screenwriting

Jack Thorne on screenwriting, fatherhood and His Dark Materials

Iorek Byrnison (Joe Tandberg) and Lyra Belacqua (Dafne Keen) (Credit: BBC/Bad Wolf/HBO)

‘Rachel doesn’t let me cycle,” laughs writer Jack Thorne as I am leaving his north London home following our interview. Rachel is his wife, a comedy agent and keen cyclist herself, who laughs back: “Yes, he’d just be cycling along and have a script idea and that would be that.”

Jeff Pope reflects on his TV career in screenwriting

Martin Freeman in A Confession (Credit: ITV)

You could be forgiven for thinking that Jeff Pope was obsessed by the macabre. Why else would he be drawn to such odious topics as the Moors murders, serial killer Fred West or Britain’s last hangman, Albert Pierrepoint?

He puts it like this: “If drama is about conflict, which it is, you’re looking for the extremes of conflict. Those areas are love, fate and, I would argue, crime.

“I am not a depressive person or ghoulish but it’s the old journalist in me: there’s a good story in it.”

BBC Studios launches Writers' Academy

Participants will write for shows including EastEnders (Credit: BBC / Kieron McCarron)

Led by former BBC and Channel 4 Head of Drama John Yorke, the Writers’ Academy will offer writers in the early stage of their careers the chance to develop their skills on some of the BBC’s long-running drama series.

The paid scheme will see successful applicants complete an intensive 13-week classroom period, followed by three months scripting episodes of Casualty, Holby City and EastEnders.

Participants will graduate with up to four scripts to their name, and will have their services optioned by BBC Studios for the next two years.

Lisa McGee discusses the success of Derry Girls and female-led comedies

Derry Girls Mural (Credit: Channel 4)

Peek around the corner of Badgers Bar in Derry and you’ll see the larger-than-life faces of Erin, Clare, Michelle, Orla and James plastered over the wall. As far as signs of a show’s success go, they don’t get much bigger than a five-metre-high mural.

From the moment the profane and brilliant Derry Girls burst on to our screens last year in a haze of teenage escapades, nostalgic music and 1990s artefacts – such as pastel printed wallpaper, Baby-G watches and armed soldiers on the streets – it captivated its audience.

RTS Student Masterclasses 2018: from journalism to camerawork

Ruth Pitt, Pia Di Ciaula and Rick Barker (Credit: Paul Hampartsoumian)

Journalism

Clive Myrie

Journalist and presenter, BBC News

In an era of widespread concern about fake news, trusted and experienced correspondents such as the BBC’s award-winning Clive Myrie are more important than ever.

Mike Bartlett discusses new drama Press

Charlotte Riley stars in Press (Credit: BBC)

Theatre playwrights and TV screenwriters tend to be different animals who spend most of their time in one cage. Sir David Hare occasionally takes a break between National Theatre commissions to write a TV series, such as BBC Two’s recent Collateral, and Dennis Potter did a single theatre play, Sufficient Carbohydrate, but these were recognisably excursions from their main creative space.

Doctor Who announces writers and directors for new series

(Credit: BBC)

Showrunner Chris Chibnall commented, “Hailing from a range of backgrounds, tastes and styles, here’s what unites them: they are awesome people as well as brilliant at their job. (It matters!) They love Doctor Who. And they’ve all worked above and beyond the call of duty in an effort to bring audiences something special, later this year.”

Past notable writers have included Neil Gaiman, Douglas Adams and Richard Curtis.