Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Mad Rush Home

Screenwriters' Festival 2008 Day Three:

Woke up early and ate a full English in the food tent as usual.

First up was Terry Pratchett and who they adapted The Hogfather and The Colour Of Magic for Sky One. It was interesting to see which bits they left out and why, and which bits they moved around to make it work more visually. The most interesting thing for me was how much power and control over the decision making Terry had. They referred to him on almost every decision. If he didn't like something it wouldn't go in.

Next up was Kay Mellor. I was particularly looking forward to this one as I was a big fan of her TV series Playing The Field. She talked about the struggle she had to get Band Of Gold made and it was interesting to know that it was turned down several times before it was eventually snapped up. It just goes to show that even someone as bankable as Kay has difficulties selling their work to networks.

Last was Jane Tranter. She was bright, bubbly and very open on what she looks for and how writers can get there work commissioned by the BBC. She was very supportive of the BBC Writersroom, but when asked how many people have had their series commissioned through the Writersroom, she said she couldn't remember a single one. That's not to say that won't happen in the future though, so I still feel it's a very reliable source for getting into TV. After all writers who have sent in their work have gone on to write for some of the long running drama series produced by the BBC.

When Jane was finished I was out that door like a shot and in my car, as I had to be home for work at 6pm. The bloody stupid sat-nav sent me up a narrow country lane swearing to me that I could join the main road, but just ended up taking me round in circles for twenty minutes when I discovered the road it wanted me to go down had been fenced off. If I hadn't disobeyed that female voice and turned left when it wanted me to go right I'd still be somewhere outside of Cheltenham, sleeping rough in my car and living off people's pets.

Eventually I did get home or I wouldn't be here writing this. I will definitely be going next year. Can't wait.

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