Saturday, 10 February 2007

Coming Up... Again

It's that time of year again.

Channel Four and iwc have just launched their annual screenwriting and direction competition designed to get new talent on the small screen.

This'll be my fourth year. As always, they insist that they will only contact you if your submission is succesful. This is a cruel trick. I'm still waiting to hear from last year. And the year before. And...

Anyway, they've changed things a bit this year. They still want stuff that's bold, strong, original, ambitious and witty (as if they'd ever ask for material that's meek, weak, derivative, safe and dull). And it has to be something that "pushes boundaries". And contemporary and cheap (OK, they say "can be shot on a limited budget" - cheap).

But this year they've dropped the requirements to be young and urban. Thank God for that!

They've also opened it up to anyone who hasn't had an original single, series or serial broadcast. In other words, it's not just for complete newbies anymore - all those thousands of us out there with one episode of Doctors under our belts are now eligible too.

I was secretly looking forward to dumping their info in the bin this year with a proud "I don't qualify any more!". But, with the change in rules, I suppose I'd better summon up some enthusiasm and see what comes to mind.


Optimistic_Reader said...

What's the deadline this year? The website doesn't seem to have been updated yet. I started sketching out a possible idea this week. Typically enough, this time I decided to go for something that is really 'young and urban' whereas last year the outline I submitted would have been more acurately described as middle aged and suburban.

Paul Campbell said...

Hi, Opti.

The deadlines Thursday 22 March.

But you have to post it this year - no e-mail submissions allowed.

Good luck.


Optimistic_Reader said...

Thanks for the tip-off Paul! Maybe it'll be fourth time lucky to you!

Paul Campbell said...

I've just noticed that they're paying less this year. Last year they offered £3000, which for a half-hour episode is just about OK, but not exactly generous. This year it's "around £2500".

That really is a bit tight-fisted. £2500 might look like quite a lot of money if it were sitting in your palm in a wad of nice new fivers. But it's zilch if you're thinking of writing as a career. And it's people who want to make writing their career that this scheme is supposed to support.

Optimistic_Reader said...

Have you got a link to all the details Paul? I can't find anything up to date on IWC's website or on Channel 4's site. That is a bit tight of them to reduce the fee.

Optimistic_Reader said...

I see the IWC website is updated now. It's useful that they've added more information about what to include in the pitch, I don't think there were any guidelines last year.