John Foster

Position: Lecturer
Email: fosterj@regents.ac.uk
Faculty: Drama, Film and Media

Professional Biography

John Foster teaches screenwriting at the Media School of Bournemouth University, Regent's School of Drama, Film & Media and Regent's American College London.  He is visiting lecturer at University Complutense and University Rey Juan Carlos, Madrid. 

He teaches on British Council overseas script development programmes and has worked with students in Ghana and Sri Lanka.  He has published fiction in the Guardian and Spectator, written for radio and the theatre, worked as a script editor and researcher for the BBC, Central and Granada.  His screenwriting credits include many episodes for TV series such as Z-Cars, Softly Softly, Crown Court, Emmerdale, Juliet Bravo, Rockliffe, Saracen, The Bill.  He has also written childrens' serials, one-off dramas and dramatised documentaries for television, including a BAFTA award-winning BBC Omnibus on crime novelist Raymond Chandler.  The movie of his screenplay Letters from a Killer featured Patrick Swayze in the lead role and he is contributor to the award-winning crime fiction collection, Mean Time. 

He has been involved in the creation of multi-media dance dramas and is is the writer of Little Boy, a play staged at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.  Several of his stage plays have since been performed and he is currently engaged in writing for the theatre.

Qualifications

  • Industrial employment, experience and screen credits in the film and television industry.

Relevant Past Employment

  • 2011, Appointed Visiting Fellow, The Media School, Bournemouth University.
  • 2009 – 2011, Programme Leader, MA Writing for the Media, The Media School, Bournemouth University.
  • 1992 – 2006, Principal Lecturer/Screenwriter-in-Residence, Bournemouth University.
  • 2001 – 2004, Chair, BMS Cultural Diversity Working Party; BMS representative Equality and Diversity Steering Group; programmer Purbeck Film Festival at the University and Diversity Day Cultural Diversity movie screenings.
  • 1999 – 2004, Script Development Workshop Leader to Scriptnet – working overseas with upcoming Ghanaian (1999 and 2004) and Sri Lankan (2002 and 2003) screenwriters in the development of new short screenplays. 
  • 1988 – 1992, Visiting Fellow, Bournemouth Polytechnic
  • 1988 – 1992, Guest Lecturer, Bournemouth Institute for Higher Education / Bournemouth Polytechnic
  • 1975 – 2001, Guest Lecturer Arvon Foundation, various schools and writers' organisations.
  • 1975  - 1992, Freelance film & television screenwriter
  • 1974 – 1975, Acting Deputy Head BBC Television Script Unit, BBC Television, London
  • 1971 – 1973, Writer's Attachment, Drama Group, BBC Television, London & Birmingham
  • 1966 – 1971, Freelance film & television screenwriter.
  • 1963 – 1966, Freelance print writer.

Professional Affiliation(s)/Accreditation

  • Writers' Guild of Great Britain (WGGB) – Full Member.  (1970).
  • Society of Authors – Full Member.  (2008).
  • Crime Writers' Assocation – Full Member.  (2000).
  • National Association of Writers in Education (NAWE) – Full Member.  (2005).

Teaching & Course Development

Teaching:

  • 2012, Script Development Supervisor Major Script Projects MA Writing for the Media, The Media School, Bournemouth University.
  • 2012, Screenwriting Guest Lecturer, The Media School, Bournemouth University.
  • 2011 – current, Senior Lecturer in scriptwriting for undergraduate degree programmes at Regent's American College London.
  • 2010 – current, Consultant and Senior Lecturer for Batchelor and Masters degree programmes at Regent's School of Drama, Film & Media.
  • 2009 – 2012, Programme Leader, MA Writing for the Media, The Media School, Bournemouth University.
  • 2008 – 2012, Subject Leader, Screenwriting Programmes; Programme Leader, BA (Hons) Scriptwriting for Film and Television, The Media School, Bournemouth University.
  • 2008 – 2008, Specialist Tutor in Screenwriting, Skillset Four Corners Workshop Development, Bournemouth Screen and Media Academy.
  • 2008 – current, Visiting Lecturer in Screenwriting at the Facultad Ciencias de la Comunicación of the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Madrid.
  • 2007 – 2010, Tutor in Creative Writing, Adult Education, Arts Institute Bournemouth.
  • 2007 – 2011, Participant in Erasmus staff mobility exchange with Universidad Rey Juan Carlos de Madrid.
  • 2006 – 2008, Programme Leader, MA Screenwriting, The Media School, Bournemouth University.
  • 2003 – 2004, Teaching and supervising screenplay developments on Film Council funded course on Adaptation, The Media School, Bournemouth University.

