Geek sitcom script complete

The pilot episode of my sitcom project, The University Of Life has finally been submitted. People who’ve been following the project will know that I’ve been working on it, on and off, since 2005. Since then it’s been through a number of revisions. At one point I was going to attempt to produce it myself, podcast style.

I have sent it to the BBC Writers Room, and apparently, I can expect to get a confirmation of receipt within a month. Beyond that, if my script is one of the better of the 10,000 (really) other scripts that they receive each year, I may get some commentary back from an experienced script reader. Bear in mind that I’m not hoping for them to develop that particular script idea but I am sending it for criticism and as a calling card for my writing style.

Depending on the type of feedback I receive, I’ll make a decision about whether I should rewrite the script or start a completely new script later this year.

5 thoughts on “Geek sitcom script complete

  1. mike Post author

    It was returned without comment a few months later. Believe it or not, I’m not a fan of Writers’ Room any more 😉 You might say that it’s a case of sour grapes, and in all fairness, if I had received a glowing appraisal, I might now be singing the praises of WR.

    Now I’ve had more time to think about it, I think that WR encourages a pie in the sky approach to working in entertainment. It’s a bit like those manufactured pop band documentary thingies – when you watch the singers burst into tears, you wonder how they can be contemplating a career in the entertainment industry when they invest so much of themselves in a single audition.

    In fact, I think that the BBC have probably created it so that they have a ready answer to all of the people who ask if they can send a script in. When you’re sending your script in against 10,000 other scripts, the whole thing ends up being a lottery. Finishing a 28 page script and a series outline was a useful experience in itself, but it’s too much work to do without a guarantee of payback.

    The TUOL script was one of my first attempts at writing something, and in all honesty, it wasn’t that fantastic. Since I first started working on it, I’ve done quite a lot of writing in other fields, and subsequently, I’ve improved as a writer. In particular, some of the earliest material in TOUL now looks a embarrassingly ropey to me. I might one day have a go at resurrecting the characters and the scenario though.

    I need do some full treatments for some of my ideas, but I’m not writing a 28 page script again for what amounts to a competition. I might have a go at stand up or see if a local drama club could use a writer. I’m going to try and weasel my way in sneakily and legitimately, rather than betting it all on being really really lucky.

  2. mike Post author

    Thanks for your interest. I’m afraid that I’m not handing out copies of that script at the moment. It was started in 2005 and I consider it to be no longer representative of my current style and a bit embaressing.

    Thanks again for the interest.

  3. andrew

    From reading this page it sounds obvious to me why the BBC sent back your script, probably unread. It took you 4 years to write a 28 page script?
    Firstly a half hour sitcom script is at least 50 pages, if your script looked thin then it wouldn’t have even been read.
    Work on your characters, get to know them intimately, make them come alive.
    When you have acheived this a pilot script takes no time at all, for instance I spent two weeks doing my character workshop making them become real. This morning I finished my first draft of a 56 page script which I started yesterday.
    Do your work on the characters and they take on a life of their own, think of a plot and a sub plot and if your characters are strong enough they write the script for you.

    Very important send it in the correct scrip format if you want it to be read, use courier 12 font.

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