Thursday, 28 February 2013

The Lazarus Machine

If you back one Kickstarter project this spring, back this one.

Why? Cos it's gonna be awesome.

(And no, it's nothing to do with me, I've just given script feedback a few times)

Monday, 11 February 2013

A couple of juicy opportunities

Employer: BBC
Location: London - Broadcasting House
Duration: Attachment/Fixed Term

With over 350 hours of in-house output a year, BBC Drama Production is making some of the most original, diverse and highly acclaimed television. These range from continuing drama such as Casualty, EastEnders, Holby City, and Doctors to series and serials such as Silent Witness, Luther and Silk, to name just a few!


Reporting to the Head of Talent Management in the first instance, you will work in close conjunction with the Producers to provide editorial and research support to the development team. You’ll be advising on all script matters connected with all stages of the production from the initial ideas stage, to amendments and to the shooting of the script. Generating creative ideas as well as long term story ideas, you will work with the production teams representing the writers’ interests, ensuring their consent to script changes as well as ensuring the scripts are editorially correct and carrying out the necessary checks.

Where necessary you’ll be restructuring and generating new storylines within your script as well as turning around creative drafts in short spaces of time. You’ll be expected to take steps to identify and encourage new writing talent and to maintain an up-to-date awareness of emerging talent.


People working within Drama Production are a talented, experienced and creative bunch. To join them it’s really important you have knowledge and understanding of new writers, copyright law, writer’s guild agreements, script sources and know the potential of emerging talent.

To be successful you will have substantial script-editing experience and a keen interesting popular entertainment, in particular drama.

You will have excellent communication, relationship building, team working and creative skills.

Drama production can involve long and unpredictable work patterns and pressure to meet tight schedules so you will need to have a flexible approach to their working day.

You can apply for this role and learn about how we do things at the BBC, by visiting

Alternatively, please call 0370 333 1330. Textphone 02890 328 478.

Apply to: BBC Recruitment

2. BAFTA Rocliffe New Writing Forum
2013 Spring Call for Submissions

The format remains the same: three ten-minute script extracts will be selected from applications sent from emerging writing talent all over the country, which are performed by professional actors in front of a live audience and critiqued by a high profile industry guest from the television drama world. The event takes place on 13 May at BAFTA headquarters, 195 Piccadilly in London.

Early Bird Closing Date for submissions on 22 February 2013.

Final Closing Date will be 18 March 2013.

Full details of how to apply can be found on

Monday, 4 February 2013

From Gate Crasher to Gate Keeper?

One of the things I was alluding to in my New Year's post has now been finalised. As of now, amongst the other things I do, I will now be working as Head of Development for Viva Films.

As I mentioned at the beginning of January, it takes me in a slightly different direction, but in truth, it really continues and builds on what I've already been doing for quite a while.

Viva Films and John Goldschmidt in particular are people I've come to know very well over the last few years and my transition is really one from being a freelance help to the company - as well of course as writing for them, to taking on a more active, day to day, official position.

I believe British films should make money, because that is the only way to grow a sustainable industry. Box office returns are impossible to predict, despite what Sales Companies would have financiers believe. But at the very least, we need to try and make films that people actually want to go out and see. But I also believe films should have something to say, even if that is just in a general thematic sense, and not a didactic message.  

And I don't think those two are mutually exclusive. I think Viva Films has an incredibly exciting slate that is trying to do that and I also hope there is room to add one or two projects. But overall, it was very clear early on that theirs was a philosophy and vision that I shared, and so taking this role was the logical next step.

It's up to me now to find a balance between what I do and how I divide my time, and I will definitely continue working on my own projects because that's what I love and that's why I got into any of this in the first place.

What it might mean, as I suggested in January, was that I blog less (and to be honest it's been slowly declining for a while!) Time management is very important, especially for freelancers and in my screenwriter guise, that's what I still am. So sometimes things have to give and in truth I was running out of steam with this blog anyway.

But it did occur to me that most of the blogs I follow are by screenwriters and script readers/editors/consultants. Very few, if any, are by people on the other side of the desk. And I've learnt an incredible amount about the industry from my relationship with Viva Films, that has undoubtedly influenced and helped my writing. So, as the whole point of this blog in the first place was to filter down useful information, tips and advice, to writers coming up behind me, it seems like there is still scope to do that, but maybe from a slightly different angle.

Having said that, the film industry is a precarious business. Just when things look like they are in the bag and greenlit, multiple rugs can be pulled from under you. And I think especially because it's a creative industry, confidentiality can often be paramount. So naturally I will be extremely careful about what I say and when I say it. But hopefully some useful things will still emerge, even if it's just every now and then.

Happy writing.