Read the most recent posts

  1. How seriously should you take scriptwriting books?

    Tuesday 29 July 2014, 13:53

    Sally Stott Sally Stott Writersroom Reader

    “All scriptwriting books are bullsh*t,” said American writer, director and producer Brian Koppelman a few months ago. “Watch movies, read screenplays. Let them be your guide.” He was speaking as part of his series of six-second screenwriting tips on Twitter’s video app Vine. However, he later admitted on his blog that he found some bits of some scriptwriting books interesting – quite a few in fact – and appeared to approve of them as long as their creators were working screenwriters. What he didn’t like, he explained, were people who “give advice for a living.” 

    These days everyone knows, or likes to think they know, what makes a good script. Because if you can’t tell the difference between an inciting incident and an act two turning point, what are you going to talk about after watching Liam Neeson slam someone’s head into a wall? Who owes who what for the popcorn?

    Scriptwriting books A shelf full of scriptwriting books - but are they any use?

    Screenwriting books have helped make a lot of people more informed about how film and television scripts work. They’ve also made their creators money – some of them significant amounts of it. An entire industry has shot up with...

    Read more about How seriously should you take scriptwriting books?

  2. People Just Do Nothing - from Youtube to BBC Comedy Feed to full series

    Monday 21 July 2014, 16:12

    Steve Stamp Steve Stamp Writer

    See all posts about:

    Without trying to sound too dramatic, the education system does seem to spit many young people out into the world without any idea of what they want to do or how they can possibly explore their options. I was definitely one of those people. But I knew that I wanted to write, at least, so that was a start. And I had funny friends. Some of them were starting out in production (shooting music videos etc), some were bedroom rappers and producers. All of them had funny voices and characters that they could switch into effortlessly. What I proposed was that we put our talents together and work towards developing something that we could all be proud of. Spending our time doing something that we actually wanted to do, even if there was no immediate reward.

    Kurupt FM crew People Just Do Nothing - MC Grindah, DJ Beatz and Decoy.

    People Just Do Nothing started as a Youtube series, loosely planned and heavily improvised. Characters and their particular traits or back-stories were born out of spontaneous talking heads. If someone mentioned that they had a kid in one episode, we’d find a kid to put into the next one. It was a very reactive process, which gradually gave way to more structure and planning as...

    Read more about People Just Do Nothing - from Youtube to BBC Comedy Feed to full series

  3. Red Velvet - Rediscovering Ira Aldridge

    Thursday 17 July 2014, 15:40

    Lolita Chakrabarti Lolita Chakrabarti Writer

    See all posts about:

    Red Velvet Adrian Lester as Ira Aldridge

    What attracted you to the story of Ira Aldridge?  How did you first hear his story?  What research did you do? 

    I first heard about Ira Aldridge in 1998. Adrian (Lester) did a reading about him at a theatre festival in Brighton. He told me about Ira and his achievements in the theatre in the nineteenth century and I could not believe that I had not heard of him. 

    I had done a theatre studies A-level at school in Birmingham.  I trained as an actor at RADA graduating in 1990. I had worked in the theatre for 8 years by then and I had never heard of Ira Aldridge.  

    Aldridge was a black American actor who came to Britain at the age of 18 and forged an amazing career. He performed throughout Britain garnering great reviews and played Othello at Covent Garden Theatre Royal in 1833. He went on to tour Europe where he was internationally recognized and celebrated. He was knighted by The Duke of Saxe-Meiningen, presented with a First Class Gold Medal from His Majesty Frederick William IV, given the Grand Cross of the Order of Leopold the Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria and the Imperial Jubilee de Tolstoy Medal from St Petersburg. He died in 1867 in...

    Read more about Red Velvet - Rediscovering Ira Aldridge

  4. TV Drama Writers' Festival 2014

    Thursday 10 July 2014, 11:07

    Kate Rowland Kate Rowland BBC Creative Director of New Writing

    CSM outside The Central St Martins building in the new Kings Cross district of London

    A few thoughts from speakers and BBC execs… 

    “It was inspiring, uplifting and utterly brilliant”
    “Thought provoking”
    “It made me proud to be a part of the BBC”
    “The Writersroom is a beacon for new writing and genuinely at the heart of what the BBC should be doing” 

    The TV Drama Writers’ Festival in its fifth year exceeded expectations. Every year, I think can we and should we do it again? How do we keep it fresh and meaningful, because it's vital that we do. Its ethos of being writer-driven, cross industry...

    Read more about TV Drama Writers' Festival 2014

  5. The Events - Q&A with writer, David Greig

    Friday 4 July 2014, 14:29

    David Greig David Greig Writer

    Editor's Note: The radio adaptation of The Events is broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Friday 4th July 2014 at 9pm and is available to listen to on BBC iPlayer for 7 days.  The Events garnered five-star reviews at the Edinburgh Festival 2013 and a Fringe First. It was The Guardian's No. 1 in their list of the best theatre of 2013 

    The Events The Events - Neve McIntosh (photo credit: Stephen Cummiskey)

    What made you want to write The Events?

