Tuesday, March 14, 2006

BBC Directors' Academy

Apparently, the BBC received about 3,000 submissions for their Summer Evening Play slot while CBBC's recent invite for one-page ideas received about 500 hopefuls. I got a rejection for the CBBC pitch but I've yet to hear about the Evening Play. I'm told they've made up a shortlist so I expect my rejection any day now...

Following on from last year's Writing Academy initiative, the BBC have now opened up a scheme for new Directors. Although, the course is three weeks long rather than the Writing Academy's one year programme. Details below:


BBC Continuing Drama Series - Directors' Academy 2006 Ref. 81021

Organisation: BBC Location: Central London
Date posted: 13 Mar 06
Closing date: 30 Mar 06


Job description

BBC Drama is launching a major new training initiative for 12 trainee directors that will entail classroom training, studio trailing and mentoring from some of the country's best directors. The academy will also cover instruction in all aspects of television production, and actual directing experience with the aim of offering successful graduates freelance directing contracts on our flagship shows. The course will take place over three weeks in June.

If you have had substantial production experience, had your directing work broadcast on television or radio, produced for the screen, or performed professionally in the theatre then please apply now! You'll need to send evidence of your work with your application.

London, three weeks' training

Applications to be received by 30 March.

28 comments:

Optimistic_Reader said...

Hi Danny,

Did you enter the BBC One Drama opp last year? I'm expecting my rejection slip for that any day now! On the subject of new drama submissions, I'd be interested to hear more about your experiences winning the Tony Doyle award - has it opened a lot of doors for you? And how's the development process of your script going?

Dom Carver said...

I received my rejection letter for the Evening Plays on the 1st February. I thought it was a nice letter until someone else showed me theirs. It was exactly the same except for the one sentance where they mentioned my script. Then again I suppose they had to use a template if they received just under 3000 entries otherwise they would have worn their fingers out typing all those replies.

Danny Stack said...

The BBC One Drama Opp is the same as the Evening Play so I'm expecting the rejection soon. Great blog by the way Optimistic Reader, glad you stopped by, I'll be adding you to me links. And I'll chat about Tony Doyle and the script's development soon...

Optimistic_Reader said...

Thanks Danny. And thanks for clarifying that the Evening Play is the same as the BBC One Drama - I thought that was something I'd missed out on!

Dan said...

Apparently (and this comes from an industry insider) the shortlist was decided just before the new year. I got my rejection at the end of January. I've just added it to the pile and grown another layer of skin. It's getting quite thick now.

Lucy said...

Can't BELIEVE you haven't got your rejection, how annoying!!! Have you tried emailing? I have the email address of the main script editor if you want it, I demanded my rejection at the beginning of Feb after someone I know at BBC NI told me the shortlist was done.

My rejection had three lines of feedback in it - that's a vast improvement on the CBBC pitch rejection, which was a blatant template, offering no reasons or anything. Hey ho. Talking of which, does anyone know anyone who WASN'T rejected for the CBBC pitch? Just wondering what they wanted...like blood or first born sons ; )

Dom Carver said...

Lucy, you got THREE lines of feedback? I'm sending my rejection letter back for a recount I only got two. I feel cheated somehow.

The BBC requires your soul, it's in the small print in their charter.

I know what you mean, Dan. My skin is now only venerable to a direct missile strike.

Lucy said...

Ah, of course - one's soul. How could I have been so foolish.

Actually, "funny" story over the shortlist farago (well it wasn't that funny at the time for me, though it is a good example of how an off-the-cuff remark can get COMPLETELY OUT OF HAND!)...

Someone claiming to actually work for the evening play initiative posted on a writers' forum that the shortlist had already been decided upon before New Year. When I questioned this (not horribly, I might add: HONEST!!!) - I just said I'd heard differently from my own contact and the script editors on the evening play themselves, having emailed them (also, it had said on the Writers' Guild e-bulletin the shortlist would be decided upon by New Year, so I figured privately this person was actually quoting that as opposed to real insider info).

Anyway, this guy/girl went MENTAL and had a massive go at me via private msg and got REALLY personal, even saying they were "reporting me for violating the privacy of BBC"!! The moderator on the forum got involved 'cos of the abuse and actually sent all the emails from this guy/girl to the Evening Play people who confirmed, no - s/he did not work for the BBC, in the evening play initiative dept or otherwise and no, the shortlist was definitely not decided upon. Think this was first week of January. Some people hey!!!

Dan said...

I think I remember the said person on the said forum, Lucy.

Probably where I got my mis-information from. I don't think he/she posts on there any longer.

Anonymous said...

wow this is all fascinating stuff! BTW did other BBC rejectees have the line "after much discussion, we eventually took the decision that "***" didn't quite fit into the final mix of short-listed ideas, so have therefore decided to pass".
I was so buoyed by this - that I emailed to say I'm forging ahead with the script and would they read it - and they said yes!
Who knows our rejected scripts may well be better than the developed ones anyway (less pressure huh) so onwards...!

James Moran said...

Hmm, so the writing course is a year long, but the directing one only takes 3 weeks, eh...? he said, cheekily

I decided a long time ago that all rejection letters were personally dictated and specific to me. When they say "we gave it a lot of thought", I imagine them agonising over my brilliant script, but ultimately being torn between it and another amazing project.

Lucy said...

