Saturday, May 28, 2011

Something for the Kids: Introduction

I'm going to divide my report on the "Something for the Kids" event into four bits, this introduction and three of the talks during the two sessions (maybe a fifth part if I decide to do a summing up). With all due respect to Jo Combes of the BBC Writersroom she essentially went over stuff which you can get from their website and I don't need to repeat it (I didn't write it down anyway).

I'll be staging the release of the posts over the next couple of days. Oh and I'll be writing "Kid's TV" rather than "Children's TV" because it's less typing.

What was it about?

So what was this thing I went to? I have no idea what to call it, it wasn't a conference or a seminar or... It was just an "event" (not the event, you understand just an event), that had something to do with writing for Kids TV. It was organised by the Louis Le Prince Centre and the BBC Writersroom, for the Institute of Communication Studies and the School of Performance and Cultural Industries at the University of Leeds. Which is a mouthful.

It was free, and there was food, which was also free. And it was very nice food. Very very nice food.

The trouble with this event (if it was a trouble) was that I don't think the people who went really understood what it was. I know I didn't. And I know with certainty, from some of the comments from the audience, that some were expecting an a-b-c of "this is how you write for kids and this is how you get your script to someone important so they'll make it". And it really wasn't that at all.

It was a lot of talking around the subject of writing for Kids: is Kid's TV important; what's the nature of the business as it is now; what's good; what's bad; and how things may go in the future. Because currently there is only one UK outlet for writers writing for Kids, and that's the BBC.

I had applied quite late to go to it and was told it was full up, but that I was on the waiting list. Then they changed the number of attendees and I was included. Huzzah! They were surprised at the level of interest, but I suspect it's because people thought it was the thing that it wasn't.

Now I live just over the Pennines to Leeds so it wasn't a big journey for me, except I had to use different trains (I got rid of my car). And nearly managed to miss the important one.

I was saved by a broken loo on the train. (The driver needed to use the loo so had to use the one in the station thereby delaying the train sufficiently for me not to miss it. I live such an exciting life.)

Anyway we turned up in Leeds on time and I took a taxi to the University - it's uphill for a mile, I'm not walking that (though I did walk back). I was early so spent time chatting to people, well mostly a person, (hi Dionne!) and met up with Kulvinder Gill who I'd met at the London Screenwriters Festival (hey Kulvinder!).

Finally we were ushered through to the theatre the lights dimmed and the excitement began. (Actually the lights didn't dim at all.)

To be continued...

Other posts in this series

What's on the turntable? "Space Oddity" by David Bowie from "Sound and Vision"

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