Couse Development:

  • At the Media School, Bournemouth University
  • BA (Hons) Writing for Film and Television
  • MA Screenwriting
  • MA Writing for the Media

Research Supervision

  • Supervision of MA coursework research at:
    o Regent's College
    o Bournemouth University

Examining

External Examiner:

  • External Examiner, University of  Bedfordshire – MA by Research.  2006.
  • External Examiner, Birkbeck University of London.  2007 – 2011.
  • External Subject Adviser Screenwriting, Glasgow Caledonian University – course validation event.  2008.
  • External Subject Adviser Screenwriting, Brunel University – course validation event.  2008.
  • External Examiner, University of Bedfordshire.  2008 – 2012

Internal Examiner:
Regent's University London:

  • Undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.  2010 – current.

Bournemouth University:

  • Undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.  1992  – current.
  • Course validations.  1992 – 2011.

Research Interests

  • Cinema, especially Spanish and Latin American Cinema, World Cinema and American Independent Cinema. 
  • Television History (drama, dramatised documentary and documentary).
  • Screenwriting and Script Development Issues.
  • Theatre and Theatre History.
  • Creativity.

Publications

Production and Publication Credits
Theatre:

  • JEKYLL AND HYDE (upcoming), Lighthouse Studio, Poole, in October 2012.
  • DEATH OF A MODEL CITIZEN (upcoming), Bournemouth Arts Festival, October 2012.
  • LETTERS FROM FUKUSHIMA, Washington DC, March 2012.
  • VIGILANTE,  Charing Cross Theatre, January 2012.
  • FACES OF THE DEAD, Battersea Arts Centre, 2011.
  • DEATH OF A MODEL CITIZEN, Bournemouth Arts Festival, 2011.
  • FIVE GO KILLING, Bournemouth Arts Festival, October 2011. 
  • THE MURDER WIFE, Bournemouth Arts Festival, October 2011.
  • HAP, Bournemouth 2011, funded Bournemouth Arts.
  • CHUMMY, Bournemouth, 2011.
  • FIVE GO KILLING, Poole Literary Festival, 2010.
  • LITTLE BOY, Courtyard Theatre, London, and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, August 2008.  Writer/Director/Producer.

Television  (1966 – 2006)
Drama Series – Contributing Writer:

  • Z-CARS, BBC Television
  • SOFTLY, SOFTLY, BBC Television
  • SUTHERLAND'S LAW, BBC Television
  • SPYTRAP, BBC Television
  • JULIET BRAVO, BBC Television
  • ROCKLIFFE, BBC Television
  • CROWN COURT, Granada Television
  • A FAMILY AT WAR, Granada Television
  • THE PRACTICE, Granada Television(format creator)
  • EMMERDALE, Yorkshire Television
  • ROOMS, Thames Television
  • THE BILL, Thames Television
  • SARACEN, Central Television
  • LUIFEL & LUIFEL, Blue Horse (Holland)

One-Off Dramas (1966 – 2006)

  • THE TRAVELLING COMPANION, Bournemouth Media School.
  • KING CINDER, BBC Television.
  • WATCH ALL NIGHT, Granada Television.
  • HEADHUNTERS, BBC Television
  • INSIDE TRACK, BBC Television.
  • ‘OMNIBUS' ON RAYMOND CHANDLER  - DOWN THESE MEAN STREETS, BAFTA award winner, BBC Television.
  • PROSPECT 125, BBC Television.
  • POWER STRUGGLE, Granada Television.
  • ONE AFTERNOON,  BBC Television.
  • TROUBLEMAKERS, Central Television.
  • MONTH OF THE DOCTORS, BBC Television.
  • THIRTY MINUTE THEATRE, two studio dramas, BBC Television.
  • MURDER, two one-hour dramas, Granada Television.
  • NOBODY KNOWS, Canadian Broadcasting Company.
  • THE KILLER TRILOGY, one-hour film dramas, Yorkshire Television.
  • THE ROSE MEDALLION, dramatisation of the James Grant novel, BBC Television.
  • IN YOUR OWN HANDS, Westward Television.
  • GWEN, Channel 4 Television.
  • GOLD, BBC Television Bristol.
  • THE MURDER MAN, ITC & South Australian Film Corporation.
  • THE CRIME BROKER, Portman Entertainment & C4 & Sogavision.
  • A LICENCE TO LIVE, HTV.

