Notes from BBC’s TV Drama Writers Festival held in Leeds 30 June – 1 July, 2010. The festival was organised by BBC Writersroom.

In this post:

  • Writer for Hire: How do you get original work on screen?
  • ‘They Won’t Like That’: Do we all try to second guess the commissioners?
  • In Conversation: TV Drama Read the rest of this entry »
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Notes from BBC’s TV Drama Writers’ Festival held in Leeds 30.06-01.07.2010.

WHOSE VOICE IS IT ANYWAY?
Writers – a force for change?

With Jed Mercurio, Mark Catley, Nicola Shindler and Tony Marchant

Tony Marchant: Have writers lost the initiative? Do we just write for producers, commissioners and actors, what they want us to write?

Nicola Shindler: The saying „you’re only as good as your last project“ doesn’t apply. You’re only as good as your next project. Your history as a writer is not important, you’re not as good as your last thing but you’re as good as the project you’re working on now, the project you’re sending to the producers and commissioners. It also means that having a successful project in the past won’t guarantee you a commission. Great stories are more likely to reach the screens even if it doesn’t follow the latest brief from the commissioner.

Jed Mercurio: It’s harder to sell something to a producer if they haven’t asked for it. When the commissioner is looking for something specific, by the time the script has been developed and ready, they already want something different or there’s a new person on the top who wants other things. Therefore you need to write material that you’d like to see on screen, material that interests you and will therefore have better quality. You should write what you like (just bearing in mind the type of channel you want to offer it to).

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