Following on from last week’s post about the seminar I attended a few years ago at the Soho Theatre in which the speaker admitted that scripts sent to BBC Writersroom seldom end up being made into TV – and the angst-ridden horror of the 100+ playwright attendees when they realised their beautifully crafted play would never see the light of day on TV – we turn our attention to the positives that did come out of this session. If you haven’t read the last post, find it here.
(Just to say I managed to locate my notes on the ‘Perfect Ten’ – the talk I attended which is really helpful and you can download by clicking here!)
Okay, the main thing I took away from what was said at the seminar is that those who write plays have a ‘head start’ on those who don’t. Mainly because they possess many of the skills necessary for writing TV drama. Things such as:
- writing in a medium that is dialogue-driven
- creating well-crafted characters with flaws and disparate personalities that will be exposed on stage to a live audience
- working in a way to manage tense conflict within small set/locations
- developing interesting storylines that keep an audience hooked while facilitating a slow-burn
- not giving too much away while keeping tension and suspense
- writing in ways that are not overtly elaborate or exhaustative on budgets for actors/locations……and dare I say it…
- tried, tested and approved by theatre audiences long before they take that step into TV writing and production.
Indeed, look at the CVs of most writers and you will see they were writing plays long before the opportunity to move into TV happened. And a number of them will point back to one of their plays garnering interest from someone who saw the potential for them as a writer in other mediums/formats. Moral of the story – take a step sideways to move forward? Unless of course you love theatre and want to write for that medium in which case keep on, keeping on! Til next time…
(ps I have decided to add a third part: ‘why producing your own script is good for your health and well-being.’