Saturday, October 13, 2007

Everybody get knocked down

Didn't make the next round of TAPS' continuing drama showcase. From the twenty-five people who attended the workshop in Cardiff last month, ten had their scripts chosen fur further development. Alas, I wasn't among the ten. But I already knew that long before the bad news arrived at the inbox. Those selected heard on Thursday, prompting a flurry of emails between people who were at the workshop, so it was obvious which way the land was laying. A hearty congratulations to Frances, Lucy, Simon and the other seven through to the next round. I've got my fingers crossed for you.

I suspected I wouldn't make the next round with my script, despite the fact it reduced one of my feedback readers to tears [in a positive way!]. For a start, I fudged one of the settings. You're meant to choose up to three interiors from among six standing sets at the Emmerdale productions offices. I only needed two sets, but one of mine - a dentist's waiting room - wasn't among the suggested Emmerdale sets. It would have meant redressing a set, so that a strike against it.

My verbal pitch at the workshop didn't go down well with the panel, and another writer also pitched a hostage drama at the workshop. So there were two of us writing variants on the same story - probably another strike. Finally, mine script involved a knife, fake blood and two physical tussles, complex elements for a 23-minute production that needs to be shot in just a few hours. You're talking dangerous props, special effects for the blood, probably a fight choreographer for the two tussles - all things that would have made my scripts a less attractive prospect.

Nevertheless, I enjoyed the TAPS experienece, even if I didn't get the outcome I wanted. Crucially, it pushed me into writing a 23-minute script for a story I'd been kicking round in my head for months, maybe years. There's nothing like a deadline to get me motivated, especially for what's essentially speculative work. Plus I got two pages of notes and feedback from a professional script editor on places where I need to do further development work. So I'll be continuing with Hopes and Fears, and after a few more drafts plan on adding it to my portfolio of calling card scripts. I didn't make the next round, but I've gotten a lot of positives out of the experience. Next!

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