Cinema (1998 – 2000)

  • LETTERS FROM A KILLER, J&M + Tortuga Entertainment Ltd, released 1998.
  • PROMISING MATERIAL, Channel 4 Television. 
  • MARCOS, Channel 4 Television.

Short Fiction (1963 – 2000)

  • The Guardian
  • The Spectator
  • BBC Radio-4
  • SHOTS Crime Fiction Quarterly
  • MEAN TIME, edited by Jerry Sykes

Journalism (1963 – 2000)

  • Tribune
  • BBC Radio-4 Talks
  • Crime Time
  • SHOTS Crime Fiction Quarterly

Books  (1980 – 2000)

  • KING CINDER, BBC Publications
  • WATCH ALL NIGHT, Penguin/Puffin
  • THE CRIME TIME FILM BOOK, No Exit Press (contributor)

Radio Drama (1980 – 2000)

  • BBC Radio Four
  • BBC World Service

Other Outputs

  • Competition Judge, One Voice Youth Film Festival, YMCA, 2012.
  • Competition Judge, One Voice Youth Film Festival, YMCA, 2012.
  • Erasmus research visit to Universidad Rey Juan Carlos and Universidad Complutense, Madrid.  Ongoing study of the work of Basque-Spanish writer/director Julio Medem.  2011.
  • Script Development Supervisor and Joint Project Manager, Arts, Media and Community. 
  • Research Project with local schools hosted by Bournemouth University and funded by the Centre of Excellence for Media Practice.  2011.
  • Artist/Workshop Leader of Beachcomber Writing Day at Hengistbury Head for the Arts in the Community Unit, Bournemouth Library.  2010.
  • Specialist Writing Consultant at the  Lit Up! Writing Day at Upton County Park for the Arts in the Community Unit, Poole.  2009.
  • Guest Speaker in Visual Screenwriting, Skillset Four Corners Workshop Development, Bournemouth Screen and Media Academy.  2009.
  • Co-Judge of Bournemouth University short story competition.  2009.
  • Artist/Workshop Leader of Encounter Writing Day at Upton County Park for the Arts in the Community Unit, Poole.  2009.
  • Specialist Tutor in Screenwriting, Skillset Four Corners Workshop Development, Bournemouth Screen and Media Academy.  2008.

Conference Papers Given

  • Dark Romance in Film.  Salon London.  2012.
  • Writing for the Digital Age.  Chartered Institute of Marketing.  2010.
  • Evolving Narratives in the Digital Age.  Festival: Solidario Solidaridar.  Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Madrid.  2010.
  • Teaching Screenwriting.  Annual Conference National Association of Writers in Education, Southampton.  2009.
  • Trouble as it Happens: the Impact of  Z-Cars.  Annual Conference Popular Culture/American Culture Associations of America, New Orleans, USA.  2009.
  • Social Advertising in UK Popular Television Drama.  Festival: Solidario Solidaridar.  Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Madrid.  2009.
  • Time and Silence: Julio Medem's Feminist Time Traveller.  Conference: Poetics to Come, Poetics of Mourning at Universidad Complutense, Madrid.  2008.
  • Memory and Film. Conference: Imágenes y Cultura en los Medios de Comunicación at Universidad Complutense, Madrid.  2008.
  • Social Advertising.  Conference: II Jornada Universitaria de Publicdad Social at Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Madrid.  2008.

Grants Awarded

  • Grant Awards for five plays for theatre from Arts Bournemouth.
  • Grants from Centre of Excellence in Media Practice for research development into workshop strategies in the teaching of screenwriting.

Last updated: 08 December 2017