Tuesday, March 20, 2007

TV Drama forum for aspiring writers

The Script Factory has announced its staging a two-day event for aspiring TV writers in London next month. I've already booked my place, along with flights to and from Scotland so I can attend. That's the best part of £300 for me, so I'm hoping the event is worth the money. No doubt the networking sessions will be a bunfight of epic proportions, but I figure you've got to get your face seen to make an impression. Writing a great spec scripts is important, but people also need to know whether they want to work with you. Sane, professional and friendly wins the day over erratic, errant and ego-ridden everyday in my book. Here's the full Script Factory blurb...

TV Forum • Thursday 26 & Friday 27 April 2007, 10am-5pm
Soho Theatre, Dean Street, London W1

The Script Factory TV Forum is a two day training and networking event devoted to writing for the small screen (or even the plasma HD-ready widescreen...). While Film and Theatre require the audience to come to you, television uniquely reaches them right where they sit. If you are serious about a career writing drama - and want to actually make some money doing it - then spend two days in April with us finding out how to get your work into living rooms across the land.

Through a combination of training, guest speakers and panel discussions, TV Forum aims to inspire participants to consider how their talents, ideas and aspirations may be suited to the wide range of TV drama opportunities, from soap writing to original single dramas or innovative sitcoms. Over two days, we aim to give screenwriters an essential overview of the current TV landscape coupled with the language, resources and industry knowledge required to further explore how to forge their own TV writing career.

The Programme

Both mornings of TV Forum are devoted to four practical lecture sessions, each taught by Rob Ritchie, a regular Script Factory tutor who has extensive experience as a TV script editor and story consultant. Afternoons are reserved for a range of industry guests - drama commissioners, script editors, series producers, and not least, working TV writers – who will talk about their work and take questions.

DAY ONE: Thursday 26 April

Workshop session: Small Screen Stories
Writing for TV involves skills and techniques unique to the medium: from handling multiple storylines to structuring a story in four acts. This session explores the challenges facing writers working in a medium where deadlines are immovable, the audience may have missed last week’s episode and dialogue is perhaps more important than pictures.

Workshop session: What’s On Tonight? Examining TV Formats
TV drama embraces a variety of different styles, genres and formats – everything from ten-minute plays to serials that run for years. This session examines the rules and conventions of the major British TV drama formats from daytime soaps to prime time series and serials.

Guest Session: Just Add Money: a chance to meet the UK commissioners

A prestigious panel including Kate Rowland, Head of BBC Writers Room, Liza Marshall, C4 Commissioning Editor for Drama, and Abigail Webber, five's Commissioning Editor for Drama, detail the range of opportunities for writing drama offered by their departments. This is your chance to get an invaluable insider's guide into the kinds of projects the key decision makers want to grace our screens in the months and years to come.

Guest Session: Soap dish: leading soap writers’ roundtable
A team of talented writers who specialise in soaps and long-running serials including Bill Lyons (Emmerdale, Crossroads), Rob Gittins (Eastenders, Casualty), and Tony McHale (Holby City, The Bill, Casualty) explain the tricky process of team writing, creating characters an audience care enough about to spend time with each week or even each night, and how to skillfully juggle the need to satisfy a loyal audience whilst also keeping the programme accessible to newer viewers. Plus we consider the benefits of soap writing for a screenwriter's career.

DAY TWO: Friday 27 April

Workshop session: Story of the Week - Drama Series
How do you create characters an audience will return to week after week? Why is the precinct of a series so often a police station or hospital? This session illustrates the role of story bibles, pilot episodes and research in creating characters and a world that will generate an endless supply of stories.

Workshop session: What’s so Funny? The challenge of writing Sit-com

Sit-Com is one of the most challenging and popular forms of TV drama. This session identifies the premise of a range of comedies and explains why a family of characters sharing a flat or a workplace remains the essential formula for both British and US shows.

Guest Session: Meet the Controller: Andy Harries
One of the most senior and best-respected figures in British TV, Andy Harries is Controller of Drama and Comedy for Granada, responsible for huge hitters from Cold Feet to Prime Suspect. As a recent Oscar-nominee for producing The Queen, he’s also uniquely well-placed for explaining the crossover between writing for TV and feature film.

Guest Session: Crime Does Pay: A focus on Kudos
The most respected indie production company with both film and TV arms, Kudos has carved a niche with its fantastically successful brand of crime drama series with a twist led by Spooks, Hustle and Life on Mars. Joint MD, Jane Featherstone, Exec Producer, Claire Parker, and Director of Drama, Simon Crawford Collins, explain how the company works with writers from initial idea to production.

Booking Information
TV Forum costs £150 + VAT (£176.25 total).
Script Factory Members are entitled to a 10% discount, making the fee £135 + VAT (£158.63). Refreshments will be provided throughout each day plus a sandwich lunch. The programme is supported by a full training pack.

To make your booking please call The Script Factory on weekdays between 10am-6pm on 020 7323 1414 with your credit or debit card details, or email katie@scriptfactory.co.uk with any queries.


James Moran said...

Mr David's coming to London! When's your flight back? I think a bloggy meetup is in order.

Laura Anderson said...

I'd love to go to this, but the money involved is just too much at the moment. Pity, I've been desperate for an excuse to go see Spamalot as well, this would have done nicely :)

Jason Arnopp said...

Hmmm, this does sound worthwhile. The first day would have to be on me dear old ma's birthday, mind...