atlantic” – the Fyzz Facility will produce.
Ernest sold three of his feature projects in 2015.
Fox Searchlight bought “The Other Side Of The Door” (which Ernest co-wrote with his writing/producing/directing partner Johannes Roberts); the Weinstein Company has bought “47m Down” (also co-written by Roberts and Riera) and Platform 9/The Salt Company shot “The Pool” in August 2015. Ernest has produced 6 other features including “F” premiered at Odeon Leicester Square 2010, distributed by Optimum. Also directed “Forest of theDamned 2” feature in post-production.
Amy Ricker has produced some half dozen features including “Having You” with Anna Friel and Romola Garai and“ The Island” starring Natalie Press. Amy is also the development consultant on a new Film Fund with projects that include George Clooney and Bill Moynihan as collaborators. Her company, Finite Films & TV, is in production on several features and TV productions. http://www.finitefilmsandtv.com/
through Universal), 2009/10
on Board” at Stephen Joseph Theatre Scarborough.
TV Title sequence: http://www.vimeo.com/8405520
including Amnesty award for “Fallujah” and Royal Television
Avi Marcado writer comedy series, Israeli National TV, 2010
and Co-director of the Anton Chekov foundation, 2010/11
Some recent Mentor Successes:
and Michelle Williams, 2011 release
Clive Bradley writer of TV Drama “Single-Handed”, for Element Films 2010
Film Festival and on world-wide release 2010
at Film London’s Microwave Scheme producing, amongst others,
“Shifty” & “Mum and Dad”
Comments from Graduates and Industry
“You are a fantastic teacher/ speaker… I had a lot of fun… learned a lot.”
– Ashley Horsley, screenwriter on SAI Short Course, 2014
“I came out with two projects picked up by producers who had been a tutor and mentor – and who both won Oscars during the course. So I guess the benefits of the course and the quality of the teaching go without saying.
Longer term, after four years and countless drafts I think I’m beginning to put into practice all of the things I heard about from Steve May, Steve Brookes, John McNally and Justin Trefgarne, other staff as well as my fellow students – sometimes without thinking about it or noticing it at the time, so the teaching must have a true heuristic quality – like being taught a foreign language and find you can actually say things without it being a translation – and some of them are things you never thought before.
I could mention the sheer energy generated by the course, how people outside picked up on it and gave me more commissions in a shorter space of time than ever – give a job to a busy man I guess. One was a short for the Red Cross and one was a MIP pilot for an animation TV series from a billion dollar grossing director.
The networking with my contemporaries continues”
“The SAI has been an amazing experience. I am a professional Script Editor and so story theory is something that I work with every day and the SAI, headed by Steve, manage to find new ways of opening my eyes on how to approach story. The creative writing exercises are second to none, and the fact that I don’t have to try and script edit my own work, and let other people do it for me, has been absolutely priceless. I can’t recommend it enough for any filmmakers out there…” – David P. Davis (Script Editor, Dr. Who, and now SKY Atlantic.
“I couldn’t encourage SAI enough to anyone. It’s rare to find such a positive environment for professional, creative growth with peers and mentors as experienced as the ones I’ve encountered. As a documentary filmmaker the move towards fiction has always been a daunting thought. With the help of Stephen May and my fellow filmmakers I’ve been able to develop the dramatic potential in the stories I care about while working towards writing my first screenplays for TV and Film. There’s no better programme for getting you in the room. In my time with the SAI I’ve work-shopped, shared and developed my ideas with the leaders of the industry gaining valuable feedback and contacts that will continue to inform my work for years to come.” – Zara Meerza, producer/director “Marfa, Texas” – and, while on the SAI programme, has secured an Associate Producer’s role at Warp Productions.
“The SAI programme has surpassed my high expectations. The structure and support are superb and I’d recommend the SAI programme to anyone ready to take their next step in filmmaking. Stephen May and all mentors and contributors are top industry professionals. This is a privileged position to be in. A fantastic programme for people who learn from DOING.”- Jacob Perlmutter, photographer/musician/filmmaker http://jacobperlmutter.com/home.html
“The SAI/Working Title workshop was bursting with industry know-how. As the winner I got the opportunity to meet two inspiring and influential contacts; the director Oliver Parker and WT Exec, Harriet Spencer. They both saw great potential in my project and continue to support me. Thanks to the SAI coaching, I am now one step closer to seeing my story on the big screen.” – Diana Voxerbrant, 2014
“The training I got under Steve May’s leadership, is quite sincerely the most invaluable and productive time in my formative years. Not only were the development tools provided the most insightful, but the access to top-tier film-making talent (as mentors and tutors) really took the whole course to another level. If it wasn’t for those contacts, I wouldn’t have the career I have today.” – Julio Bonet, Development Producer, Locksmith Animation (First high-end feature animation studio in UK. Led by director Sarah Smith, Arthur Christmas, backed by Elizabeth Murdoch and Double Negative).
If you’d like to make a formal application for one of our programmes, download a pdf here.