Sunday, May 28, 2006

Corporate Stupidity Rant

Now I may be wrong on the detail here because I've only just heard about it, but even if the BBC are thinking about the following then it is a victory for creative stifiling bureaucrats.

What are they going to do? Do their entire drama commisioning for the year in January.

Now that may be great for the accountants to do their budgeting. But what about the writer who comes up with a concept that is better than anything they have just commissioned but he does it in February?

Is he going to hang around until next January? You bet he fucking isn't. He's going to pitch it to the other networks. And so are all the other writers up to December.

Result - The other networks get first pick of the best projects and the BBC are left with the scraps.

Sheer, unadultarated fucking madness thought up by highly paid mandarins who haven't a fucking clue about the creative process.

It might be seeping through in the subtext that I'm a little upset by this prospect? Hopefully someone will see sense.

It seems to me the BBC is in turmoil. John Birch had about as much creatitivity as the bubbles in a can of coke. He was brought in as a money man and carved a swathe of fear through Auntie Beeb. Greg Dyke was a short lived godsend and the Beeb was on the road to recovery before he fell on his sword over Iraq.

Now this?

There has to be a happy balance between commerce and creativity. This is a sign that the scales are tipping the wrong way.

Rant over.

Normal service will be resumed after I go out and kill and accountant.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Keep Your Mouth Shut!

No not you. Me.

I had a meeting a few days ago with a Dev. Exec for the BBC. Her boss also happens to Exec a show I write for. Lovely girl, we got on like a house on fire. The meeting was in BAFTA and the first question she asks is 'what would you like to drink?' That's pretty much guaranteed to get her on my Christmas card list.

As always the breeze was shot for a few minutes, life, the weather, penis envy, the usual. We moved on to the current state of BBC drama, which in general has me reaching for a bucket.

As I was still on my first pint I had enough sense to be non committal. A nod to the fact that most of the shows I bother to watch are American, but nothing derogatory.

I learned my lesson early when I attended a screening of a director acquaintance's first cut of a movie. The cgi hadn't been added or the soundtrack. When it finished my first words to him were 'you're going to have a few sleepless nights after this'

I saw his face fall. It was only later I realised my well meant comment about getting the film ready for the premier was taken as ' that was crap'.

In truth it wasn't all that good and maybe that seeped out subconciously. But from then on I said to myself ' when dealing with 'Industry' types say nothing remotely controversial - ever!.

Anyways back to the meeting. I'm on my second pint and I'm pitching like the chief pitcher of the gold medal pitchers in the pitching Olympics. Eloquent, passionate, Jeez it even made sense to me.

I was very convincing. She even said that. 'You're very convincing' she said. I liked that. Until I thought ' does she mean I've never heard such utter crap delivered so convincingly since Chamberlain waved that bit of paper shouting Peace In Our Time!

Maybe. I'll find out in a couple of weeks. But that isn't the point of the post!

On my third pint she started asking about the show I write for that her boss has just become exec producer for. What do I think of this? What do I think of that?

Now, bearing in mind my history of faux pas and the fact I am no callow youth bought over with a few pints and a winning smile I was fully aware that the smart thing to do was nod, say yes and divulge nothing. And that's what I did. Apart from SING LIKE A FUCKING CANARY.

I can't keep my mouth shut. It is a curse. I'd like to think what I said was constructive and helpful and supportive. But truth be told I don't remember. I was still too busy thinking of ways to ram home the two projects I'd been pitching.

The moral of the tale is that film and TV is a very small world and the most innocent comment can come back to haunt you. Be very careful what you say. It's a bit like chatting up a girl in a pub. One false note and much previous effort has been wasted. Unless you have roofies. And that really doesn't get a script bought.

I've got another meeting next week. It's with a guy who has just started work for a major star's prodco. He's raving about a script of mine my agent's sent him. In fact the letter to my agents was so glowing they sent me a copy!

You know what? He read that same script about 5 years ago when I was with another agent. Heard nothing much back except a standard ' not really for me'

Will I remind him of this? Absoloutely not!!!!

Tattood to my forehead. Keep Your Mouth Shut.