Bafta and Stellar Pitch Up! – pitching tips

I went to Bafta Pitch Up!, the TV drama and comedy pitching event the academy runs with the Stellar Network, and while I wasn’t pitching I came away with some great tips on pitching.

The advice comes from the best source possible – the panel of TV experts and producers on the panel, and the ones who ultimately decided which of the ten writers pitching would get to chat with the expert of their choice about their idea.

A lot of this advice can be found among the best books on writing and storytelling, but there’s nothing like hearing it fresh from the horse’s mouth.


Olympian uncertainty principle and the Olympic opening ceremony

The 2012 Olympic Games open in London next week but before the running, jumping and the like can start the games are officially opened – but will the London Olympics’ flame set the world on fire?

The opening ceremony, like any good introduction, sets the tone for the games, and while they’ve tended to become become grander and more expensive each time, as Hollywood has proved a fair few times, big bucks do not automatically mean a blockbuster.

Media Professional Writing

Pitching is hooking

Ever had a great idea but just couldn’t sell it? You’re not alone.

Bill Lawrence is the creator of hit US show Cougar Town, which has run for 56 episodes so it clearly has legs.

Yet according to this interview with the AV Club, Lawrence had a ton of problems selling it – until he changed the name into something catchier with a clear hook.


The story of The Artist will have a happy ending

The Artist has just swept the nominations at the Oscars and I’m betting it will win an award for its script, so why was it a week ago I was asked “it doesn’t have words, what if we don’t enjoy it?”

My girlfriend asked me that, but I felt the same. I know, if I was some highbrow type my immediate reaction would be to scoff, but it was a concern – an hour forty and no one speaks, we’ll be bored!

We were wrong on both counts – there is some speaking, and we weren’t bored by a long shot.

No one hates being wrong, or at least my instincts being wrong, so I did what anyone else who’s slighted would do – I analysed the film to find out who was right, was it a good story or was I caught up in the hype?


The golden past has a future

Happy days aren’t here to stay, and that’s why audiences and writers love them.

It’s a little theory of mine that the programmes set in the past that we love the most remind us or create an idealised, cherry picked version of the past we wish we had.

Mad Men and Pan Am are both US series set in a different time; not just the 1960s, but the time when the US knew its place in the world – at the top.