EXCLUSIVE (to any west-end boozer in the afternoon): British Screenwriters whinge themselves hoarse

From thestage.co.uk Tuesday 15th July 2008.


Screenwriters have become the latest group to criticise senior television executives for having too much creative control over drama production, claiming there is a lack of consultation when it comes to key decisions about their scripts.

The criticisms – outlined in a new good practice guide detailing how broadcasters should work with authors of television dramas – echo those made by leading TV directors last month, who complained they have been increasingly “marginalised” by producers.

According to the guide, compiled by members of the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain on behalf of the trade body, “there is a tendency – particularly in formatted series and serials – for the producer to think the writer’s part in the proceedings is finished” once a script has been submitted.

This means writers are not given a say in decisions relating to the casting and the overall shape of their piece.

“As the director and his team take over, the script is often regarded as just one element of the overall production. It is easy to forget that everything else depends on the script. Regrettably, it has become common practice to keep the director and writer apart – producers and editors may fear that their own authority will be undermined, or believe the writer needs protection from the demands of the director. Either way, they do both writers and director – and themselves – a disservice,” it reads.

The guide recommends writers should be able to meet directors at least once because it “may spark off productive new ideas”. It also suggests “the creator of an original work should be involved in final casting sessions for their lead characters”.

Forgive my Northern tone, but cock clean off.

What a load of whingeing peasants. Bleat all you like, you illiterate, artistically retarded wannabe William Goldmans. Nobody who has the power to make your vacuous, tepid script cares, and nor do we.

No – really – we don’t care.

The last thing anyone wants on set is the writer – FACT! They always get in the way, carping-on about how they’re the only ‘real artist’ and everyone else is merely ‘interpreting’ their art. Blah blah blah – we’ve all read that William Goldman book, too, you know.

If they’d stop being such a bunch of dickless arse-bags and learn how to write, I might give more than half a damn about their ‘plight.’

Does anyone with ANY cultural integrity watch the shite that’s made over here? Aren’t we all glued to our TV sets watching American imports (unless, like me, your some kind of grotesque intellectual snob, watching Engrenages on BBC4 – bof).

Joss Whedon could shit in a cup and it would have a better plot than 99% of the garbage that gets shat out of Television Centre.

Aaron Sorkin, even in his darkest, most abased, charlie-and-whisky-fuelled moments can write dialogue that’s eleventy bajillion times better than A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G we’re producing.

Don’t get me wrong, this country has produced many brilliant screenwriters. There’s thingumy… and whatsisface… and how about… you know the fella…

Before the next class, I want a 300 word essay on the following subject. Compare and contrast these shows:

ER vs. Holby City
The Wire vs. The Bill
Battlestar vs. Dr. Who
West Wing vs…… well anything, frankly.
Firefly vs…… oh why even bother

Bonekickers? Cock-knockers, more like.

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~ by mchawk on 15 July, 2008.

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