Lauren Sequeira – MA Screenwriting

MA Screenwriting alumni, Lauren Sequeira, passes on hard-won lessons and valuable advice to prospective and new students while sharing her appetite for dark and compelling stories featuring strong and distinct characters.

How would you describe your practice?

Writer.

What did you study at LCC and what year did you graduate?

MA Screenwriting – graduated in 2012.

Where are you from in the world?

London, UK.

Why did you choose to study this course and why LCC?

At the time, it was structured as a two-year, part-time course, so it was appealing in the sense that I would have more time to truly master my craft. It also has a good reputation in the industry.

What is the most important thing you learned while studying on your course?

I learned a methodology in how I develop a story from the premise stage right through to the script. In addition, how to give feedback and take feedback on scripts and outlines.

What are your fondest memories of LCC?

The community spirit with classmates and workshop leaders; helping each other tell our stories in the best possible way. Also, the informative lectures and the drinking session at the pub afterwards.

How has the course helped you be where you are today?

It’s helped me find my writing routine, and exercises – such as character building/character dynamics – that I still use today.

What piece of advice would you give to new students?

Be resilient. You will face many a closed door when trying to get your work out there. Agents will appear like mythical creatures you just can’t get close to. Work on your craft. Write every day (even if it’s just a scene/line) and try to enter schemes and competitions – get your name out there!

Where are you working at the moment and what are some recent interesting projects you’ve worked on?

I’m a freelance writer now and was able to leave my job in publishing at the start of 2016. I worked on the Bryan Elsley led E4/Netflix show KISS ME FIRST for much of last year, and have just been commissioned by HOLLYOAKS.

I’ve also got to the final of a couple of competitions (Red Planet Prize, Write to Green Light) and recently became Dancing Ledge’s next writer in residence – the exposure for these schemes is great and it gets people reading your work that much quicker.

Could you describe your style or what you try to achieve with your work?

I write quite dark stories about crime and gangs, but also genre pieces (like supernatural dramas) so my work can be quite broad.

Although dark, I also like to inject moments of wit and comedy through my characters. I hope to write characters that an audience loves, and tell stories that keep them on the edge of their seat and guessing as to what will happen next.

Name three things you couldn't be creative without:

Music, my notebook (I still like to write things down), and a good pen – not a biro, gel ink all the way.

If you could work with any client in the world, who would it be and what would you want to work on?

I would love to work with Sally Wainwright. The tone of her work is phenomenal; she makes you laugh and cry in one episode of Happy Valley.

What drives you to succeed?

Simply loving stories, and wanting to tell stories that will get people thinking and guessing.

Where in London do you (or did you used to) go when you need a little inspiration?

The BFI Southbank. I’m often there in the Benugo Bar.

What are your future plans and ambitions?

To get my own projects in development and wait for that green light. When I’ve made a dent here, I then want to head to the States.

Links:

View Lauren's profile on The Agency