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  1. Producing Radio 4 Extra's Newsjack - From the Writers Room to the Edit Suite

    Friday 31 October 2014, 11:02

    Newsjack Team Newsjack Team Radio 4 Extra

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    Charlie-Perkins-and-Arnab-C.jpg Charlie Perkins and Arnab Chanda
    Hello. We are Charlie Perkins and Arnab Chanda. Charlie is a girl. Arnab is a boy. We are the Producers of the 10th and 11th series of Radio 4 Extra’s topical sketch show NewsJack. It’s quite an unorthodox show, in that it’s written almost entirely by the public, and put together in just two days. It’s an insanely quick turnaround, and can lead to panic attacks.
    The work begins for us on Monday, when we read all the sketch submissions from the public and also run the Writers Room, which usually consists of 6 writers- young standups, sketch comedians, or writers who have consistently sent great sketches into the show. In it, each writer presents three sketch ideas they have, and the whole room tries to help them shape it. It’s a very friendly and collaborative room. We hope.
    So, what makes a good topical sketch? Well, maybe the most important thing is having a target. Comedians such as Jon Stewart, John Oliver, and Charlie Brooker all have fantastic satirical shows because they know their point of view and what they want to attack. A great topical sketch similarly needs to do the same. Otherwise it can be funny, but utterly pointless. Sounds...

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  2. Writing 'Welcome to Our Village, Please Invade Carefully' for Radio 4: From Script Draft 0 to 8

    Wednesday 29 October 2014, 13:13

    Eddie Robson Eddie Robson Writer

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    I know a writer who recently told his dad it took him about four months to write a one-hour script. His dad’s response: ‘You should learn to touch-type.’
    I’m assuming that you, as someone with enough interest in the writing process to visit this blog, understand why this is funny. It’s the assumption that the script just emerges from the writer’s brain onto the page and that’s what gets made. But as we know, ‘Writing is re-writing’ – it says so on this website somewhere – and the real work is what goes on between typing the thing out.
    We try to get it right first time – in fact, we often kid ourselves that we’ll send it to the producer or script editor and they’ll weep at its perfection and we won’t have to do another stroke of work on it. These days, thanks to websites like Writersroom, we have access to loads of scripts, but they don’t usually tell you how many drafts went before. And possibly, a reader might be tempted to think there weren’t any other drafts, that this was that script that came out perfect first time, and the script will just sit there, letting them think that. But it wasn’t, because that never happens.
    So I’ve decided to offer...

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  3. BBC TV Drama - Supporting New Writing

    Monday 27 October 2014, 15:50

    BBC Writersroom BBC Writersroom .

    “We are delighted to be able to share some news about three initiatives being run by BBC in-house Drama to develop new writing talent. Vital to our work at the BBC Writersroom is the partnerships we have with internal departments, where we champion and promote talent. We have worked closely with BBC Drama to support these exciting developments and acted as consultants on all three schemes. They are targeted at writers who have already made the first important steps in their careers and have an existing body of exciting and innovative work. All three demonstrate how the BBC aims to support writers throughout their careers, from uncovering new talent in our open Script Rooms, through targeted talent searches and other writer initiatives including residential workshops and the annual TV Drama Writers’ Festival.”

    Kate Rowland, Creative Director New Writing

    BBC Drama Production Writers’ Scheme BBC Drama Production Writers’ Scheme - the nine writers on the scheme  The BBC Drama Production Writers' Scheme

    "The BBC Drama Production Writers’ Scheme was originally pitched to the former Head of Drama England, Kate Harwood, back in 2012. When the Writers’ Academy came to an end it was felt that BBC Drama needed...

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  4. The Holby City Writers Shadow Scheme

    Friday 24 October 2014, 11:40

    Laura Turner Laura Turner Writer

    Editor's Note: Following Olly Perkin's recent blog on the Casualty Writers Shadow Scheme, Laura Turner blogs for us about her experience so far on the equivalent scheme for Holby City. Shadow Schemes are run for writers on all the BBC's Continuing Drama shows: EastEnders, Doctors, Casualty and Holby City.

    Holby City Filming Holby City

    Writers write. Simple. Except writers also wait. And wait. For the phone to ring, their emails to refresh – and the past couple of months have been full of nervous excitement after applying for the Holby City shadow scheme. I’ve watched the show since its inception...