Anonymous - you should always ask, my mum said. I think it's true!! Good luck with that. You and James are right - our rejected ideas are obviously SO MUCH better than those that were commissioned... Script readers were frightened by our potential, so they had to bury it. When you don't understand, you get scared, see... ; )

Dan - I've no idea if it was misinformation from my contacts at the beginning of Jan about the shortlist NOT being decided upon until the middle of Jan, yours may have been quite right! Whatever the case though, I no longer bother with these forums 'cos of the possibility of LOONIES like that - amazing how one can try and enter into a discussion and find oneself in the middle of a playground mud-slinging battlefield! Thank goodness for blogs and all the lovely people out there like your good selves! ; )

Dom Carver said...

Anonymous.... That's the spirit. I like your style ;-)

Optimistic_Reader said...

What a small world it is - Dom, I recognise your picture, you're a Bournemouth Uni alumnus, yes? Think you were the year above me on the scriptwriting degree, my friend and I used to bump into you in the bar! And Lucy, I think from your reading your previous posts you did the same course as well? And of course, Danny lives in Bournemouth. Is there some strange law whereby any screenwriter with a connection to Bournemouth MUST have a blog? Curious!

Lucy said...

I think so! Bournemouth is a cool place, quite inspiring. Too bad house prices are such a bitch and primary schools aren't too good(can't believe I just wrote that, how old am I?!?)

If Dom was in the year above you Optimistic Reader, you must've graduated in 2002, right? I was in the year below YOU! I bet I would know your picture if I saw it since I was ALWAYS in Dylan's ; )

Optimistic_Reader said...

Yes, I graduated in 2002. So we have the class of 01, 02 and 03 represented in the blogosphere! Sometimes I miss Dylans. I spent a lot of time there in the first year on account of the crappy living conditions I had at the time. In the second and third year not so much. Still, I'm sure I would recognise your picture too Lucy, I have a great memory for names and faces.

By the way, thanks Danny and Dom for linking to my page. I shall duly return the favour next time I'm updating.

Dom Carver said...

Optimistic. You might well have bumped into me in Dylan's... I bumped into a lot of people. I also seem to remember spending quite a bit of time on the floor too.

Danny lives in Bournemouth? You and Lucy are Bournemouth Uni Scriptwriting graduates too? You know what this means???? We could start up a Bournemouth Scriptwriting Group!!!!! Hurrah!!!!!! I suggest we all meet up over a pint or two....or seven :-)

Lucy said...

I second that motion Dom, but unfortunately am eight months' pregnant, so booze is off limits. Also, I don't actually live in Bournemouth.

However, I am definitely going to be IN Bournemouth in the summer as I am every year, so anyone who wants to schedule much drinking then is more than welcome to join me.

Dom Carver said...

Sounds like a plan.

If any other Bournemouth Grads, or writers living in Bournemouth would like to meet up to discuss their work, etc. I'm well up for that.

Optimistic_Reader said...

A B'mouth scriptwriting circle meet up would be good, but I haven't been back in Bournemouth since graduating. Still, would be good to have an excuse to go back and get some sea air. Is Coriander the Mexican restaurant still there? And Daisy O'Brien's pub?

If any of the B'mouth pack are London bound, I'm up for a meet-up. And let's face it, the majority of script-related events are held in London so there are plenty of excuses.

Lucy said...

Not a bad idea! I'll be in London lots for the METLAB initiative - I'm acting as a script editor on it. First meeting in August. Also the month of my birthday. And I haven't had alcohol for ELEVEN MONTHS NOW! So defo as far as I'm concerned.

Optimistic_Reader said...

Well, my email is in my blogger profile so feel free to get in touch any time.

James Moran said...

Yeah, well, I could have lived in Bournemouth if I wanted to. I'm still cool.

Dom Carver said...

James

You're right you could live in Bournemouth. With that blue hair you'll fit right in with the blue rinse brigade ;-)

Joanna said...

Although I'm aware this blog is years old, it's still worth a shot.

I've just applied for the 'Scriptwriting for Tv and Film' course at Bournemouth. any advice? do's and don'ts? would love to hear from you guys.

Did you ever meet up for that drink?

Danny Stack said...

Hi Joanna - the Bournemouth Uni has a great rep for its screenwriting course, so you should check it out to see if it's for you.

There's a big screenwriting/filmmaking community down here, quite social, too!

Robert Yates said...

Hi Joanna, I agree with Danny, and have graduated BA Scriptwriting for Film & Television at Bournemouth myself. The class of 09.

However, Southampton University are now offering the same degree and cover all the genres, and is the first scriptwriting degree in the UK to do so. It might be worth a look, for instance, if comedy is your interest, because while I was at Bournemouth it didn't feature there. But that may have changed.

Good luck, and if you need any advice or anything don't hesitate to contact me. I'd be happy to help.

Creative Cravings said...

Hi Danny and Rob! thank you so much for your advice. I stupidly didn't look back on here to see if you had replied and I have already sent my application off. I've applied for Bournemouth but I wish I had known about Southampton, it's my own fault. Bournemouth has been pretty positive so far, they sent me the titles of the scripts which we have to submit in order to get onto the course and get a conditional offer (I'm sure you're familiar with this) It would be fantastic if I could get your details, I'm really intrigued about the course and what you guys have made of it etc. You would be such useful contacts for the future aswell!

thanks again for the feedback, sorry for the late reply!