Script Surgeon
Script Surgeon

Who are we?

Tom Salinsky Philippa Waller Deborah Frances-White

The script surgeons are Tom Salinsky, Philippa Waller and Deborah Frances-White - three friends who have written, performed and worked together for nearly ten years.

Our story

The Wedding Pact is a first time screenplay which Deborah, Philippa and LA-based Monica Henderson wrote together in cafes and living rooms. Following months of work, rehearsed readings at the Soho Theatre and RADA, and much more work they felt ready to send it out.

The screenplay was well received and got the team a great Hollywood screenwriting manager who attached a producer who in turn quickly sold the screenplay to Fox Searchlight in 2007. This led to them being represented by a top Hollywood agency. The team was immediately asked to pitch to all the major Hollywood studios where they sold another idea which is currently in development. From this success the team were recommended to a British company who are raising funds for another project at the moment. The team have attended the Cannes Film Festival in '07 and '08 for pitching and relationship building. They are currently busy with solo and joint projects in development and on spec.

Screenwriters and film-makers in the UK and USA regularly consult Tom for his notes on their scripts and he currently has a TV drama in development.

How did we learn this stuff?

Deborah Frances-White and Tom Salinsky formed The Spontaneity Shop in 1996 to teach, perform and develop improvised comedy. Last year Continuum published The Improv Handbook, Tom and Deborah's guide to improvisation with a strong emphasis on storying telling, character and learning to switch off the censor and trust your own ideas - all crucial skills for screenwriters.

Philippa Waller, a RADA-trained actor and writer/performer, joined the company in 2000 and together with the company they developed an improvised romantic comedy format called DreamDate for which they recently sold the worldwide television rights to Fremantle Media. Deborah, Philippa and Tom have years of experience of improvising whole romantic comedies, comedy plays, scenes and sketches from start to finish in front of an audience - we really know how stories work!

Because we're improvisers and experienced writer/performers we know what makes an audience laugh. We've had to depend on our scripts ourselves, instead of letting another actor take the risk for us.

Other things you might like to know about our team

Deborah and Tom have written for BBC Radio 4, Deborah's play was chosen by Academy Award winning screenwriter Christopher Hampton for the Cameron McIntosh New Writing Festival at Oxford University and Philippa was the recipient of a Peggy Ramsay Foundation Award for writing. Deborah was recently asked to consult on a new film from award winning Lebanese auteur Philippe Aractingi who wrote and directed Under the Bombs.

Deborah and Philippa also presented a screenwriting seminar at The Writers Guild of Great Britain and have planned a writing and pitching seminar for 2009. WATCH THIS SPACE FOR DATES!

What other movies do we admire?

The Apartment | Dr Strangelove | Four Weddings and a Funeral | Back to the Future | Annie Hall | Memento | When Harry Met Sally | In Bruges | His Girl Friday | Go | Aladdin | Die Hard | Pulp Fiction | Singin' in the Rain | Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

If none of these appeal to you, you should probably look for help elsewhere. ;-)

On the other hand, if you like the sound of this, send us your script.