University of Wolverhampton graduate, Bobby Lee Darby, has written his way to success as a screenwriter in Hollywood and recently gave an inspiring guest lecture to current students hoping to follow in his footsteps.
Bobby, 30 from Dudley, graduated in Video and Film Production from the University in 2006. Having always had ambitions to be a scriptwriter he was determined to pursue a career in the film industry and did a variety of research jobs including being a runner for programmes including Real Deal and Most Haunted.
After graduating, Bobby, who writes with another University of Wolverhampton graduate, Nathan Brookes, enjoyed early success with his first script which won acclaim at the Slam Dance Horror Screenplay Festival. The duo got their first taste of the Hollywood experience when the script was picked up by Maverick Red, a company owned by Madonna.
He said: “I flew to Utah to pick up my award and all of a sudden things started to escalate – I had no manager, no representation, no contract and a cheque for $10,000! Unfortunately, the film fell apart and never went into production. At that stage I thought my career was over before it had even begun.
“Networking is crucial in the industry as is managing business relationships. I attended all kinds of events – producers’ forums, screenwriters’ events, film festivals – and I continued to write scripts and eventually secured a manager who steered my career in the right direction. The highs and lows of the industry make you work harder but if you’re determined enough I think I’ve shown that the road from the Black Country to LA isn’t as far as you might think.”
Bobby has been writing for WWE Studios based in Los Angeles, having written the script for the sequel to See No Evil and his next film, 12 Rounds 3: Lockdown, has enjoyed success in America and is due to be released in Britain in January 2016. His aim is to direct films in the future.
Tracy McCoy, Head of Department of Film, Media & Broadcasting at the University of Wolverhampton, said: “Bobby is such an inspiring individual and it was really useful for our current students to see what kind of opportunities are available and how they can connect with the right people, understand the market and be confident about who they are. Bobby’s is a truly inspiring story with humble beginnings.”
Robert Brady, 21 from Sheffield, and in his third year studying Video and Film Production, said: “This was definitely an inspiring session which really motivated me to further pursue a career in scriptwriting and directing. I want to make something really memorable and follow in the footsteps of Ridley Scott and James Cameron. I chose the University of Wolverhampton because the course stood out, it seemed to be a very creative and friendly environment and it’s equipped with the latest technology.”
The University of Wolverhampton offers an entirely tapeless workflow system and has installed an HD field studio for multi-cam streaming of events and small TV shows as part of its Video and Film Production courses. Anyone interested in studying at the University can check out the range of courses on the website: www.wlv.ac.uk or visit us at our next Open Event on Saturday 6th February 2016.
From left to right, former student Bobby Lee Darby and current student, Robert Brady.