As a child, I dreamt of being a cinematographer in Hollywood (as you do) but then real life got in the way (as it does), so I put my creative genius (!) to other uses. Then I woke up one morning a few years back, with a movie playing in my head, a story I was desperate to tell. I told myself, “This HAS to be a screenplay so I better learn how to write one.” Since that creative bomb went off in my brain, I have worked hard to expand my knowledge of the industry and develop my writing… Read More »3 Reasons Why BBC’s HAPPY VALLEY Scared Me Shi*less
Delighted to have the brilliant Sally Abbott on the blog today to tell us about her work as a TV screenwriter in continuing drama – amongst other things! Sally is a real powerhouse and has been involved in all SORTS of things over the years and this summer dips a toe in feature filmmaking too. She offers some fab insights into the industry and writing that I really agree with, but I won’t spoil it for you. Read and enjoy! 1) If you could describe yourself in 3 words, what would they be and why? Obsessive – which is a polite… Read More »Women & Writing # 4: Sally Abbott, TV Screenwriter
The energy, commitment and sheer track record of the speakers at this week’s BBC Future Fiction Summit left one thing in little doubt: The digital revolution is not just here, its rapid expansion is fast setting the agenda for screenwriters, independents and major broadcasters alike. An opening Q&A with YouTube’s Rosie Allimonos (Head of Content Partnerships) brought home the impact online viewing is having on drama production. A recent addition to its viral and VOD platforms, YouTube’s original content via its funded channels is extending the platform’s reach far beyond its traditional user base. And, judging by the views they’re… Read More »BBC Future Fiction Summit: What Next For Drama?
Welcome to Dumpsville, population: you. Getting fired from a writing gig – or being told they won’t be commissioning you again – is never fun. Sometimes the end is a blessed relief after weeks or months of miserable, fruitless toil. Other times it’s a bolt from the blue, and that’s much worse. Some freelancers just get months of radio silence and delays until, eventually, they realise there isn’t another job coming their way. I’ve been fired from a writing gig, but I’ve also been a commissioning editor, dispensing with the services of other creatives. So, why do writing commissions go… Read More »5 Reasons Why Writing Commissions Go Awry
Many thanks to my ol’ mucker Janine Jones, who I went to primary school with, for this write up! ————————————– Kicking off the TV Drama Writers’ Festival with a dry and funny look at Ambition, Peter Bowker (Eric and Ernie, Occupation, Monroe) explained ambitious projects are not necessarily high-concept and big budget. The ambition is to make great British television – through fantastic characters, solid stories and brave subject matter. For me it was an opportunity to be in a room with my writing heroes, Lucy Gannon, Alice Nutter, Jack Thorne and Paula Milne. So yes, I was happy just… Read More »BBC Writers’ Festival by Janine Jones
Carrying on from yesterday, here’s the second part of Jeremy Allen’s run-down.—————————————————-How does the role of commissioner add to the creative process? Put simply, ‘commissioners are able to provide distance…they are able to stand back and ask questions’. This is because they see the script’s progress at intermittent stages. Ben describes these intermittent stages as ‘milestones’, which roughly break down into ‘commission, pre-production and edit’. A common flaw Ben sees in the journey of the script is that it can lose its original vision: what the writer wanted to say in the first place, or even what it was about… Read More »GUEST POST: Ben Stephenson Q & A by Jeremy Allen (Part 2)
Bang2writer Jeremy Allen is back, this time with a fantastic two-part run-down of Ben Stephenson’s talk at De Montfort University earlier this year. Jeremy has made sure Ben has approved these articles himself, so you can be sure of their accuracy and depth. Enjoy!———————————————–Ben Stephenson has been controller of BBC drama commissioning since September 2008, with an annual budget of around £200 million at his disposal and ultimate say over what gets aired. Yet he’s still a sprightly 33. So far Ben has presided over the commissioning of several critically acclaimed pieces, from last year’s sweeping adaptation of Andrea Levy’s… Read More »GUEST POST: Ben Stephenson’s Talk at De Montfort University by Jeremy Allen (Part 1)