Archive for July 4th, 2007

Red Planet Prize

4th July 2007

The Stage reports that screenwriter Tony Jordan (Hustle, Holby Blue, and Life on Mars) has launched a competition in which the winner will be given £5,000 and a commission to write a script for Jordan’s production company, Red Planet Pictures.

Called The Red Planet Prize, aspiring screenwriters are now being called on to submit the first ten pages of a script, which will be read by a panel of judges made up of Stephen Fry, The League of Gentlemen’s Mark Gatiss, BBC head of drama Wales and drama commissioning Julie Gardner and Jordan himself.

Those who impress the panel will be asked to provide a full script, with six writers chosen to spend the day with Jordan, co-creator of Life on Mars and EastEnders’ former chief storyliner, as he whittles the competition down to one.

Jordan said: “I know what it is like for new writers. They send these scripts out and they get stacked up against a wall somewhere and never read.

“All most writers want is for someone to read their work properly. It is really heartbreaking and soul destroying to not get a response when you send your work out.”

Entries – one per person – should be sent to by September 1, 2007. Full scripts will be requested by October, with finalists contacted in December.

Who Writes British Films?

4th July 2007

Screen Daily details a UK report, entitled Writing British Films – Who Writes British Films?, which was commissioned by the UK Film Council and conducted by Royal Holloway, University of London. The study interviewed 63 screenwriters credited on a sample of 40 British films in 2004. Some of the statistics revealed:

  • 98% of the writers were white
  • 82.5% were men
  • 66% were aged over 46 and most earned relatively high incomes.
  • 61%, of the writers questioned were not British.
  • 57%, whether of British or overseas nationality, were contactable only via a Hollywood agent.
  • 77% of the respondents had worked previously in television.