    Read more about The Holby City Writers Shadow Scheme

  5. Room to Write from BBC Scotland Comedy

    Monday 20 October 2014, 16:40

    Keiron Nicholson Keiron Nicholson Writer and Comedian

    Room to Write Room to Write

    So here I am, somehow, in the BBC, the home of most of the comedy I’ve loved since I was only yay high (imagine I am positioning my hand to indicate a low height, perhaps the height of a twelve-year old or a particularly ashamed man).

    I’m one of the people lucky enough to have won a place on the BBC’s Room to Write scheme. Masterminded by Steven Canny and Laura Marks (BBC Comedy), Room to Write is setting out to find and develop the next wave of Scottish comedy writers. Twenty-two of us have made it this far, and as the scheme continues we must kill each other off with a...

    Read more about Room to Write from BBC Scotland Comedy

  6. Writing for 'Casualty' - the Shadow Scheme

    Wednesday 15 October 2014, 16:28

    Olly Perkin Olly Perkin Writer

    Editor's Note: Writers Shadow Schemes are run for all the BBC's Continuing Drama shows - EastEnders, Doctors, Casualty and Holby City.  They mirror the show's writing process by developing and producing an episode from which the writer will be assessed for a commission. Training includes workshops, lectures and exercises on storytelling and the show's format together with a formal induction and set tour.  There are eight writers on this year's Casualty Shadow Scheme including Olly Perkin who blogs about his experience so far.

    Casualty Clapperboard Casualty

    The Casualty Writers Shadow Scheme has been a great learning...

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  7. From Writersroom talent search to writing on 'The Numtums' for CBeebies

    Friday 3 October 2014, 16:09

    Liam Farrell Liam Farrell Writer

    numtums-2.jpg

    “Yeah, you should definitely be a Copywriter. That’s a great way of meeting loads of people who work in television.”

    That’s what I was told four years ago, late one stuffy September evening, in Mexico City by a fellow traveller. “Really?” I replied, wide eyed at the prospect of how simple it was to infiltrate the perceived fortress of the television industry. “Yeah, pretty much every decent television writer starts off as a copywriter”. It seemed a watertight argument.

    Fast forward a few months and back on home soil, I’d managed to get myself some regular freelance copywriting...

    Read more about From Writersroom talent search to writing on 'The Numtums' for CBeebies

  8. The Secret Art of Script Editing

    Tuesday 30 September 2014, 13:39

    BBC Writersroom BBC Writersroom .

    Editor's Note: In this podcast, published by the BBC Academy, find out why a good Script Editor is vital to any production, and what exactly they do.

    Script Editing podcast image The Secret Art of Script Editing

    With long-running series like EastEnders and Coronation Street gracing our screens several times a week, writers have a tough task in keeping the story fresh and maintaining the audience's interest. So what role does the script editor play in the process? 

    Henry Swindell, Development Producer from BBC Writersroom, and Ellen Taylor, former script editor and current writer on ITV's Coronation Street, give us some...

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  9. The Driver

    Tuesday 23 September 2014, 14:43

    Danny Brocklehurst Danny Brocklehurst Writer

    In all my most recent shows – Exile, Talk To Me, The Street and Accused - I have created lead characters that are morally complicated. Lead characters that walk the fine line between good and bad, their behaviour is sometimes appalling, but in the next breath they are charming, funny, likeable. These characters are interesting to me – I don’t do good guys - I like characters that are difficult, characters that tell lies, characters that keep secrets, characters with flaws. So when Jim Poyser and myself came up with the idea for The Driver – a taxi driver who starts driving for a criminal...

    Read more about The Driver

  10. Writing the "Marvellous" life story of Neil Baldwin

    Monday 22 September 2014, 12:55

    Peter Bowker Peter Bowker Writer

    Editor’s note: Marvellous is a new film about the extraordinary real-life story of Neil Baldwin - a man who refused to accept the label of learning difficulties and confounds all expectations. It will be on BBC Two, at 9pm on Thurs 25th.

    Marvellous-image2.jpg Marvellous, BBC Two: Toby Jones as Neil Baldwin

    I was sitting in rolling fields in brilliant sunshine outside Stoke On Trent. An unlikely sentence, I know, but it gets unlikelier. A few yards away the industrious hum of film making could be heard. Sitting next to me was Neil Baldwin. He had an oversized clown’s shoe on his lap which he was signing for...

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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.

 

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