Monday, June 15, 2009

Perspectives on the human condition - for kids!

Dashed away from working full pelt on two as-yet-unannounced mountains of work to attend the BBC Writersroom's Q&A with new head of CBBC Drama Steven Andrew and writer Ellie Brewer. There's a competition to write a new drama script for 8-12s with a deadline of 1 July. Hope to get something in there once I'm past my two current mountains.

Sat with a good throng of other wannabes in the Royal Court Theatre. There were clips of MI High, Roman Mysteries and Sarah Jane - the latter from an episode by one Joseph Lidster. I wonder whatever became of him?

Kids' telly is a simple brief: expanding the imagination with unmissable storytelling, offering new perspectives on life and vivid sensations the kids will remember for ever.

While kids' drama needs to be be from the perspective of kids, they also can't be in every scene because of the restrictions on child actors. So you need adults, and also adults-only scenes, and enough kids to vary up schedules. Kids also can tend to have more days off sick than adults, so you need some flexibility for last-minute re-writes.

Keep kids' dialogue short, too: the actors need to remember it, and they need to be able to say it. In fact many of the clips we saw had very little dialogue - several minutes of material all told entirely visually.

But most of my notes are about specific things in the idea I've already got. So I'm not going to share those here, at least not now.

Didn't stay long after, but said hello to Jason Arnopp, then dashed home to the waiting mountains. Missed the storm by a whisker.

ETA: Transcript of the talk here.

1 comment:

Garpu said...

I totally misread that as a competition *for* writers aged 8 to 12. Time to get some sleep...