Archive for the ‘television’ Category

Sir Peter Ustinov Television Scriptwriting Award

11th May 2010 by Maura McHugh

Each year the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation awards the Sir Peter Ustinov Television Scriptwriting Award.

The competition is designed to motivate non-American novice writers under the age of 30, and to offer them the recognition and encouragement that might lead to a successful career in television scriptwriting.

The winner will be flown to New York City to be presented with an award and a US$2,500 prize at the International Emmy World Television Festival on November 20, 2010. The winning script will be read by actors in front of an audience at the Festival, and the winner will be invited to take part in the red carpet festivities at the 38th International Emmy Awards on November 22, 2010.

To enter, you will need to create a completed half-hour to one-hour English-language television drama script suitable for a family audience.

The deadline is 1 July 2010, and an application form can be downloaded from the web site.

BBC Writers Academy

21st April 2010 by Maura McHugh

Applications are now open for the BBC Drama’s Writers Academy

Outline

The training you receive from BBC Drama’s Writers Academy will give you the specific skills required to write for some of the BBC’s most popular series such as Doctors, EastEnders, Holby City and Casualty, and a springboard to write across all the BBC’s drama output.

To be eligible for this scheme, writers will have already had at least one professional (paid) drama commission in film, television, radio or theatre.

The Writers Academy will train up to 8 writers a year, over a period of twelve months.

Course Breakdown

The course will break down as follows:

Introduction to Writing for Continuing Drama Series

This is a 3 month training course in writing for Continuing Drama Series which will consist of a number of workshops and lectures accompanied by intensive writing exercises and analysis.

During this period each writer will write a broadcast episode of Doctors.

The training course will be lead by John Yorke, Controller, Drama Production and New Talent, and other industry experts from all areas of drama production.

Course participants will be required to attend classes at the BBC premises in Elstree for three days per week, and one day at Television Centre in London.

Some expenses will be paid for writers based out of the London area for this period.

Writing for Broadcast

After you have completed the initial training and the Doctors script, your work will be assessed. If you have reached the required standard for production on Continuing Drama Series you will begin the next phase of the training.

Writers will rotate across Casualty, Holby and Eastenders in turn, writing a broadcast episode, spending a maximum of 12 weeks on each show.

At the end of the 12 months, each writer will have written for each of the four shows.

Core team & HQ

The course will be run and administered from BBC TVC in London W12 and BBC Elstree Studios. The course will be overseen and run by a Course Producer.

The deadline for applications is: May 5th 2010. More information and how to apply is on the web site.

McGuinness Play on TV

20th April 2010 by Maura McHugh

The Stage reports that Sky Arts has announced its successor to its Theatre Live! series, which saw six novelists make their playwriting débuts in 2009.

This year it’s called Sky Arts Playhouse – Live, and will bring new work by established playwrights to the screen, including Irish playwright Frank McGuinness, whose credits include Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me.

The plays will be broadcast live every Wednesday from June 9, with each production being previewed at the Riverside Studios in the UK for four nights prior to transmission.

As with Theatre Live!, there will be a special company of directors and actors formed for the series, which will be overseen by Sandi Toksvig as artistic director, and Pip Broughton, who is creative director.

Toksvig said: “With Playhouse – Live, we’re staying true to the theatrical experience whilst simultaneously ensuring that we successfully marry the components of theatre and television that make each experience so unique. We’re thrilled to have such an extraordinary range and calibre of playwrights on board, and are delighted about partnering with the Riverside Studios to give the creative teams an opportunity to preview each play.”

The schedule is:

  • June 9; The Typist, by Rebecca Lenkiewicz; directed by Bijan Sheibani.
  • June 16: Ghost Story by Mark Ravenhill, who is also directing the play.
  • June 23: Hens by Alia Bano; directed by Peter Gill
  • June 30: Crocodile by Frank McFuinness; directed by Toby Frow.
  • July 7: Ensler’s Here by Eve Ensler; directed by Josie Rourke.

Roy Wins RTS Award

17th March 2010 by Maura McHugh

The Guardian reports that the BBC children’s television comedy, Roy (JAM Media for CBBC), won a Royal Television Society award for Children’s Drama.

Roy is a live action television series incorporating animation, and is based on the award-winning Irish short film “Badly Drawn Roy”. The show continues to have a strong Irish connection with several Irish writers on the series, including Danny Stack, Neil Leyden, Alan Keane and Declan DeBarra.

Siobhan Miley Obituary (1965-2010)

9th February 2010 by Maura McHugh


by Elizabeth Moynihan

The Actress, Writer and Graduate of Trinity College Dublin, Siobhán Miley died on Friday morning, the 5th of February 2010.

She came into my life 15 years ago as a fellow actor on a performance piece entitled Fishbelly White. Our collaboration at that point bore none of the hallmarks of the defining relationship that it would become for me over the next ten years. It wasn’t until 1999 that the seeds of a long and intimate friendship were sown in the rehearsal rooms of the Gate theatre’s production of An Ideal husband, where she played the leading role of Lady Chiltern. My lowly turn was over by the interval and so, every night I spent the second act watching her from the wings, as she spun out the character of the politically and morally upright Lady Chiltern, with such precision, truth and humanity that it became clear to me any other choice would have been so much less interesting, less engaging less…. well brilliant! And from that moment I wanted to yell from the roof tops “Siobhán Miley is the best actress to ever come out of Ireland.” Many of my actor friends have told me since then that having seen her in the role of Pegeen Mike in the Abbey’s production of The Playboy of the Western World, that they too were affected deeply by her extra ordinary talent. And so I cast myself in the role of fan, which developed into what became a deep and lasting friendship when we holidayed in Mexico post show. Prior to that she thought of me as just another annoying blond that talked too much!

In Mexico we bonded, and I learned to shut up and let her talk.

There she swam with Dolphins and shoals of Barracuda, never showing fear as I cowered on the deck of the little boat we rented. We had many more trips together that involved hours of chat and laughter under a foreign sky. On one trip to Cyprus we sat pool-side in the sweet heat and it was only when dusk hit at 7pm that we realized we had been talking, laughing and basking in that oh-so-rare simpatico we were lucky to enjoy for 8 hours straight.

Siobhán had a passion for storytelling. Be it on a beach towel, as an actress or director and finally writing for RTÉ’s Fair City. Inspiring me and anyone lucky enough to be called her friend. It is as a result of Siobhán’s devoted friendship that I had the courage to dip my toe into literary waters. As she had the ability to instil confidence and passion for the arts in those around her. Wanting to share her knowledge and talent. Encouraging you to be the best you could possibly be.

In recent years her greatest love has been television. Watching it and making it. She was working on her own drama series and had also adapted it for the stage on the encouragement of Jim Culleton, a close friend.

Siobhán Miley was loved so deeply not just for her enormous talent as an actor and writer or for her incredibly sharp intellect but also for her humanity, her compassion, her gentleness and wit.

Many afternoons over the years I sought solace on Siobhán’s sofa after one of my failed romances. There she would ply me with dark chocolate, tea and sympathy. Then cover me with a blanket and let me sleep off the heart ache.

Darling Friend, may I now cover you with a blanket of my love and let you sleep off your heart ache. Rest, rest in peace my sweet and beautiful Siobhán.


Siobhán’s funeral mass will take place at 11am on Thursday, the 11th of February, at Corpus Christi Church, Home Farm Road, Drumcondra, Dublin 9.