Three TV Writers What do Rachel Flowerday (co-creator & writer of “Father Brown” with Tahsin Guner and writer of The Moonstone”with Sasha Hails), Roland Moore (creator & writer of Land Girls) and Sally Abbott (creator & writer of The Coroner) have in common? All three of these writers got their big break writing for Doctors. From there on their paths diverged. It took Sally five years to get a second gig writing for Doctors, proving that you should never give up! Eventually she found her way into continuing drama, which is also the route Rachel took. Roland meanwhile continued writing… Read More »How To Write Daytime TV Drama
BBC Writers Academy
All about Short Films Short films are a great way of developing your skills, getting credits and learning the craft. In addition, short films can help you get into festivals, which in turn helps you network and meet more people in the industry. And if you can get an award, suddenly, you are an award-winning writer! We recently received funding from Arts Council England, so here is some of what I’ve learnt. This is all my personal advice. There are many people who have done none of what I’m suggesting and have still made great short films. This is one… Read More »6 Steps To Making Short Films
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
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
Richard Standen asks on Twitter: I’m a writing graduate with 2 shorts I’ve written screening at festivals. Where should/can I look to find that first paid job? Getting work AND getting paid for it is the Holy Grail for most writers – it’s fair to say most of us dream of giving up our day jobs. In terms of finding your first paid job as a writer, I’d recommend following these steps: WHAT do I want to do? Think first of your mega dream job. Don’t worry if it’s working for continuing drama or writing for huge Hollywood action epics, this… Read More »Quick Question: How Do I Find A Paid Writing Gig?
Many thanks to Charlie Boddington who rounded up Aunty script reader NuttyNatter aka Katie B’s thoughts from Twitter on the BBC Writers’ Academy sample scripts this this year. Haven’t seen them? Check out the post here. Some of the more experienced amongst you will see the “usual” things bandied about – distinctive voice, strong dialogue, etc, plus the notion “structure can be taught”. Bang2writers often express UTTER DISBELIEF to me when various scripts they’ve read get attention on the basis they’re a shambles, but in real terms, there is that elusive “je ne se quois” sometimes that gets a writer… Read More »Creating 3D Female Characters
Wow. Just WOW. Words can’t describe the fantastic experience I had at London Screenwriters’ Festival but as we all know I’m not going to let a little *thing* like that try and stop me, so I’ll have a go. Regent’s College was amazing. The production staff, volunteers and helper-outers were amazing. The delegates were amazing! Everything was amazing! Oh, you want more? Okay: Friday. I didn’t have any sessions of my own on the Friday so I was tweeting and Facebooking like a mad thing. Leilani was the official blogger for the festival, you can check out all her amazing… Read More »London Screenwriters’ Festival 2010
Here’s Helen’s final set of notes from The Story Engine. Enjoy!———————————The Future of Shorts Panel: Rebecca Mark Lawson, Samm Halliday, Dany Stack, Carol Machin With the scheme-based model of short film making on the verge of changing, the panel discussed success stories and speculated on how the future might look. Rebecca – has the shorts contract with the Film Council, Digital Shorts, etc.Samm – producer of drama for cinema and gallery installationsDanny – filmmaker and screenwriterCarol – Northern Film and Media There was a bit of discussion on the history of shorts, eg. the 10 minute, £10K films. Other schemes… Read More »Guest Post: The Story Engine 2010 pt 3 by Helen Bang
Two days at the Soho Theatre in Dean Street for The Script Factory’s take on TV drama. Mornings featured lectures by Rob Ritchie: four-act structure, handling multiple storylines, writing to immovable deadlines, dialogue vs. pictures, rules and conventions of British TV drama formats… and that was just the first morning. As ever with Script Factory courses, participants receive a helpful binder of notes covering the content in great detail. I’ve heard some Script Factory presenters simply read these notes out, which is dull, but Ritchie was far more adept, rounding out the printed content with explanation, anecdote and reminder, deftly… Read More »Guest Post: The TV Forum at The Script Factory by Hilary Wright
Hi All, Unfortunately I didn’t make it to the next workshop stage of The Writer’s Academy… Again. Third year in a row now. C’est La Vie. Thanks to everyone for their lovely messages of moral support. Obviously I’m massively disappointed, but there’s always next year. You gotta be in it to win it, etc. I’ll believe that tomorrow.
Just passing through… Mega busy this week reading and trying to get a rewrite AND a treatment done, so here goes: NO SPOILERS. As my Twitter legion and Facebookers already know, I went to see Ken Loach’s latest LOOKING FOR ERIC on a free showing yesterday. It’s written by the mighty Paul Laverty, Loach’s long time screenwriter partner and yet again they’ve produced a thought-provoking drama, with plenty of laughs and pathos. “Ken Loach” and the word “depressing” often feature heavily in reviews, but I can tell you there’s nothing remotely depressing about Looking For Eric, even though it’s actually… Read More »Looking for Eric (No Spoilers), Slash & Other Stuff
Okay, my Writers’ Academy application has FINALLY gone in time for the deadline. I only had to re-read my sample four times, check the application obsessively, cross my fingers, stand on my head and drink four beers to press “send” as well. Result. Now, my minions, please join me in prayer: “To The God of Screenwriters (Tony Jordan), Please ensure my application gets to the top of the pile by any means necessary, fair or foul so I can go into the BBC Centre, be blessed by the Dalek of Good Fortune in the lobby and walk through the workshops… Read More »Sent!