30 April, 2010

Coming Up TV screenwriting comp (UK)


COMING UP is the only talent scheme currently in the UK where emerging film-makers have the opportunity to make an authored drama with a guaranteed network broadcast. Now in its tenth year, Channel 4 and Touchpaper TV, part of the RDF Media Group, continue their commitment to innovation, experimentation and new voices.

We will make up to 7 eye-catching, innovative, challenging films from the best fresh talent in the UK. Each film will be for a half-hour C4 slot and we are looking for:

Bold, original and surprising ideas with strong voices - unafraid of ambition, wit, urgency and fearless entertainment.

Films that can be shot in 4 days on a limited budget

WRITERS: This scheme is open to all writers who have NOT had an ORIGINAL single, series or serial broadcast on UK television; writers who have contributed episodes to series or serials (e.g. a long-running soap) are eligible to apply.

DIRECTORS: The scheme is open to directors without a primetime TV drama credit.

WRITER / DIRECTORS: We will accept submissions from Writer/Directors (as above) but excellence in BOTH disciplines must be shown to be considered in this category.

The closing date for receipt of applications is:WEDNESDAY 9th JUNE 2010

ALL applications are by POST ONLY: COMING UP 2011, Touchpaper, 3-6 Kenrick Place, London W1U 6HD

Full guidelines and application forms are available on the Touchpaper and Channel 4 websites as below or email specific queries to ComingUp@touchpapertv.com

COMING UP 2011 Application Form.doc255 KB
COMING UP 2011 Equal Opportunities Form.doc268 KB
COMING UP 2011 Guidelines.doc255.5 KB


4 Talent

23 April, 2010

Pact launches strategy to build UK film production sector


"Pact, the trade body for independent producers, has launched an innovative new proposal for the public funding of UK film production, which aims to create a more sustainable film sector without the need for more public money.

Based on the report ‘A New Business Model for UK Film’, by Olsberg SPI for Pact, the strategy proposes that content creators would retain substantial IP ownership and have greater access to revenues from the films they create. The proposals represent relatively straightforward adjustments to current practices that will change the business model for the UK production sector on a fundamental basis, empowering production companies and delivering market-driven grown. "

Article in full

20 April, 2010


Benjamin Cahan, inventor and co-founder of Final Draft™, the worldwide leader in screenwriting software, is proud to announce Talentville.com, a new global social network specifically created to give a voice and create opportunities for screenwriters and playwrights who lack insider connections but share the desire to be produced. By bringing together writers in a collaborative online environment that helps each member be the best that they can be, Talentville aims to be not just an online screenwriting community but in fact a “city” of writers
Talentville, Inc. announces the launch of a comprehensive online community for aspiring screenwriters where each member can work on their craft, network with other writers and industry professionals and ultimately benefit from their hard work.

“For too long,” Mr. Cahan states, “unknowns with talent and a driving passion to achieve a career as a writer in the entertainment industry have found it extremely difficult to get the attention of the Hollywood’s inner circle. Literary agents, personal managers, producers and studio executives rarely read unsolicited material, leaving talented but uncredited writers sitting on the outside looking in. Talentville aims to bridge that gap, harnessing the power of the many to find the best of the best and then actively promote top-rated works to professionals in motion pictures, television and live theater.”

Because the internet is accessible worldwide, the goal of the site is to create an entirely new market for aspiring writers regardless of their proximity to New York or Los Angeles or their financial ability to pack it up and move with the hope of meeting industry insiders willing to help advance their career. Talentville is about great stories well told, and anyone with the passion to write and the willingness to improve their skills deserves the opportunity to be seen and considered.

For industry professionals looking for the next big thing, Talentville provides a secure way to search for fresh material and ideas without being inundated by a constant barrage of unsolicited queries and requests.

According to Cahan, “Terms such as ‘pay it forward’ and ‘lend a helping hand’ have been noticeably absent from the creative arts for too long. Talentville hopes to reenergize that spirit and begin to send the elevator back down so that those with the talent and drive but without insider connections can get the ride to the top floor that they deserve. “

Talentville has partnered with Scriptapalooza to provide professional coverage for top rated submissions and with some of the top screenwriting authors, teachers and gurus including John Truby, Marilyn Horowitz, Dave Trottier and Chris Soth to provide educational content and expert advice.

For more information regarding Talentville.com, contact Benjamin Cahan at 310-482-1246 or via email at bcahan@talentville.com. The corporate address is 333 Washington Blvd. #601 Marina del Rey, CA 90292.

- END -

14 April, 2010

"The Quay brothers come to IndieMovies!" (UK only)

"We have a treat in store for our UK readers today: fifteen frightening, freaky, funny shorts from the brothers Quay.

We’ve each provided a little intro to the films we watched because these must surely be some of the most unusual films we’ve had the privilege of hosting."

Article in full

12 April, 2010

New Play: "The White Room" (St. Albans)

Commissioned by Theatrix Theatre Company, Katie McCullough has adapted the short story ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’. Radically modernised for a 21st century audience McCullough aims to carry through the horror first depicted by Charlotte Perkins Gilman in the original.


With Liam spending more time at work and the pressures of motherhood bearing down on Helen the couple bicker with each other to devastating and revealing results. She thinks he’s having an affair and he can’t seem to inject their life with the warmth he’s so ready to give while battling with money issues. After wading through their fears and differences the couple reconcile only for the past to be dug back up. With newborn Isabel palmed off to the mother-in-law for the night Helen talks about that fateful incident that cruelly took their previous child.

