Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Academy

No, not the Oscars. The BBC Writers Academy. From what I understand a number of writers are taken on, given a salary and guaranteed at least one ep of Casualty EastEnders, Holby and Doctors. They shadow exisiting writers, learning the ropes and then press on with their own episodes.

I think that's the bones of it. I may be wrong. And to me it sounds like a good thing. With so few avenues available for the new writer to break in this sounds like a great opportunity.

However, I hear rumblings. This being the BBC it seems to have taken on a political aspect. Academy writers are allegedly being given more than the one ep guarantee on orders from above. Read The Yorkie Bar Kid.

This is pissing off both script editors, who have a lot more hand holding to do, and existing writers because it is taking bread out of their mouths. I guess it also engenders a degree of resentment because those exisiting writers had to come through the trenches, not be handed the keys to the kingdom.

But times change, and overall I like the idea that the door has been opened a little. But I have a proviso. There is another Academy, one run by Paul Abbot. I have no idea how you get on it. But bearing in mind his comment on the BBC Academy which was basically ''They are training writers to write shit'' Given the choice I know which Academy I'd be trying to get in to.

I also know that if I were a new writer offered a place on the BBC Academy I'd snap their hand off.

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