    I was on a walking trip with my son who was then around 12.  We had been walking through the Highlands away from people and phone reception.  When we arrived in Fort...

    Read more about The Events - Q&A with writer, David Greig

  6. Q&A with Hugo Blick, Writer, Producer and Director of The Honourable Woman

    Thursday 3 July 2014, 13:05

    Hugo Blick Hugo Blick Writer, Director, Producer

    See all posts about:

    Editor's Note: This is an extract from a Q&A by Hugo Blick for the MIPTV event in Cannes in April 2014.

    The Honourable Woman Maggie Gyllenhaal as Nessa Stein in The Honourable Woman

    What was the inspiration behind the series?

    The Honourable Woman is about Nessa Stein. The series centres around a woman who is deeply conflicted about past events, events that have haunted her, it is the reason why she is constantly battling a consuming internal conflict – this internal struggle for reconciliation with her past and her search for personal equilibrium – is manifested in her political activities ...

    Read more about Q&A with Hugo Blick, Writer, Producer and Director of The Honourable Woman

  7. Top Tips on Writing for CBBC

    Friday 27 June 2014, 14:26

     CBBC CBBC Drama Development Team

    We’re really excited about reading your scripts this summer and hope to find some fresh voices and new stories.  We are looking for that wonderful combination of a script that meets our expectations of good characters, great dialogue and a compelling story combined with something that has a fresh perspective or twist that we haven’t seen before; a real sense of voice which makes it impossible to put down and a really good read.  Don’t ask for much, do we?  Here are some top tips to consider:

    Wolfblood Wolfblood  

    DO immerse yourself in our content. 

    DO think about the lives, imaginations and...

    Read more about Top Tips on Writing for CBBC

  8. News and Advice from Room to Write, with BBC Scotland Comedy

    Friday 20 June 2014, 11:37

    BBC Writersroom BBC Writersroom .

    See all posts about:

    Editor's Note: Room to Write is an exciting new opportunity to work with BBC Scotland's Comedy Production team and to be part of the next wave of Scottish comedy shows.  The deadline for submitting sketches recently passed and the team of two readers have been busy over the last couple of days.  Here are a few of their thoughts:

    Room to Write logo Room to Write with BBC Scotland Comedy  On a positive note: 

    • The sketches offered a good variety. Usually during a sift a lot of scripts/sketches tend to cluster around similar settings or ideas but there was a good range of ideas. 
    • Many of the sketches made use...

    Read more about News and Advice from Room to Write, with BBC Scotland Comedy

  9. Script Room 5 update and spelling mistakes

    Wednesday 18 June 2014, 18:03

    Abigail Gonda Abigail Gonda Development Producer, Writersroom

    Here, in the BBC Writersroom, we are in the final throes of doing second full reads for Scriptroom 5, our inaugural genre specific TV/Film Drama window. 

    I will give you the cold hard numbers: 

    • 1364 total submissions
    • 84% of total submissions did not progress beyond the first 10 page sift
    • 13% of total submissions received a 20 page read at second sift
    • 5% of total submissions received a full read
    • 1% of total submissions (14 writers) have been selected to have their scripts read by members of the Writersroom team
    • 2% of total submissions were excluded because the writers hadn’t met terms and conditions...

    Read more about Script Room 5 update and spelling mistakes

  10. To Hull and Back: From winning BBC New Comedy Award to Radio 2 sitcom

    Thursday 12 June 2014, 14:56

    Lucy Beaumont Lucy Beaumont Writer

    to-hull-and-back.jpg To Hull & Back cast: Maureen Lipman, Kerrie Marsh and Lucy Beaumont

    Winning the BBC New Comedy Award really helped me get ahead. I always saw myself as a bit of an oddball comedy act but the night of the final, in Blackpool, made me think I might be able to appeal to a mainstream audience.

    I knew I wanted to write sitcom and I knew I wanted to do it on radio. Radio comedy is special, to me. My mum slipped all of her discs in her back apart from one when I was a kid and was in hospital for over a year, we used to listen to all the old radio comedies on tape together when I visited, Steptoe and...

    Read more about To Hull and Back: From winning BBC New Comedy Award to Radio 2 sitcom

About this Blog

Behind-the-scenes insights from writers and producers on BBC TV and radio programmes.  

Get top tips on script writing and follow the journeys of writers who have come through BBC writersroom schemes and opportunities.

 

Blog Updates

Stay updated with the latest posts from the blog.

Subscribe using:

What are feeds?