In this post:

  • Launching a new series
  • Thriller – the Trojan horse
  • Adaptations (briefly)
  • a few words from Ben Stephenson on what to pitch

This is the last set of notes from BBC’s TV Drama Writers’ Festival 2011.

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LAUNCHING A NEW SERIES
Chair: Ben Stephenson (BBC Controller of Drama Commissioning)
With: Bill Gallagher (Lark Rise to Candleford), Jane Featherstone (Creative Director at Kudos; Spooks), Ashley Pharoah (Life on Mars), Toby Whithouse (Being Human).

Pharoah: develop an instinct for conflict that will take years to unravel.
Gallagher: create a character you care about, want to know what happens to them, create an iconic character you love (as a writer)
Whithouse: character is fundamental. He writes pages of bios the audience never sees. You never run out of story.

Stephenson: what about premise and concept? Read the rest of this entry »

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Two sessions in this post:

  • Controversy and getting into hot water
  • Jimmy McGovern in conversation
  • related links

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CONTROVERSY AND GETTING INTO HOT WATER
Chair: Jack Thorne. With Tony Marchant, Jeff Povey, Claire Powell (Chief Advisor, BBC)

JT: what is controversial TV? Do you know when your writing is controversial? Read the rest of this entry »

In this post, there are notes from two sessions:

  • Is it the writer’s responsibility to change the world?
  • The bio-pic: the fall-back position?
  • and related links on the speakers

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IS IT THE WRITER’S RESPONSIBILITY TO CHANGE THE WORLD?
Chair: Paula Milne.
With Tony Marchant, Hugo Blick, Jack Thorne, Roy Williams, Gwyneth Hughes

(this conversation was quite fast, so here are mostly snippets of what was said)

Writers should aspire to make a difference. (Milne)

Writers without politics are like soldiers without a country – mercenaries.  (John Clarke)

Morality explored through personality. Read the rest of this entry »

Notes from the BBC’s TV Drama Writers Festival held in Leeds 6-7 July, 2011 will be posted in several parts.
Look at previous blog entries to find notes from the 2010 event.

Sessions you will find notes from:

DAY 1
Is it the writer’s responsibility to change the world?
The bio-pic: the fall-back position?
Controversy and getting into hot water
Jimmy McGovern in conversation with Kate Rowland

DAY 2
The curse of the scriptwriting guru (John Yorke)
Launching a new series
Thriller – the Trojan horse
Adaptation
Burning questions (with Ben Stephenson)

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EXTRA

Listen to excepts from the the workshop ‘Team writing US style’ with The X-Files writer Frank Spotnitz on the BBC Writersroom Blog

Read Bill Grundy’s report on the event on the BBC Writersroom Blog

Read Hannah Billingham’s notes from the festival: Day 1, Day 2, Jimmy McGovern

The Class: Life After is now available at ERR web store and ERR shop at Faehlmanni 12, Tallinn.

Subtitles: Estonian, English, Russian, Finnish

Price: 129 EEK / 8.25 EUR

They do deliver abroad and they will let you know the delivery charge when you email pood@err.ee

I’ll post more information when the DVD becomes available from other sellers online.

(Response to Class: Life After viewer comments. In Estonian only, sorry!)

Ma loen huviga kõiki kommentaare, mida vaatajad erinevate väljaannete artiklitele sarja kohta kirjutavad. Tänan inimesi heade sõnade ees, püüan vastata kriitikutele ning lisan mõned mõtted ilmunud artiklitele.

(täiendatud 23.11.2010)
Read the rest of this entry »

Life After

19/10/2010

Recently released theme song of The Class: Life After.
The first episode of the 7-part TV drama will air on Estonian TV on 6 November but starting from 29 October each episode will run at cinema Artis (Tallinn) for one week before it’s aired on TV.

The 7-part TV drama The Class: Life After (airing in Estonia on Nov 6) has been nominated for Prix Europa 2010 in the Television Fiction category.  The Prix Europa takes place 16-20 October 2010 in Berlin. The prize winners will be announced on 23 October during the Prize Giving Ceremony.

The continent’s largest competition was launched in 1987, based on the initiative of the Council of Europe and the European Cultural Foundation in Amsterdam. The PRIX EUROPA is awarded each year to the best European television, radio and emerging media productions with the aim of publicising them throughout Europe and supporting their distribution and use. The pan-European event is attended by well over 1,000 delegates from more than 40 countries.

Of the total of 543 submissions, 220 productions have been selected to compete in one of the 9 categories. As in production companies and broadcasters based in 31 European countries will compete for the respected awards as “Best European Production of the Year“.

See the list of TV Fiction category nominees here.

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Updated October 26, 2010:

The Class: Life after did not win the main prize but we are very honoured to have been nominated. The Class: Life After  received 8th place out of 28 in the TV Fiction category which included both TV series and films, and 5th place amongst TV series.

The main prize Prix Europa in the TV Fiction category went to German war drama Ceasefire, Special Prix Europa to BBC’s Five Daughters and Sweden’s famous adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s novel The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo received a Special Commendation. Congratulations!

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Notes from BBC’s TV Drama Writers Festival held in Leeds 30.06-01.07, 2010. The festival was organised by BBC Writersroom.

The Power of Storytelling
A conversation with Adam Curtis

Adam Curtis is a documentary film-maker, whose work includes The Power of Nightmares, The Century of the Self, The Mayfair Set, Pandora’s Box, The Trap and The Living Dead.

Adam Curtis: People live in a bubble – they’ve got their routine and their beliefs that they’re used to. The question is: how do you break through that bubble? How to tell them about new things, new perspectives? The task is to make an unknown (what they consider boring) world familiar.

Freud’s nephew Edward Bernays used Freud’s theories and invented PR. It had a huge effect on advertising. He discovered a way to manage the masses – if you open the doors, people will follow [this is also discussed in Cutris’s documentary The Century of the Self]. After they’ve entered the new world, you take them to new areas. Read the rest of this entry »

Notes from BBC’s TV Drama Writers Festival held in Leeds 30.06-01.07, 2010. The festival was organised by BBC Writersroom.

Masterclass with John Yorke
What exactly is a series?

What do successful series have in common?

  • Compelling characters
  • A self-contained story (the whole and/or underpinning spine)
  • A clear and renewable “story engine” (emotional jeopardy) (such as ‘crime of the week’)
  • Rigorous point of view (clear rules)
  • ‘One day’ time scheme
  • They are “about” something (not just cops but, for example, cops in Thatcher’s Britain, the changes in demographics, etc.)
  • Limited change (drama is change, things must move but drama series rely on not changing – which is a paradox) Characters don’t change but characters’ knowledge does. They learn new things (that will help catch the criminal, for example) Read the rest of this entry »