Well, the deadline for the Red Planet Prize came and went, so I hope you got your submission in on time. Great to see so much blog reaction and people getting motivated to write, which, regardless of winning the competition, has to got to be worth something. It’s all by post this year so any late entries by email or fax or carrier pigeon won’t get a look in, I’m afraid. I’ll post updates on how things are going as soon as there’s any relevant info, so stay tuned.
I haven’t been giving the RPP much thought up until the deadline, to be honest, as I’ve been busy working on a few kids’ shows. One of them is a series called Badly Drawn Roy for CBBC. It’s about a cartoon boy growing up with a working class Dublin family in the real world, kind of like Who Frames Roger Rabbit meets The Commitments (but without the swearing). It’s shooting right now in Dublin and I went over recently to watch some of my episode being filmed.
This was actually the very first time I’d ever been on location to watch stuff wot I wrote being filmed, and it was typically exciting and illuminating. I’m really proud of my episode and can’t wait to see how it all turns out (should be ready for broadcast next autumn). The show is based on an hilarious short film, produced by Jam Media, which you can check out below (it’s about 20 mins long, divided into two parts for You Tube). The kids’ version for CBBC sees Roy as a ten year-old animated kid rather than a thirtysomething cartoon. It’s gonna be a hoot.
Now that my script has been signed off and they’re nearly finished filming, I can focus on the RPP submissions with the rest of the RP team. I think we’ve received about 1,000 entries, roughly half of what we received last year, but that’s understandable given that we were much more specific about what we wanted for this year’s set-up. But with that amount of entries, I'd say we're the most popular (and best!) screenwriting competition in the UK. Not sure when the call for 2nd round scripts will be (at least a couple of months I reckon) but good luck to everyone who’s entered and I’ll keep you posted on any breaking developments.