Daniel Hayes

Lecturer in Digital Film Production

School of Technology, Business and Arts
Daniel Hayes staff profile photo

Daniel is an award-winning screenwriter and script consultant with over fifteen years’ experience in the film industry and an academic background in film, literature and creative writing.

Daniel originally studied a BA in English & American Literature at the University of Essex and was awarded a studentship for his MA in Film Studies. After graduating with a distinction, he trained with The Script Factory and worked extensively as a script reader for organisations such as Scottish Screen and Euroscript, as well as providing freelance script consultation. He was a senior development executive at a London-based independent film company and delivered workshops for the BBC and Media Trust. In 2012 he gained his second Masters with distinction, this time in Creative Writing and Screenwriting from the University of East Anglia.

As a writer, Daniel has had numerous films optioned, commissioned and produced including digital shorts for the UK Film Council and Screen East. In 2017, he was identified as a “broadcasting star of the future” on the BBC’s New Talent hotlist.

Daniel’s feature film VS. (2018) was developed with BBC Films and produced by Silvertown Films and Wildgaze. It premiered at the BFI London Film Festival and was released in major international cinema chains, receiving a 5-star review from Jamal Edwards at SBTV and 4-star reviews in The Guardian (Peter Bradshaw), The Times, Metro and Total Film. It was Sight & Sound’s Film of the Week and longlisted for three BIFAs including the Breakthrough Award for Debut Screenwriter. In 2019 it won both the Hitchcock Award for Best Screenplay at the Dinard Film Festival and the audience award at the Univerciné film festival, Nantes. In 2020, Daniel was nominated for the Writer’s Guild of Great Britain’s Best First Screenplay award.

Daniel is currently working on TV series CHOREOGRAPHY with award-winning director Jane Gull as well as developing a number of his own film, television and radio projects.



Film Genre

Adaptation & Interpretation

Writing for Television

Contemporary Television: Studies in Format and Genre

Professional Practice (contributor)

Development and Story Design: Final Project (contributor)

Screenwriting: Final Project (contributor)

Research interests

Extreme Cinema, British TV Drama (including the work of Jack Thorne and Dominic Savage), The films of David Cronenberg, Alternative Narrative in Film and Screenwriting Theory.