Like many people out in www.land, I had a few issues with my script for the Sharps initiative. Thirty minutes’ worth of quality, stand alone spec drama is harder to produce than one might initially think. Finding a story that “fits” is difficult: too small and you end up with an extended short (which *feels* somehow desperate); too big and you end up with a compressed feature which feels thwarted and cut off in its prime. Both are ultimately dissatisfying to read.
So I was quite pleased with my final effort, LINE UP. Ultimately a comedy drama, the first draft was a little top heavy structurally and contained several preachy scenes that needed to be excised with a sledgehammer. The second draft was met with a lukewarm response from one reader due to a “suspension of disbelief” problem and a couple of others who felt my gay character was a stereotype (though interestingly, an openly gay friend offering feedback felt the same character was “spot on”! Very confusing). The third draft however tied up several of these issues and was met with generally an enthusiastic response. Which was nice.
So I sent LINE UP off to Sharps on June 7th, sure I had as good as chance as any: after all, I had done my prep, had plenty of feedback (my original Po3 turned into about a Po12, with the feedback god that is David Bishop going waaaaaay beyond the call of duty, thanks mate) AND I had got the script in, in plenty of time BEFORE the deadline.
Of course, this could mean two things other than my script never arriving at The Beeb: it may have been logged and my email sent, only AOL did not deliver it to me (wouldn’t be the first time – and Chip, also an AOLer, very kindly points out he had the same problem on David’s blog). It may also be that, because my script was early to arrive, it ended up on the bottom of the pile somewhere in the dark depths of the Writers’ Room. I emailed Aunty yesterday and someone helpfully confirmed that there are still many scripts to log, so there is still a good chance it’s in a pile still waiting. We’ll have to wait and see, nothing else to do now at this late stage.
Of course, any disappointment on (possibly) missing out on this opportunity is based on the assumption I really DID have “as good a chance as any”, lol. Maybe Line Up got to the Writers’ Room and it’s already been opened and discarded like the dog it *really* is… ; )
If you have any Sharps reflections you’d like to share, feel free…
UPDATE: Robin offers some really interesting thoughts about his rewriting process for Sharps here.