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Posted by Jude Earnshaw

July 23rd 2013

This is just to let you know that to commemorate the 50th anniversary of CS Lewis' death this year, The Unleashed Theatre Company is performing Shadowlands in the Schiller Hall at Buckfast Abbey, Devon from Monday 26th to Saturday 31st August 2013. It is a great privilege to be directing this wonderful, moving play. We have also included a contemporary dance by a new group from Plymouth who will perform during the interval (similar to the work of Pina Bausch) to express the ravages of the disease in Joy's body and the passionate emotions experienced by Lewis. Haunting original music has been written and recorded for us and the play will be lit by a London company. We are grateful for the vision of the community of monks at Buckfast Abbey for their sponsorship to enable us to present Shadowlands which we hope will touch hearts.

William Nicholson responded:

It sounds wonderful. I wish you great success with your production. I'm pleased that the sponsors are monks, as a former student of the monks of Downside Abbey.

Posted by Andreas Zampouridis

July 20th 2013

Dear Mr Nicholson, this is not a question, I just wanted to thank you for your amazing novels/films/plays. I especially liked 'The Windsinger Trilogy' and I absolutely l o v e d 'Les Misérables'. Thank you again, you deserve every single award. With very best wishes, Andreas

William Nicholson responded:

Thank you for taking the trouble to pass on your appreciation. It makes a difference. I hope you like my latest film, 'Mandela', coming out at the end of this year or early next year. I'm very proud of it.

Posted by David Macjones

July 12th 2013

i just saw the teaser for Mandela. I dont know if you wrote the narrative for the trailer but it gave me goosebumps! I can not wait to see the film. I love movies and im film director. im thinking about writing scripts. What advice would you give someone new to script writing?

William Nicholson responded:

No, the narrative for all trailers is composed by the specialists on making trailers. But the movie is even better. Advice: try and get work in a production company, maybe as a script reader (a very lowly job). You learn a lot and make connections.

Posted by Jonathan

July 11th 2013

How hard is Hollywood politics? You’ve stated in a number of interviews the lack or loss of control over your work under the banner ‘A film by...’. I’m wondering if the fight to own your own decry writer's integrity? Do these things aggravate relationships with the director or producers and do they discourage or frustrate you? I ask this question in view of writers creative differences which I am intrigued to understand in the maintenance and attaining process. Do the compromises you make end up depressing the ‘perfect’ script in respect of the final cinematic picture? As an advocate of original material I am always trying to avoid cliché or old stories because of ‘remake’ fever, so, how often do you try to look for original work or wish to compose ‘new’, in favour of accumulative works? I like new ideas because it saves on the process of rights but more importantly, a free reign to claim what is wholly mine(with SOME references). How much does the control they have, risk you selling your soul. I’m always writing and have a number of plays, short stories and scripts but feel the increasing strain of editor censorship, often by well meaning but...egotistical...critics. I graduated from the university of Southampton in 1999 and I am currently based in Chichester. Which begs me to ask the question...is it better to start in the theatre or first write a screenplay? A first step into the business can be quite scary and daunting at a higher or different level. Which is a return to my first question. I perhaps have a lot of queries but my concern is primarily toward the percentage of business against pleasure.

William Nicholson responded:

Business or pleasure? Both, I guess. It's work, with all the frustrations and dissatisfactions that most jobs bring, because you have to deal with that irritating element, other people. On the other hand that's what makes your work better than you ever thought possible. The truth is all film making is collaborative. Neither the director nor the writer can own or control the whole thing. Writing for the theatre is more purely a writer's medium, though there too the input of director (and often actors) is huge. I've ended up simply being grateful for being part of any project that works. You never know which one that's going to be.

Posted by MKS

July 8th 2013

I am a brit based screenwriter and I just read the speech that you gave at the launch of the International Screenwriters’ Festival. Excellent stuff and it really echoed how I have tried to conduct my dealings with producers and the industry in general thus far. Really great to hear such inspiring good sense. I currently have a project in the early stages that I took from unpromising material to a level that works and is attracting investment. I did that with the kind of attitude you described: Dropping my ego, teamwork and thinking of the budget. Great Speech!

William Nicholson responded:

It was a while ago I made that speech, so I'm glad it still feels relevant. The dropping the ego bit is the hardest, I guess because we're all so insecure. It gets easier as you grow older.

Posted by Charlie Maddaus

June 27th 2013

I love the line "We read to know we are not alone," from Shadowlands. While many in cyberspace credit C.S. Lewis with this quote, I know it was delivered by a student of his in the movie. Did Lewis say or write this? Or is this your creation? Thanks!

William Nicholson responded:

The line was written by me, not CSLewis - as was every other line in the play and movie, except one ('Suffering is God's megaphone to rouse a deaf world').