Tag: craft

  • The McGrath Point

    Contains spoilers for the first few episodes of Lost and Firefly. Denis McGrath is off to Los Angeles. Possibly for good. And his blog, in its current format at least, is going into the long archive. So as we bid him farewell or au revoir, I want to share something that he brought to my […]

  • The nomenclature of showrunning

    Over the last few years there’s been a growing call in the UK drama industry for a move to a US-style system, where the person in charge of a TV programme is also a writer. In this country I’m only aware of two shows that do this: Doctor Who and Holby City. Unfortunately, this system […]

  • Letters From America: A good day, on the whole.

    originally posted 8th March 2004— Draft Zero of the Enterprise spec is finished. It’s not a First Draft. It’s not at that level yet. What it has, is enough words to fill fifty pages in screenplay format. Now that the final “Fade out.” has been typed, I’ve printed it out and read it end-to-end for […]

  • The same act of writing, but in real time.

    Stephen Gallagher has written a post about how the freelance writing process works in US TV. And there’s a promise of another post on the Writers’ Room system coming soon. Well worth your time.

  • Show me on the doll where the bad script touched you.

    Balls Out is a screenplay that does exactly what it says on the tin. You’ll love it or hate it. I think I can safely guarantee you won’t have a neutral opinion. The script did take a little while to go all the way with me, but once it got into a rhythm, it was […]

  • Dear John

    Paying a reader to give you notes on your script is like paying a prostitute to give you notes on your sexual technique. Yes, they’re a professional.Yes, they’re good at what they do.And yes, if you’re just starting out there’s a case to be made that advice from someone who’s been around the blocks a […]

  • 10,000 hours

    That’s how long it takes to get to be a world-class expert at something. Or 8,000 if you merely want to be good. There’s an extract from Malcolm Gladwell’s new book over at The Guardian today, which backs up my earlier post on the irrelevance of talent. My thesis there, backed up by Gladwell, is […]

  • What Bonekickers Did Wrong

    It’s not what you think. Spoilers follow. If you’ve talked with me about television recently, the odds are that I’ve told you in some detail about my love of the recent archaeological action-adventure show Bonekickers. Each episode kicks off with a bit of archaeology, and ends in madness. For example: In the first episode, our […]

  • TAPS

    As far as I can tell I’m the third blogger to go on a TAPS Continuing Drama course, following in the steps of Lucy in 2006 and David in 2007. Perhaps they only let one of us in each year lest we contaminate the other talent and they all start blogging too. Anyhow, here’s what […]

  • Cardiff TAPS

    This weekend, I shall mostly be on a TAPS Continuing Drama course in Cardiff. TAPS is an industry training scheme for writers. For two-and-a-half days you get taught how to write a Continuing Drama (with particular emphasis on Emmerdale), and then you go away and write a short drama using the Emmerdale sets. Some of […]