Approaching the Red Planet

For the last few weeks, a story's been growing in my head. Having learnt from a couple of abortive, over-excited attempts to plunge straight into scripting, only to be scuppered by a sizeable plot-hole or plot-gap, I've simply let it grow while making copious hand-written notes. On Friday, I finally sat down and wrote 11 pages. Yesterday, I wrote another 15, bringing the story to its end. First draft complete.

It's obviously too short at 26 minutes. But it will probably end up as a half-hour drama, which I'll enter into the Red Planet Prize competition. In the first round, you submit only the first ten pages, and I'm sure the second-round judges would rather read a brilliant 30-pager than a feature-length behemoth.

Hopefully, this script will end up being sufficiently strong, after the forthcoming Power Of Three treatment. I'm pretty happy with the story, and suspect it could be the best thing I've written. I'm taking the Red Planet Prize very seriously: it's an incredibly important affair. Not only has it been launched by the remarkable Tony Jordan, but Doctor Who's exec producer (and the BBC's Drama Commissioner!) Julie Gardner is among the second-round judges. Look at all those doors, just waiting to swing open...

One of the best things about the comp, is the way it really does lay down the gauntlet to any writer who thinks they've got what it takes. It's for everyone: not just those with agents, previous productions or Royal blood. There's no moaning to be done about exclusion: all that remains is to sit down, work them fingers and produce your very finest work. Who else is entering? Are you writing something new for it, or submitting your favourite script?

7 comments:

Stuart Perry said...

I'm, definitely going for it - haven't decided what with yet. The scope of entries is pretty broad, so it's hard to choose. Got a lot of other things on, so I doubt I'm going to have the time to write something completely new, though. Good on you.

If you want volunteers for the Power of Three, I'm there.

Lianne said...

It would be insane not to put something in for this! I'm not sure yet if I'll put something new in for it or not - depends if I get it in shape in time. Got a half hour I'm re-writing now as well though so I'll choose closer to the time.

You can also give me a shout if you want some Power of three!

Stephen said...

Hi Jason

Stephen O'Brien here - we met at the Screenwriters' festival - good to meet you (and indeed Stuart!).

Yeah, I'm definitely going for this, but I'm taking a different tack by working a series pilot (drama, 60 mins) rather than a stand-alone. I know I should probably do a one-off, but to be honest, I'd rather work on something I'm fired up to write rather than struggle to come up with a stand-alone idea I'm only half-bothered about.

My first 15 pages are done so far, and I have a step outline for the rest. I'll be giving the first ten pages and the half-page synopsis to a few people for comments this week, while I work on the rest of the script - I'm keen to get some early feedback: mainly if those readers are "hooked" enough to want to read the rest!

Good luck everyone, and happy to contribute to any Power of Three-ing myself!

Lara said...

It's gotta be attempted - hell, even I am trying my bestest to get that little special something dusted off and re-written... whether I will succeed or not is another story. Or even another screenplay. Now there's a concept. (c) me July 2007.

Sorry to suck you in on my blog (sounds dodgy!) - but yes, let's hope it is indeed a self-fulfilling prophecy! If I can, I'd be more than happy to Pof3 for you.

Pillock said...

Writing something new for it.

Oli said...

There's the possibility that something wonderful will hit me and I'll write it in time to enter it, but that's always a dangerous time for me - just after I've written something I love it like a newborn baby, no matter how ugly it may grow up to be.

To play it safe, I shall probably be entering my TV pilot. It's got a pretty good love it/liked it but didn't love it ratio to date (about 5:1) and nobody hating it yet...

Far away said...

something revised