Sunday, 20 December 2009

Writing for Holby City

Over at the Screenwriting Goldmine there is a great interview with Simon Harper who is responsible for finding new screenwriters for BBC1's show Holby City. In the interview, he discusses how to start writing for the show and how you might get him to read your script.

If you are interested in writing for the show and finding out about Holby's Shadow Scheme, then head on over to the interview, which can be found here. The interview takes place over the phone and is best listened to with headphones.

A few highlights from the interview:

Always looking for new writers.

He works with the Writers Academy, although, his job is to recruit new writers not through the writers academy. He's the alternative path onto Holby City.

He takes on a "I will read anything attitude."

Works with writers on the Shadow Scheme, which is for less experienced writers.

Scripts that show a great synthesis between guest and serial story are the spine of the show.

"Good, cracking, intelligent, ballsy dialogue is a must."

"It's about getting the characters voices because the characters drive these shows. It is a love for and investment in these characters and the consistency of those characters..."

You don't have to know the show that well. - "It doesn't discount you."

It's a matter of sending him your script. He will read it and gets back to everyone.

Reads 20 spec scripts a week.

Doesn't have enough female writers. Would like more.

It's his pleasure and privilege to read stuff and see who is out there.

You don't have to send a medical spec script.

He's looking for strong, meaty, dramatic writers, but equally people who can do drama and big emotional stories, but also who can be funny and playful... people who can write wonderful characters.

There is a hell of a lot of competition for a limited slot.

True talent will win through.

Scriptwriting in the UK has a great post about BBC Shadow Schemes/Trial Scripts for continuing dramas, which is worth checking out, here.

Information on the various BBC Shadow Schemes can be found at the writersroom.

The current episode of radio comedy show Ed Reardon's Week - Series 1 entitled Holby City centres on an attempt at writing for the show and is an amusing episode. It can be found here on the bbc iplayer.

1 comment:

  1. Phew! Cheers for all that info Bob!

    And many thanks for your kind "welcome back" over at mine.