Sunday, May 29, 2011

Something for the Kids: Q&A #1

I decided to put the Q&A session in its own blog post...
Following Lynn's talk there was a Q&A session

What do you do about contemporary references that date a script (like technology, since that's what they use)? Don't put them in.

Do alternate methods of storytelling (like voting on how the story goes forward) threaten writers? Garry thought it was a worrying trend; Lynn didn't agree and thought it was just another way telling a story. (Personally I think "group-voted storytelling" is the stupidest idea yet. It cannot produce anything worthwhile.)

If the CBBC target age limit is 12 why is it that all the best shows have older kids in them? Lynn: It's called age aspiration. Nobody knows what to do about the 12-16 group, the most watched show by 14yo girls is Waterloo Road. Channel 4 is probably best placed to deal with that age group.

Impact of audience gender? Garry: Less gender distinction in 6-12, the gender split for The Worst Witch was 50:50 for a show with almost 100% female cast. Lynn: Even shows with boys (Dick and Dom, Ed and Oucho) they represent "older brothers". Tracey Beaker had an equal split.

CBeebie guidelines? No evil baddies. Crazy really because no baddies = no jeopardy = no story. This is down to pressure from the US and internationalisation of Kid's TV especially pre-school. They can be naughty but not evil and have to learnt heir lesson by the end. What they want are naughty protagonists - Bart Simpson.

Why do we have to have children in children's TV? Garry: Well yes, why. It's a limitation of imagination, a narrow interpretation of the idea of having to empathise. Lynn: It's lazy TV programming after all kid's don't play at being kids. (I said this to the Teacher (Foundation/Primary teacher) she said "That's right. Unless it's Ben 10 - but he has special powers.") Lynn: Though generally most adults who are the protagonists in Kid's TV are childlike.

What's on the turntable? "Anyway, anyhow, anywhere" by David Bowie from "Sound and Vision"

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