MAY 2012


    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Children's Media Campaign, Children's TV

    Just opened the latest copy UK Writer Magazine and there I was!  Gail Renard writing about the Tax Breaks for animation, high end drama and video games says, “A special mention goes to Jayne Kirkham, Children’s Committee Chair; Andy Walsh, who oversees video games at the Guild and also members of the Television Committee for their tireless work in lobbying for these tax breaks. We got them.”  As there is still much work to be done finalising said tax breaks and working out the fine detail, I assume that when she says “we got them”, Gail means the Guild, Andy,  me or the rest of the Television Committee.  Not sure if I’m feeling wanted or bagged.  I suspect it’s both.  You can read Gail’s article here.  I think. if I’ve done this bloggy-linky thing properly.  Oh it was all going so well…



    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Screenwriting

    Did you see the BAFTAs last night?  I was so pleased to see Steven Moffat receive the 2012 Television Special Award.  What I really admire about his work is that he writes for everyone and has done much to make family viewing cool again.   Yes I know Sherlock is not exactly family viewing but it is the kind of telly I would have badgered my parents to let me stay up after bedtime and watch; the kind of programme that they could’ve held over me as a reward for being good.

    Then there’s Doctor Who.  Yes yes, Russell T. Davies resurrected it and gave the tardis wings but when I teach screenwriting, it is a Steven Moffat episode that I use to illustrate so many top tips and handy hints.

    I remember a particularly cool group of first year film students who decided they knew everything already.  They were hard work and I just don’t do cool so hadn’t a hope of establishing a rapport.  I soldiered on and showed them the first episode of Doctor Who: The Empty Child.  As the titles went up, I could hear the sneers from the back row.  I kept watching the screen: I might die in this class but at least the telly was good.  That’s when Mr Moffat became my hero: by the end the sneers had turned to silent fear.  These hardened twenty one year olds were genuinely moved, surprised and scared by the story.  Being a two parter they were desperate to find out what happened next.  And, seeing as I had the DVD, I was now their favourite person.

    Good writing feeds the mind, stirs the spirit and excites the body; engaging our intellect, our emotions and our hormones.  We question, we care, we get an adrenaline rush.   When it does all these things, it has that power to engage an audience with other people’s lives, on screen and then in real life.    It makes us connect; makes the world a better place.

    So congratulations Steven: richly deserved.


    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Children's TV, Screenwriting

    Today I shall mostly be…  Oh please don’t expect me to do this kind of bloggy nonsense.  Allow me some dignity.  Dignity! Ha have you seen my photos?   I think the only thing I should say on this most auspicious occasion is:

    Check out Sarah Bird Ltd.

    My thanks to Sarah for holding my hand during this online birthing process.  It has not been too messy and we didn’t need any pain relief.  Although if we’d had the option of gas and air, I for one would always take it.