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Thursday, August 21, 2008

We are everywhere

I was doing one of my corporate lecturing gigs today. It was about new ideas and how to use these new ideas in interesting ways. So pretty much what this (occasional!) blog covers. But with coffee.

What is clear is that as writers and film makers we love picking up cheeky little snippets of info, finding out more about our craft through books, going to talks and lectures and spending time on line seeking advice. AND we do all this with our own time and money.

Sometimes in larger businesses this is not always the case. One person said that at a previous company of theirs learning was seen as failure - an admission of ignorance. What dispiriting news! So they need to learn some of our love if new ideas.

But what can we learn from business? Well for me it's about tracking return. In business everyone would know the real, tangible, work benefits of (for example) attending the Screenwriters Conference. Was the £300 worth it? How could you not know that? Next year is that better invested in making a short film? They would know.

Lastly though it was good to meet Ivan, (the dude above) who was there on business but is also coincidentally a finalist in the South West Screen feature development competition. Good to see writers are everywhere these days.


Piers said...

An excellent point.

But I've just done a quick pokearound on the internet for "training budget" (and variations thereof) and found not-a-damn-thing.

So (throwing this open to anyone in the comments) - does anyone have a figure for a "standard" training budget in business? 1% of salary? 0.1% of salary? Less? More?

(Yes, I know it differs from company to company and division to division. Is there best practice? Are there benchmarks?)

In the business world, how would you decide on what you spend on training per employee per year?

Cos once we've got that, we can start knocking some figures together for how effectively that budget gets spent...

Tim Clague said...

Piers - will find out for you from some guys high up in training that I know. Results will be in on Tuesday

Tim Clague said...

The answer - 2% of income

Piers said...

Thanks - that's higher than I thought.

So if you assume your actual budget as a screenwriter also includes income from your day job, then everyone should be spending 2% of their income on screenwriting courses, festivals, and so on.

So for someone on 20k that's a budget of £400, or £600 for someone on 30k.

Which is about the cost of one McKee course or Screenwriters Festival each year. But not two. (Unless you have a very generous boss.)

Tim Clague said...

In a word Piers - correct! Having said that one of my favourite courses this year was a one day workshop by Bruce Block who uses a story graph...

It was only £25.