Sunday, 8 June 2008

The Looking Glass.

At some point in the first year, I realised I needed to let go of those big dreams of feature films and Hollywood and be realistic. So they went. Even television is ridiculously difficult to break into and has a lot more to do with luck than talent. It's a much closer dreamland and more possible than film. But something that concerns me is that i don't know if i'm being realistic enough. After all, part of being a writer is being a dreamer.

Through this year I've tried to be as realistic as possible and by the last term felt like my feet where on the ground. But even now i don't think they really are. Clearly it helps to have that dream horizon in your minds eye but how much is it really clouding my vision? That's what worries me. It is a extremely competitive industry and is 'survival of the fittest.' I'm not optimistic by nature, so this is a new thing for me and I know adapting isn't going to be easy.

I see two areas where my near future lies within television; realistically and where I want to be. They are still a giant leap to a very, very far away place but it does help to look at it in a different way and by breaking it down into achievable steps. The best thing I can do now and aim for, is the next step from my current position.

The two areas of interest and where my near future (and hopefully future will contain) lies in: (order)

Television; soaps, one-off dramas, high-concept genre series, and Animation; shorts and serial.

The second is more competitive and difficult to get into. Its a very specific market and therefore is more closed off to newcomers. So that will naturally take a backseat.

The third interest, independent UK feature films is a much larger step and one that will be more achievable after being established in the industry and supporting various credits and contacts.

The mode of approach is to target the main area; television and the sub-areas (companies/genres) within that:


1. Find out who is producing what, what have they done, companies and producers attitudes and ethics, how they commission projects, what they're looking to make, who has the power, who to approach etc.

2. Find out the history/conventions of your chosen subjects/genre and know them inside out.

3. Find potential ways into the market i.e Graduate schemes, BBC Talent and C4 Talent etc. Shows open to submissions i.e Doctors. Voluntary/low paid work i.e. runner.

4. Keep writing and regularly as possible (with strict personal deadlines).

5. Keep watching television - analyze shows and past/current trends. Looking for and spotting an unexplored niche or new way of doing something.

5. Enter scriptwriting competitions and gain recognition for your writing.

6. Keep in touch with television student contacts and offer your services for any potential short student films they may make.

It does seems simple and straightforward when spelt out. But at times it'll be akin to hell i'm sure and that's when the so-called virtues will come into play.

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