Tuesday, September 04, 2007

BBC Writersroom

"BBC writersroom identifies and champions new writing talent and diversity across BBC Drama, Entertainment and Children's programmes."
I like to challenge statements like this so I recently put the BBC Writersroom to the test.

I had previously sent them my drama feature script
From This Day Forth, only for the Writersroom to send it back after reading only ten pages. I was disappointed I must admit, mainly because a production company were interested in the script at the time. So why weren't the BBC?

Not to be put off I rewrote the script, paying close attention to the first ten pages, renamed it
Cross The Rubicon and sent it off again. On the 20th August I got a reply, and a good one this time. Although they weren't willing to take this particular script forward for development they were interested in me as a writer, inviting me to submit further work for consideration. There was a particular line in the letter that stood out, which was a great confidence boost...

"It does suggest that the writer has potential for the character driven TV drama."

The moral of the story? Make sure the first ten pages are as good as they can be, and don't be afraid to rewrite and resubmit.
Persistence is an important virtue.

10 comments:

Oli said...

You're supposed to wait four months for a reply before bugging them about it... Four months is up on Monday since I last sent them a script. Nervously waiting, nervously waiting...

How long did they take to come back to you, and was it longer or shorter when they liked it?

Dom Carver said...

Same length of time for both, and I think they both took five months to come back to me.

John Soanes said...

They do stress the first ten pages element on the site, if memory serves. Guess that was the thinking behind the Red Planet entries, as well.
I guess it's fair - probably about the equivalent of ten minutes onscreen, which may well be long enough for a viewer/reader to decide if it's of interest or not. I generally give things 20mins, but I'm a softie, I guess...
J

Elinor said...

Wise words, Dom.

Tim Clague said...

Good advice Dom

Lucy said...

Takes between 5 and 6 months I find generally. Never not have something at the Writers' Room is my motto.

Oli said...

Cheekily e-mailed them today. I've made it past the first ten pages bit... now waiting to see what the reader thinks.

martin said...

According to Kate Rowland, only about 5% of scripts get a full read, so congratulations!

Dom Carver said...

Cheers, people. It's the second script of mine they've read fully and commented on. What to send next though?

Matthew said...

Mr Dom Carver Sir. Hello, my name is Matthew, I'm from Bournemouth too. Live in London now though trying to get writing work. Mainly stand-up, sketch based stuff, but I'm working on a sitcom at the moment. What sort of stuff do you write?