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Red Planet Commiserations (Or How Danny Stack Was Saved)

Congratulations to everyone who got through on Red Planet – you all know who you are and I’m VERY pleased so many Bang2writers got through again. There’s some talented scribes out there.

Commiserations though to everyone who DIDN’T make the cut. Remember, it’s easy to denigrate your efforts on the basis of this result, but please don’t. Just because you didn’t doesn’t mean you’re shit, your script is just not what RP is looking for. I’m not saying this from a lofty position of “I’ve got through, loo-hoo-ser-huh” either, ‘cos I didn’t. Again. I won’t lie either: it smarts, especially when I have a draft ready to go. But you know what? Happens. Get over it. We all have to.

It sounds cheesy, but at times like these you have to take stock and assess what you DO have. I have plenty of other opportunities and irons in the fire, but even if I didn’t, I DO have a good script. I know this, because I have shown it to loads of people – that’s the beauty of feedback: you get to know if you are kidding yourself or not. If I had hidden my script away on my desktop, showing it only to Red Planet, then I would probably be deleting it right now. Remember – what works at one place, doesn’t always at another. So always make sure you show your script to as many people as possible, you never know when you will need that feedback to verify your own sense of self esteem, if nothing else! Whatever it takes to keep going, I say.

Also, one very good thing about being a script reader and blogger is of course I have either read or heard about what others are doing. Many, many of the scripts that have got through are either period or supernatural, or both. My script is neither: it’s a present day medical drama. Perhaps it’s not high concept enough? In that case, that’s absolutely nothing to do with my writing. However good it is, if it’s high concept they want – I’m just not ticking the right box.

But you live and learn. What’s more, I’ve had an acre of a feedback, a learning curve, lots of ideas and know EXACTLY where I’m going next with my draft. Peace of mind. Aaaaaah.

So DON’T PANIC if you didn’t get through. You might be tuning into the blogs thinking everyone did and you didn’t, I know I felt like that last night and almost ordered a hit on Danny Stack (you got lucky, boy). But hey: you’re not alone. Most of us are out. All is not lost. So chill, have a coffee, go back to your draft – send it somewhere else. I know I will be.

So if any producers out there wants a modern day medical drama with llamas in it, you know where I am.

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20 thoughts on “Red Planet Commiserations (Or How Danny Stack Was Saved)”

  1. Just one frame would be good enough for me: as long as I get my daily shot of llamatic goodness.

    It’s too early to commiserate you, madam. The last Red Planet Prize blog-post said that it would be updated when everyone had been notified. So I’m saying they haven’t all been notified yet…

  2. Maybe, but it seems a little odd that so many bloggers all find out on the same day… Not to mention a stack of Bang2writers emailing me last night too! Think the last whistle has probably blown… But not to worry! I can just tell myself my script clearly never got there by snail mail, lol

  3. You probably need to add some references to the president-elect of the USA. Not to mention a guest appearance by Britian’s most successful female pop trio of the 80s. And a man who keeps a farm. And some ham from a particular city in Italy. While everybody tries to be more placid. And tries on bedclothes. Then you could have the ultimate genre-bending classic [deep breath now]…

    An Obama-llama- farmer-Bananarama- Parma-calmer-pyjama-drama.

    I’ll get me coat.

  4. Danny says on the RP Blog Spot that people through to the second round will be notified by next week. Do you have info we don’t, Lucy?

  5. Hey Darren – nope, no insider info! And I suppose it is possible they’re still working their way through piles… Just for a sudden flurry of finalists to just as abruptly abate, I would just imagine it’s all over bar the fat lady singing, ’tis all. But, as you point out: she hasn’t ACTUALLY sung, yet. So you never know.

  6. Curious to know from your sort-of-but-not-quite inside perspective, off all the people who read for who have told you they made it through, were they all ones that you expected to? Didn’t you say sometime that you’d read about 60 scripts that were being submitted? Was it obvious which ones would go through? Might indicate how much you were on the same wavelength as them.

  7. It’s a good question Terraling, but not really one I feel comfortable answering fully… I wouldn’t want to talk out of turn, since a script reader is kinda like a priest I reckon! ; )

    What I can say (because he’s mentioned it himself) is I’ve read Adaddinsane’s MONSTERS several times in several inceptions (though interestingly not for this round of RP) and given RP’s bent towards supernatural this year, I am unsurprised this script has got through. It’s well-written, well-conceived and has an interesting lead (female!) character.

  8. Oh, forgot to ask… was it generally known that RP were looking for supernatural stuff this year?

    Or is that just how it appears, given the second round successes?

  9. Mate, if I’d been aware of the fact RP was after high concept, I’d have never written a medical drama!

    In retrospect, it would seem RP have a bias towards period and supernatural. Last year three Bang2writers got through the first round with supernatural and one with a period piece. Sam J, The Red Prize winner last year, was a period biopic of Samuel Johnston of course. This year, loads of supernatural scripts got through the first round. It’s also worth remembering that TJ is known for high concept series, including Life on Mars and Hustle.

    But of course – who the hell knows what’ll happen next year? End of the day one can only guess – which is why a writer should ALWAYS write what they want spec-wise, not try and guess the market.

  10. Elinor – it’s not pathetic, the fat lady HASN’T sung yet rmbr!

    Potdoll – I’m sure they will too and I’ve always wanted to write one, so I’m glad RP prompted me too, especially since it’s a lot tougher than it bloody looks, had some REALLY interesting feedback so far…

  11. A fat lady here and I’m not singing. I’ve not heard anything either and mine was supernatural.

    Not clutching at straws. More like grabbing at gossamer.

    Well done all of you who got through. Your anguished posts in the run-up showed you were all working very hard at it so well earned.

    For those like me still waiting. Dig out the chocolate.

  12. Well… the fat lady has just sung for me!

    I got an email, about an hour ago, confirming that my submission had ‘not been shortlisted’.

    And I thought short listed was two words…

    Or is that me just being bitter?

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