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Harry Potter and The Final Draft..!

Posted by Nick Hennegan on Saturday, September 2, 2017 Under: Nick Hennegan
I'm writing THE screenplay.  You know, the one that is going to sell for thousands - if not millions - and means I don't have to worry about paying the rent ever again.  Because I can tell you, with rents as high as they are in London, it's a very big worry indeed!

I actually wrote the story for the screenplay when I was still at school in Birmingham.  That's a few years ago, believe me!  It's about a boy called George, who is 12 years old and when all the adults in the world disappear, including his parents, he has to find them and along the way, save the world. He's a bit of a wimp, but has certain powers that he knows nothing about although he learns how special he is as the story develops.

I turned this story, called George’s 7th Dimensions, into a film script when I managed to wangle my way onto the screenwriting option for my Masters degree.  This was about 8 years ago.  A former executive with the Hollywood film studio, Warner Brothers, got quite excited when he read the first act.  He told me the Harry Potter film franchise was coming to an end and he could see similarities between Harry and my George. I'd not read Harry Potter so couldn't really comment.  And it was only the first act because that was all I had to write for my Masters course.  The first act.  So that was all I did.

Then a few months ago I heard about the 20th Anniversary of Harry Potter and it reminded me of what the former Warner Bros exec had said.  He was comparing my script with Harry Potter.  A story that had made its struggling creator one of the richest women in the world.  I aint after that, of course.  Let’s face it, I’ll never be the richest woman in the world!  But having a  major player like my work and having a film made and sharing George and his foibles is Rather A Good Thing.  So I decided to try and get my finger out!

The point of this post though is not so much about how, once again, I’ve possibly looked a gift horse in the mouth then kicked its teeth in - but more about having decided to get the script finished, I then had to decide HOW to write it.  And what programme to use.

If you’ve listened to our podcast, ( you’ll know we get a lot of interest from other writers about the process of writing.  The hugely successful TV writer, Glen Chandler, who invented Scottish detective ‘Tagart’ (“There’s been a murder!”) just uses Word or any other programme. He doesn't think it’s important and didn't grow-up with screenwriting software.  But Final Draft seems to be the industry standard.  I’m working on a TV documentary script with chum Riaz and his go-to programme is FD.  It’s also horribly expensive though and when I updated my mac, it simply stopped working!  I found out I was not alone.  Marc Eliott, former Eastender and Holby City-er actor also writes and he had the same problem.  We compared our useless programmes over a pint one night.

What do you think?  Do you have a favourite writing programme?  Please let me know.  I’m writing this blog in Pages on a MacBook Air.

I sold an article though so I finally decided to take the plunge and upgrade Final Draft.   And I’m now putting the final touches to the last scenes and life has got easier.  Or has it?  FD has some cool features.  But when I tried a cast report, you can see from the photo what happened.  Characters names are in the left column.  Some names are repeated often and I can tell you there are not characters called EXT. DAY. ELSEWHERE.  And certainly there is no character called IT CAN NOT BE:

Where’s the pen and paper.

I’m doing something wrong.  

In : Nick Hennegan 

Tags: harry potter  final draft  screenplays  warner bros  birmingham  marc elliott  eastenders  holy city. 
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About Us

Nick Hennegan Hello. I'm Nick Hennegan and I started the London Literary Pub Crawl. Most of the blogs on here will be by me. I've always written but my first theatrical success was an adaptation of Shakespeare's 'Henry V' ( I founded Maverick Theatre in 1994. ( This pub crawl is really more a promenade theatre performance than a tour and I'm running it with a bunch of enthusiastic local actors and writers. I love sharing my passion for the area and the artists. I also present a weekly radio show, 'Literary London' on Resonance 104.4fm - London's Arts Station and a podcast on our site. If you haven't visited us in London yet, I hope you'll come soon. Have a look at my new site, And feel free to leave comments or email me at nick @ - I reply to them all and I love to hear from you.


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