One degree

I just sent off my treatment for the Euroscript story competition. Two pages of glorious prose describing a story for which I have buckets of enthusiasm, which works, fits a proven market niche, and wouldn’t cost that much. Producers email here. I’ll hear back in June whether I’ve got anywhere with it.

In the meantime, I continue to be about one degree from people doing quite nicely thankyou.Various of the actors on the Recorded For Training Purposes day keep turning up on Stewart Lee’s comedy vehicle. That has to mean something.

Doesn’t it?

Organized chaos. Or organised chaos.

As AGMs for voluntary bodies go, it was short and sweet, with only two motions going to the vote. We became a limited company, brought in a new constitution, changed the members’ rules, and had a wide a ranging discussion on long term funding.

The motions we voted on were:

  • to change the spelling of ‘organize’ to an ‘s’ from a ‘z’. This sparked a lively debate on the US versus the UK etymology of the word.
  • to change the spelling of ‘qorum’. This was a typo, and uncontroversial.

The organisation in question is a collective of about 80 writers. It employs a co-ordinator who has to organise/organize. It’s the Nottingham Writers Studio.

Forgive me, I have no idea where the apostrophe goes so I’ve left it out.

It just goes to show you can’t be too careful

David Mitchell (the one, as per his twitter description ‘who’s in Peep Show and things, not the novelist or the former Tory MP’) saw a sketch of mine on Monday night, in a pub cellar near the BBC. It, plus about a dozen others, were the fruits of the loins of a BBC comedy workshop for people who’d got stuff on Recorded For Training Purposes on BBC Radio Four.

I felt sorry for him. Not because of my Crime Festival sketch – necessarily – but because he was sitting at the front of an audience of about 40, max, thirty of whom had written stuff he was watching. The other ten were Radio Four comedy producers. Eyes were on him. Would he laugh? Would he cry? Would he slump comatose from his stool into the lap of a Radio Four producer?

My wife had already subscribed to his Tweets. She had instructions to text me if he twittered about the brilliance of any of the sketches. He didn’t. Not even mine. Actually he mostly looked bemused, although he did laugh a couple of times. Not even at mine. Nor did he slump into a lap. Not even mine.

But then neither did he slag them off, presumably because he’s far too nice and professional. Or he couldn’t be arsed. Or he was focusing on aiming his slump at a specific comedy producer.

Most likely though, he knows you just can’t be too careful.

You too can make £££s out of cranberry sauce

At the De Montfort university Screenwriting day on Saturday, Neil Mossey, of ‘Kate Modern‘ (an online drama, m’lud) pointed out that us nice liberal Guardian reading types quail at the nasty realities of funding online drama. It boils down to 1. Sponsorship, and 2. Product Placement. I quailed. He tried to quail, but everyone kept asking him about it. He was a quail fail.

I will get to cranberry sauce* in a minute.

The quailing, in the end, is probably not justified. Sponsors and Product Placers know they can’t be too crass or viewers will haemorrhage away to watch lego skateboarding hamsters; we understand that wafting some branding in front of the camera here and there is the price we pay (literally) for free content, just as DFS ads are the price we pay for Inspector Morse on ITV3. It’s just How Life Is.

The alternative is letting the BBC run the internet.

The photo thing – my Coit Tower pic on Schmapp (see below) – worked out, btw. And I put the ten minuter play in for a competition in St Ives and it’s got through to the next bit, which I’ll hear about in April.

*Cranberry sauce. When Delia Smith used cranberries on telly, demand went through the roof, so it’s not as if product placement doesn’t happen by accident anyhow. Why shouldn’t we have the benefit of it?