Friday, October 03, 2008

Exhausted, exhilarated and excited

Got back from Brighton round midnight after an epic 24 hour journey involving planes, trains and automobiles [but no Dell Griffith, thankfully]. My reason for spending a day beside the seaside? I've been selected on the Lighthouse's Screenwriting for Television workshop. Over the next seven months we'll be using a team writing approach to create script for an all-new six part drama series, guided by tutor and working writer Philip Palmer.

Out of respect for everyone else involved, I won't be blogging at length about what happens until we've finished. We're operating a "what's said in the room, stays in the room" that seems only sensible at this point. But I'll try to offer a few thoughts after each session. By next April we will have each written a 50-minute episode. Yesterday was all about discussing and debating the different ideas proposed for our putative drama series.

By the end of it I staggered back to the train station for the long journey home feeling excited, exhausted and exhilarated. I've a lot of work to do getting my idea into shape for the next stage of the process, all manner of story options and openings whirling round in my head. It's a bit like somebody's just dropped a Berocca in my brain soup. Whurgle! Hopefully this will settle down enough I can get some work done today. Need to focus.

Between now and the next Brighton session in early November I've got all manner of stories to tell and deadlines to meet. Can't guarantee to blog every day, but will try to keep y'all abreast of developments. [Stop sniggering at the back, Arnopp! Yes, I did say "a breast", but if you can't behave like a grown-up, you can leave the class.] Anyway, tales to tells, stories to break. Onwards!


Paul Campbell said...


Jason Arnopp said...


I also approve of the use of the word "Whurgle!". That word really is a dying art.

May I say, Lord Bishop, that it's typical of your unstoppable can-do drive for you to take a course at the other end of the bleedin' country? You're a madman, sir. Remarkable.

I considered this one myself, as there are many attractive things about it. One of the main things which put me off, I guess, was that it's stretched out over such a long period. I greatly look forward to your eventual reports, though!

Piers said...

Top-notch. Gratz, as they say in Azeroth.

potdoll said...

Ooh, I've heard good things about this course. Please say hi to Philip from me and give him a big kiss.

Janice Okoh said...

I was really eyeing up this course and hope to have an idea when it's on next.

Can't wait for your insights on television writing. I have a question, might be obvious to some but t.v. writing's very hazy to me.
what's the minimum number of episodes a serial can have?

David Bishop said...

Hi Janice,

If you mean TV drama serial, then I guess by definition two episodes is the physical minimum - otherwise it becomes a standalone production. But most serials tend to be at least three or four parts [for example, Lost in Austen].

State of Play may well have been intended as a returning series, but was effectively written as a six-part serial [or was it five eps? Can't remember].

Life on Mars was a series but it mixed story of the day plotlines with a strong, over-arching serial element [Sam's quest to discover where he was, how he got there, and how to get home again].

Matt Badham said...

Sounds very cool. Good luck!

Janice Okoh said...

Thanks David for making things clear between series and serial, which was what I really wanted to know.

so we don't use the term two or four parter anymore?

Anonymous said...

Congrats on the above.