Sunday, February 25, 2007

Wrap It Up

A week after De Montfort University’s Television Scriptwriting Workshop, it’s time to stop rabbiting on about it and move on to other topics. But before I grasp blindly for something new to talk about, a few final bits and pieces to round it up.

After the applause died down following the last talk of the day, the 1st Year Tutor stepped forward to thank everyone for coming. Planning the event they had initially expected twenty people to turn up. They got that wrong because the lecture theater was packed out, with additional chairs having to be brought in to seat everyone.

While there was a lot Work Buddy and I knew about the process, there was an invaluable whole lot more we learnt from the assembled speakers. After their talks most of them stuck around and were happy to chat. The only person who lit out as soon as he was done was Paul Ashton, the Development Manager of the BBC’s writersroom, who probably had a prior engagement. Sorry Lucy, he slipped from my grasp.

There was no opinionated, self-centred twaddle from individuals when it came to questions from the audience. Which was a very good thing. The gamut of experience amongst those attending meant that some people asked specific, knowing questions while another asked what “greenlighting a project” meant.

The guest speakers agreed that when you come up with an idea keep working on it until it works. Writing dialogue comes last so don’t sit down to write until you know where you are. If you race ahead and start the journey without a map you’ll probably get lost.

When you have finished a script put it away in a drawer for up to six weeks - “maturing in wood” - then see how it reads. It’s better to get it right rather than get it in. And don’t just work on one thing at a time because life will just stop still while you wait for a response.

Oh, and there is no secret cabal or charmed circle that steals ideas and only gives the work to people they know. All you need to get your work on television are three things: Talent, Drive and Luck.

One final piece of advice from Laurence Marks: Enjoy the slow time. Because once you get your foot in the door it won’t stop.

So that’s it. A number of the MA students helped run the event and we talked to one about the course over a glass of wine. Everyone in Leicester was incredibly friendly, which made a change from the sourpusses that stalk the streets of London.

A letter arrived Friday from the MA in TV Scriptwriting Course Tutors thanking me for attending and hoping I had an enjoyable and interesting day. Plans are underway for a similar event next year. I suspect they’ll need a bigger room.


At 10:56 pm, Blogger Lee said...

I'm really sorry I missed this, everything you've reported makes it sound like a valuable day.

I hope they do put on another one next year.

At 11:16 pm, Blogger Good Dog said...

Well fella, if you are going to be on the slopes instead...

At 11:06 am, Blogger Riddley Walker said...

Absolutely! Swanning off and having a holiday ferchrissakes...

mutter, mutter...


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