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Bluecat, Birthday Bleeurgh & Sea Monkey Massacres

So I went to Gordy Hoffman’s Bluecat Workshop at the weekend – many notes to follow later this week, despite the fact that at approximately 3pm I suddenly got the DREADED LURGEE and starting sneezing like some kind of Snuffelufagas. (Very attractive: I blame Kevin Lehane, personally – he was looking dodgy if you ask me; I’m sure he brought some Irish germs with him). But anyway, even though I attended only the Saturday (it was a two day thing), it was very informative and fun. And Gordy’s a great guy. But hell, you knew that. The fact that I… Read More »Bluecat, Birthday Bleeurgh & Sea Monkey Massacres

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BlueCat Comes to London!

You must have been hiding under a rock if you don’t already know that Gordy Hoffman and his excellent BlueCat Workshops are coming to London in August. What you may not know however is that I will be there too! I’ll be at the weekend workshop on August 16th and 17th and can’t wait – if you’re going to be there as well, let me know. For those of you who HAVE been hiding under rocks, here are the full details: Bluecat London Workshops Birkbeck, University of LondonMalet Street, BloomsburyLondon WC1E 7HX Aug 12 – 17th, 2008 Gordy Hoffman, the… Read More »BlueCat Comes to London!

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BBC Writers’ Academy News

Just got an email about the Academy from the Beeb as I’m sure many of you have… And just like many of you, I opened it with great trepidation – only to discover they haven’t picked anyone yet! ARGH! Apparently shortlisted candidates should know by Monday, July 14th. Can my nerves stand it?? Just in case, I’m off out to buy a small goat to sacrifice to the God of Writing Scribethar, plus blogging success James Moran and previous Academy pupil Paul Campbell – that should just about cover it by my reckoning in terms of my household gods. Hope… Read More »BBC Writers’ Academy News

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BBC’s Academy of Crime…

…Drama, that is. Hot off the press from Broadcast and as rumoured by various blogging attendants of various Q&As and courses at the moment:————————————————The BBC is extending its successful drama academy to serials, with a special focus on crime drama. Each year it will take on eight writers with experience on long-running dramas and develop their skills in more prestigious short-running series over a two-week course. Together, they will develop at least one new crime drama and graduates could work on Waking the Dead or Silent Witness. “It is a step up in that sense,” said Ceri Meryck, development producer,… Read More »BBC’s Academy of Crime…

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Adaptation, Pt 5: 22 Steps To Adapting For Screen

Now for the last of my posts from The Art And Business of Adaptation: here’s Adrian Mead’s thoughts on how to approach writing an adaptation. Obviously everyone’s different and when you approach your own, you may find your working method/thoughts on this is entirely the opposite, but I still think it’s an interesting insight on how to go about it. I’d be interested to hear from any screenwriters who have adapted stuff what they think of this too – did you do something similar? Not at all? Let us know and enjoy!—————————————————————- BOOK INTO FILM – A CHECKLIST STAGE ONE:… Read More »Adaptation, Pt 5: 22 Steps To Adapting For Screen

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Adaptation, Pt 4: Bye-Child And The Butterfly Tattoo

We’ve heard about what an adaptation entails, adapting true stories and what publishers think of the process, so now is the right time I think to take a look at two specific adaptations. Watch out for spoilers. First up is Bernard MacLaverty’s Bye-Child (2003). An award winning short film (part funded by long term Bang2writer Scottish Screen), Bye-Child is taken from the poem by Seamus Heaney. This was of particular interest, since adapting from poetry – bar the usual suspects like Homer -had not really occurred to me. But why not? Poems are just as rich in visuals and offer… Read More »Adaptation, Pt 4: Bye-Child And The Butterfly Tattoo

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Adaptation, Pt 2: "Telling Lies To Tell The Truth", Peter Broughan

When we think of adaptation, where does the so-called true story fit in? It would seem to occupy both ends of the scale: on this very blog I lambast Wolf Creek and its supposedly true origins and this website provides ONLY films that are based on true stories. Peter Broughan of Flying Scotsman Films was charged with talking us through the specifics and miscellany of producing a film based on a true story. I hadn’t expected to find this element particularly interesting, since I have never been one to watch biopics or be interested in autobiography. I was surprised then… Read More »Adaptation, Pt 2: "Telling Lies To Tell The Truth", Peter Broughan

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The Art & Business of Adaptation: Adrian’s Sessions, Pt 1

Here are my notes on Adrian’s sessions (oo er) from the Mead Kerr course “The Art & Business of Adaptation” that I attended this past weekend in Edinburgh. There will be other notes on the many quality guest speakers coming soon. Enjoy! Someone said to me recently they would sooner put pins in their eyes than adapt material for the screen. “It’s all original stuff as far as I’m concerned,” she said, “I mean, that’s where the real imagination and skill is, right? In making it up from scratch.” (You’ve known me a while now, I’m sure you can imagine… Read More »The Art & Business of Adaptation: Adrian’s Sessions, Pt 1

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Scriptwriting Degrees, pt 1: University

Whilst it’s a given that talent can’t be taught – you have it or you don’t – a scriptwriting degree seems to be the latest “must have” if you’re going to get *anywhere* in this biz. This of course is total pants – some of the most successful writers I know of or have met have no piece of paper that SAYS they’re “trained”, yet still people sign up in their droves: I have a BA (Hons) Scriptwriting for Film and TV from Bournemouth University for example, as does Dom and Lianne. I believe Pillock is going for the MA… Read More »Scriptwriting Degrees, pt 1: University

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Just Passing Through…

Well, I have a telephone line installed but apparently it’s going to take 20 EFFING DAYS for my ISP to move my broadband. WTF? I wouldn’t mind so much if I say, moved from Devon to Dorset, that’s a pretty long way so I could imagine my Broadband struggling to catch up with us… But no: I have moved LITERALLY ACROSS THE ROAD. How hard is it to move broadband from one side of the road to the other, hmmmmmm? Is my broadband still sitting in the old house, its feet up, watching porn (it’d have enough access). Maybe it’s… Read More »Just Passing Through…

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Word On The Street

So I’m walking down the street just now – my son’s trailing after me and the buggy with his sister in it since everything is VERY EMBARRASSING these days, most of all me and Lil. To be fair this is probably because we sing everywhere we go and when he asks us not to, we sing louder (revenge for Lil because she’s the second born, revenge for me because my son spent most of his first year crying). Anyway: we started a particularly loud and screwy rendition of the Code Lyoko theme tune and Alf yells in the middle of… Read More »Word On The Street

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Speakers Confirmed for Mead Kerr Course

THE ART AND BUSINESS OF ADAPTATION As 80% of last year’s new film and TV projects were adaptations this course is a must for all writers and producers. For those of you’ve who’ve already booked, and those of you still thinking about it…here are the speakers and panel members we have lined up so far – more to be confirmed later this week. BASED ON A TRUE STORY. Peter Broughan (Bronco Films) Producer of “Rob Roy” and “The Flying Scotsman” on working with true stories and real characters. MAKING THE PERFECT SQUARE. Hugh Taylor – MD of Birlinn Publishers and… Read More »Speakers Confirmed for Mead Kerr Course

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