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The Tyranny of Typos

So I decided my entry for Red Planet was done over the weekend. I’ve been writing the thing since July; I even have a revised first draft of the pilot and will be doing a workshop with some lovely actors on it in October. David Bishop has given it a veritable script-kicking as only he can “Capital letters, WTF? That word’s wrong! Are you insane, this character is!”, as has Tim “you can do better than this” Clague, JK “You British people are all crazy” Amalou, the gloriously picky Scott the Reader, the divine Michelle Lipton and an offline, real-life… Read More »The Tyranny of Typos

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WHO – WHAT – WHERE – WHEN – WHY?

I’ve been seeing A LOT of Red Planet Prize Pitch Docs and Pilot Packages. A lot. One thing that is missing from many is just one thing, though it is admittedly a pretty massive part. And what it is may surprise you. It’s not that the characters don’t seem cool or that the central premise isn’t interesting – let’s have Granny lapdancers! (actually I just made that up). It’s not that the ten pages are rubbish or dialogue does my head in or the pitch doc doesn’t seem *even a little bit* intriguing. Instead, what’s missing is the story itself.… Read More »WHO – WHAT – WHERE – WHEN – WHY?

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Hello, My Name Is Lucy And I Am A Schedule-holic

I have a confession. Whilst I know all about the idea of TV “on demand” services, even applaud them, I don’t use them. I don’t even think about it. Does that make me a bad person? A TV-holic friend of mine thinks so: every time I say I “missed” a programme (a rare occurrence, but can happen), she chastises me with, “But you have it at your fingertips!” And it’s true, I do. I could easily call up BBC iPlayer (in my defence, I actually have at least twice, I even downloaded an episode of Ashes To Ashes but then… Read More »Hello, My Name Is Lucy And I Am A Schedule-holic

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Top 5 Script Mistakes # 1: Murkiness

In response to a variety of emails asking me what mistakes/issues I see most often in spec scripts (TV or Film), here are my thoughts… I’ll try and do another “Research or Die” by the end of the week. Enjoy!—————————————————————————-Sometimes I’ll find myself writing in development notes that I’m not *really* sure what is going on in a story. No doubt this will be extremely odd to a writer who can see the action clearly in his/her head – and indubitably this is most often why a writer will accuse a reader of “not reading properly”. After all, if YOU… Read More »Top 5 Script Mistakes # 1: Murkiness

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You Are The Architect

They don’t teach good time management in school. They should: instead of wasting all that time on stuff we will never ever use (Tangent Ratio anyone?? Okay, maybe if you’re an architect or something…), why don’t we get taught specific skills that will help us in our everyday lives? (Please note that I am NOT saying all academic stuff or stuff learned-for-learned’s sake as a discipline is invalid: I’m a trained ENGLISH teacher, that would make no sense… But can we please just have a few more practical skills in the curriculum as well, maybe?? If nothing else it’ll stop… Read More »You Are The Architect

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Writers Write: A Response To Adrian’s Post

Still busy… But still got other people expelling wisdom on this blog’s behalf! (“My people” will write this blog for me in fact, arf). So here is an interesting response from the marvellous Dublin Dave to Adrian Mead’s post yesterday in which he posed the analogy of hiring two architects:—————————————————————————–None of what Adrian’s saying is incorrect. Every writer finds their own path, but let’s be really clear about one thing: what matters is the work. Since 1999, I’ve been making a living as a TV writer. That career began with a feature length script, my fifth. I didn’t go to… Read More »Writers Write: A Response To Adrian’s Post

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Plot Construction # 4: Mini Series and Serials

**No Real Spoilers, though there is mention of Steven Moffatt’s Dr. Who episodes** I don’t get many of these through my script reading; it would seem that spec scribes out there want to invest in features, shorts or TV drama series before they consider mini series or serials. I do read some though every year – probably between 5 and 7 typically – and like the spec TV drama series, they often set up too much and leave their structure “dangling”. But first off, what is a mini series or serial? Well, as far as mini series go, you may… Read More »Plot Construction # 4: Mini Series and Serials

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How To Plot TV Series: “Story Of The Week” Vs. Serial Element

There once was a time when I would get only feature scripts to read and the odd novel; in the last two years then, I have received A LOT of TV drama series specs. This has been quite an education for me; I had assumed that people would automatically “get” the structure of television. After all (I thought), most people are surely only going to have time to go to the cinema once a week maximum or watch a film on DVD once every couple of days, whereas most people (especially those who want to be writers) must watch TV… Read More »How To Plot TV Series: “Story Of The Week” Vs. Serial Element

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Vote!

One of my Bang2write clients Mark has been in touch: he and pal Jonathan entered Doritos’ recent competition to make their next TV ad – and have got down to the final 5! There was a whopping 900 entries, so this is a brilliant achievement. Obviously though, with £20,000 up for grabs the lads would like to WIN, so they’re appealing to peeps everywhere to vote for them. Here is their ad: If you like it, please click here to vote for it: click on VOTE and then VIEW FINALISTS. (You can view all the other videos there too if… Read More »Vote!

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10 On TV Drama: UK versus US

SPOILERS: CSI & WAKING THE DEAD Many thanks to the one person a week average who has emailed me over the last couple of months, telling me that my “10 on TV Drama” series has only 9 articles. I had noticed, ta: it was all part of a deliberate plan. Honest. Basically I wanted to see how the latest series of CSI and Waking The Dead would pan out before concluding this series in the hope that it would help me decide, once and for all, how I feel about the state of UK drama versus the US model. It’s… Read More »10 On TV Drama: UK versus US

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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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STOP PRESS: Adrian Mead’s Episode of Waking The Dead STARTS TONIGHT – Don’t Miss It!

News just in my pretties: Adrian Mead’s episode of the BBC’s awesome cop drama Waking The Dead is on tonight. Titled “Duty and Honour”, it’s on at 9pm on BBC1 (April 28th), with the second part airing tomorrow (April 29th) at the same time. Waking The Dead follows the fates of a “Cold Case” team – policemen and women who must investigate old murder cases that have never been solved or closed. This is one of my favourite programmes – I think Trevor Eve and Sue Johnston in particular are brilliant in it – so I’m thrilled to be able… Read More »STOP PRESS: Adrian Mead’s Episode of Waking The Dead STARTS TONIGHT – Don’t Miss It!

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