CAST: Helen – Suzy Duxbury / Liam – Alex Bell

DIRECTOR: Rosemarie Partridge

PLAYWRIGHT: Katie McCullough

The performances will take place:

* 5pm and 8pm Saturday 17th April
* 5pm and 8pm Sunday 18th April

After the last performance on Sunday there will be the opportunity to talk to the cast and crew in an informal Q&A session.

40mins (approx), 2 actors, 1 room and in real time.

(Limited seating per performance. Book now.)


The Abbey Theatre
Westminster Lodge
Holywell Hill
St Albans AL1 2DL (Click here for map)


Tickets are £7 (£5 concessions)
Please phone 01727 860217 to book. Or you can email Dennis O’Connell Baker on admin@theatrix.co.uk to reserve your tickets for collection/payment on the door. Please be aware that we are unable to process credit card payments. Cash or cheque only.

08 April, 2010

03 April, 2010

Glen A Larson - writer/producer - interview

"In his Archive interview, producer/writer Glen A. Larson talks about his early years as member of the popular musical act The Four Preps. He discusses his transition to writing and production, culminating in series as It Takes a Thief, Battlestar Galactica, Quincy, M.E., Magnum P.I., and Knight Rider, among others. Glen A. Larson was interviewed in Woodland Hills, CA on February 5, 2009; Lee Goldberg conducted the four-and-a-half-hour interview."

Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

Other interviews available at Archive of American Television

02 April, 2010

Jeffrey Leiber - Miami Medical - showrunner interview

Daily Kos: What's the most frustrating part about taking on a TV series, and what's the most awesome part?

Jeff Leiber: "The most awesome part is it's really freaking fun. Most of working in Hollywood is about developing things that never get made. I've killed more trees getting paid to write scripts that will never see the light of day. On the show, I get to actually make something. I remember this moment on the very first pilot I ever shot---right after the table read---where I noticed the hair people taking an actor away and talking to him about cutting off all his hair. I freaked out and said, "Wait, wait. Why the hell are you going to do that?" And they said, "Because its in the script. Here." And they pointed to where I had written: "He stands there. Head shaved bald." It was the moment it occurred to me, "Oh, dear God. The crap I write actually matters? No, no. STOP! I'M AN IDIOT!"

As for the least awesome part: the stupid shit always undoes you. Actors won't come out of their trailers. The studio guy has a cousin who is an "actress". Network "testing" has decided this line doesn't "read" Father Mulcahy. The WORK... I'd do for free. The people-do-strange-selfish-things-part... that's why they have to pay me."

Article in full

01 April, 2010

Deadlines Calendar

My Deadlines Calendar has been updated with various things including the BBC Drama Academy on 5 May and the Red Planet Prize of 1 September (although that date is a guess until they confirm in May)

I compiled a workshop type thing for the first Red Planet Prize, if you want some useful writing links. It's here.

Rather helpfully Script Frenzy starts today with the aim of encouraging us to complete a first draft this month.

Back Up Your Data Day - 04/10

It's the first of the month which means it's Back Up Your Data Day (although it should be done day-to-day!).

We can also use this day to delete stuff we no longer need and defragment our hard drive(s) to keep our machine lean and clean, if you know what I mean.

Windows guide to defragmenting
Mac users don't have to defragment, apparently.


Five Electronic Writing Tools You Probably Need

While there's clearly no substitute for gluing your sorry derriere to a seat and keeping it there for a long time, as your fingers type brilliance into a Word document or a script-file, there are now various tools which make the whole process of creating fiction easier and/or more fun. It's a really exciting time, in terms of technological advances slickly facilitating your creativity and connectivity."

Article in full


Computer Virus Effect Remover

"This is a helpful software program for the Windows operating system after an infection with malicious software like a virus, trojan or worm has occurred. It can be used to remove various effects of those malicious programs"

Article in full

Worst passwords ever (and how to improve them)

"A list of the 10 most commonly-used passwords has been published and you better hope yours is not included!"

Article in full


How To: Back Up All Your Stuff For Free
, No Hard Drive Needed


"People don't neglect backing up their computers because it's hard—it isn't, at all. No, people file into the inevitable death march of data loss for one reason: Backing up usually costs money. But it doesn't have to.

Article in full


A reminder about Matt's simple and effective back-up:

"I have never been able to get the hang of proper backup software and procedures. I always end up getting into a complete pickle about the various full backups, interim backups and how the bloody hell I'd back everything up if my hard-drive became shot with the backup software on it. So these days I just have a complete clone of My Documents on a portable drive and use Microsoft's Synctoy to keep the files up to date."

However I would suggest backing up your entire Documents and Settings folder and not just the My Documents part of it as it which would include emails and favourites/bookmarks. This link has more details.

I asked Lee about the Mac equivalent:

"Things like emails, bookmarks, fonts, templates, RSS feeds, Applescripts - anything used by an application, but not created by it when you hit Save - are kept in your Home folder, in the Library. In Mac speak, that's ~/Library. Apple apps such as Mail, Safari, and iTunes may have their own folders. Non-Apple apps like NetNewsWire, Montage, Final Draft, Scrivener etc, will keep all their stuff in ~/Library/Application Support. The truly paranoid might want to back up their preference files as well. I know I do. These are in ~/Library/Prefences.

For safety's sake, back up the entire Library folder, it's probably only a few hundred megs."

Jason Sutton added:

"Backing up Macs is impossibly easy. Buy an external hard drive and use Time Machine. It's built in to OS X. The best back-ups are the ones you don't have to think about. Brilliant application."

Thank you Matt and Lee and Jason!


Don't be an April fool, be clever and cool, use a back-up tool.

Don't delay, do it today. It's Back Up Your Data Day, hooray!