Screen and Film School are thrilled to announce our new patron: Graham Duff.
Graham is an experienced and prolific writer for screen, radio, stage and print, best known for sit-coms such as Ideal, Hebburn and Nebulous. Often taking inspiration from the worlds of music, horror, sci-fi and art house cinema, Graham’s scripts mix genres and cross boundaries.
They also attract some of the biggest names in British comedy, including Steve Coogan, Johnny Vegas, Mark Gatiss, Julia Davis, Sean Lock and Simon Pegg.
Graham joins us at a pivotal time for Screen and Film School, as we look towards the future opening of our Manchester campus and beyond. “One of the things which really marks out Screen and Film School is the fact that it’s primarily run by industry professionals with a wide range of practical experience behind them,” said Graham. “The school has a strong reputation for nurturing and developing the full spectrum of TV and film skills. There’s also a sense of experimentation and play here – it’s more than just a school, it’s a laboratory. If I was young and just starting to feel my way into the industry, this is where I’d want to be.”
“We are so excited and very grateful that Graham has agreed to become our patron.” said Screen and Film School Principal, Itziar Leighton. “I have seen first hand what an impact he has on students, providing not only insight and guidance which is so invaluable, but also delivered with such warmth and humour. Graham’s impressive body of work and his high standing in the industry will ensure we continue to develop courses which are current and meet the industry needs fully. We look forward to working together in the future, for the continued success of the Screen and Film School and of course our students.”
Graham also shared his advice for our students taking their first steps in the industry:
“You have to have passion and determination. Having those two things doesn’t mean you will automatically succeed. But without them you will automatically fail. You need passion for your craft because you will never stop learning and the work will take long, long hours. Without passion those hours will feel infinitely longer. As for determination, someone once asked me what I would be doing if I hadn’t broken into television – the answer was a simple one; I’d still be trying to break into television.”
Graham previously visited Screen and Film School in October, giving an inspiring masterclass to our students where he shared detailed insight about writing strategies and discussed ways of maximising student’s chances to get their script read and into development.
What other projects are in the works for Graham?
“I’ve always believed it’s important to have several projects in motion. Because some projects move slow and some move fast and you can never ever tell which ones will take off and get green lit. So you have to absolutely honour the spirit of each project. I’m currently developing a female ensemble comedy drama with Expectation Productions, as well as a literary adaptation with Lime Pictures. I’m also directing a feature documentary about the post-punk band Wire. Away from screen work I’m developing a sit-com for Radio 4 and writing a new book that mixes autobiography and film criticism: ‘Screen Times: A Life in 15 Films’. I also present a weekly on-line new music show called ‘Graham Duff’s Mixtape’ – I’m not a huge fan of free time!”
Welcome to Screen and Film School, Graham!
Always hit your deadlines. As a writer if you deliver scripts late you will make everyone else’s job harder. Every department, be it costume or set design or lighting or whatever, needs as much time as possible to prepare. If you deliver scripts late, everyone has less time to finesse what they are doing. In the end you are compromising your own vision, by denying others the chance to do their best work for your scripts.
on the most valuable lesson he's learnt in his career